When it comes to our overall health and general well-being, it simply can’t be denied that exercise is one of the most beneficial forms of physical activity you could ever hope for. One method of training that’s growing more and more popular day by day, is weight training. Weight training burns calories, builds muscle, tones the body, makes us look great, and makes us feel great too. In order to properly benefit from our weight training, we need to ensure that all of our major muscle groups get a good workout, rather than just a few. Take our deltoids (shoulders) for instance. Working both the front and middle deltoids is great for really building the muscles in the shoulder, helping to give them that rounded curved look that so many of us strive for. A great exercise for hitting both parts of this muscle group is dumbbell front lateral raises. Here’s what you’ll need to do to complete this exercise.
Begin by grabbing a set of light dumbbells. Always choose light dumbbells for this exercise, otherwise you won’t engage the correct muscle groups. Stand with the dumbbells down at your side, with your arms palms facing inwards towards your thighs. Place your feet slightly further than shoulder width apart, and bend your knees slightly.
Next, lift both of your arms up from the starting position at the same time, keeping your elbows straight as you do. Although with this exercise you’ll be lifting from your deltoids, you don’t want to bring them up towards your ears. Instead, imagine that you’re trying to touch your cheek bones with your shoulders instead. Lift the dumbbells until they’re just slightly above shoulder height.
Once the dumbbells are just above shoulder height, gently try to squeeze and hold them in that position for a second or so, before slowly returning the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
Repeat this process for a further 8 – 12 reps, or until failure.
Remember, always keep your arms parallel and don’t allow them to climb upwards to the ceiling, or to droop downwards towards the floor.
You must also keep your back perfectly straight, and do not bend or rock in the slightest. If you have to rock back and forth to gain momentum, the weight is too heavy. The idea here is to stimulate the muscle gently, not to train it intensely. The first few reps will feel easy and you’ll hardly feel a thing in your shoulders. After 8 reps or so however, you’ll start to feel the pump in your deltoids.
Remember, strict form is what we’re focussing on here, not heavy weight.