What Do Side Raises Workout?

Discover which muscles side raises target and how to properly execute this exercise for the best results.


Side raises are a type of strength training exercise that target the deltoid muscles, which are the primary muscles located in the shoulders. Although this exercise may look simple, it has many versions and can be used to strengthen your body for a variety of activities. Whether you’re looking for an effective way to build muscle mass or just a quick workout to add intensity to your daily routine, side raises can help you achieve your goals.

Side raises can be performed using weights or even just bodyweight, depending on your desired level of difficulty. When done with weights, side raises usually involve lifting dumbbells up and out to your sides until they reach the height of your shoulders. You should pause briefly at this point and then lower them back down again using a slow and controlled movement. This type of exercise works well for both novice and advanced gym enthusiasts alike as it can be adapted in order to reach any fitness level desired.

Muscles Worked

Side raises are an effective exercise that trains the deltoid muscles located in your shoulders. Not only do they help strengthen and tone the delts, but they also contribute to a more powerful upper body. This exercise also targets the rotator cuff muscles, which helps protect the shoulder joint and improves your ability to move the shoulder in different directions. Let’s take a look at the other muscles side raises work.

Primary Muscles

Side raises are an excellent way to work out primary muscles in the shoulders such as the anterior, lateral and posterior deltoids, as well as the supraspinatus and infraspinatus of the rotator cuff. These exercises can also help to stretch and tone other muscles like the pectoralis major, biceps brachii, trapezius and latissimus dorsi. Side raises can be done with weights or using your own bodyweight to target these muscle groups through a combination of concentric, eccentric and isometric contractions. They are an effective way to build strength in these areas without requiring any complex equipment or additional set-up.

Secondary Muscles

Side raises primarily work your lateral deltoid muscle on the anterior side which is responsible for abduction of the arm at the glenohumeral joint. But, when you perform side raises, several other muscles are used to stabilize, link and assist with movement. These secondary muscles include:
-The rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus and infraspinatus)
-The teres minor muscles
-The subscapularis muscles
-Upper trapezius muscles
-Rhomboid major and minor muscles
-Biceps brachii muscle (short head)
§§ 1020
By engaging these secondary muscle groups during lateral raises, you accelerate an increase in your shoulder strength and width. Additionally, training these supporting muscle groups prevents a common shoulder injury, impingement syndrome. To protect against injury be sure to use a perfect form during your workout. Keep movements smooth and slow to ensure that all individual fibers of your dorsal deltoid are receiving the maximum amount of contraction time so that no part of them is left undertrained or overworked.

Benefits of Side Raises

Side raises are a great way to strengthen your shoulder muscles, specifically the deltoids. The deltoids are important to have strong because they’re used in many everyday activities. Not only that, but they also help to improve your posture and can help you avoid shoulder injuries. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of doing side raises.

Improved Shoulder Strength

Side raises are a popular exercise that target the shoulder muscles to increase strength and help prevent injury. This exercise works both the shoulder muscles and the middle back muscles, allowing for increased stability in the shoulder area. When performed correctly using a moderate weight, side raises can help improve shoulder strength, alignment and vitality, as well as decrease the risk of side-related injuries. It is important to use proper form to ensure an optimal result for this exercise.

To begin, select an appropriate weight for your body type and fitness level. Standing tall with feet hip-width apart and hands resting by your sides, grasp the weight with both hands. You can also use resistance bands wrapped around your wrists if you prefer lighter weights or if you would like an extra challenge. Keep your arms straight while lifting the weight out to each side of your body until they are parallel with your shoulders and form a T shape. Keep your palms facing down throughout the growth and engage your core to maintain good posture as you move. Pause at this point before slowly bringing down arms again in a controlled manner back by will never sides before repeating on the other side for another rep. The goal should be to keep proper form throughout each rep without jerking or swaying too much; use only as much effort as necessary in order to remain in control of each movement throughout this exercise. Ensure that you take adequate rest between reps in order to avoid fatigue that might compromise good form while performing this workout move correctly!

Improved Posture

Side raises are a functional exercise used to strengthen and target the muscles of the shoulder. This exercise is important for athletes such as swimmers and rowers, as well as people who want to improve their everyday posture. When done correctly, side raises can effectively work the top of your shoulder and promote better overall posture.

The primary muscle group targeted by performing side raises is the deltoids (muscles of the shoulder). The deltoids consist of three different sets of muscles: anterior (front), medial (side) and posterior (back). During side raise exercises, the medial portion of your deltoid provides resistance against gravity and is gently contracted with each repetition. This helps to tone, build and strengthen the muscle fibers in your lateral shoulders, resulting in improved posture over time.

Besides improved posture, other benefits to performing side raises include increased shoulder stability, enhanced shoulder joint mobility and improved shoulder health. Additionally, unlike other overhead pressing movements which may cause strain on your wrists or elbows if not done properly, side raises are considered a low-impact exercise that will safe on your joints while still working them efficiently. Side raise exercises can be performed using light weights at high repetitions or with heavy weights at low repetitions – choose whichever type best fits into your routine!

Improved Shoulder Mobility

Side raises are a great exercise for improving shoulder mobility and strengthening the deltoids. It focuses on strengthening the front and side of your shoulders, as well as targeting your traps and the rotator cuff muscles. This exercise helps with increasing shoulder stability and further preventing injuries in the future.

