Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Traps, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Lateral Raise Partials Overview

The lateral raise partials exercise is a variation of the dumbbell lateral raise used to isolate the muscles of the shoulder.

Performing partial movements is a strength building technique that can be applied to all movements. Doing so allows you to train a certain portion of the range of motion for any given exercise with a heavier weight than you’d be able to use otherwise for the exercise.

Lateral Raise Partials Instructions

  1. Select the desired weight from the rack then take a few steps back into an open area.
  2. Take a deep breath and raise the dumbbells to roughly 45 degrees using a neutral grip (palms facing in).
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position under control.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Lateral Raise Partials Tips

  1. These work especially well when supersetted with full range laterals with lighter weight.
  2. If you want to keep more tension through the side delts, don’t allow the weights to touch your sides and control the eccentric (lowering) portion of the movement.
  3. Keep the abs braced and don’t lean back or arch the back at the top of the movement.
  4. Allow the arms to move freely but don’t lock out the elbows.
  5. If you encounter pain within the shoulder while performing the movement, consider implement one of the following tweaks:
    • Tilt your pinkies slightly higher than your thumbs. Imagine you’re pouring out a cup of water.
    • Turn your palms forward so that your thumbs are pointing away from your body. This will put the shoulder in a more externally rotated position and potentially open up the shoulder joint to allow for a bit more movement.