You can start doing front raises with MAXIMAL effectiveness if you give me just 2 minutes to explain something important! Read on my hacking buddies…
This exercise will target the shoulders and in particular the Anterior or Front head of the deltoids.
Now, Dumbbell Front Raises are an exercise that most definitely benefit from what is technically called Biomechanially Optimized Form (sometimes called controlled loose form).
I will discuss all this in greater detail after the video…
How To Do Dumbbell Front Raises
Firstly, use a light weight to begin with on this movement. As weeks pass and you get stronger increase the weight by the smallest increment you can. I call these “micro-progressions” and are pretty much mandatory for all lifts that utilize a relatively low weight. Personally I increase the load by just 0.5kg once I hit the top of my prescribed set range.
Grab dumbbells in both hands. Position the weights in front of your upper legs with your elbows slightly bent. Palms will be facing in towards the body i.e. wrists are fully pronated.
Before you start the movement, allow your torso to fall forward a little. Keep your back straight and strong. Have a slight bend in the knees.
This is the start of “optimizing” your form on this movement. Without it you’ll move very little weight and the set will terminate way before true failure of deltoids. Furthermore, you WILL plateau after a few months and be unable to make any further progress.
Front Raises are best done in an alternating fashion. So you will work 1 arm at a time.
Initiate the movement with just one arm while the other rests.
Raise your arm upwards (remember that slight bend at the elbow) up about 1/4 way of the range of motion before allowing your back to come into play and really optimizing this bad boy. At this point bring your torso back into a straight up position while still moving the dumbbell.
Raise the dumbbell upward until the upper arm is just above horizontal – this is the top of the movement. Lower slowly under full muscular control and allow your body to come forward again in preparation for the next rep.
Now repeat with opposite arm.
NOTE: Optimized form is NOT swinging. Anyone that tells you it is hasn’t a clue what they’re talking about. You INITIATE the movement with the intended muscle only. Once it’s already moving, that’s when you allow some complimentary movement in another part of the body.
Some joints in the human body just don’t operate very well at a certain range in the motion when totally isolated. It’s simple biomechanics and it is the way it is whether you like it or not. Repeat: It is NOT swinging the weight.
Furthermore, unless I recommend optimized form in a movement, use normal strict form.
Now, go do your front raises with this form and I’ll be happy to hear about how much progress you’ve made in just 1 workout with this MuscleHack tweak.
Train With Intensity!
Mark (on Facebook? Click ‘like‘ below or you’ll get a swift front raise straight to the face)
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Thanks dude. I started incorporating a lot of controlled loose form into my workouts after i read about it on your site. It just feels more natural and more powerful due to my body actually moving in a natural form. You rock buddy. Can’t wait for 4.1
@Ren. No probs, bud. 4.1 coming real soon 🙂
Nice one Mark! Not immediately sure where I’m going to put this exercise, as am currently doing 3x barbell press, 3x dumbbell press, 3x cable lat raises. Maybe add at end of shoulder work-out, if/when I need to squeeze out any available energy I might have left 🙂
Can’t wait for THT4.1 either!! Wish it was a 5.0 🙂 but am really keen to see whatever updates you have provided. Thanks in advance……
@Richard. This is def a finisher move, so add to the end.
so instead of doing lateral raises on shoulder day, i can do front raises.
Will it be better that way? oh cant wait for 4.1, 4.0 is already tits man! actualy muscle tits lol
Mark, where does this fit in with the current Tht workout? I’ve used it in other workouts… Is it to be added to the exercise bank? Tam
Hey Mark, I can’t do these with the overhand grip as you show in the video. With that grip there is slight internal rotation of the humerus and causes a clicking sensation in my right shoulder on the way down. I have found by using hammer grip front raises doesn’t cause this problem at all and I can go all out. Do you think this adjustment changes the effect on the exercise? Thanx bro!!
Adduct the scalpula
@Eddie. It’s the pecs, man! 😉 But no don’t do this instead of lateral raises. They target a different head so this would be in addition to them. Add a set or 2 of these to the end of your shoulder workout.
@Tam. Front Raises are already in the exercise bank (last shoulder exercise as of Oct 1st 2012). Until THT 4.1 comes out, add a set or 2 of these to the end of your shoulder workout.
@Jason. It will bring the biceps into play a little more. Here’s what I want you to try: Keep the wrists pronated but have more of a bend at the elbows. Try a 30 degree bend and see if this takes the clicking sensation away.
lol aaaah my English sucks, thanks Mark. i have been starting volume 2 from the beginning and i love it … again. volume 1 is so hard with the super sets. when i got sick i lost so much time and a little weight, but now i look a little more ripped. Will give a update soon. Thanks for everything Mark, its a real honor to be using THT.
@Eddie. Your English is fine. I was making a wee joke 😉
Sounds dumb, but I have not tried these. Will be adding a set or two at the end of shoulder day though as to avoid a “swift front raise straight to the face”!! Ha,Ha!! But Seriously, Good article Mark & Thank You!!!
🙂 No probs, Mr. Huber 😉