The Machine Lateral Raise is an effective exercise for targeting the lateral deltoid muscles, which are located on the sides of the shoulders. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the correct technique, benefits, alternatives, and other essential details associated with the Machine Lateral Raise.



  1. Adjust the Machine: Set the seat height and handle position on the lateral raise machine according to your comfort and range of motion. Ensure that the handles are at approximately shoulder height.
  2. Seated Position: Sit comfortably on the machine with your back against the backrest and feet flat on the floor. Grasp the handles with an overhand grip, palms facing down.


  1. Lifting Motion: Exhale as you raise the handles out to the sides until your arms are parallel to the floor. Keep a slight bend in your elbows throughout the movement.
  2. Controlled Lowering: Inhale as you lower the handles back down to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner. Avoid letting the handles slam down or using momentum to lift them.
  3. Repeat: Perform the desired number of repetitions with proper form and control.


  • Keep your torso stable and avoid leaning forward or backward during the exercise.
  • Focus on using the muscles of the lateral deltoids to lift the handles, rather than momentum or swinging.
  • Use a weight that allows you to maintain proper form and complete the desired number of repetitions with control.


  1. Lateral Deltoid Development: The Machine Lateral Raise targets the lateral deltoid muscles, helping to build strength and size in the side of the shoulders.
  2. Shoulder Definition: By strengthening the lateral deltoids, the exercise can help improve shoulder definition and create a more balanced appearance.
  3. Shoulder Stability: Performing lateral raise exercises can help improve shoulder stability, which is important for overall shoulder health and injury prevention.
  4. Improved Shoulder Function: Strengthening the lateral deltoids can help improve shoulder function in activities that involve lifting and reaching, such as overhead pressing and throwing.

Muscles worked in Machine Lateral Raise

The Machine Lateral Raise primarily targets the lateral deltoid muscles, also known as the middle deltoids. These muscles are located on the sides of the shoulders and are responsible for shoulder abduction, or lifting the arms away from the body to the sides. Additionally, the exercise engages the following muscles to a lesser extent:

  1. Anterior Deltoid: The front portion of the deltoid muscle assists in shoulder abduction during the Machine Lateral Raise.
  2. Supraspinatus: This small muscle located above the shoulder blade helps initiate the abduction movement and assists the lateral deltoids.
  3. Trapezius: The middle fibers of the trapezius muscle, which run horizontally across the upper back, help stabilize the shoulder blades during the movement.
  4. Serratus Anterior: The serratus anterior muscles, located on the sides of the rib cage, assist in stabilizing the shoulder blades and supporting arm movement.

Overall, the Machine Lateral Raise primarily targets the lateral deltoids, but it also engages several other muscles of the shoulder complex to provide stability and support during the exercise.

Alternate names for Machine Lateral Raise:

  1. Machine Side Raise
  2. Machine Side Shoulder Raise
  3. Machine Lateral Deltoid Raise
  4. Machine Shoulder Lateral Raise


  1. Dumbbell Lateral Raise: Perform lateral raises using dumbbells to target the lateral deltoids with free weights, providing a greater range of motion and requiring more stabilization.
  2. Cable Lateral Raise: Utilize a cable machine with a D-handle attachment to perform lateral raises, providing constant tension throughout the movement.
  3. Resistance Band Lateral Raise: Use resistance bands anchored at floor level or attached to a high anchor point to perform lateral raises, providing variable resistance.
  4. Machine Shoulder Press: Use a shoulder press machine to target the deltoids from a different angle while still engaging the lateral deltoids to a lesser extent.


Incorporating the Machine Lateral Raise into your shoulder workout routine can help strengthen the lateral deltoids, improve shoulder definition, and enhance overall shoulder strength and stability. Focus on proper form, control the movement, and consider incorporating alternative exercises to keep your workouts varied and effective.

FB Profile

I like to explore things and while doing so I also love to write about a few of them. Currently I am in process of learning how to write proper articles.