Lying One Arm Lateral Raise Exercise: Building Stronger Shoulders

Lying One Arm Lateral Raise Exercise
Lying One Arm Lateral Raise Exercise
Image Credit: James Kohler (see video below)

Are you aiming to enhance your upper body strength and develop robust shoulders? Then, you might want to consider incorporating the lying one arm lateral raise into your fitness regimen.

Despite being overlooked, this exercise can provide significant benefits by effectively engaging the muscles in your shoulders and upper back.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits, the body parts impacted, the equipment required, a step-by-step guide on performing the exercise, and common errors to avoid.

Benefits of the Lying One Arm Lateral Raise Exercise

The lying one arm lateral raise is a versatile exercise that helps build upper body strength, improve your posture, and increase your shoulder mobility. Additionally, it engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making it an efficient way to tone and strengthen your upper body.

Moreover, it can help you achieve a more balanced and toned physique. By strengthening the muscles in your shoulders, upper back, and arms, you’ll have a more defined and sculpted upper body.

Strong shoulders are also essential for many sports and activities, such as swimming, basketball, and weightlifting.

What Body Parts Are Impacted by the Lying One Arm Lateral Raise Exercise?

The lying one arm lateral raise primarily targets your shoulders, specifically the deltoid muscles. Additionally, this exercise engages your upper back muscles, such as your traps and rhomboid.

These muscles help improve your posture and shoulder mobility. It also works your triceps and biceps, contributing to a more balanced and defined upper body.

Equipment You Need to do the Lying One Arm Lateral Raise Exercise

To perform this exercise, you’ll need a dumbbell or a resistance band, depending on your preference. Make sure to choose a weight that challenges you without compromising your form.

Steps for Doing the Lying One Arm Lateral Raise Exercise

Step 1: Lie on your side on a comfortable mat, padded surface or bench. Extend your legs out straight and stack them on top of each other. Your head should be supported by your bottom arm, which can be bent and used as a pillow.

Hold a dumbbell or resistance band in your top hand, with your arm resting in front of your body. Make sure your elbow is bent slightly.

Step 2: Keep your arm straight and slowly lift the weight towards the ceiling until it reaches shoulder level. Make sure to keep your arm in line with your body, and avoid letting it drift forward or backward.

Keep your shoulder blades down and engaged throughout the movement, and avoid shrugging your shoulders towards your ears.

Step 3: Pause briefly at the top of the movement, squeezing your shoulder muscles to maintain tension in the targeted area. Take a moment to breathe, and then slowly lower the weight back down to the starting position.

Make sure to control the weight throughout the movement, and avoid letting it drop quickly.

Step 4: Repeat the movement for the desired number of reps, then switch sides and repeat. Aim for 3 sets of 10–15 reps per side to start, and gradually increase the weight or reps as you get stronger.

Here is a video on how to complete this exercise with a dumbbell.

Mistakes to Avoid while doing the Lying One Arm Lateral Raise Exercise

One common mistake people make while doing the lying one arm lateral raise is lifting the weight too high, leading to unnecessary strain on the shoulders. Avoid lifting the weight higher than shoulder level.

Another mistake to avoid is using momentum to lift the weight. Make sure to lift the weight slowly and with control, engaging your shoulder muscles throughout the movement.

Finally, be sure to maintain proper posture and avoid arching your back or rounding your shoulders during the exercise.


The lying one arm lateral raise is an excellent exercise for building strong shoulders and improving your upper body strength. With consistent practice, it can help you achieve stretch and cool down after your upright row workout.

Remember to listen to your body and adjust the weight and number of reps based on your fitness level. With dedication and consistency, the upright row can help you achieve a stronger, more defined upper body.

So, grab your barbell or dumbbells and give this exercise a try today! For more upper-body workouts, check out the close-grip push-up.