Another point that came up at the Brad Schoenfeld event was a key training tip for the lateral raise.
This is an exercise I see performed incorrectly more than any other.
Firstly, I will state how people perform this exercise incorrectly before moving on to the correct way to perform the exercise.
Most people tend to bring their arms up straight, meaning their arms are perpendicular to their bodys.
If you quickly do this with your arm while simultaneously feeling the shoulder joint, you can tell it is actually the anterior deltoid (front deltoid) performing all of the work. This is obviously not our goal, as our purpose for the exercise is to stimulate the lateral head of the deltoid.
Secondly, people tend to keep their elbows locked out instead of a slight hinge. Naturally this causes people to lean back, placing the front deltoid directly under gravity even further.
Finally, most people keep their thumb higher than their little finger throughout the movement, meaning even more tension placed on the front deltoid.
Correct form- Firstly, I would recommend a very slight forward tilt, this immediately puts the medial deltoid directly under gravity. Secondly, you should have a very slight bend at the elbow joint. From this position, keeping your wrists in a fixed position, lead the movement from the elbows, bringing the elbows approximately to shoulder height, with your hands in front of you. Finally, your smallest finger shoulder be higher than your thumb at the top of the movement.
Imagine you have two cups of water in each hand and you are trying to pour the water out at the top of each repetition. At the top of the movement, by tilting the cups so that your smallest finger is higher than your thumb.
Obviously, water would be pouring out of the cups. This is a good mental cue to bear in mind.
The picture below is Alberto Nunez; in my opinion performing perfect form, I appreciate he is using plates rather than dumbbells, but the same form applies to both.