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  1. #1
    Registered User munkeyfunk's Avatar
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    Bent Arm Lateral Raises

    Are bent arm lateral raises just as effective as straight arm ones? Because with normal lateral raises i can't even do 12kg properly, while if i do them bent armed i can handle more weight.

    So do you think i should keep doing bent armed lateral raises, or switch to straight arm and lift really small weights?

    Thanks for your help everyone!!!
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  2. #2
    Published Fitness Author Bradster101190's Avatar
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    They are as effective if done correctly and intense enough , but the reason they are easier for you is because of torque and the weight being closer to them mid line of the body ( Or shoulder). So they are easier for everyone.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Drivenpt11's Avatar
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    Exactly, the farther away the resistive force(ie. The weight of the dumbbell) is from the fulcrum (your shoulder joint) the greater the force you have to create to overcome or lift the weight. So you may need to exert significantly more force for a 20lb dumbbell then say a 35lb dumbbell, depending on your lever length (the length of your arm.

    Other implications of this exercise is your hand placement and degree of movement by the rest of body. Of course if you use your hips to swing your body ("cheat" which isn't necessarily a bad thing in some instances) you will lift more weight. If you execute the exercise with your pinkies higher you internally rotate your shoulder and call on the rear deltoid to more of the work. If you stick your thumbs up you externally rotate your shoulder and utilize more anterior deltoid. This of course is all depended on you standing straight up.
    I say this because I will have clients lean over and execute an exercise called a Y-Raise, where they lean forward, utilize the thumb up position and raise the weight somewhere between what would be thought of as a front raise and lateral raise. In this instance the exercise is called caption, and works on the the scapular retractors (this is more of a corrective exercise).

    My advice. If you haven't been lifting for more than a couple years, stick to a straighter arm lateral raise, stricter form, staying away from swinging your body, and use a hand position the is pain free for shoulder during the exercise. Hope this helps bud!
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  4. #4
    Registered User KhoraskGTR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by munkeyfunk View Post
    Are bent arm lateral raises just as effective as straight arm ones?
    As your wrist become higher than your elbow the anterior delt becomes more involved..
    So if you think about straight armed side raises and weight.. it will be a lot harder to keep the elbow above the wrist and the front delt becomes involed easier.

    just something to keep in mind.
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  5. #5
    Banned Tyciol's Avatar
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    Another factor would be that the muscles that externally rotate the shoulder have to contract to keep the hand from dropping, I'm not sure how that might change things like how much the rear delt works.
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    Shifting the DB from the palm to "tucked into the elbow" makes it an effective movement. This is the technique that Hulkinout and DD promoted on this forum half a decade ago...and it's one that I have used ever since with success.
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  7. #7
    Banned Tyciol's Avatar
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    How do you tuck a dumbbell into your elbow? do you mean like one of the plates is on top of the forearm + bicep/tricep tie-in and nothing is in your hand?
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    Originally Posted by DJAuto View Post
    Shifting the DB from the palm to "tucked into the elbow" makes it an effective movement. This is the technique that Hulkinout and DD promoted on this forum half a decade ago...and it's one that I have used ever since with success.
    I thought I was the only one that did these (didn't know DD mentioned it) though it definitely allows more weight (or the same weight) to feel more natural but I get a lot of weird looks doing it.

    Always wondered why it never caught on
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  9. #9
    LIFT HEAVIER NEXT MONTH kanis999's Avatar
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    A slight elbow bend feels much better on my joints. I think rigid elbow puts too much strain on the elbow joint and reduces shoulder flexibility a little bit. Bent arm laterals became one of my favorite exercises once I began to work on not only pulling up, but slightly back as well. This helps target the lateral head.
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    Originally Posted by ttownrepre View Post
    I thought I was the only one that did these (didn't know DD mentioned it) though it definitely allows more weight (or the same weight) to feel more natural but I get a lot of weird looks doing it.

    Always wondered why it never caught on
    I'm the only one who does it in my gym as well.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by Drivenpt11 View Post
    Exactly, the farther away the resistive force(ie. The weight of the dumbbell) is from the fulcrum (your shoulder joint) the greater the force you have to create to overcome or lift the weight. So you may need to exert significantly more force for a 20lb dumbbell then say a 35lb dumbbell, depending on your lever length (the length of your arm.

    Other implications of this exercise is your hand placement and degree of movement by the rest of body. Of course if you use your hips to swing your body ("cheat" which isn't necessarily a bad thing in some instances) you will lift more weight. If you execute the exercise with your pinkies higher you internally rotate your shoulder and call on the rear deltoid to more of the work. If you stick your thumbs up you externally rotate your shoulder and utilize more anterior deltoid. This of course is all depended on you standing straight up.
    I say this because I will have clients lean over and execute an exercise called a Y-Raise, where they lean forward, utilize the thumb up position and raise the weight somewhere between what would be thought of as a front raise and lateral raise. In this instance the exercise is called caption, and works on the the scapular retractors (this is more of a corrective exercise).

    My advice. If you haven't been lifting for more than a couple years, stick to a straighter arm lateral raise, stricter form, staying away from swinging your body, and use a hand position the is pain free for shoulder during the exercise. Hope this helps bud!

    Now you I like , perfectly explained. I couldn't have said it better myself , good job making up when I was trying to get to bed lol.


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    Originally Posted by Bradster101190 View Post
    Now you I like , perfectly explained. I couldn't have said it better myself , good job making up when I was trying to get to bed lol.


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    Originally Posted by kanis999 View Post
    A slight elbow bend feels much better on my joints. I think rigid elbow puts too much strain on the elbow joint and reduces shoulder flexibility a little bit. Bent arm laterals became one of my favourite exercises once I began to work on not only pulling up, but slightly back as well. This helps target the lateral head.
    Same here, when I do straight arm raises my joints hurt so I slightly bend my elbows. I wouldn't bend them any further than I need to simply to add more weight onto the dumbbells though, I don't see the point in cheating myself into thinking I'm stronger than I am.
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    Originally Posted by kanis999 View Post
    A slight elbow bend feels much better on my joints. I think rigid elbow puts too much strain on the elbow joint and reduces shoulder flexibility a little bit. Bent arm laterals became one of my favorite exercises once I began to work on not only pulling up, but slightly back as well. This helps target the lateral head.
    Agree on a very slight bend to take stress off the elbow. Also experiment on the exact movement slightly as if you're like me you may find certain angles feel sore to do but a slight adjustment makes them fine
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