Have you got what it takes to get your name on our leaderboard with this months gym challenge?

The challenge this month is a muscular endurance test to see how long can you hold a lateral dumbbell raise position?

The lateral raise is one of the best exercises for those looking to build strong and stable shoulders. It’s also a very simple movement: essentially you just raise weights to shoulder level, and then lower them again.

The benefits of the lateral raise are stronger shoulders and increased shoulder mobility. If you brace correctly throughout the lift, your core also benefits, and muscles in the upper back, arms and neck will also feel the strain after a few sets.

Form Tips:

  • Make a small move
    • What Start each rep by slowly moving your hands out to the sides, then stopping.
    • Why Moving the dumbbells slightly places tension on your shoulders. The pause switches off your traps, which will otherwise muscle in on the move, taking emphasis off your shoulders.
    • How Stand tall holding a dumbbell in each hand. Lean forward from the hips then, keeping your chest up and a slight bend in your elbows, use your side delts to raise the weights about 5cm out to the side, then pause for one second
  • Lead with your elbows
    • What Raise the dumbbells leading with your elbows, so that they’re the highest part of your arm.
    • Why Ensuring your elbows lead the move will again keep the focus on your delts and minimise the stress placed on your rotator cuffs, a small group of delicate but crucial stabilising muscles.
    • How From the paused position, re-initiate the move by raising your elbows up and out to the sides, maintaining that slight bend in the joint. Concentrate on how your side delts feel and contract as the weights are raised
  • Turn your wrists
    • What As your hands approach shoulder height, rotate your wrist so that your little fingers are uppermost.
    • Why Turning your wrists as the dumbbells reach the top of the move activates more muscle fibres in your side delts, meaning each rep works the muscle even harder.
    • How Once your elbows are at shoulder height turn your wrists as if you were pouring two jugs of water so your little fingers are the highest parts of your hands. Reverse this movement as you lower the weights again

Once you are ready to give this months challenge a go, grab a fitness instructor at your local Better Leisure Centre.

Prizes for top male and female are available!