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Build Wider Shoulders: Side Lateral Raise Form

Hey, what’s up guys? Sean Nalewanyj, of
here. And in this video lesson, I want to give you a few really good tips to help maximize
the effectiveness of all of your side lateral movements. So, side laterals are a great exercise
because of the one shoulder lift that allow you to really isolate that lateral head of
the shoulder, which is that middle portion for overall upper body width. Now, a lot of
people — well, most people actually, make a lot of key mistakes on side laterals that
decreases the effectiveness of the exercise, and increases their chances of injury. So,
the first thing I should point out is that anytime you’re performing a side lateral exercise,
you really want to make sure that you’re using a weight that you can control at all times
with strict form. Most people go way too heavy on side laterals. And not only does that shift
the tension on to other muscle groups that you’re not trying to target, but it also puts
your shoulder joint under a lot of stress. And the shoulder joint is an area that’s very
susceptible to injury. And if you do injure your shoulders, it’s going to screw up most
of your upper body training. So, you really want to protect that shoulder joint at all
cost. And so, yes, for side laterals make sure you’re picking a weight that is light
enough that you can control it at all times without using an excessive amount of momentum.
Now, in terms of actual form, again, this is an area where a lot of people make some
key mistakes that takes the stress off of the lateral delt and shifts it onto surrounding
muscle groups such as the anterior delt, so the from the shoulder, the traps and the spinal
erector. So, I’m going to give you four simple shifts that you can apply to your side lateral
raises to take the tension off of those muscles and shift it straight onto that lateral head
for overall shoulder-width. So, I’m going to use some lightweight here just to demonstrate
the form, but let’s go over it. So, the first thing we want to do is instead of staying
upright, we actually want to lean slightly forward throughout the entire movement. The
second thing, and you’re not going to be able to see this, but you want to keep your abs
lockdown. So, keep your abs really tight throughout the entire exercise. That’s an awesome tip
that is going to really increase that stress on the lateral head, because it’s going to
take your spinal erectors out of the equation. So, we’re leaning forward, abs are tight.
And then as we curl — or sorry, not curl, raise the weight up, what you want to think
about, and I’ve — I’ve said this for a lot of previous exercises, but it applies here
too, sort of pretend that you’re forearm, and your wrist, and your hand don’t exist
and you’re doing all of the polling with your elbow, and on this exercise with your pinky
as well. So, you actually want to lead with your pinky. So, as you’re raising the weight
up, you’re using your elbow, and you’re using your pinky finger. And at the top of that
lift, you actually want your pinky finger to be higher than your thumb, okay? And doing
that is going to again, put more tension on the lateral head and take it off of the front
of your shoulder. And then the final thing is that you want to make sure that you’re
only raising the weight up until your upper arms are parallel to the floor, and no higher.
If you go higher than parallel, what you end up doing is just bringing your traps into
the equation, which is obviously not what you’re trying to do. So, quick review; leaning
slightly forward, abs are tight throughout the entire exercise. We’re leading with our
elbow and our pinky. And we’re stopping when our upper arms are parallel to the floor.
So, give those four tips a try. You’re going to notice a huge difference when you do it.
It is going to require you to use a lighter weight. But again, as I pointed out in so
many previous videos, the objective amount of weight that you’re lifting doesn’t matter.
What matters is the overall amount of tension that you’re putting on the target muscle.
So, if your side lateral raising 45, 50, 55-pound dumbbells, there’s a really good chance that
you’re using an excessive amount of momentum. And you’re also involving surrounding muscle
group. So, use those four tips that I’ve outlined. And just kind of gradually scale it back until
you find the weight that allows you to employ those for tips, while still controlling the
weight at all times. And while still being able to train with a high level of intensity.
So, I hope you found this video lesson here useful today. As always if you did like the
video, please make sure to hit the like button, leave a comment and subscribe to stay up-to-date
on future videos. Also make sure to grab your free 28-day mass building plan using the link
in the description box, which includes a free workout plan, meal plan and supplement guide.
And make sure to join us over on the Elite Impact Labs Facebook page for daily articles,
videos, tips and muscle building supplement giveaways. Thanks again for watching. And
I’ll talk to you again soon.

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77 thoughts on “Build Wider Shoulders: Side Lateral Raise Form

  1. This exercise is best demonstrated from a side angle, otherwise it's hard to show that I'm leaning forward. You can watch my other 75 videos where I'm staring straight into the camera if that's important to you.


