How to do Egyptian Lateral Raises

How to do Egyptian Lateral Raises

Welcome, fitness enthusiasts, to the world of Egyptian lateral raises! If you want to add variety to your shoulder workout routine, you’ve come to the right place.

This exercise is a unique variation of the traditional lateral raise. It helps build strength and definition in your shoulders while improving posture and athletic performance.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of Egyptian lateral raises, the proper form and technique, and how to incorporate them into your workout routine. So, let’s get started and discover why the Egyptians were onto something when it came to building impressive shoulders!

What is an Egyptian Lateral Raise?

Looking to add some serious size and strength to your shoulders? The Egyptian lateral raise is the answer you’ve been searching for! This isolation exercise targets the anterior, medial, and posterior deltoid muscles to achieve hypertrophy.

The best part about Egyptian lat raises is that they can be done almost anywhere – all you need is a dumbbell and something sturdy to hold onto, like a door frame. But, if you’re hitting the gym, you can also try the Egyptian cable lateral raise for some serious time under tension training.

If you’re bored with your traditional lateral raises, the Egyptian lateral raise is a perfect alternative or addition to your shoulder workout routine. It provides greater support and isolation for your deltoids and can help you achieve the massive, sculpted shoulders you’ve always wanted.

How to Perform Egyptian Lateral Raises

Follow these simple steps to perform Egyptian lat raises with perfect form:

  • Grab a lightweight dumbbell or plate – 5-20 lbs should do the trick.
  • Find a sturdy support beam or another solid object to hold onto.
  • Position your feet close to the support beam, with one hand holding the dumbbell and your other hand gripping the support.
  • Extend your support arm so you are leaning away from the beam.
  • Extend your weight-bearing arm to the side, keeping your core tight and your spine straight. Lean in slightly, allowing your arm to move naturally with your torso.
  • Raise your arm to shoulder height, focusing on the movement from your shoulders and upper back.
  • Lower the weight slowly, taking more time on the way down than on the way up for maximum muscle activation.
  • Aim for 10-20 reps per set, and adjust the weight accordingly. If you can’t do at least 10 reps, it’s time to lighten the load.
  • Switch sides and repeat the exercise for a balanced workout.
  • Do 4-6 sets on each side, depending on your training goals and upper body workout routine.
  • Keep your rest intervals short – at most, 30 seconds between sets. The exercise provides built-in rest for each arm, so take advantage of it and keep pushing yourself to achieve maximum gains.

With the Egyptian lateral raise, you’ll quickly build impressive shoulder strength and size. But remember to use proper form and technique for the best results!

Egyptian Lateral Raise Benefits

Benefits of Egyptian lateral raises: aesthetics, growth, joint health

The Egyptian lateral raise is a go-to exercise when sculpting impressive shoulder muscles. And it’s not just about looking good – this move offers many benefits for your fitness and joint health.


The Egyptian lateral raise is a great way to improve the aesthetics of your shoulders. By targeting the anterior, medial, and posterior deltoid muscles, this exercise helps create a well-rounded, balanced look that will turn heads in the gym. Plus, because it’s an isolated movement, you can focus on building those muscles to their fullest potential.


The Egyptian lateral raise also promotes muscle growth and hypertrophy in the shoulders. Also, using light weight and a controlled negative phase can create a lot of tension in the muscle fibers, leading to bigger and stronger deltoids over time. And because you can perform this exercise almost anywhere, it’s a convenient addition to any workout routine.

Joint Health

Perhaps most importantly, the Egyptian lateral raise can also promote joint health and stability in the shoulders. You can reduce your risk of injury and pain during other upper-body exercises by strengthening the rotator cuff muscles, which help stabilize the shoulder joint. And because this exercise allows for a full range of motion, it can also help improve mobility and flexibility in the shoulder joint.

What is the Egyptian Lateral Raise Good For?

The Egyptian lateral raise improves shoulder aesthetics, promotes muscle growth and hypertrophy, and enhances joint health and stability. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast looking to build impressive shoulder muscles or improve your overall fitness, the Egyptian lateral raise is worth adding to your workout routine.

What Muscles Do They Work?

Let’s talk shoulders! When building a well-rounded set of shoulders, it’s important to target all three heads of the deltoids: the anterior, medial, and posterior. And that’s where the Egyptian lateral raise comes in! This exercise is a shoulder-isolating machine that can help you grow those three muscles and achieve the aesthetics you’re after.