The two main benefits of doing this exercise are improved shoulder strength and better range of motion. Improving shoulder strength is important to keep your shoulders injury-free since it allows you to lift heavier weights. By engaging your stabilizing muscles while doing side raises, you help build up these important muscles so they can protect your joints from any unneeded wear and tear.

Moreover, improved range of motion helps you move more freely in everyday life tasks or athletic activities like golf swings, playing catch with friends or even cleaning around the house. With better range of motion in your shoulders, it makes everyday activities smoother and easier because all movements can be performed without strain or pain in those areas.

How to Perform Side Raises

Side raises are a great exercise to work on your shoulders and build strength in your upper body. They also help to improve balance, posture and improve functional strength. Proper form and technique are essential when performing side raises in order to avoid injury and achieve the most benefit from the exercise. Let’s take a look at how to do this exercise correctly.

Equipment Needed

Side raises are an effective strength training exercise that works the outer region of your shoulders and upper arms. The move can be performed without any equipment, although adding a set of dumbbells will challenge your muscles more and can be used as part of a full shoulder workout.

It is important to have the right equipment if you are using dumbbells—choose weights that give you enough resistance so that you feel them working in your muscles and pushing you out of your comfort zone. A general rule of thumb is to select weights that are around 50% to 80% of the heaviest weight you can manage when performing eight to 12 repetitions. For safety reasons, avoid weighing down your wrists with too-heavy dumbbells or trying to lift a weight that’s beyond what you can safely handle. Once comfortable with the move, consider adding other accessories for increasing resistance, such as an ankle weight or resistant band.

Step-by-Step Guide

Side raises are an excellent exercise for targeting your side deltoids, or shoulder muscles. These muscles help to keep your shoulders mobile and help to stabilize your arms during activities such as pressing, pushing, and throwing. Performing side raises can also build up your core strength, which is essential for everyday movement. This guide will teach you how to perform side raises correctly.

Begin by standing with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip. Place both arms out to the sides, palms facing down and elbows slightly bent. Keep your core engaged throughout the movement and focus on contracting your shoulder muscles.

Keeping the weights at shoulder height, exhale while raising the dumbbells outwards until they are just above shoulder height. Keep pushing through with the side delts until you feel an intense contraction, then slowly lower back down to starting position. Aim for 8-12 repetitions of this movement on each side for best results.

It’s important to use proper form when performing this exercise; incorrect form can result in unwanted strain on other muscles or discomfort/injury over time. To avoid potential injury and get the most out of this exercise, be sure to keep focusing on engaging your core throughout all repetitions of this move and stay mindful of where tension is located within your body while performing this move (for example making sure all tension is focused within the shoulder area itself). With diligent practice, you’ll start seeing great results!

Common Mistakes

Side raises are a great exercise to help tone and build your shoulder muscles, but it’s important to perform them correctly in order to achieve the best results. Unfortunately, many people make common mistakes when doing side raise exercises which can limit the effectiveness of the workout or even lead to injury. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the common mistakes people make when doing side raises and what you can do to avoid them.

Lifting Too Heavy

It can be easy to get carried away with a challenging workout, but people often make the mistake of lifting too heavy for certain exercises. This can lead to bad form, resulting in muscle strain or injury. When performing lateral raises, it’s important to lift a weight that you can handle; you should be able to complete a set of 8-10 repetitions with reasonable form and minimal strain on your muscles.

When selecting proper weight, start with a light weight and adjust as necessary until you find the sweet spot. If an exercise feels too easy, increase the weight incrementally until you reach a point where the movement is still challenging but still manageable. Training with lighter weights also allows for more complete range of motion in each repetition which will help ensure better overall form and development. Furthermore it’s recommended that if you find yourself straining significantly through each repetition, drop down in weight and focus on achieving the best form possible in order to increase strength and stability over time.

Not Engaging the Core

It is essential to perform side raises using proper form and technique in order to ensure an optimal workout and prevent the risk of injury. One common mistake is not engaging the core muscles while performing this exercise. When executing side raises, you should be mindful of staying upright throughout the entire movement and bracing your core muscles (abdominals, obliques, and lower back). By engaging your core muscles as you extend your arm up towards the ceiling and back down, you can help to isolate the target muscle group (side deltoids) while also providing stability in your upper body. Additionally, it is important to remember to keep breathing as normal throughout each repetition of side raises; holding your breath could lead to a sudden increase in blood pressure which might be uncomfortable or cause lightheadedness.

Not Keeping the Elbows Soft

One of the most common mistakes when performing side raises is that people don’t keep their elbows soft. The key for side raises is to not bend your elbows or lock them out too far during the exercise. Keeping your elbows slightly bent as you raise your arms from hip height up to chest height will allow you to target your shoulders more efficiently while still protecting your joints. As you move the weights up and down, keep your arms moving in a circular motion, staying close to your sides throughout the entire repetition in order to target the right muscle groups. Additionally, it’s important not to pause or jerk when raising and lowering the weights in order to maximize form and intensity.


In conclusion, side raises are an effective exercise for targeting the muscles in the shoulders, including the anterior deltoids, lateral deltoids and rotator cuff muscles. When performed correctly, they can help to improve overall strength and stability in the shoulder region. Additionally, side raises can be included in many workout programs as a way to increase muscular endurance. However, it is important to keep in mind that improper form or using too much weight may lead to injuries of the shoulder region.

Checkout this video:

Similar Posts