    Learn some highly effective side lateral raise tips to build thicker, wider shoulders…

    Build Wider Shoulders: Side Lateral Raise Form

  3. Sorry, my bad, I have those disabled. Thank you for the great work you are delivering as always, this video is great information.

  4. Your body has no idea how much objective weight you're lifting.The goal is to maximize the overload on a given muscle using correct form. (For the record though the weight I'm using here was just to demonstrate the form)

  5. Sean I remember reading somewhere that you injured your shoulders bench pressing. Did they ever sublux or dislocate?

  6. I've had shoulder problems on and off for years because of bad technique in my earlier years. It never progressed to anything too serious and they're okay for now.

  7. Nice one sean ill try that in
    my next shoulder workout. i was making an ass
    of myself. cheers. that was great info.

  8. So i was doing it wrong all this time, carrying heavy weights. If I follow your advise with a regime and nutrition, how far down I will see results? 1 month, 3 months?
    Thanks, I started to watch your vids and I am better educated now

  9. Well, you'll start seeing results immediately. How long it will take to reach your goals depends on where you are now and what your goals are 🙂

  10. Why not bring the traps into play by going beyond parallel, because it's a time saver and hormone booster? It still works the side laterals just the same even if you go beyond parallel, because you go beyond parallel through parallel position.

  11. It's not a HUGE deal either way but I don't see any need for it as you're simply taking tension off the delts for a portion of the ROM. Your traps are going to get smashed on back day anyway so it's not like they need extra work.

  12. Just an idea Sean. Maybe yo could think of adding EliteImpactLab into the title of your video. This way it's easier to search your video ONLY. Just my 2 cents.

  13. im using light weights,my arms are parallel with the floor,after this work out why are my traps killing and my side delts feel like they've done nothing?

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  16. like other people have requested, please explain why you are bending your elbows so much. Usually lateral raises are done with minimal elbow bend

  17. Also make sure to keep the elbow higher than the hand, if the hand begins to come above he elbow and lead the movement it becomes a front delt exercise.

  18. @Sean Nalewanyj : How about doing the lateral raises until the arms are little above parallel to the floor , so that it will include both the mid delts and the traps as well.

  19. I see some people starting off with the weights directly on their side and then raising it up with straight arms. Is that the same as this?

  20. awesome video sean, i love how comprehensive you are and your conclusion is a life saver. Thanks for the knowledge!!!! just curious what is your academic background/ drawing from what studies? +Sean Nalewanyj Fitness @Sean Nalewanyj Fitness 

  21. Thanks for the tips! A quick comment. A mike chang commercial came on before your video, really irritated me! I almost cursed him out but realized it would've looked like it was directed towards u. Soo glad I caught myself! Hahaaa…thanks for NOT being mike chang!

  22. when performing this exercise, do I need to keep my chest up(as when doing bench press) ?? and also I need to keep the lower back straight, right?? thank you for answering

  23. Of all the guys doing fitness videos on youtube, I like Sean's the best. Clear and concise and he covers all the neccessary angles. Always well informed advice from Sean. Thums up!

  24. I find these cause tendonitis in my shoulders over time so Ive started only raising my elbows to 60 degrees instead of 90. So far its really helped.

  25. hey man.. thanks for your videos it helps me a lot 🙂 i just want to ask you that whats the difference between straight arm side raises and bend arm side raises.. when i do bend arm side raises just like you showing in this video i got pain in my left shoulder… and when i go for reverse fly machine for rear deltoid the pain go… what should i do.. plzz help 

  26. Most of the time I heard that pinch your shoulders while doing side lateral raises. What do you say about pinching shoulders?

  27. hey Sean i heard that if you put your pinky above the rest it will damage your rotator cuff. is that right or is it just a myth?

  28. hey sean, i did my shoulder workout a couple of days ago including dumbell overhead press, arnold press, rear delt flys and side laterals but have some pain in my side delt. do you know what this is and how to cure and prevent this?

  29. sean what is the weight you use for your side dealt lateral rais 4 sets 8-10 reps. i want to estimate if im going to heavy i feel i could be pushing it a little i usually start with 6kg dumbells than after 3 sets drop to 4kg to finnish off

  30. Sean, you performed this movement slightly in front of your body, while in your other video 7 tips for side lateral considered it as wrong.

  31. I wish I knew this years ago. I've been focusing too much on overhead movements. But my shoulders finally are starting to pop out more now.

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