Muscles Targeted: The standing alternating front dumbbell raises target the frontal area of the deltoids. This area is known as the anterior deltoids and training this head of the shoulders is very important for overall symmetry and for the development of all three heads of the deltoids. In general, when you move the weight in front of your body you will be working the frontal area of the deltoids. Since you have three heads of the deltoids, you always want to make sure you include various exercises in your shoulder workout and do these exercises at different angles in order to work each head of the shoulders. If you neglect one of areas of the deltoids, this will lead to a weakness in that area and possible injuries in the future. Since many of the mass building shoulder exercises like the barbell military press work both the middle and frontal heads of the deltoids, the rear head of the deltoids usually is the most neglected since many people simply forget to include specific exercises (like rear deltoid flyes) into their shoulder workouts. So, make sure you add exercises that hit each of the three heads of the deltoids when you’re designing your shoulder workout routines.
Exercise Advice: Take a shoulder width stance with your knees slightly bent and hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Slowly raise one dumbbell up to about eye level while keeping your wrist and arm in a fixed position during the entire movement (do not bend your elbow or wrist). Slowly lower the dumbbell down to the starting position and repeat with the other arm for one full repetition.
Things To Avoid: One of the main things you want to avoid with the standing alternating front dumbbell raises is to avoid raising the dumbbell too high above your head. You might see some people doing this exercise and they raise the weight way above their head, which is the incorrect way to perform this exercise. Raising the dumbbell too high puts additional tension on your trapezius muscles and your rotator cuffs and you only want to place maximum tension on your front deltoids. Make sure to only raise the dumbbell to about eye level when you reach the top of the movement. Then, slowly lower it down to the starting position. Avoid swinging the weight back and forth in a fast and erratic motion. When you swing the weight with your body, you are simply using way too much weight and you’re basically cheating on the exercise. Don’t allow ego to get in the way when doing this exercise. This is not a mass building movement and is more targeted as a shaping movement for your front deltoids so make sure you avoid using extremely heavy dumbbells since you don’t need them. Focus your attention on performing the exercise correctly and safely.
Reps and Sets: Since this is considered more of a shaping exercise and not a mass building movement, stick with higher repetitions of 12-15 reps per set. Overall sets should be in the range of 3-4 but make sure to adjust the total number of sets based on your fitness level. If you’re a beginner, you should focus on 1-2 sets of 12-15 reps.
Other Exercises To Use: A few great deltoid exercises to include with the standing alternating front dumbbell raises in order to hit all 3 heads of the deltoids are the seated barbell press and the seated bent over rear deltoid raises.