Kettlebell lateral raise exercise

Kettlebell lateral raise

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Lateral Deltoid
  • Synergists: Anterior Deltoid, Supraspinatus, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Serratus Anterior
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Stand tall, holding a kettlebell in each hand with an overhand grip. Allow your arms to hang by your sides.


  1. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, exhale as you raise both arms out to the sides until your elbows are level with your shoulders.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • The kettlebell lateral raise is a great exercise to perform especially if you’re looking to build your shoulders.
  • The shoulder joint is the least stable joint in the body and relies on the muscles around it for stability. Since the kettlebell lateral raise strengthens the deltoids, this exercise also helps keep your shoulder joint stable.
  • Make sure that your neck and back are in neutral position throughout the exercise. Only your arms should move.
  • Do not swing your arms. This means you are using momentum to raise the kettlebells instead of using your shoulder muscles.
  • The difference between using a kettlebell and a dumbbell is that with kettlebells, the weight is below the handles. In dumbbells, the total weight is evenly distributed between the two weights on each end. Kettlebells are more prone to swinging which increases demand for stability, making lateral raises more challenging than with dumbbells.
  • See also the cable one-arm lateral raise, the dumbbell lateral raise, and the seated dumbbell raise.

Kettlebell lateral raise video

Sources, Shoulder Articulations

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