Main Muscle Worked: Shoulders
What is the dumbbell front raise?
Surprisingly, I often get asked the question of “what is the dumbbell front raise”, When it comes to working on your front delts, there is simply no better exercise than the dumbbell front raise. It can be done with free weights, a barbell or a resistance band, but for the classic front raise, you should use a pair of dumbbells. Although be careful not to go too heavy – as what feels manageable on your first front raise rep may become much more difficult to lift by the fourth or fifth rep.
Muscles Worked in the dumbbell front raise
primary: Anterior Deltoid (Front)
secondary: Lateral Deltoid (Lateral)
Benefits of the dumbbell front raise
Improved Functional Ability
Strong shoulders are not only just for looks alone. But they can also help you perform everyday activities, such as lifting objects. From putting something heavy on a shelf to hauling boxes, strong shoulders give you the functional ability and strength to lift it. This also can minimize your injury risk from straining while attempting to lift a heavy item such as in concentration curls or catching an item which is in the air.
Strengthen Stabilizing Muscles
The dumbbell front raise mainly targets the shoulder muscles, however they are not the only muscles worked by the exercise. The exercise also uses the muscles of your upper back as stabilizing muscles, which means that they are engaged with your deltoids in lifting the dumbbells.
Examples of muscles in your upper back worked include your trapezius, rotator cuff and erector spinae muscles. The dumbbell front raise also works the front of your arm and chest muscles, including the biceps and pecs. Because your abs are engaged in keeping your body steady as you raise the weights, you also are using your oblique and transverse abdominus muscles on the front of your abdomen when performing the dumbbell front raise.
Your anterior deltoid muscles (front of your shoulders), are the major muscle group worked by the dumbbell front raise. Toned shoulder muscles provide definition for the top of the arms you work hard for, which means that you’ll look better in general. Through regular practice and cardiovascular exercise to burn fat, you can begin to see more muscular definition.
How to do the dumbbell front raise correctly
If you need a dumbbell one can be purchased here: Dumbbells
- 1. Choose a pair of dumbbells and stand up straight with your feet at around shoulder width apart.
- 2. Hold the dumbbells with your arms fully extended down by your thighs and in front of you body.
- 3. Use an overhand grip (palms facing your body). Hold the dumbbells roughly 4 inches off of your body. This is the starting position.
- 4. Begin by raising your arms straight out in front of you body with your palms facing the floor. Keep a slight bend in your elbow.
- 5. Moving only at the shoulders and keeping your body as still as possible, continue raising the dumbbells out in front of you until your arms are just above parallel to the floor.
- 6. Pause for a brief moment at the top of the movement, and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Repeat for desired reps.
Mistakes commonly made in the dumbbell front raise
When performing the dumbbell front raise your wrists should always be in a neutral position, not bent up or down. If you find that you cannot maintain a neutral position throughout, this means that the weights are too heavy.
It is important that when performing the front raise that you should keep your back straight and brace your abs throughout the exercise instead of performing with a rounded back and careless abs.
When performing the dumbbell front raise you should not move or sway, you should always keep a stationary and strong form. If you sway or find that you are moving back onto your heels in order to complete the exercise, then this could be an indicator that the weights you are using are most likely too heavy.
Too Heavy Weights
The dumbbell front raise is an exercise where you should never lift weights that would cause you to fail at the end of a set and prevent you from doing the last few reps. You shouldn’t load the shoulder joint to extreme measures as that can stress the joint and sometimes even lead to injury.
When performing the front raise do not use your momentum to lift the weights as this actually reduces the effectiveness of the exercise. Quickly moving the weights allows momentum to reduce the tension within the muscles, especially at the top of the lift which reduces how much your muscles end up working in the exercise.
Safety when performing the dumbbell front raise
If you have a shoulder injury or experience shoulder pain, discuss whether you should do this exercise with your doctor or physical therapist. The rotation in this exercise can result in shoulder impingement and you might feel pain if you have a tendency towards tendinitis or bursitis. Do not continue to lift if you feel any pain. Lower the weights and end the exercise.
Variations of the front raise
Two Arm Dumbbell Front Raise
- 1. Begin by holding both dumbbells of equal weight in front of your thighs with your palms facing your body (a pronated grip).
- 2. Keeping your back straight and feet shoulder-width apart, lift the dumbbells in front of you in a controlled manner until your hands are in line with your shoulders.
- 3. Pause, then slowly lower back to the starting position.
Repeat for desired reps.
Resistance band front raise
If you need a resistance band a high quality one can be purchased from here: Resistance band
- 1. Holding the handle of a resistance band in each hand, step on the middle of the band with both feet. Stand up straight with a tight core and flat back.
- 2. Begin by lifting your hands straight up in front of you with an overhand grip. Be sure to keep a slight bend in the elbows at all times.
- 3. Pause at the top to feel the contraction then slowly lower the bands to the starting position.
Repeat for desired reps.
Write below in the comments your opinion on the dumbbell front raise, if it works for you and any questions you might have.