What do your shoulder sessions at the gym consist of? Do you undertake some form of shoulder press alongside upright rows, shrugs and lateral raises? Most individuals tend to include these four key exercises when undertaking a shoulder session.

Another exercise which should be considered essential and grouped with the four exercises mentioned above is the front raise exercise. An almost identical movement to that required of the lateral raise, however working in a different plane of movement, the front raise is an incredible way to ensure your anterior deltoids are worked beyond belief.

The front raise itself can be undertaken with a variety of resistance equipment. This can range from a double handed grip on either a barbell or weighted plate to a single grip with dumbbells. The single grip dumbbell option also allows you to work alternate sides independently should you so choose to do this.

For those of you those are unsure of how to undertake the shoulder front raise, keep reading as we talk you through this relatively straight forward yet effective exercise. For this particular example and subsequent video we have chosen to utilise a barbell;

How To Perform The Shoulder Front Raise Exercise
  1. Select a suitable weighted barbell which you can complete your desired repetitions.
  2. Grasp the barbell in both hands approximately shoulder width apart.
  3. Position the barbell in front of your upper legs with elbows straight.
  4. This is your starting position.
  5. Raise the barbell forwards and upwards until your arms are just above horizontal.
  6. Lower back down slowly. This is one repetition.
  7. Repeat until desired repetitions are completed.
Shoulder Front Raise Exercise Video

Throughout the movement ensure that your core muscles are activated and maintain a rigid foundation from which you can produce the required movement. Do not swing on the upward phase of the movement by thrusting your hips forwards as this will reduce the exercise effectiveness and may result in injury.

Always select a resistance that you can undertake the desired number of repetitions without loosing good form. Remember to keep your arms straight or with a slight bend throughout the exercise movement and ensure that the eccentric lowering of the barbell is always completed in a steadied and controlled manner.

Final Word

Although the shoulder press, upright rows, shrugs and lateral raises may always take precedent as the big four when it comes to a shoulder workout, the shoulder front raise really shouldn’t be forgotten or overlooked. When performed correctly, this exercise has the ability to add real strength and size through the anterior deltoid region and beyond. With all this in mind, next time you have a shoulder session planned, think the big 5 not the big 4!