…continued – Deltoids

Dumbbell Side Laterals

Dumbbell Side Laterals are somewhat of an isolation movement for the deltoids, but the very execution of this movement does not limit overload even though it isolates. Primary muscles involved are the deltoids (medial). Secondary muscles involved are the forearms and traps.


Most people don’t take full advantage of the overload that side laterals can provide. It’s so easy to do this movement just slightly different, but in doing so you can dramatically increase or decrease the overload to the muscle. You need find the “sweet spot” with this exercise that allows for maximum weight and maximum overload for full muscle fiber stimulation.

Grip the dumbbells and hold them in front of your waist with your palms facing each other. With your elbows slightly bent, raise the dumbbells laterally with explosive force to slightly higher than shoulder height. At the top of the movement your pinkies should be pointing up slightly and your thumbs should be pointing down slightly. Lower the weight back to the starting position twice as slow as you raised it.

Max-OT Tip:
In most cases you can use more weight here than you think you can. Your form should not be rigid. You should be fluid throughout the entire movement. It’s better to use momentum during side laterals to increase overload and reduce direct joint stress.

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