Shoulder Training – Dumbbell Front Raises

The dumbbell front arm raise exercises your shoulder and chest muscles. It focuses on the anterior delt. This article describes the basic strength training technique for this exercise.

Muscles Exercised

The dumbbell front arm raise focuses on your delts. The emphasis of this exercise is on the anterior delt. It also exercises your pecs and biceps to a degree.

Exercise Technique

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, and knees bent slightly
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip. Begin with the dumbbells resting against your quads.
  • Take a deep breath and raise one dumbbell to the front of your body until it reaches eye level
  • Lower the dumbbell to your quad in a slow, controlled fashion, exhaling as you do
  • Repeat the exercise with your other arm, alternating arms until your set is complete
  • Avoid leaning backward as you raise the dumbbell. This uses your body’s momentum to assist the delts, reducing the effectiveness of the exercise. If you cannot raise the dumbbell with the target muscle groups, select a lighter dumbbell.
  • The front arm raise should be performed with relatively light weights and high repetitions. Select a weight that you can perform all of your repetitions using proper technique. On your last 1-2 sets, your last repetitions should be difficult, but you should not have to relax your form to complete them.


The shoulder is a vulnerable joint. Take care to prevent injury to the shoulder.

  • Use weights that you are able to control each repetition with strict form
  • Dumbbells should not be raised above eye level


  • Raising both dumbbells simultaneously reduces rest between repetitions and can increase exercise intensity
  • Using a barbell instead of dumbbells allows you to work both delts simultaneously

Building Shoulder Strength: As with any muscle group, you need to train with balance. To build strong shoulders, you need to train the anterior, middle, and posterior delts. You also need to train supporting muscle groups such as your traps.

Additional Shoulder Exercises

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