Front Raise Standing

Start Position
End Position

Starting position:

  1. Grasp two dumbbells with a closed grip.
  2. Stand straight with feet in a stable stance and slight bend in the knees.
  3. Extend arms, keeping a slight bend in elbows, with dumbbells rested at your upper thighs (with palms of your hands facing upper thighs).

Upward movement/concentric phase:

  1. Raise arms, lifting the dumbbells directly in front of you. Lift until your arms reach the level of your shoulders.
  2. Maintain the dumbbells at a constant distance from each other throughout the entire movement.
  3. Keep the torso and legs motionless throughout the movement.

Downward movement/eccentric phase:

    1. In a controlled fashion, slowly lower the dumbbells by reversing the movement to starting position.
Do not hold your breath. Exhale during the concentric phase and inhale during the eccentric phase.


Exercise Data

  • Primary Muscles: Anterior deltoids
  • Synergists: Pectoralis major, coracobrachialis, biceps brachii
  • Stabilizers: Wrist extensors and rotator cuff muscles
  • Type: Strength, hypertrophy, muscular endurance
  • Mechanics: Shoulder flexion
  • Equipment: Two dumbbells
  • Lever: 3rd class lever
  • Level: Beginner to advanced
  • FAQ'S & FACTS ABOUT Front Raise Standing

    What Is A Dumbbell Front Raise?

    A dumbbell front raise is a resistance exercise, which targets the anterior deltoid. This exercise can be performed with two dumbbells. It is performed standing while raising both arms against resistance in front of the body.

    The concentric portion of the lift is shoulder flexion. The eccentric portion is shoulder extension as the dumbbells are lowered.

    The purpose of the front raise is to strengthen the anterior deltoid while also promoting the hypertrophy (increases in size) of this muscle.

    Why Do A Dumbbell Front Raise?

    The front raise activates the anterior deltoid as the anterior deltoid is a primary flexor of the shoulder joint. Activating the anterior deltoid contributes to the hypertrophy of the shoulder muscles, providing roundness around the front.
    Although it is primarily an exercise for aesthetics, front raises also serve as an auxiliary exercise that can increase strength involved in other multi-joint exercises.

    Performing this exercise with dumbbells allows the lifter to isolate the contraction of each arm. This may also help determine any weaknesses, if any, as each arm contracts individually.

    Anatomy Of A Dumbbell Front Raise

    The deltoid is a thick, multipennate muscle that forms a curtain around the shoulder. It is the primary muscle involved with arm abduction and the anterior fibers are a primary shoulder flexor. When developed, the deltoids give the shoulder their round shape. The origin of the deltoid is located at the insertion of the trapezius, lateral third of the clavicle and the acromion spine of the scapula. Its insertion is located at the deltoid tuberosity of the humerus.

    The pectoralis major assists the deltoid with shoulder flexion. The pectoralis major originates at the sternal end the clavicle, sternum and rib cartilage (ribs 1-6) with fibers converging at the insertion located at the greater tubercle of the humerus.

    The coracobrachialis assists the pectoralis major and anterior deltoid with shoulder flexion. It is a small muscle originating at the coracoid process of the scapula and inserting half way down the shaft of the humerus.

    The biceps brachii consists of two heads, the long head and the short head. The long head tendon helps stabilize the shoulder joint and its origin is located at the tubercle and lip of the glenoid cavity of the scapula (shoulder blade). The short head origin is located at the coracoid process of the scapula (shoulder blade). The long and short head unite as the muscle bellies run down the front of the arm. Both heads merge, sharing insertion into the radial tuberosity of the elbow joint. The biceps brachii assists with shoulder flexion as a weak shoulder flexor.

    The wrist extensors and rotator cuff muscles play an essential role in stabilizing the wrists, forearms and shoulders during this exercise.

    Variations Of A Dumbbell Front Raise

    One-arm front raise, barbell front raise, cable front raise, EZ bar front raise.

    How To Improve Your Dumbbell Front Raise

    Focus on the concentric portion of the contraction, concentrating on “squeezing” as the arms approach shoulder level.

    Emphasis on eccentric contractions, prolonging the eccentric portion of the contraction, may also be incorporated in a training program focused on increasing strength. This should be implemented accordingly and with adequate muscle recovery as eccentric contractions cause substantial damage to muscle tissue.

    It’s important to note that your repetition and set volume will depend on your goals (e.g. strength, hypertrophy, muscular endurance). It is also important to allow adequate recovery days in between shoulder training days to allow muscles to repair.

    Common Mistakes When Doing Dumbbell Front Raises

    Raising the arms above the level of the shoulder can minimize the activation of the anterior deltoid and place negative stress on the shoulder joint.

    Swinging the torso and/or moving the legs throughout the movement minimize the activation of the working muscles and increase the risk for injury. Do not use body momentum to lift the weight during concentric phases. Do not drop the weight on its way down. The concentric and eccentric phases should be controlled.

    Injuries Or Ailments & Their Effects Regarding Dumbbell Front Raises

    If the lifter has a compromised range of motion with the shoulder joint and/or performs this exercise incorrectly, this exercise can increase the risk of injury and/or exacerbate a previous injury. Performing this exercise with a weight too heavy for the lifter can also increase the risk for injury.

    If proper technique and recovery are not adhered to, impingement syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, and glenoid labrum tears may result.

    Lifters with a history of shoulder injury or present state of injury should consult with a physical therapist or orthopedic physician before performing this exercise.