These days, there are machines that let you work out all of your major muscle groups. For shoulders alone, you will come across a vast range of machines in any commercial gym, one such machine is the lateral raise machine.
The lateral raise machine works the shoulders, especially the lateral and front delts. If this machine is available at your gym, you should use it as part of your routine.
The machine lateral rise is a variation of the standard lateral raise that can help you build muscle and size in your shoulders. When you use a lateral raise machine, it works just like the traditional version. It is a powerful shoulder-building exercise that isolates the deltoids for hypertrophy over low stimulus, and high rep sets.
You can do lateral raises with dumbbells, Egyptian lateral raises using dumbbells, or a cable pulley system, but the lateral raise machine has its own benefits that can’t be ignored. In this article, we would discuss how to correctly use the machine with proper form, muscles worked and key mistakes to be avoided.
How To Use Lateral Raise Machine
- Sit in the lateral raise machine so that you are facing it and rest the pad at the base of your upper arm.
- Keep your back straight, with your chest up and your head facing forward. This will be where you’ll start.
- Grab the machine’s handles and start the movement by moving your upper arms to the side, away from your body’s center. Keep going until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
- Pause for a brief moment, and then go back to the starting position
Muscles Worked When Using Lateral Raise Machine
According to studies, this activity targets the infraspinatus and subscapularis muscles in your rotator cuff, allowing you to do many shoulder motions, such as internal and external rotations.
The Machine lateral raise mainly works the deltoids (anterior, lateral, posterior). The anterior deltoid is a muscle right in front of your shoulders that helps you lift your arm forward. The medial deltoid, which is also called the “lateral deltoid,” is the shoulder’s biggest muscle. When we think of shoulder exercises, we often think of these. This muscle’s job is to lift the arm outwards, or to the side. In other words, it’s in charge of how your arm’s abduction and adduction.
The posterior deltoid is the muscle on the back of your shoulder that moves your arm back behind you. However, this workout isn’t just for the shoulders. The synergists in the lateral raise machine exercise are the front part of your deltoids, the supraspinatus, the lower and middle parts of the trapezius, and the serratus anterior. They help you move smoothly and allow you to really work your lateral delts.
Common Mistakes To Avoid While Using Lateral Raise Machine
Use the equipment effectively so that you can reap the most benefits from it. Therefore, avoiding the most common mistakes will maximize your potential benefits. Some examples of typical mistakes are:
Lifting Too Heavy
Intensifying your workouts with this equipment might help you gain muscle and stamina. But be careful not to get too heavy, or you risk injuring your shoulders from the strain.
Focus On Posture
The overall movement depends on how your posture is. If you have a hunched back or shoulders or if you move your neck a lot, your posture will be affected. You have to stay still and only move your shoulders.
Machine Lateral Raise Alternatives
If your gym doesn’t have a lateral raise machine or you just want to try something different, these exercises can work your shoulders just as well.
Cable Lateral Raise
How To Do Cable Lateral Raise (Crossbody)
- Attach a single handle to the cable at the lowest pulley position.
- With a neutral grip, reach across your body and grab the handle.
- Raise the handle laterally by pulling it across your body and bending your elbow slightly.
- Slowly lower the handle back to the starting position while keeping control.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Egyptian Lateral Raise
How To Do Egyptian Lateral Raise
- Get a lightweight dumbbell or a plate to start. This exercise isn’t effective unless you have a full range of motion. Use the proper weight and be humble. Weight ranging from 5 to 20 pounds should be sufficient.
- Look for a support beam of any kind. The only requirements are that it be solid and that you have adequate space to perform the action without being inhibited.
- Take a position. With one hand, grab the support beam, while the other holds the weight. Bring your feet up close to the support.
- Extend your arm holding the support beam all the way out. Maintain a firm core and a straight spine. Lean in just a slight bit. Allow your arm to move in sync with your torso. Make sure your weight-bearing arm isn’t forced into an awkward position.
- Raise your weight-bearing arm to shoulder height from the side of your waist.
- Lower the weight back to the starting position slowly and under control. The trick is to drop it at a slower rate than you raised it. Adduction (moving closer to the body) is a regulated negative phase.
- Per set, aim for at least 10-20 reps. The weight is generally too heavy if you can’t accomplish more than 10 repetitions on this exercise.
- Switch sides and continue with the other arm.
- Depending on your training goals and the remainder of your upper body workout program, do 4-6 sets on each arm.
- Rest periods are organically integrated into the Egyptian lateral raise, as each arm has a chance to “rest” by hanging on the beam. If you require more rest in between sets, strive to keep your rest to no more than 30 seconds.
Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises
To do a dumbbell side lateral raise, follow these steps:
- Take two light dumbbells or plates as this is a low-weight, high-rep workout. If you add too much weight, your range of motion will be compromised, resulting in lesser gains. (Some exercises allow you to limit your range of motion, but this isn’t one of them.)
- Knees should be slightly bent as you stand. Maintain a straight back and a firm core. Slightly lean in. Pull your shoulder blades back and activate your lats.
- Raise both arms at the same time. Raise the weights all the way to your shoulders. Allow them to slowly return to your sides.
- Repeat for a total of 10-20 times. Depending on your training goals and the remainder of your upper body workout routine, perform 4-6 sets.
Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant.
He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves.
Rahul has a master’s degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.