“How to improve your lateral raise weight standards”

Lateral raises are a great shoulder-building exercise when a proper weight is chosen

This post reveals dumbbell lateral raise patterns to evaluate your performance

A respectable dumbbell lateral raise for the average male beginner is about 7% of body weight for a single rep (both dumbbells combined)

Intermediate and advanced lifters should be able to lift around 37% and 60% (respectively) for 1 rep

The weight standards in this post will help you determine what is a respectable weight to lift based on your gender, body weight and training experience

These side raise strength standards are based on my 5 years of weight training experience

You may also be interested in my other post on the best dumbbell exercises for skinny men to build muscle

How to Use These Weight PatternsBeginner Lateral Raise Weight PatternsIntermediate Lateral Raise Weight PatternsAdvanced Lateral Raise Weight PatternsHow Good Is Your Lateral Raise Over Others?5 Reasons Dumbbell Lateral Raises Is DifficultOther Weight Patterns for side lift muscles

How to use these weight standards

Beginners practiced the lateral raise for 1 to 12 months

Intermediates practiced the lateral raise for 12 to 36 months

Advanced lifters have practiced lateral raises for 4 years or more

Weight standards are given for:

1-rep max (1RM) – this is the maximum amount of weight you can lift in a single repetition

It is often used as a strength standard

6-10 reps work – this is generally considered the ideal rep range for building muscle

Average side lift weight patterns are revealed for common body weights

Male lateral increase patterns are given

Females can use a 60% conversion (multiply the weight standard by 060)

4) Reading the charts:

Weight standards are given in pounds at the top and kg at the bottom

If you’re doing dumbbell lateral raises at or above the weight standard for your training level, body weight, and gender, then you’re lifting a respectable amount of weight

Lateral Raise Weight Patterns for Beginners

Here’s how much weight you should be lifting in the dumbbell lateral raise as a beginner:

Generally speaking, beginners should be able to do lateral raises with dumbbells that weigh 5-10% of body weight (both dumbbells combined) for a single repetition (1 rep max)

Intermediate Lateral Raise Weight Standards

Here’s how much weight you should be lifting on the lateral raise as an intermediate:

Generally speaking, intermediates should be able to perform lateral raises with dumbbells that weigh 35-40% of their body weight (both dumbbells combined) for a single repetition

Advanced Weight Standards for Lateral Raises

Here’s how much weight you should be lifting in the lateral raise as an advanced lifter:

Generally speaking, advanced lifters should be able to perform lateral raises with dumbbells that weigh 50-70% (both dumbbells combined) of their body weight in a single repetition

Here’s the average percentage of people who can do dumbbell lateral raises at a fraction of their own body weight:

Lateral Raise 1RM Weight (as a fraction of body weight)% of people who can do this010x96%020×84%030×67%040×49%050×33%060×21%070×13%080×7% 090×4%100×2%Weights are for 2 dumbbells combined

For example: if you weigh 150 pounds and your 1RM is 100 pounds, you are lifting 066x your body weight (50 pounds ÷ 100 pounds)

The graphic above indicates:

This represents the bottom quartile of lifters and is a respectable weight for beginners

This represents the middle quartile of lifters and is a respectable weight for intermediates to reach

It’s also a realistic goal for beginners with enough training

25% of people can do dumbbell lateral raises 055x their body weight for 1 rep

25% of people can do dumbbell lateral raises 055x their body weight for 1 rep

25% of people can do dumbbell lateral raises 055x their body weight for 1 rep

This represents the top quartile of lifters and is a respectable weight for advanced lifters

It is also a realistic goal for intermediates to aim for with sufficient training

5 Reasons Why Dumbbell Lateral Raises Are Difficult

The lateral deltoids (primary target muscles in the lateral raise) are some of the hardest muscles to build

Here are 5 common reasons why you might find it difficult to do lateral raises using dumbbells and why your strength standards are below average

These solutions can help improve your lateral raise

Avoid internal rotation by holding the dumbbells slightly forward to lift more weight in the lateral raise

The same discomfort occurs when you do the lateral raise with your arms too far away from your body, making the exercise difficult and reducing your overall strength

