How To Do Band Lateral Raises

Band Lateral Raise (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

Band Lateral Raises, or Side Raises, is a shoulder isolation exercise that is a variation of the more popular Dumbbell Lateral Raise. Using a resistance band for lateral raises is a great option if you’re limited on equipment (traveling for example) or to occasionally add some variety to your training routine.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do Band Lateral Raises including important coaching points, muscles worked as well as a few alternatives.

How To Do Band Lateral Raises

Equipment Needed

  • Resistance Band


  • Stand on the center of the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold the ends of the band in each hand*.
  • Keep your palms facing your body and your elbows slightly bent. This is your starting position.
  • Slowly raise your arms out to the sides until they are parallel to the ground.
  • Hold this position for a moment, and then slowly lower your arms back to the starting position.
  • Repeat this movement for the desired number of repetitions.

Coaching Points

If your resistance band is not long enough to use both arms at the same time, simply stand on the band and raise one arm at a time instead.

Keep your core engaged and avoid swinging your arms or using momentum to lift the band. This will help you to isolate the muscles in your shoulders and get the most benefit from the exercise.

You can adjust the resistance of the band by changing your stance or by using a band with different levels of resistance.


Some of the benefits of lateral raises include:

  1. Improved shoulder strength and stability: Lateral raises help to strengthen and stabilize the muscles in your shoulders, which can help to improve your overall upper body strength and stability.
  2. Improved athletic performance: Strong shoulders can help to improve your performance in sports and other activities that require upper body strength and stability.

How Many Reps?

The number of reps you should do when doing lateral raises with a resistance band depends on a few factors, including your level of strength and the strength of the band you are using.

In general, I would recommend 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps per set.

Muscles Worked

Side Raises work both the Delts and the Traps, but their primary focus is on the medial deltoids.

  • Deltoid (Medial, Anterior and Posterior heads)
  • Supraspinatus
  • Trapezius (if dumbbells are lifted slightly higher than shoulders at the top)

Band Lateral Raise Alternatives

If you’re unable to do Band Lateral Raises, for whatever reason, here are a couple of alternatives you may be able to replace them with.

Dumbbell Side Raise

If you simply don’t have a resistance band, but still want to do lateral raises, my first suggestion would be Dumbbell Side Raises (also called Dumbbell Lateral Raises).

All your doing is changing the piece of equipment you’re using, the movement itself stays exactly the same. (Cable Lateral Raises is another variation that works perfectly as a substitution too if you have access to a cable machine)

Barbell Upright Row

Upright Row

This isn’t an exact replacement, but Barbell Upright Rows are another good exercise that works the trapezius and deltoids.

So, if all you have to work with is a barbell (which I did when I first started my garage gym), Barbell Upright Rows are a suitable alternative.

More Links and Info

Horton Barbell has a growing Exercise Library including many more Upper Body Exercises

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