Cable Front Deltoid Raise (One-Arm Cable Front Deltoid Raise)
The cable front deltoid raise is a great way to target the front deltoids with constant tension from the cable to maximize front delt muscle fiber involvement.
Low-pulley front raise is a variation of the front raise, one of the standard shoulder exercise movements. You can perform cable front deltoid raise using D-handle, rope, and short bar attached to the low-pulley. That means that you are able to perform cable front raises with both arms at once (simultaneously) or with just one arm at a time (if you use D-handle attachment). On the one-arm version you can extend the range of motion by going past parallel at the top of each repetition. Using cable (instead of dumbbells or barbell) you will achieve constant resistance throughout the movement. The front raise is a good exercise to superset with a shoulder pressing exercise.
Correct Exercise Performance
STARTING POSITION (SETUP): Attach a D-handle to a low pulley cable and stand close to but facing away from the weight stack. Hold the handle with your right hand using an overhand grip (palm facing down). Keep your eyes forward and hold the handle just off your thighs pulling weight off the stack.
EXERCISE EXECUTION (MOVE): Lift your arm straight in an arc to head height (around shoulder height or little above). Keep your elbow in position throughout the movement (a slight bend on the elbow is allowed). Pause, then slowly lower back to the starting position. Complete the prescribed number of repetitions with your right arm, then immediately switch hands and do the same number with your left arm.
Cable Front Raise Tips & Common Mistakes
- Keep your body stationary (avoid swinging your torso as your lift the weight). It may help to bend your knees slightly as you perform the lift.
- Do not allow the weight to touch your body or the stack to drop.
- Keep your wrists straight with your palms facing down and maintain a slight bend in the elbow.
- Concentrate on only moving at the shoulder joint to complete each repetition. Also, remember that this is an isolation exercise, so the focus should be on form and muscle contraction, not weight.
- Common mistakes: rocking your body forward to help you lift a heavy weight and jerking on the cable, removing the resistance.
Muscles Engaged in Cable Front Deltoid Raise
Low-pulley front raises contracts the deltoid (mainly the anterior deltoid) as well as the clavicular head of the pectoralis major and, to a lesser degree, the short head of the biceps brachii.
- Main muscles: deltoid (front), coracobrachialis
- Secondary muscles: pectoralis major (upper), deltoid (middle and rear), biceps, serratus anterior, trapezius (middle and upper)
- Antagonists: latissimus dorsi, teres major and minor, pectoralis major (lower), triceps
- Standing Rope Cable Front Raise. Stand with the low pulley just behind you, the cable running through your legs. Hold the rope with a neutral (palms facing each other) grip. The technique is the same as the basic exercise. Using two hands will save you a little time, but it puts a lot of strain on the lower back. It is not recommended for people with any problems in that area.
- Short (Straight) Bar Cable Front Raise. The technique is the same as the basic exercise, but you will be holding the bar with both hands and the cable will run between your legs.
To target your front deltoids you can substitute front raise movement with any type of shoulder press movement (using barbell, dumbbells, machines). We propose one of these front deltoid exercise:
- Seated dumbbell shoulder press
- Behind the neck shoulder press
- Seated barbell shoulder press – front military press
- Machine shoulder press
- Variable-grip dumbbell shoulder press
When you perform the exercise unilaterally or bilaterally using a low cable pulley you will have more fluid resistance, which is less traumatic for the joint. That’s why this is the best variant to perform front raises.
Furthermore, this exercise can also be done with two arms (using a bar or rope), but using only one has the advantage of reducing the strain on your back.
As is usually the case with cable exercises, the main difference from dumbbells or free weights in general is that you will achieve constant resistance throughout the movement.
You can do this exercise using a rope handle, with the position of the hand neutral during the raise, which some people find helps isolate the front of the deltoid. In this case, you should never fully extend your elbow.