The 10 Best Weight Lifting exercises: Side Raises

Please see a continuation of my top 10 weight exercises: where I give my opinion on some of my favourite exercises that have been a staple of my gym routine for many years.

I have a very traditional and basic attitude to weight training – you won’t see gimmicky exercises or “Wolverine Workouts” here.  If you have experience of weight training you have probably heard of most of my list.  I take the view to be the master of these 10 weight exercises, rather than do a new routine everyweek.

This week is Number 9:

Lateral Raise

What it works:

Shoulders

sideraise

Image from Bodybuilding.com

Why do it?

I love the lateral raise because it is such a rewarding exercise to carry out when you have undergone a recent body transformation.  During the movement you get the benefit of seeing the definition in shoulders, chest and waist.

Ego reasons aside it is good to build those deltoids and make some nice strong shoulders.

deltoids

The Deltoid muscles from musclesused.com

In some ways I feel that the lat raise is a great move for beginner – it’s not too complex to mess up.  Don’t go too high and resist the temptation to go for heavy weight too quickly.

A sign that it is too heavy is by doing a ‘push off’ to help assist the momentum of the move or bringing the weights down to the side in a resting position before the set has been finished.

I have found the nature of this exercise does not bode well for ‘ego’ lifting (i.e the practice of going heavy to look good).  My advice is keep it sensible and just enjoy the benefits this lift gives

Variations:

There are some variations to this (see this link at T-Nation), but with this one I have always stuck to the basics and recommend to others not to over complicate this one.  There is also the Front Raise which is good for Shoulders, but doesn’t make my top ten.

Result:

Enjoy seeing the benefits to the core and shoulders.  It is also great for improving shoulder mobility

Beginners advice:

  • Keep it light.  When increasing weight do this at a very steady rate
  • Keep your body still – don’t use the legs or bend to assist momentum
  • Use mirrors to see how it is going.  Just don’t get too caught up in admiring yourself with this one

What is your favourite weight exercise?  Why?  Drop a comment below and let me know – I might even end up quoting you.

References: 

I have been doing these exercises for so long that it isn’t always easy for me to explain.  Thanks to the following sites who helped me write this:

Bodybuilding.com – Side Lateral Raises

Coachmag – The Lateral Raise: How to do it and 4 top tips

seannal.com – 7 Side lateral raises mistakes to avoid for bigger side delts

Livestrong – What Muscle do dumbbell lateral raises work?

Disclaimer: I am not a qualified personal trainer, I am just giving my opinion on what I think are the best things to do at the gym.  Note I do not advise how many repetitions to do – that is up to you and what you want to achieve.

You should always take into consideration your limitations and medical history.  Before starting a workout routine always seek advice from an expert.


The Top Ten:

10: Bent-over row

9: Side Raises

8: Push Press

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9 thoughts on “The 10 Best Weight Lifting exercises: Side Raises

    1. Thanks, trying to apply some of the knowledge in my head to paper, but not always easy 🙂

      It’s not something I have considered – I have always felt I had a voice for writing rather than anything else 🙂

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