Standing Side Raises

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Side raises! I used to think they were so easy but I was doing them all wrong! My form may not be 100% perfect, but it’s SO MUCH better, and I want to share my struggles – and what I’ve improved on – with you!

There are several types of these including bent over lateral raises and sitting lateral raises, but let’s look at standing ones because they pop up in the #BBG program. My form on these has gotten a lot better once I began using manageable weights and stopped locking out my joints. Genetically, I was born with hypermobile joints, meaning I can extend my elbow and knee joints painlessly beyond the normal range of motion. But when you add weight, it leads to more chances of injury, so I have to be extra careful.

Some things to look out for:

LEFT PHOTO: USING MOMENTUM
Here my hands and arms are going way too high; they should not be going above shoulder height and i’m using momentum to swing the weights up. I look a bit silly, like a cheerleader who traded her pom poms for dumbbells! Weights that are too heavy will cause you to heave them upwards, using momentum, your back, or external rotation of your shoulders to lift, rather than your deltoids. This is also why the weights are going up so high; I am not lifting with control. I don’t have any bend in my knees here, and it’s not good to lock out your joints. Even just a micro bend in your knees can make all the difference. My feet are also too close together, which makes it harder to stay balanced.

RIGHT PHOTO: LIFTING WITH CONTROL
Here, I have a very slight bend in my elbows and knees as to not hyperextend the joints, and I’m lifting the dumbbells up to approximately shoulder level. Abs are engaged, shoulders are back and down, feet shoulder-width and the most important thing: I’m lifting AND lowering with control, not momentum!

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