Barbell Front Raise
The barbell front raise and all of its variations are fantastic for building up the anterior (front) of the deltoid.
If you want those round, cannonball style shoulders this is one exercise you cannot afford to neglect!
I recommend hitting the front raise after performing several sets of overhead press and side lateral raises during your shoulder workout.
Barbell Front Raise Form:
Grasping a barbell and stand straight with palms facing towards your body with a slight bend in your knees.
Maintaining your straight position proceed to raise the barbell in front of you with a slight bend in your elbows.
Raise the barbell until it’s at head height before holding for one second at the top of the repetition.
In a slow and controlled manner lower the barbell back down to your side and proceed for the desired number of repetitions.
Barbell Front Raise Variations
Dumbbell Front Raise
Grasp a dumbbell in each hand, proceed to raise each dumbbell in front of your physique with straight arms to head height before lowering in a controlled manner.
Seated Dumbbell Front Raise
The seated front raise with dumbbells is a great way of eliminating any potential swinging or use of momentum often apparent when performing the standing dumbbell or barbell front raise.
Here’s The Barbell I Use & Recommend…
I’ve been using one of these ‘The Beast” 7 foot olympic barbells in my home garage gym for the last 6 years, it’s affordable, high quality and gets the job done regardless of how many 45lb plates are loaded on it.
Check it out and invest in a high quality “The Beast” barbell here.
Common Barbell Front Raise Mistakes
Not hitting all parts of the deltoid
Your shoulder is not just made up of one muscle, the shoulder is comprised of 3 ‘heads’, these are known as:
- The anterior deltoid (the front of your shoulder)
- The medial deltoid (the side of your shoulder)
- The posterior deltoid (the rear of your shoulder)
If you are not training all 3 heads you will not get round, full shoulders.
Shoulder training is based around 2 main movements, presses and raises, the traditional dumbbell and barbell presses are a great starting exercise for your shoulder routine as they are a compound exercise (and therefore hit all heads of the deltoid) we can then hone in on the anterior, medial and posterior heads individually through different variations of raises.
Your stance should be shoulder width and you should maintain a slight bend in your knee (I have seen quite a few people performing standing shoulder exercises with locked out knees, however for stability and reduced risk of injury a slightly bent knee is superior).
At the bottom of the repetition you pause for a split second before proceeding with the following rep – no bouncing.
Using partial range of motion
Partial reps can be used to push yourself beyond your point of failure at the end of your set, however strict, full range of motion must be practised first.
Incorrect scheduling of your shoulder workout
I highly recommend having at least 1 day between your chest and shoulder workouts.
The flat barbell bench press, incline bench press and dips place a large amount of tension on the front deltoids (even though the chest is the primary muscle targeted during this exercise).
If you’re going straight from a heavy chest workout on Monday into a shoulder workout on Tuesday you won’t be getting the best bang for your buck out of your workout – your shoulders will be recovering and from my experience you won’t be able to lift anywhere near as heavy as if they were fresh.
Ongoing, excessive amounts of stress placed on the shoulders can result in a shoulder impingementwhich’ll have you out of performing the vast majority of upper body exercises for weeks if not months, not good.
If you’re strapped for time and can only train three times a week the push/pull/legs workout regime is an option which hits both chest and shoulders in the same (push) workout however if you’re able to train 5 days a week I recommend performing a split in the following order:
Alternatively, through a leg or rest day between your chest and shoulder workouts.
Similar & Substitute Exercises
- Dumbbell Front Raise
- Car Drivers
- Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise
- Dumbbell One Arm Side Lateral Raise