Lateral Raise One-Arm

Start Position
End Position

Starting position:

  1. Adjust the pulley height to the lowest level.
  2. Grasp the D-handle with a closed grip.
  3. Turn your body sideways to the pulley with the side of your non-working arm adjacent to the pulley.
  4. Grasp a stable portion of the crossover station with your non-working arm for optimal balance and stability.
  5. Stand straight with feet in a stable stance and slight bend in the knees.
  6. Extend your working arm halfway across the front of your body while keeping a slight bend in your elbow.

Upward movement/concentric phase:

  1. Raise arm out to your side, lifting the D-handle. Lift until your arm reaches the level of your shoulder.
  2. Maintain a slight bend in your elbow 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 weight by reversing the movement to starting position.
    2. Complete the set and repeat with opposite arm.
Do not hold your breath. Exhale during the concentric phase and inhale during the eccentric/lowering phase.


Exercise Data

  • Primary Muscles: Middle deltoid
  • Synergists: Supraspinatus
  • Stabilizers: Biceps brachii (long head), wrist extensors and other rotator cuff muscles
  • Type: Strength, hypertrophy, muscular endurance
  • Mechanics: Shoulder abduction
  • Equipment: Cable crossover station and a D-handle attachment
  • Lever: 3rd class lever
  • Level: Beginner to advanced
  • FAQ'S & FACTS ABOUT Lateral Raise One-Arm

    What Is A Cable One-Arm Lateral Raise?

    A cable lateral raise is a resistance exercise, which targets the middle deltoid. This exercise is performed at a cable crossover station, working one arm at a time. It is performed standing while raising one arm against resistance to the side of the body.

    The concentric portion of the lift is shoulder abduction. The eccentric portion is shoulder adduction as the weight is lowered.

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

    Why Do A Cable One-Arm Lateral Raise?

    The lateral raise activates the middle deltoid as the middle deltoid is a primary shoulder abductor. Activating the middle deltoid contributes to the hypertrophy of the shoulder muscles, providing roundness and a fuller appearance.

    Although it is primarily an exercise for aesthetics, lateral raises also serve as an auxiliary exercise that can increase strength involved in other multi-joint exercises.

    The unilateral fashion of this exercise allows the lifter to focus on one arm at a time. Performing this exercise with a cable provides constant resistance throughout the entire range of motion.

    Anatomy Of A Cable One-Arm Lateral 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 middle fibers are a primary shoulder abductor. When developed, the deltoid gives the shoulders 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 supraspinatus is one of the four rotator cuff muscles. It is located on the posterior aspect of the scapula, underneath the trapezius. The supraspinatus assists the middle deltoid fibers with shoulder abduction. Its origin is located at the infraspinous fossa of the scapula. Its insertion is located at the greater tubercle 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 long head of the biceps brachii acts as a stabilizer of the humeral head during shoulder abduction.

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

    Variations Of A Cable One-Arm Lateral Raise

    Cable lateral raise, dumbbell lateral raise, seated lateral raise, side-lying lateral raise.

    How To Improve Your Cable One-Arm Lateral Raises

    Focus on the concentric portion of the contraction, concentrating on “squeezing” as the arm approaches 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 Cable One-Arm Lateral Raises

    Raising the arm above the level of the shoulder can minimize the activation of the 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 Cable One-Arm Lateral 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.