BAND LATERAL Delt RAISE
How to Do the Band Rear Delt Lateral Raise | In-Depth Guide [VISUAL LEARNERS]
Proper Form, Common Mistakes, Variations + Easier & Harder | Home Resistance Training
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MAIN MUSCLES WORKED IN Band Lateral delt Raises
HOW Band Standing Lateral Raises SHAPE OUR BODY
The exercise will tone and build the muscles of the top of the shoulder and the arm. It adds to that capped shoulder look.
When you train the shoulder muscles, it helps make the waist look smaller as well.
I personally love the capped shoulder look, so it’s something I have made a mainstay of my routine.
WHAT WE'RE DOING TODAY
ALL WE'RE DOING:
Move your arms away from your body out to your sides, like a bird taking flight.
Get strong arms with this band lateral raise exercise. This side delt exercise for women can be done standing and is easy to do.
This is the classic lateral deltoid raise that just involves standing up straight and lifting the arms out to the side.
The use of a resistance band makes it easy to do anywhere and easy to adjust the amount of resistance as needed.
Lateral raises are the main exercise I use in my own exercise program to train my side delts. I love it.
PROPER FORM: BAND Lateral Raises
EQUIPMENT, SETS & REPS
Main set (3: Light/Med/Heavy):
X-Heavy Band (I recommend getting this too if you plan to use resistance bands frequently).
SUGGESTED STARTING WEIGHT FOR WOMEN:
Light to moderate resistance bands
SETS & REPS:
2-3 Sets, 8-10 Reps
WAYS TO ADJUST RESISTANCE FOR BANDS:
Shorten or lengthen the band (standing closer or further from the band anchor).
Double the band.
BODY POSITION FOR THE Band Lateral Raise
BAND: Place the band under both feet and hold one end in each hand.
FEET: Shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward.
BODY STANCE: Standing upright, keeping knees slightly bent, neutral spine. Shoulder blades in and down the back.
HAND/GRIP: Palms facing your thighs, wrist neutral.
ARMS: Straight down to the sides, elbows soft - it is ok to bend the elbows a bit if that is more comfortable. The band should be taut in this position.
NECK: Keep your neck in a neutral position, the bottom of your chin should be parallel to the floor.
HOW TO DO
HOW TO DO BAND Lateral Raises
CUE: Think of stretching your arms out - pushing your hands away from the body as you lift up.
Lift the arms out to the side, away from the body. Continue lifting until your arm is in line with the shoulder - 90 degrees of shoulder abduction.
Pause at the top of the movement and slowly lower the arms down, make sure they don’t drop back down.
HOW TO SAFELY GET OUT OF THE EXERCISE
When the arms are at the sides, release the band.
WHAT TO AVOID WITH THE Resistance Band Lateral Raise
Guess what? Good news! Many avoids are the same for most movements. Once you learn the basics, there's really only a few extra avoids for each individual movement.
1. Avoid hands above shoulders
AVOID: Avoid hands above shoulders.
- This will not increase the work the muscles are doing
- This position can increase the risk for pinching the supraspinatus muscle (shoulder impingement).
- Lifting higher can promote low back extension (as compensation when the deltoid fatigues).
WHAT TO DO:
- Monitor height of hands, they should not be higher than the shoulders.
2. Avoid Bringing Shoulders Up Towards Ears
AVOID: Avoid hunching up shoulders.
- This will activate your upper traps (trapezius) and compress the vertebrae in your neck. Your upper trapezius is located on either side of your neck, where your bra straps would usually sit. These muscles can get too involved in LOTS of movements and lead to excessive muscle growth here that most of women don't really want, AND also cause tension in our shoulders and neck.
WHAT TO DO: Keep shoulders pressed down.
3. Avoid moving through the wrists
AVOID: Avoid bending at the wrists.
- This can lead to tissue/joint irritation or damage over time.
WHAT TO DO:
- Keep the wrist in alignment with the forearm, as one piece. The movement is coming only from the shoulder.
4. Avoid torso moving
AVOID: Avoid letting the spine move when you lift the arms up. When your arm goes back up & across your body, don't let your spine/upper back get pulled forward with it.
- Repetitive movement through the spine can be irritating to the joints, discs and tissues.
- Moving through the back to get the weights higher will not make the shoulder muscles work harder.
WHAT TO DO:
- Keep your core muscles engaged to stabilize the torso and limit the movement to the shoulders.
5. Avoid Tensing neck muscles
AVOID: Avoid tightening your neck muscles.
- This will decrease the amount of resistance from the band and the core muscles will not need to work as hard. We want them to work hard!
WHAT TO DO:
- Keep the neck in neutral and the muscles relaxed.
VARIATIONS OF Band Lateral Raises
Change arm angle
The arms do not need to be directly out to the side. In fact, some may find that position painful.
