Seated bent-over lateral raise

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Posterior Deltoid
  • Synergists: Lateral Deltoid, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Rhomboids, Middle and Lower Trapezii
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Holding a pair of dumbbells, sit on the end of a bench.
  2. Lean forward until your torso is close to horizontal, and allow your arms to hang down by your feet. Your palms should be facing each other (neutral grip).


  1. Keeping your arms slightly bent and your elbows perpendicular to your torso, exhale as you raise your arms out to the sides until your elbows are shoulder height.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you lower your arms to the starting position in a controlled manner.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your back straight and your elbows higher than your wrists.
  • Control the movement. If you find yourself having to swing the dumbbells up, you’re using too heavy a weight.
  • Keep your torso close to horizontal. This ensures that you target your posterior deltoid instead of your lateral deltoid.
  • Keep your elbows perpendicular to your torso (i.e. straight out to the sides). This will minimize the involvement of your latissimus dorsi.
  • You can perform this exercise while standing, with your torso bent over horizontally (bent-over lateral raise). However, the seated bent-over lateral raise described above reduces your ability to cheat.
  • The seated bent-over lateral raise is also known as the seated rear lateral raise.

Seated bent-over lateral raise video

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