Shoulder Workout, Side Deltoid Raise with Dumbbells

Part of the You Can Learn Weightlifting series.
By Ken Brown
March 5, 2005

The side deltoid raise with dumbbells is a good shoulder exercise for the medial deltoids.

You should keep your arms bent on this shoulder workout. You don't have to take the dumbbells all the way over your head. Take it just above your shoulders and then hold for one second. That is where the muscles will burn most. After going higher, then the muscle begins to rest as other muscles take over and you don't get the workout you want to build large shoulder muscles.

This is a great exercise for the medial deltoids. If you are looking for that perfect body then do 5 sets of 12. Or do the pyramid workout. Start at 20% of your max. Do a set of 12. Then increase the weights. Do a set of 10. Then increase your weights and do a set of 8. Then place the max weights, and do 2 sets of 4 to 6. When you can do more than 6, it's time to increase your weights.

If you are looking for larger shoulder muscles, then you need to add this exercise to your repertoire. Big shoulders don't just happen. You need to concentrate on doing at least 3 different shoulder training workouts to maximize size and bulk. Check out the upright row, front deltoid raise and the behind the neck press as additional exercises for the shoulders.

A fine point to remember is when you drop your weights to your waist, keep the elbows bent slightly and don't come all the way to your legs. You want some pressure to stay on the deltoid muscles even at rest. You will grow your deltoids larger and faster this way.

As always, if you haven't exercised in a long time or you have long standing medical problems, be sure and see a doctor before starting this or any exercise routine.
Shoulders - Side Deltoid Raise
  • Hold dumbbells by the side of your legs with arms slightly bent.
  • Raise dumbbells toward ceiling while keeping arms slightly bent.
  • When you pass your shoulders, then stop
  • Hold for one second
  • Slowly return dumbbells to start position.
  • Repeat 6 to 12 times.
  • For conditioning and good health do 2 sets
  • BodyBuilders do 3 to 5 sets

Side Deltoid Raise Shoulder workout beginning position
Begin position of Side Deltoid Raise with Dumbbell.

Side Deltoid Raise shoulder training end position
End position of Side Deltoid Raise with dumbbell.

This page shows photos of the Side Deltoid Raise shoulder workout with dumbbells. The exercise works the shoulder muscles and medial deltoids and is a great addition to your shoulder workouts. You will also have some growth in the anterior deltoid and posterior deltoid.

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