Lean away lateral raise. Excellent for building broad shoulders.

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The lean away lateral raise is a variation of the classic lateral raise.  Both exercises work the medial deltoid.    The delts sit over the shoulder like an epaulet.  The advantage of the lean away variant is that the medial deltoid fires up more quickly.  If done well, there may be less involvement with the upper trapezius.  Ten pointers:

  1. Grasp something immovable, put your feet together and against it, then lean away.  It  might help to slightly squeeze the armpit so the supporting shoulder is nice and stable.
  2. Keep the spine nice and straight.  The abs should flatten but not brace.
  3. The working arm: palm faces the outside of the thigh.
  4. Keep a slight bend in the elbow.
  5. Just as in the above video, lift the dumbbell with good control. Only too often this exercise, and the lateral raise, is done using momentum.  The weight is simply swung up and then lowered rapidly.
  6. As the dumbbell goes up, keep very relaxed in the upper traps; the shoulder itself should not raise.  Also, whilst keeping the elbow a little bent, it will help to think about sending the dumbbell away from you.  Again, this keeps it in the delt and not the upper traps.  It might mean you can lift less weight – but you’ll get a better result and be less likely to injure.
  7. In the video, he puts a short pause right at the top of the movement.  Yowser.  That’ll make the exercise work well!
  8. And then he lowers the dumbbell more slowly than he lifted it.  Nice.  Since we can lower more weight than we can lift, this uses the natural strength of the body to not only build a well shaped shoulder, but also get stronger.
  9. How high to lift the dumbbell?  Well, ideally only parallel to the ground to avoid impingement injury at the shoulder.
  10. Ideal rep range – 8 – 12.

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