Dumbbell Lateral Raise Alternatives

Dumbbell Lateral Raise Alternatives:

The dumbbell lateral raise is a popular exercise for targeting the lateral deltoid muscles, helping to create broader shoulders and a more balanced upper body.

However, not everyone has access to dumbbells or may be looking for alternative exercises to add variety to their shoulder workouts.

In this article, we will explore various effective dumbbell lateral raise alternatives, including cable lateral raises, overhead press, and more, to help you achieve your shoulder development goals.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise Alternatives

Single Arm Cable Lateral Raise

Cable lateral raises are an excellent alternative to dumbbell lateral raises, offering consistent resistance throughout the movement.

Here’s how to perform cable lateral raises:

  • Stand facing a cable machine with the handle attached at the lowest setting.
  • Hold the handle with your outside hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • With a slight bend in your elbow, lift the handle outward and upward, keeping your arm straight.
  • Pause at the top of the movement for a second, then lower the handle back down.
  • Perform the desired number of reps and switch sides.

Cable lateral raises engage the lateral deltoids effectively and provide continuous tension, making them a fantastic option for muscle development.

Overhead Press (Dumbbell, Barbell, or Machine)

Overhead press exercises are compound movements that work not only the lateral deltoids but also the front deltoids and triceps.

They can be a great addition to your shoulder routine:

  • For the barbell overhead press, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  • Lift the bar from a rack and press it overhead until your arms are fully extended.
  • Lower the bar back to your chest and repeat.

For dumbbell overhead presses, the technique is similar, but you use a dumbbell in each hand and press them overhead simultaneously.

Both variations are effective at building shoulder strength and size.

The compound nature of these exercises means you’ll engage multiple muscle groups, helping you achieve balanced shoulder development.

Resistance Bands Lateral Raise

Resistance bands are versatile tools that can be used as a substitute for dumbbells when targeting the lateral deltoids.

Here’s how to perform resistance bands lateral raises:

  • Step on the center of a resistance band and hold the band’s handles in each hand.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms by your sides.
  • Raise your arms out to the sides, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows.
  • Hold the peak contraction for a moment before lowering your arms back down.

Resistance bands provide variable resistance, allowing you to tailor the intensity of the exercise to your needs.

They are also portable and easy to use at home or while traveling.

Side Planks

Side planks are an excellent exercise to strengthen the lateral deltoids and the entire core.

They provide a unique way to target the shoulders while also improving stability and balance.

Here’s how to perform side planks:

Begin in a side-lying position, propping your upper body up on your elbow directly beneath your shoulder.

Your legs should be extended, with your feet stacked on top of each other.

Engage your core and lift your hips off the ground, forming a straight line from your head to your feet.

Ensure your shoulder and elbow are aligned and that you maintain a straight line through your body.

Hold this position for a set amount of time, typically 20-30 seconds to start, and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable with the exercise.

Switch to the other side and repeat the exercise to work the opposite lateral deltoid.

Side planks are fantastic for strengthening the lateral deltoids and the core, improving shoulder stability, and enhancing overall functional strength.

As with any exercise, it’s important to maintain proper form and gradually increase the intensity to continue challenging your muscles.

Side planks can be incorporated into your shoulder and core routines for a well-rounded workout.


While dumbbell lateral raises are a classic choice for shoulder development, there are several effective alternatives to diversify your workouts and stimulate muscle growth.

Incorporating exercises like cable lateral raises, overhead presses, resistance bands lateral raises, upright rows, and face pulls can help you achieve a well-rounded and balanced set of shoulder muscles.

Remember to focus on proper form and gradually increase the weight or resistance to continually challenge your shoulders and promote growth.

Always consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns about your shoulder health.

Dumbbells: Purchasing Options

Amazon Basics Dumbbells

Dumbbell Lateral Raise Alternatives

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Best Triceps Exercises with Dumbbells

Dumbbell triceps exercises, like overhead triceps extensions, can effectively target and tone the back of your arms.

Variations such as triceps kickbacks and skull crushers with dumbbells offer versatility in your triceps workouts, allowing you to adjust the resistance to match your fitness level.

Shoulder Workout with Dumbbells

Dumbbell shoulder workouts, including lateral raises and front raises, are excellent for sculpting well-rounded and powerful shoulder muscles.

They offer a versatile and efficient way to strengthen and develop your shoulders while allowing for a wide range of motion and exercise options.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise Alternatives

References - Dumbbell Lateral Raise Alternatives

Avid Fitness (YouTube) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-6uEOkYAKM

Physique Development (YouTube) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOe_HrNnQWw

David Kimmerle (YouTube) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ouHRZmMkFg

Physio Fitness (YouTube) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kuthTttTUs

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