Cable Lateral Raises: How To, Variations & Alternates

If you are looking for exercises that work the lateral deltoid with a cable, then you are in the right place. Here, we cover the best cable lateral raises exercises, execution technique, and pro-tips for maximizing shoulder development.

You might think you’re working your shoulders regularly, but if you’re not incorporating cable side lateral deltoid exercises into your routine, you’re not going to get stronger muscles that make your shoulders full and round.

Utilizing the cable pulley machine is useful in that it provides constant tension on the target muscle group as you move the weight through the range of motion.

Shoulder Muscle (Deltoid Anatomy)

The deltoid is the superficial muscle that forms the rounded contour of your shoulder. While the deltoid is technically a single muscle, anatomically speaking it has three distinct sets of muscles fibers and muscle bellies, which are referred to as “heads.

The deltoid muscle of the shoulder consists of three separate sections or heads.

The side delt plays an important role in how your shoulders look and feel. Focusing on this area can really make a difference in your upper body, so you want to give it the best exercises that’ll promote growth and development.

Shoulder Anatomy

Muscle Worked During Cable Lateral Raises

Cable lateral raises focus primarily on the side deltoid muscles while working the anterior deltoid, as well as both the middle and lower traps.

Primary Muscle Worked : Lateral deltoid.

Secondary Muscle Worked: Anterior deltoid, posterior deltoid, trapezius, supraspinatus.

Benefits of the Cable Lateral Raises

The cable lateral raises offers an effective way to train the lateral Deltoid (shoulders), let’s have a look at some other benefits of doing lateral raises with a cable machine.

  1. For people who experience discomfort in their joints during the press, lateral raises on a cable machine are a great alternative.
  2. Cable lateral raises are more evenly distributed, and you have more of a constant load on your shoulder muscles throughout the whole range of motion.
  3. Improve Lifts as the lateral deltoids play a part in stabilizing the weight when performing bench press or overhead press. By working directly on the lateral deltoids, there will be a transfer of strength to your other lifts.
  4. The cable side lateral raises offers almost unmatched versatility because you can change up the load, angle, grip positioning and body positioning easily.
  5. The cable setup gives your muscles almost uninterrupted time under tension, and a massive pump — each of which can help optimize muscle growth.
  6. It offers a smooth, controlled motion that can be manipulated by the variables above to deliver the exact resistance you’re looking for.
  7. Depending on the position of the body and the direction of cable, you can work out deltoid muscles.

Cable Lateral Raises Form and Tips

  1. The form is an essential part of this exercise.
  2. Don’t just swing your arms. Keep motion-controlled throughout the exercise.
  3. You should always use weights that you are able to lift comfortably.
  4. Don’t just swing your arms. Keep controlled motion throughout the exercise.
  5. Pull slowly so that you are controlling the weight at all times.
  6. Remember to exhale while you exert.
  7. Perform a warm-up with 50% weight for 1-2 sets.

How To Do Cable Lateral Raise

The cable lateral raise is one of the best exercises that targets the side delts, It is a great isolation exercise that can humble you. With this exercise, you should start at a light weight to ensure you proper perform.

There are multiple variations of the cable side lateral raise, but they all have the same common goal, to build the lateral delts.

Cable Lateral Raises

How To Do Lateral Cable Raise

  1. Attach a single-grip handles to the lowest point of the cable pulley system. 
  2. The handle from the right pulley should be in your left hand, and the handle from the left pulley should be in your right hand. The cables should be crossed and pulled tightly.
  3. With elbows slightly bent, raise your arms to shoulder level, leading with the elbow.
  4. Slowly lower your arms back down until you feel a stretch in your delts and repeat.

Best Variations of Lateral Cable Raises

There are several excellent variations on the cable lateral raise.

The one-arm cable lateral raise is a unilateral exercise that helps create a strong mind-body connection and helps train the lateral deltoid effectively.

The lean away lateral raise with a cable is an outstanding exercise and is especially popular with bodybuilders and athletes. By raising your head in this leaning away position, you increase the tension in the entire range of motion.

Another popular variation is the behind the body lateral raise. This type of cable side lateral is great for targeting the side deltoid and even the side-rear deltoid area because the plane of movement is more directly to the side of the body. Whereas in the regular cable lateral raise the movement begins in front of your body, in this exercise the movement begins behind the body.

The fourth variation is the Side Lying Cable Lateral Raise, it’s the creative way to train the lateral deltoid with cable

1. One Arm Cable Lateral Raise

The one-arm cable lateral raise is an isolated shoulder exercise that targets the deltoids, while increasing stability in both the wrists and the core.

Cable side lateral raise is a shoulder exercise that works the middle head of the deltoid muscle, which is the rounded muscle at the very top of each shoulder.