Slightly angled in, about 30 degrees from directly out to your sides, will also work the lateral delts still, while positioning your shoulders in a more functional position (that is also considered safer for the shoulder joint as well).
This angle is what's called the scapular plane - when I first heard that term I assumed its meaning was far too complex for me to understand without signing up at my community college for an anatomy class first, but guess what? It's not that bad.
It turns out that the scapular plane is just the angle that our shoulder blades lay on our ribcage back there. - it's about 30 degrees. And because of how our shoulder blades lay on our body, it's just more natural that when we extend our arms out, it might be more in that area rather than SO directly out to our sides.
If you hold your palms at your armpits, and then slid your arms outwards at an angle, as if you are going to give me a really really big hug, that's about right!
Thumbs up Banded lateral raise
Positioning your palms so that your thumbs are pointing up is often more comfortable and will decrease the risk of shoulder impingement as well.
Anterior and Posterior deltoid focus
Front and Back shoulder Focus
Front Shoulder Activation
The position of the arms will determine which portion of the deltoid muscle is targeted.
This variation basically moves us away from working the lateral delt as much. But hey, it's fun to know your options right!
Moving the arm forward a bit and internally rotating the arm in the socket (thumb-down) will result in more activation of the anterior fibers (front deltoid)
Back Shoulder Activation
Moving the arm slightly backward and externally rotating the arm in the socket (thumb-up) will result in more activation of the posterior fibers (rear deltoid).
Under 1 Foot
Under One foot banded lateral raise
This will increase core muscle activation & stability training. Be sure to switch feet halfway through.
Bent over stability ball
Bent over stability ball
Doing a lateral raise in this position is much harder and will require you use less resistance than the standing position. This is great because it will challenge your delt muscle in a different way.
MAKING THE BAND Lateral Raise MORE CHALLENGING
Slow Eccentric banded lateral raise
Increasing the time that your muscle is under tension during a rep will increase the muscle fatigue you experience from those reps. You can take a full 5-10 seconds to return to the start position for each rep.
Partial reps banded side delt raise
You don’t want partial reps to be the ONLY part of the movement you ever do, but these can be very very effective for helping to fatigue the muscle you are desiring to work. So what this means here is:
The main ROM (range of movement) for the lateral raise where the lateral deltoid is doing more of the work is in the top ⅔ of the movement. As your arms fall below 2/3rds, the last 1/3rd, one of the rotator cuff muscles the supraspinatus is more the mover. By doing some reps only in the top ⅔ of the range, you keep the tension on the lateral delt muscle the entire time, giving it less rest, and therefore it will fatigue faster. To do this, raise your arms to shoulder height, then lower only 2/3rd of the way before raising your arms back up again. You can do this:
- For an entire set
- For the first several reps of a set - ie do these partial 2/3rds ROM first, then without putting down the weights, as your shoulders begin to fatigue, switch to doing full range of movement reps.
MAKE THE Band Lateral Raise MORE DOABLE
Seated banded lateral delt raise
Doing lateral raises from a seated position, will also, surprisingly, make the lateral raise feel harder - when you are standing, your lower body is actually helping to stabilize your body. You may need to use less resistance when doing lateral raises in a seated position and that's great! You will be challenging these muscles in a different way.
stability ball band lateral delt raise
Sitting on a stability ball will be less stable than standing, but more stable than seated on a chair. So some core activation but not too much. It's a great choice when you want/need to be seated.
Additionally being seated allows you to focus more on the actual movement itself- the lateral raise - and can help you recruit the right muscles more easily.
WHAT & WHY
BENEFITS OF TRAINING THE lateral deltoid
We are hitting the side of our shoulder muscle today folks!
Main shoulder muscle = Deltoid.
Side portion of that muscle = Lateral Delt.
Why we're bothering to "hit" it in a minute.
The side lateral deltoid raise exercises focuses on working the middle (or lateral) portion of the deltoid and the supraspinatus (one muscle of the rotator cuff), with little input from the other parts of the deltoid muscle. There aren’t really a ton of exercises that target this muscle very well, so this is one of the really great core movements to use for training this muscle.
KEY TIP is to only raise the arms to shoulder height, no higher, to protect the health of your shoulders.
WHY DO WE EVEN CARE?
The lateral delt, which remember is just a fancy word to say the side of your shoulder muscle, is used daily for activities that have to do with carrying items out to our sides or raising items out to our sides.
KEEP MUSCLES BALANCED IN RELATION TO EACH OTHER
All 3 parts of the shoulder muscle- the front, side, and back of the deltoid (which are called the anterior, lateral & posterior parts of the delt) work together to move and support the shoulder joint. It is important to include exercises that target each one of these portions of the muscle to keep all portions of the muscle balanced.
Many people only include exercises that work the front of the deltoid muscle, creating an imbalance that can pull the upper arm forward.
