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What Are the Benefits of Front Raises With Dumbbells?

author image Kim Nunley
Kim Nunley has been screenwriting and working as an online health and fitness writer since 2005. She’s had multiple short screenplays produced and her feature scripts have placed at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to writing full-time, she worked as a strength coach, athletic coach and college instructor. She holds a master's degree in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.
What Are the Benefits of Front Raises With Dumbbells?
Use dummbells of an appropriate weight to prevent swaying. Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Weight training offers a variety of muscular benefits. Dumbbell front raises target your the front or anterior region of the shoulders or deltoids and are commonly incorporated in an upper body weight training workout. Perform front raises two or three days per week with at least a day of rest between sessions to allow your muscles to adequately recover.


According to the American Council on Exercise, to perform dumbbell front raises, first stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each of your hands. Allow your arms to hang down toward the floor in front of you with your palms facing your thighs. Keeping your elbows straight, lift your right arm up in front of you until it becomes parallel with the floor. Return your right arm to the starting position, then complete the up-and-down movement with the left arm. The exercise can also be done with both arms simultaneously, but doing so may cause your torso to swing back and forth. It should be noted that a neutral grip (palms facing in each other) can also be used. According to the National Council on Strength and Fitness, a neutral grip is favored over the palms down or pronated grip, because the latter increases the risk for shoulder impingement at the top of the movement.

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Muscular Strength and Size

Dumbbell front raises develop your anterior (frontal) shoulder muscles. Depending on your training volume, completing front raises can result in an increase in your shoulder muscular size or strength. Front raises are an isolation exercise, meaning they require movement around only one joint. As a result, it’s an effective exercise for targeting a small number of muscles. Unlike when using front raises on a machine, completing front raises with dumbbells and while standing requires your core muscles to contract to keep you on balance.

Primary Muscle Developed

According to ExRx.net, the primary muscle targeted by dumbbell front raises is the anterior deltoid, which is the front of your shoulder. The anterior deltoid originates at your clavicle and then runs out towards your shoulder joint, inserting at the outside of your humerus bone. Just as it does during front raises, the anterior deltoid primarily performs shoulder flexion. However, the muscle can also assist with shoulder abduction, transverse flexion and internal rotation.


Also recruited for front raises with dumbbells are your pectoralis major, lateral deltoid, trapezius and serratus anterior muscles, all of which are muscles that surround or insert into your shoulder and scapular joints. Consider also incorporating lateral raises with dumbbells into your workout regimen, which primarily target the middle section of your deltoid, to thoroughly develop your shoulders, because front raises strictly target the front of the muscle.

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