If you’re wondering which muscle does what, the anterior deltoid is responsible for raising your arm forward. In contrast, the medial deltoid is the largest muscle in your shoulder and helps with sideways arm movements. And let’s remember the posterior deltoid, which moves your arm back behind you. All of these muscles get a workout with the Egyptian lateral raise.

But this exercise isn’t just about the delts. It also strengthens your trapezius muscles and can even work your triceps and pecs as synergists, depending on your range of motion. But, of course, there are better compound upper body movements out there. Still, the benefit of the Egyptian lateral raise is in its isolation. It allows you to target your delts, especially the medial deltoid, which can sometimes be neglected in overhead presses.

How to Focus on Different Areas of the Deltoids

Adjustments to your lateral raise could be the key to targeting specific muscles. For example, a clinical study among bodybuilders found that rotating your humerus externally and internally during a lateral raise can shift the focus from the anterior, medial, and posterior deltoids and engage different synergist muscle groups.

In fact, researchers found that internal rotation of the humerus results in greater activation of the posterior deltoid, triceps, and upper trapezius. In contrast, external rotation increases activation of the anterior and medial deltoids. And while front lateral raises mainly activate the anterior deltoid and pectoralis major, the Egyptian lateral raise targets the full deltoid.

So, next time you do a lateral raise, experiment with these slight adjustments to your humerus rotation. With some practice, you’ll see a dramatic effect on your results!

Alternative Shoulder Exercises

These exercises will provide a fresh challenge! They can also help target different areas of the shoulders for a well-rounded workout. So, let’s look at some practical alternatives to Egyptian lateral raises.

Cable Egyptian Lateral Raise

If you’re looking for a way to spice up your shoulder workout routine, look no further than the cable Egyptian lateral raise. This exercise is an excellent alternative to the traditional dumbbell lateral raise. It provides a unique time under tension benefit to help you achieve those gains. Here’s a quick guide on how to perform this exercise at the gym:

  • Find a cable machine with a support structure
  • Set the weight between 10-20 lbs
  • Position yourself like a standard Egyptian lateral raise
  • Grab the handle nearest you with your free arm
  • Pull the cable up to shoulder height or close to it
  • Lower the cable slowly to your sides
  • Do 10-20 reps on each arm for 4-6 sets
  • Keep the rest interval no more than 30 seconds

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

The dumbbell lateral raise is an excellent alternative to the Egyptian lateral raise. It targets both sides of your deltoids and strengthens your core and latissimus dorsi muscles.

To perform the dumbbell side lateral raise:

  • Choose two smaller dumbbells or plates. Use less weight and aim for higher reps.
  • Stand with your knees slightly bent, back straight, and core engaged. Lean in slightly and keep your shoulder blades pulled back.
  • Lift both arms simultaneously to shoulder height, then slowly lower them back down.
  • Repeat for 10-20 reps and do 4-6 sets, depending on your workout goals. Avoid using too much weight that may compromise your range of motion.

You may also want to check out: EZ Bar Upright Row

What Type of Lateral Raise is Best

Well, the truth is, it really depends on your personal goals and the specific muscles you want to target.

The front raise is an excellent option if you’re looking for an exercise specifically targeting the anterior deltoids. The cable lateral raise is the way to go for those targeting the medial deltoids. And if you want to hit the posterior deltoids, the reverse fly is your friend.

But the overhead press is hard to beat if you’re looking for an all-around shoulder exercise that hits all three deltoid heads. It also incorporates the triceps and upper chest muscles. This makes it a great compound exercise for building upper body strength.

Of course, plenty of other shoulder exercises are out there, from the Arnold press to the Cuban press. So don’t be afraid to mix it up and find what works best for you. The key is to focus on proper form and control. Then work on increasing the weight and intensity to continue challenging your muscles.

Egyptian lateral raise vs lateral raise: Egyptian raises are unilateral and better target the lateral delts.

The Egyptian Lateral Raise

The Egyptian lateral raise is an excellent exercise to add to your shoulder routine. It targets the deltoid muscles and can help you achieve those toned shoulders you’ve been working towards. Remember to use proper form and start with lighter weights, focusing on increasing the weight as you progress. And remember to mix it up with other shoulder exercises to keep your routine fresh!

If you’re looking for more workout ideas, remember to check out the free workout plans on our site. These plans are designed to help you achieve your fitness goals, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gym-goer. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get those shoulders working!

In 2013 I attended TVCC with my studies focusing on nutrition and biology. After leaving TVCC I pursued a career in inbound marketing and have worked in many different industries including health and fitness, firearms, coaching, and many more. I spent 6 years training for powerlifting and 6 years after training for a bodybuilding show in Idaho, which sadly did not come to fruition.

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