How to Do a Front Raise

The front raise is considered a fundamental exercise in weight lifting that is perfect for those who are just beginning their weight training journey. The exercise targets the deltoids of the upper arms and upper pectorals of the chest. It is considered a great isolation movement for shoulder flexion, which is responsible for smooth movement of the shoulder.

Strengthening the shoulders helps you to perform daily activities such as lifting heavy objects and reaching above the head. Those suffering from shoulder injuries or in recovery from surgery may be directed to perform front raises as part of their recovery plan.

How To

  • Begin standing with feet firmly planted on the floor about shoulder width apart. Your back should be nice and straight with arms relaxed at your sides.
  • Holding the weights in a firm grip, position the weights so hey are horizontally in line with the body. The backs of the hands should be facing forward.
  • Engage your core and inhale as you slowly lift the weights up to the height of your chest. There should be a slight bend in the elbows, and your arms should rise no higher than the height of your shoulders.
  • To complete the exercise, exhale as you slowly lower the weights back to their starting position next to your thighs. Aim to lower the weights as slowly as you lifted them. Don’t simply drop your arms to your side.


Choose a light enough weight that you can aim for three repetitions of 10. Start with three reps of five if you find you are still straining to complete your sets. Always aim for good form over number of repetitions.


One-armed lifts: If you want to work one specific side, or are finding you need to use lower weights but don’t have any, you can work on one-armed lifts. Be careful not to allow your body to rotate as you lift. Really engage your abs to prevent this.

Resistance band: In place of weights, a resistance band can be used. Stand on the middle of the band and grip the ends of the band using the same grip and positioning as with the weights. You may have to play with where you grip the band to achieve the correct tension.

Hammer grip: If you are having issues with shoulder impingement, try using a hammer grip instead. Hold the weights with thumbs pointed up and palms facing each other.

Seated: For those unable to stand or simply needing to give their lower body a break, this exercise can be performed from a seated position. Just make sure to maintain a straight back and avoid slouching or arching the back.

Cautionary notes

Make sure you aren’t rocking back onto your heels to complete the maneuver. If so than you should try decreasing the amount of weight you’re lifting

Don’t use momentum to perform the lift. Again if you need momentum, you may need to look at decreasing your weights.

Your wrists should stay in a neutral position during the entire movement. If the weights are pulling the wrist down, or you find yourself pulling the wrists up to assist with the lift, you are exposing your wrists to potential injury.

This is one exercise where lighter weights are better. You should not be working towards failing at the end of the exercise. Lifting excessive weight with your arms in this position can cause damage to the shoulder joints.

More Great Deltoid Exercises

Lateral raise
Military Press
Rear delt raise
Shoulder press
Upright row

More Front Raise Related Resources

Plate front raise exercise instructions and video | Weight Training Guide
How to Properly Execute a Dumbbell Front Raise | Muscle & Fitness
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How to Do Dumbbell Front Raises
How To Master The Front Raise | Coach
Shoulder Exercises | Front Raise
How To Do A Shoulder Front Raise
Dumbbell Front Raise | Illustrated Exercise Guide
Dumbbell Front Raise – Exercise Database | Jefit – Best Android and iPhone Workout, Fitness, Exercise and Bodybuilding App | Best Workout Tracking Software

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