The standing DB Lateral Raise strengthens the medial head of the deltoid muscles of the shoulder, as well as the supraspinatus. As the shoulder joint is a three-dimensional structure that inherently lacks stability, it is necessary to train the shoulder musculature in many different planes to ensure full development and structural integrity.
With regard to the deltoids, researchers have identified as many as seven different innervation points. This is akin, in bodybuilding terms, to saying that the deltoid has seven “heads”. Each head is associated with fibers of other muscles that act on the scapulae, so lateral movements in several planes of motion – trap 3 lifts, powell raises, flyes, standard laterals, etc. – are crucial to full development of both the deltoids and the surrounding shoulder girdle musculature.
The supraspinatus is part of the group of muscles having a common insertion point on the rotator cuff tendon. It is thus considered part of the “rotator cuff”, though it in fact provides very little rotation to the humeral bone. Its main function is – as the arm is abducted, as in laterals – to pull on the head of the humerus and prevent it from migrating upward. Upward migration of the humerus during movement of the arm leads to shoulder impingement syndrome and rotator cuff tendinitis.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing your outer thighs. Bend your arms approximately 5°, and lock them in place. Inhale.
As you exhale, lift the dumbbells laterally until you are past the sticking point, which is about an inch above your shoulders.
Inhale as you lower the weights to the starting position in a controlled manner. It is important not to swing the dumbbells when lifting them to avoid compensation and recruitment of other muscles.
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