Summary: Lateral raises are an effective exercise that target the muscles in your shoulders. At Planet Fitness, you have access to various equipment and machines that can help you perform lateral raises. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of including lateral raises in your workout routine, tips for performing the exercise correctly, variations of the exercise, and how to incorporate it into your Planet Fitness workout plan.
1. Benefits of Lateral Raises
Lateral raises are a great exercise for targeting the medial deltoid muscle, which is located on the outside of your shoulder. This muscle plays a crucial role in shoulder stabilization and helps with overhead movements. By incorporating lateral raises into your workout routine, you can strengthen and tone your shoulders, making them more resilient to injury.
In addition to strengthening your shoulders, lateral raises also improve your posture by pulling your shoulders back and down. This will not only help you look taller but also reduce neck and shoulder pain that arises from poor posture. Lateral raises also engage your core muscles, as you need to maintain stability throughout the movement.
Lastly, lateral raises increase your range of motion in your shoulders, which is important for daily activities such as reaching for objects or lifting overhead.
2. Proper Form and Technique
Proper form and technique are essential when performing lateral raises to avoid injury and ensure maximum effectiveness. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your arms straight and your palms facing towards your body.
As you exhale, lift your arms to the side until they reach shoulder level. Avoid swinging your arms or using momentum to lift the weights. Once at shoulder height, pause briefly before slowly lowering the weights back to your sides. Inhale during the lowering phase of the exercise. Remember to keep your core engaged throughout the movement to maintain stability.
It may be tempting to lift heavyweights initially, but it’s crucial to prioritize proper form over weight. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase as you become more comfortable with the movement.
3. Variations of Lateral Raises
There are several variations of lateral raises that you can incorporate into your routine to prevent boredom and challenge your muscles. One variation is the bent-over lateral raise, which involves bending forward at the hips and lifting the weights to the side. This variation targets the rear deltoid muscle, giving you a more well-rounded shoulder workout.
Another variation is the front raise, which involves lifting the weight directly in front of you instead of to the side. This variation primarily targets the anterior deltoid muscle, which is located on top of your shoulder. You can perform this variation with either alternating arms or both arms simultaneously.
Adding a resistance band to your lateral raises is also an effective way to intensify the exercise. You can loop the band around your wrists or ankles to add resistance and engage more muscles.
4. Incorporating Lateral Raises into Your Planet Fitness Workout Plan
Planet Fitness offers various equipment and machines that can help you perform lateral raises and other shoulder exercises. Dumbbells of different weights are available for use, along with cable machines and lateral raise machines.
You can incorporate lateral raises into your full-body workout routine by performing three sets of 12-15 reps, resting for 30 seconds between sets. Alternatively, you can include them in your shoulder-focused workout by performing four sets of 10-12 reps, resting for 60 seconds between sets.
Remember to warm up your shoulders with shoulder rotations or light cardio before performing lateral raises. Stretching your shoulders after the exercise can also help reduce soreness and prevent injury.
Lateral raises are an effective exercise for strengthening and toning your shoulders, improving your posture, and increasing your range of motion. Proper form and technique are essential when performing the exercise to avoid injury and ensure maximum effectiveness. Variations of the exercise and the use of equipment at Planet Fitness can help you challenge your muscles and prevent boredom. By incorporating lateral raises into your workout routine, you can improve your overall fitness and achieve your fitness goals.