Some lifters write off exercises as ineffective because they don’t see the benefits or could be doing them better. Lateral raises fall into both categories because let’s be honest they maybe performing lateral raise mistakes. You all know that to get popping delts and bolder shoulders, a heavy dose of overhead presses and their variations are in order.

That’s not in any doubt.

Compound exercises are the gold standard for getting bigger and stronger, shoulders included. Besides biceps curls, many isolation exercises that target only one muscle group are underappreciated, and lateral raises fall under that umbrella.

Although the lateral delts are targeted with overhead presses, to get a wider shoulder look that lateral deltoids provide, you also need a steady diet of lateral raises. The lateral raise will get your boulder shoulders without the stress and strain of going overhead. Here we’ll go into the proper form and fix these four common lateral raise mistakes that may hold back your gains.

How to Do the Standing Lateral Raise

Note: There are many variations; this description for the standard on,

  1.     Hold a pair of dumbbells by your side at arm’s length with an overhand grip.
  2.     Keeping your shoulder down, chest up, and glutes engaged.
  3.     Raise the dumbbells laterally to shoulder height and pause.
  4.     Slowly lower down and reset and repeat for reps.

What’s Needed For a Proper Lateral Raise Form

There’s nothing complicated about the lateral raise, so there is no overthinking it here. But because of the long lever (weight a long way from the working muscle), lighter weights will feel heavier. The biggest deal here is the absence of pain in your wrists, elbows, and shoulders and the mobility to raise your shoulders laterally.

That’s it. If you have both, you’re good to go.

4 Common Lateral Raise Mistakes

One of the biggest lateral raise mistakes in most resistance training exercises is choosing a weight you cannot handle. Not being able to ‘control’ the lifting and lowering parts of the lift is an invitation for an injury, and you don’t want that.

Instead, remember the following when doing a lateral raise and its variations to get more out of your lateral raise.