Exercise of the Month – January 2014
Dumbell Lateral Raises
This exercise is an excellent strengthener/ toner/ shaper for the tops of the arms, the shoulders and neck. This exercise can be performed by all levels of exercise experience. However, as a word of caution, individuals with rotator cuff issues and/or neck problems, should consult a doctor prior to performing this exercise.
Starting Position: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your knees soft, but not bent. Pull your shoulders back, with arms straight down at your sides. Use anywhere from 1 to 5 pound weights, depending on your resistance training experience (If you do not have weights available to you, soup/vegetable cans work well).
Upward Phase: First inhale. As you exhale, pull your “belly button toward your back/spine”. With straight arms and wrists flexed slightly upward, lift your arms slowly out front of your body, so that the weights/hands are even with your shoulders. Avoid arching your back and/or shrugging your shoulders (If you do any of these two movements, lower the number of pounds you are lifting). Make sure to keep your head looking “forward” (not turned to one side or looking downward). Hold this position for a count of 2.
Downward Phase: As you exhale, with straight arms, slowly lower your arms back down to your sides. Once your arms/weights are at your side, repeat Step 2.
Repeat this exercise 8 to 12 times with 2 to 3 sets.
If you experience shoulder pain and/or lower back with this exercise, stop immediately and consult with your doctor.
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