Lateral raises with dumbbells – 90% get this exercise wrong!

Seitheben Schultermuskeln

Sie is one of the best exercises for broad shoulder muscles, but 90% of athletes perform in the gym get this exercise wrong, namely the lateral raise with dumbbells ! You may already know this shoulder exercise, but in this post I will show you the correct technique & tips with which you will achieve far better results – I promise you!

Lateral raises – which muscles are trained?

Seitheben Schultermuskeln

Lateral raise is also called Lateral Raise or Shoulder Fly .

Primarily the middle part of the shoulder muscles (red i m picture) is trained. This shoulder area is also responsible for our looking wide!

from the front

Supportive muscles for the lateral raise are:

  • the back of the shoulder muscles – musculus deltoideus pars clavicularis
  • the front part of the shoulder muscles (green in the picture) – musculus deltoideus pars clavicularis
  • the upper fibers of the hood muscle (neck muscle) – musculus trapezius pars descendens

Lateral raise execution and technique – you have to pay attention to this

  • Place your legs shoulder-width apart and stable on the floor and take the dumbbell in your hand.
  • First you stretch your arms completely, then bend them slightly afterwards.
  • You now bend your upper body very slightly forward.

  • Now you breathe in and while exhaling you lift the weight 90 degrees with your arms slightly bent.
  • At the top point you turn the Kurzhanel a little towards the ground, as if you were emptying a bottle.
  • The elbows form the top point.
  • You hold this position for a second. Then you lower the weight in a controlled manner back to the starting position, where it goes up again.
  • You repeat this exercise 8 to 12 times per set!

The 4 most common mistakes in the side raise that you should avoid

Error no. 1: Arms bent too much

The arms should not be bent too much. Often you can see that the arms are bent 90 degrees when doing the lateral raise. This is wrong. Extending your arms completely when doing a lateral raise is also wrong. It is correct to bend your arms only slightly and then pull up the weights.

Mistake No. 2: Shoulder blades hang forward

When doing the side raise, make sure that the shoulder blades are pulled backwards and down . Under no circumstances should the shoulder blades hang forward.

Error No. 3: Arms are pulled up too high

The arms should form a maximum angle of 90 degrees to the body when lifting sideways. If the arms are pulled up more than 90 degrees, there is a risk of shoulder injuries!

Mistake No. 4: Instead of the elbows, the hands are pulled up

A very common mistake with the lateral raise is that the elbows are not pulled up with it. If the arms are at a 90 degree angle, then the elbows should form the highest point – not the hands!

Effective lateral raise – you need this training device

Lateral raises with dumbbells – as the name suggests, you only need a pair of sturdy dumbbells for this shoulder exercise. If you are a beginner and train at home, a dumbbell of up to 10 kilograms per side is sufficient at the beginning.

You have been training for a while and want to buy dumbbells for lateral raises? Then I would recommend this dumbbell set up to 15 kilograms per side!

Which exercise variants are there for lateral raises with dumbbells?

Whether bent over lateral raises, lateral raises upright or sitting, or lateral raises with dumbbells or on a cable – all these lateral raise variations effectively train the shoulder muscles.

I would like to introduce you to the 3 coolest but also most effective exercise variants for lateral raises:

1. Lateral raise with dumbbells upright

This variation can also be called the classic lateral raise. Above all, the lateral shoulder muscle fibers are trained. You can see the correct execution of the exercise in the following video:

2. Bent Lateral Raise

Another very effective side raise is the bent side raise. Here the focus during shoulder training is on the back shoulder. This can be clearly seen in the following video by Tim Gabel:

3. Lateral raise on the cable pull

When doing the lateral raise on the cable puller, the exercise is identical to the classic lateral raise with dumbbells. The difference here lies in the constant load on the shoulder muscles during the entire execution .

When doing a side raise with dumbbells, the leverage changes during the execution. This is not the case with the cable!


Lateral raise is without question one of the best exercises to primarily train the lateral shoulders . However, this shoulder exercise is only effective if it is done correctly and carefully! So pay close attention to your technique!

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