Incline Side Raise

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Incline Side Raise

Incline side raise is another great rotator cuff exercise. This movement contracts the supraspinatus, the muscle mainly responsible for initiating abduction. In other words, the supraspinatus initiates the arm raise, acting as a primary muscle during the first 15 to 20 degrees of abduction. Varying the initial position (dumbbell in front of or behind the thigh) allows you to work all the deltoid  fibres.

Keep in mind that the supraspinatus is best isolated when the dumbbell is raised from in front of the hips. Unlike standing raises, which progressively work the muscle to maximum intensity at the end of the movement (when the arm reaches horizontal), this exercise works the deltoid differently by focusing the effort at the beginning of the raise (during the early phase of the inclined raise).

Incline Side Raise Exercise Guide

STARTING POSITION (SETUP): Lie on your side on the floor or on a flat exercise bench with your torso inclined at 45 degrees. Your torso is supported by your underside arm. Grab a dumbbell in your left hand with an overhand grip. Place the dumbbell in front of the hip.

Incline Side Raise Exercise

Incline Side Raise Exercise

MOVEMENT (ACTION): Begin exercise by raising your arm straight up from your side until your arm reaches head height. Keep the elbow stiff throughout exercise. Pause, then return back down to the starting position and repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions. Switch arms.

Incline Side Raise Key Points

  • Raise the dumbbell upward from in front of your hips to head height.

Variation/ Substitutes

  • Cable lateral raise. The supraspinatus initiates the arm raise and is active during the first 60 degrees of the movement. To focus on the rotator cuff muscle, terminate the upward phase when your hand reaches chest level.

Muscles Engaged

  • Primary muscles: supraspinatus
  • Secondary muscles: lateral deltoid, anterior deltoid

Replacement Exercises

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