One Arm Cable Lateral Raise
One Arm Cable Lateral Raise

How To Do One Arm Cable Lateral Raise

  1. Stand next to a cable pulley machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and the handle attachment adjusted to the lowest setting.
  2. To maintain good posture, push your chest forward, and point your shoulders back while slightly bending both knees.
  3. Grab the handle and stand straight up with your arm fully extended and feet facing forward. Maintaining a slight bend in your working elbow, raise your arm up to shoulder height.
  4. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.

2. Leaning Cable Lateral Raise

Compared with the standing cable lateral raise, the leaning cable side lateral raise puts your lateral deltoid under tension through a greater portion of the range of motion, making each repetition more effective.

Leaning cable lateral raise strengthen the stabilizing muscles in your shoulders and improves your muscle balance. Leaning cable lateral raise also places greater overload at the top of the raise.

It is also one of the most effective exercises for strengthening and growing the shoulder muscles.

Leaning Cable Lateral Raise

How to Do Leaning Cable Lateral Raise

  1. Stand next to a cable pulley machine with the handle attachment adjusted to the lowest. With the outside arm, reach across your body, grab the handle and stand straight up with your arm fully extended and feet facing forward.
  2. Grip the machine with your inside arm for support. Now place your feet close to the pulley machine, allowing you to lean away from the machine.
  3. Maintaining a slight bend in your working elbow, raise your arm up to shoulder height, then lower the weight back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and repeat on the other side.

3. Side Lying Cable Lateral Raise

Side Lying Cable Lateral Raise variation of the lateral raise creates extreme isolation due to your body position, there’s no way to cheat with momentum.

You can perform this side lying lateral raise on the floor or on a bench. This exercise helps build strength and stability in the side delt.

Side Lying Cable Lateral Raise

How To Do Side Lying Cable Lateral Raise

  1. Set the stirrup at the lowest point. Lie down on your side with your feet towards the cable machine, then grab the stirrup with an overhand grip using your upper arm.
  2. Brace your upper body with your elbow on the ground directly under your shoulder,
  3. Starting with your hand at your hip, lift until your arm is parallel with your shoulder.
  4. Slowly return to starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and repeat on the other side.

Cable Lateral Raise Alternative

If the cable stack not be accessible to you. You may also be searching for an alternative of cable tricep extension, below you will find some suggestions.

1. Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Lateral Raise is one of the best alternative to the cable lateral raise. To build the lateral head of the deltoid muscle, make lateral raises a regular part of your shoulder workout.

Lateral Raise
Dumbbell Lateral Raise

How To Do Dumbbell Lateral Raise

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and bring the weights together in front of you. The palms should be facing each other.
  2. Now bend your elbows and raise the dumbbells to your sides.
  3. Lift them to a point slightly higher than your shoulders.
  4. Now lower the dumbbells in a controlled manner back to the starting position.

2. Barbell Overhead Press

The shoulder press exercise is the best muscle mass builder for the shoulders. The shoulder press is still the king of all shoulder exercises for building big, round shoulders.

Seated shoulder press has been the favorite shoulder exercise with bodybuilders as it builds muscle fast and is a power move.

Barbell Shoulder Press
Barbell Overhead Press

How To Do Barbell Overhead Press

  1. Sit on an exercise bench and grab a bar with an overhand grip.
  2. Bring the bar over and in front of your head, under your chin, and just above your upper chest.
  3. Now Press the bar straight up overhead until your arms are fully extended but not locked out.
  4. Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.

3. Dumbbell One Arm Lateral Raise

This Dumbbell shoulder exercise is performed with one arm at a time. Dumbbell one-arm lateral raise is an excellent exercise to isolate and build side deltoids. It is one of the best lateral raise alternatives.

To strengthen the middle portion of the deltoid muscle, make one-arm dumbbell lateral raises a part of your deltoid exercises.

Dumbbell one-arm lateral raise
Dumbbell One Arm Lateral Raise

How To Do Dumbbell One Arm Lateral Raise

  1. Stand holding a dumbbell with one hand. Feet are shoulder-width apart and knees are slightly bent.
  2. Now bend your elbow and raise the dumbbell to your side.
  3. Lift them to a point slightly higher than your shoulder. Now lower the dumbbell in a controlled manner back to the starting position.
  4. Perform all reps on one side and then repeat with the other arm.

Conclusion

Cable Side Lateral Raises is highly recommended for anyone interested in building a wider shoulder and who wants to gain strength. Shoulder exercises on a cable machine can hit your shoulders from all angles, which will stimulate new muscle fibers to be activated for potential growth.

If you incorporate some exercises we listed above into your workout regimen. If you do these cable lateral raises workout consistently, the results will speak by themselves.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your workout!

Know More About Shoulder Training

8 Best Shoulder Exercises To Build Bigger Deltoids

8 Best Shoulder Exercises to Build Bigger Shoulder

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