The Lateral Raise will exercise the medial deltoids, one of three muscles in your shoulders.
A strong medial deltoid will contribute to your strength, arm and shoulder flexibility and to a good-looking upper body, too.
The first time you do this exercise, don’t use weights so that you’ll feel and understand how challenging it is when performed correctly and without resistance.
1. Once you can perform the Lateral Raise without weights, take one in each hand and kneel on a comfortable surface. Place your knees beneath your hips and your feet behind you, pressed into the floor.
2. Pull in, or brace, your abdominal, core and buttocks muscles. Turn the weights slightly toward your thighs and squeeze your shoulder blades together. This posture will reduce excessive activation of your larger upper back muscles and upper trapezius muscles.
3. Lift both arms away from your sides until they extended from the shoulder and are
parallel to the floor.
4. As you hold the position for a second, keep your wrists, elbows and shoulders in a straight line, with your elbows unlocked/slightly bent. Take 3 seconds to lower your arms 3/4 of the way down, but not all the way back to your sides.
6. Do 12 reps, lifting your arms to the top position and then back down 3/4 of the way, which will maintain tension at the medial deltoid area.
7. Avoid bending your knees or sitting into the movement. Don’t swing your arms upward to use momentum, and keep your head and spine erect, with core and buttocks muscles tight.
Anyone with any type of pain in their shoulders, neck, spine or with lower back issues should not perform this movement.
Shula’s Athletic Club offers a free movement evaluation.
Disclaimer: Do not begin any physical activity described in this column without prior approval from your health care professional.