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Single Arm Lateral Raise Exercise 2023

The single arm lateral raise is an isolation exercise that targets the lateral, or “side,” deltoid muscle in the shoulder. 

These muscle groups are responsible for lateral arm abductions, or, in other words, the muscles that make you move your arm away from the centerline of your body.

How to do the Single Arm Lateral Raise Exercise

To perform the exercise, follow the following steps

  1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  2. Hold a dumbbell or any other suitable weight in one hand, letting it hang at your side with a neutral grip.

  3. Engage your core for stability and maintain a straight posture throughout the exercise.

  4. Start the movement by lifting the weight out to the side, away from your body, while keeping your arm straight (but not locked) and your palm facing down.

  5. Lift the weight until your arm is parallel to the ground or slightly above it, ensuring that your elbow remains slightly bent.

  6. Pause for a moment at the top of the movement, focusing on squeezing the lateral deltoid muscles.

  7. Slowly lower the weight back down to the starting position, maintaining control and resisting the urge to swing or use momentum.

  8. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions on one side before switching to the other arm.

It’s worth noting that single arm lateral raises can be done standing or seated. When doing this exercise, avoid using momentum to lift the weights, as it leads to poor form and can cause unnecessary injuries.

Tips for The  Single Arm Lateral Raise Exercise

I will give you tips on how to do the single arm lateral raises.

  • Use a Dumbbell: I usually use a dumbbell for the single-arm lateral raise exercise. The dumbbell will be used to create the lateral raise in my arm. 
  • Stand Straight: I will stand straight up; I will not bend my knees or my shoulders; I will be fully erect. 
  • 90-Degree Angle: I will take my dumbbell and create a 90-degree angle from the floor with it and ensuring that the weight is positioned squarely in my arm.
  • Dormant Arm: Our arm that is not being worked out will be held onto the side of your chest or the side of your hips, depending on what’s more convenient for you. 
  • Single Arm Lateral Raise Reps: I will move my arm from my hips all the way out to in front of my shoulders. You’ll want to do this in reps of between 8 to 12, in sets of five to six. 
  • Single Arm Lateral Raise Low Reps: You want to do low sets of these because the target muscles are a very small muscle group. Your deltoids are very small, and they’re not as big as your hamstrings or your glutes.

Those are the tips for doing the single-arm lateral raise properly.

Single-Arm Lateral Raise for Army PRT

MODIFIED EXERCISE 8A: A Soldier will use a strenght Training Machine Drill

This exercise is performed much like the normal lateral raise, but using only one arm at a time.

The range of motion and resistance is decreased for the injured side. As the Soldier’s condition improves, the range of motion may gradually increase until the exercise is performed to standard.

The soldier should not increase the resistance until they can move through the full range of motion

Single Arm Lateral Raise Exercise
Single Arm Lateral Raise Exercise

The single-arm lateral raise is a strenght exercise that mainatains a heavy resistance on the non injured side and reduces resistance on the injured side.

What are the Benefits of Single Arm Lateral Raise Exercise?

The single-arm lateral raise workout has a variety of benefits, as follows:

Shoulder development

  • Single-arm lateral raises are an excellent workout to improve your shoulders’ width and overall shape. 
  • Completing this exercise results in a more balanced and aesthetically beautiful upper body.

Isolation and symmetry

  • Performing the exercise unilaterally (one arm at a time) addresses any muscular imbalances between your left and right sides. 
  • If one shoulder is weaker or smaller than the other, the single-arm lateral raise can help you correct those asymmetries.

Improved shoulder stability

  • Single-arm lateral raises require shoulder joint stabilization, engaging the rotator cuff muscles and other shoulder stabilizers. 
  • Thus, the exercise enhances shoulder joint stability and contributes to overall shoulder health.

Functional benefits

  • Strong and stable shoulders are important for various daily activities and sports. 
  • The single-arm lateral raise mimics the movement patterns often used in everyday tasks that involve lifting or reaching objects to the side. 
  • You can improve your functional shoulder strength and mobility by training these specific movements.

Versatility and variety

  • Single-arm lateral raises can be performed with dumbbells, resistance bands, or cable machines, providing versatility in your training routine. 
  • Additionally, you can target various aspects of shoulder development and engage different muscle groups by incorporating different variations, such as front raises, rear deltoid raises, or bent-over lateral raises.


Including single-arm lateral raises in your workout routine is fantastic.

It specifically targets and strengthens your deltoid muscles and offers a range of benefits that can enhance your overall shoulder development and functionality.

So, embrace the single-arm lateral raise and unlock the benefits of stronger, shapelier, and more functional shoulders.

George N.