Alternating dumbbell front raise exercise

Alternating dumbbell front raise

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Anterior deltoid
  • Synergists: Lateral Deltoid, Clavicular (upper) Pectoralis Major, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Serratus Anterior
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  • Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand, with your elbows slightly bent and the dumbbells resting on the front of your thighs.


  1. Keeping your elbow slightly bent, exhale as you raise your right arm in front of you until it is at least parallel to the floor.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you lower your right arm to the starting position.
  4. Repeat with your left arm.
  5. Keep alternating your arms, raising one after the other one has been fully lowered.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your back straight and body still. Do not sway back and forth.
  • You may use either a pronated (overhand) grip, as described, or a neutral (hammer) grip. You may also complete all of the reps for the first arm before moving on to the reps for the opposite arm.
  • Do not swing the dumbbells. Keep the movement under control.
  • Try to resist the lowering of the dumbbells.
  • The alternating dumbbell front raise is a unilateral exercise. Unilateral training (training one side at a time) has certain benefits over bilateral training (training both sides at the same time). First, you can actually lift more weight when training unilaterally because the resources of your nervous system are not divided between the two sides and you can therefore recruit more muscle fibers from the one side. Second, you get a better core workout because more stabilizer muscles in your core have to be recruited to stabilize your body. However, this does not mean that you should only perform the unilateral versions of exercises. For best results, incorporate both unilateral and bilateral training into your program.
  • Try the prone incline dumbbell front raise, the seated dumbbell front raise, the seated alternating dumbbell front raise, and the incline dumbbell front raise.
  • See also the band front raise and barbell front raise, the cable front raise, and the plate front raise.

Alternating dumbbell front raise video


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