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Isolation movements build strong side deltoids.
The lateral deltoid, also referred to as the side deltoid, is one of the three muscles that comprise your shoulder. The front (anterior) and rear (posterior) deltoids complete this powerful muscle group. Many exercises work the entire shoulder; however, there are also isolation exercises that focus primarily on the side deltoid. Include the following exercises in your fitness plan to build strong, toned shoulders.
Lying Lateral Raises
This exercise targets the side deltoids but also uses the front of your shoulder and upper back. To perform this exercise a dumbbell and workout bench are required. The start position is reached by lying on the workout bench on your side with your legs stacked. Using the hand of your top arm, grab the dumbbell and hold it slightly off the floor. From this beginning position and with your elbow slightly bent, lift your arm using an arcing motion until it is perpendicular with the floor. At the top of the motion, briefly pause and return to the start position. Change sides to work your other arm.
Standing Lateral Raises
This is an isolation exercise that directly fires up the side deltoid. Lateral raises can be performed simultaneously with both arms or one at a time. Begin with your arms hanging at your sides, palms facing your body and a dumbbell in your hand. This is the start position. Raise your hand straight up from your side until your arm is parallel with the floor and your palm faces down. Pause for one second and lower the weight slowly to the start position to complete one repetition.
This exercise targets the side deltoid but also works your biceps and traps. To assume the starting position, hold a barbell with a shoulder-width overhand grip with your arms hanging in front of you. Keeping the barbell close to the front of your body, pull it up to neck-height with your elbows leading and bending. Allow your wrists to flex as you pull the bar higher. Pause for one second and lower the weight slowly to the start position to complete one repetition. Dumbbells may also be used for upright rows.
Aim for three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions of your chosen exercise. Keep in mind there are also gym machine options for these exercises. Because lateral raises isolate the side deltoid, lower resistance amounts may be necessary to complete the movement with correct form. Always keep focus on form and complete the movements slowly. Also, remember to breathe during the movements.