Work Your Shoulders With Bent-Over Lateral Raises

This exercise works the rear deltoid head - an oft-ignored muscle.

Bent Over Laterals
Bent Over Laterals. Photo Credit: Lina Rivera

The bent-over lateral raise is a very important exercise because it works your rear deltoid head, which is a part of the shoulder that many bodybuilders tend to ignore when they exercise. Performing bent-over lateral raises takes only 30 to 40 seconds depending on the number of repetitions you perform.

The Steps

You only need two dumbbells and a flat bench to perform the exercise.

  1. Place a couple of dumbbells facing forward in front of a flat bench.
  2. Sit on the end of the bench with your legs together and the dumbbells behind your heels.
  3. Bend at your waist while keeping your back straight to pick up the dumbbells. The palms of your hands should be facing each other as you pick up the weights. This will be your starting position.
  4. Keeping your torso forward and stationary, with your arms slightly bent at the elbows, and lift the dumbbells straight to the sides until both of your arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you lift the weights. Ensure that you avoid swinging your torso or bringing your arms back as opposed to your sides.
  5. After a one-second contraction at the top, slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for your desired number of repetitions.


Another way to perform this exercise is by doing it as you stand and bend over to almost 90 degrees -- with your torso parallel to the floor -- while slightly bending your knees. But, be careful about this pose: Though you can perform bent-over lateral raises while standing, you are better off doing the exercise while you are seated if you have lower-back problems.