HELP RECTIFY IMBALANCE CAUSED BY DAILY MODERN LIFE
Another thing that can contribute to an imbalance is that much of our daily activities are done in front of our bodies, like working on a computer, writing, eating, driving, and reading. This can result in a rounded shoulder posture, and it can interfere with how the shoulder joint moves. Doing lateral raises will help to balance this out by increasing the strength of the side delt.
EFFECTIVE EXERCISE FOR THIS MUSCLE
Effective training for the lateral deltoid involves lifting your arm out to the side, away from the body. The lateral deltoid raise is exactly that. The exercise targets the lateral deltoid and supraspinatus by keeping the torso stable while lifting the arm out to the side. The addition of a weight serves two purposes, it pulls the arm down in the shoulder socket (the lateral deltoid and supraspinatus will work to hold the upper arm bone up in the socket), and it works the muscles as the arm is lifted up out to the side of the body.
A well-designed exercise program will include exercises that target each portion of the deltoid muscle. If one part of the deltoid is not strong enough, it can cause improper movement of the shoulder joint, which over time can cause damage.
EVERYDAY LIFE &
HOW WE USE OUR lateral deltoid MUSCLES IN EVERYDAY LIFE
1. LIFTING ARMS STRAIGHT OUT TO YOUR SIDES
This is called abduction & nope, it doesn't involve your arms being abducted by aliens, a good thing wheww. Think about how many movements we do throughout the week, I mean even throughout the DAY that involve our arms moving out to the sides or holding them out to the sides of us in some way, which is its main function:
- Washing, drying your hair
- Brushing teeth
- Pulling up socks or pants
- Carrying kids on your hip
- Lots of stuff with kids
2. STABILIZING YOUR SHOULDER JOINT
Pulls upward on our upper arm bone (humerus) against downward pulls. This helps ensure the bone stays in the right place on the body so the joint doesn't get damaged.
- Carrying heavy items down at your side like:
- Multiple bags of groceries anyone?
- Luggage (you should stop doing that and get one with rollers btw)
QUICK NOTE: The lateral deltoid is not actually it's own muscle - it's 1 part of a larger muscle (just "the deltoid") that has 3 main parts. I needed to clarify that or Carol the PT I work with will probably kill me. Just kidding, she's way too nice to do that.
How to Feel What Muscle is Working
Place your fingers of one hand on the top of the opposite shoulder. Lift the arm straight out to the side.
SPIFFILICIOUS FACTS ABOUT MUSCLES & MOVES
As we've discussed, the lateral deltoid muscle is what moves the arm away from the body out to the SIDE of you.
This is the movement that you would use to lift your arm out to put your arm into the sleeve of a coat, or lift and carry items out to the side, such as groceries, buckets, a suitcase, or carrying a child on your hip. The lateral deltoid works with the supraspinatus (one of the rotator cuff muscles) to perform this movement. Although the primary function of the lateral deltoid is to lift the arm out to the side, if you lift an object that is too heavy for another portion of the deltoid to lift (regardless of where the arm is) the lateral deltoid will assist the other portions of the deltoid.
The three portions of the deltoid muscle are all insert on the upper arm bone through one tendon. Anytime that one of the portions of the muscle is not strong enough to do its job, the other portions of the deltoid will help. If you use a heavy weight, The front of the delt (anterior) and posterior delt (rear) of the deltoid muscle are also active. The different portions of the deltoid can be targeted by changing the position of the arm relative to the body and also with rotation of the arm.
This lateral deltoid raise will also strengthen all of the rotator cuff muscles and the muscles that move the shoulder blade which contributes to good posture.
Another very important function of the lateral deltoid muscle is to hold the upper arm bone (humerus) in the socket of the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint is a very unstable ball and socket joint. The role of the muscles that stabilize the joint is to hold the ball or head of the upper arm bone (humerus) centered in the socket when holding an object and with the movement of the arm. Gravity and the other rotator cuff muscles (all but the supraspinatus - teres minor, infraspinatus, and subscapularis) are positioned to move the head of the humerus down in the socket. The lateral deltoid (with assistance from the other portions - but it depends on exactly how the arm is being pulled down) contracts to hold the head of the upper arm bone (the humerus) up and centered in the socket. This is important for avoiding shoulder injuries of the rotator cuff muscles and preventing degenerative changes in the joint.
The way that these muscles act together to hold the ball in the socket is known as a force couple - the muscles each pulling in different directions to stabilize the joint. It is important that all portions of the deltoid and the rotator cuff are exercises in ways that will train the muscles to stabilize the joint.
ALLLL MUSCLES & WHEN
ALL MUSCLES WORKING & WHEN DURING THE Band Lateral Raise
The top 2/3rd of the movement targets the lateral (middle) deltoid, and the bottom 1/3rd of the movement targets one of the rotator cuff muscles called the Supraspinatus.