Avoid the common mistake of performing lateral raises with the dumbbells held at your side and moving straight out (like a flywheel)

You can check out my other post for more details on how to choose the ideal dumbbell weight for arm and shoulder exercises

To maximize shoulder strength, perform the lateral raise with a full range of motion and avoid partial reps

Range of motion (ROM) describes the distance covered by the dumbbells between the lowest and highest points of the exercise

Partial reps have a place to train strength in specific portions of the movement

But full reps are ideal if you’re a beginner looking to build overall strength in the sidelift and improve your weight patterns

Perform the dumbbell lateral raise with full ROM

A good tip for knowing when to stop the upward phase of the lateral raise is when your arms are parallel to the floor (avoid going past that point)

To do this effectively, it helps to break the conventional muscle-building rule of lifting weights for low reps and instead reduce the dumbbell weight and work in a higher rep range of 10 to 15 reps per set

Switch to a seated dumbbell lateral raise to avoid cheating reps and build delt strength\

Another common mistake beginners make is using their body’s momentum to help them “swing” the dumbbells upward

Cheating usually happens by using swinging your legs and opening your hips to create an upward swinging force that helps you lift the dumbbell

Experienced lifters can use cheat reps to facilitate strength gains

But when novices do it incorrectly, it can result in severely reduced deltoid activation from the lateral raise

As a beginner, avoid cheating reps if your goal is to build delt strength with the lateral raise

The best way to do this is to simply perform the exercise while sitting on a weight bench

If you’re training at home, an affordable mid-sized bench like this Flybird Folding Weight Bench does the job

Performing the lateral raise with rigid form should allow you to see the first signs of strength gains within a few weeks

The ideal side raise dumbbell weight should challenge you for 10 to 15 repetitions

Choosing the correct dumbbell weight is very important in lateral raises

This is a small exercise that targets a very specific muscle – the lateral deltoids

As such, it’s not a good idea to load too heavy in a low rep range (as is generally recommended for larger compound lifts like shoulder presses)

But it’s also not good to lift dumbbells that are too light

This is one of the necessary stimuli for muscle growth and strength gains

As a beginner, start by doing side raises using a manageable dumbbell weight that challenges you to the recommended 10-15 reps per set

Increasing the weight in 1-2 lb increments is enough to build a stronger lateral raise

Now you can rinse, repeat, and work on building your lateral raises according to the strength patterns featured in this post!

5) Not performing a variety of shoulder exercises

Lateral raises utilize all 3 deltoid heads to varying degrees

The shoulders comprise three deltoid heads – anterior (front), lateral (middle) and posterior (rear)

The problem with doing only lateral raises is that the exercise mainly works the lateral delts

But your anterior and posterior delts play a vital role in stabilizing the movement and allowing you to perform lateral raises more efficiently

Thus, weakness in the anterior and posterior deltoids can make lateral raises difficult and lead to below-average strength patterns

Train all three deltoids for balanced shoulder strength development

Lateral raises should be performed along with other shoulder exercises as part of a balanced training program:

It’s a 3-day out-of-the-box workout program that builds full-body muscle, including your shoulders!

Other Weight Standards for Lateral Raise Muscles

The dumbbell lateral raise is an isolation-type movement that primarily works the lateral delts in the shoulders

Here are weight standards for other exercises that target similar muscles:

Dumbbell Shoulder Press – Vertical compound pushing exercise that works all 3 deltoid muscles

Reverse Dumbbell Roll – an isolation-type movement that focuses tension on the posterior delts

Dumbbell incline bench press – a compound chest movement that works not only the pectorals but also the anterior deltoids

Pull-ups– vertical compound pulling exercise that works all the muscles in the back, including the rear deltoids

Dumbbell Rows – horizontal pull exercise that works all the muscles in the back, including the posterior deltoids

These dumbbell lateral raise weight patterns help you determine whether or not you are lifting a respectable amount of weight for your capabilities

Beginners should be able to do 1 rep using about 7% of their body weight (both dumbbells combined)

Intermediates should be able to lift approximately 37% of their body weight and advanced about 60%

If you are lifting or exceeding these strength standards, you are doing a good and respectable job

I also shared common problems and solutions for below average lateral lift strength

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