Big 30 (Front Raise, Side Raise, Rear Delt Raise)


Big 30

The Big 30 is a giant set involving three very popular dumbbell shoulder exercises – Front Raises, Side Raises and Rear Delt Raises. This is an incredibly efficient and effective way to get in your shoulder supplementary work (and they will torch your shoulders).

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do the Big 30 along with important coaching points and alternatives.


How To Do The Big 30


Equipment Needed

  • Dumbbells

Muscles Worked

  • Shoulders – Anterior, Medial and Posterior Heads

Step-By-Step Instructions

  • Start in a standing position, feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbells in hand.
  • Begin by doing 10 Dumbbell Front Raises.
  • Once those reps are completed immediately transition into 10 Dumbbell Lateral Raises.
  • Once those reps are completed immediately transition into 10 Rear Delt Raises.

Coaching Points

The key to the exercise is to do each exercise back-to-back-to-back with no rest in between and without sitting the dumbbells down until all reps are completed.

Because all three exercises are done in a row you’ll need to use a lighter weight than you would doing each individually.


Big 30 Alternatives


If you don’t have dumbbells or you just want to change up your workout, here are a few alternatives for Big 30 that you can try out:

Curl and Press

Curl and Press is a combo movement that combines two exercises into one – Shoulder Presses and Curls. Most often done with dumbbells, they can also be done with a barbell as well.

If you want another exercise that will give you a lot of bang for your buck, Curl and Press is a great option.

Barbell Upright Row

Upright Row

Barbell Upright Rows work the entire shoulder similarly to how the Big 30 does.

If you don’t have dumbbells, they’re an excellent alternative for Big 30s.

Pro Tip: You can turn a Big 30 into a Big 50 by adding the dumbbell versions of both exercises that were just mentioned. After the Big 30, add 10 Dumbbell Upright Rows and finish with 10 Dumbbell Curl and Presses.


More Links and Info


If you’re looking for more shoulder exercises, go check out the Upper Body Lifts section of our Exercise Library. There you’ll find dozens of upper body exercises, all with complete detailed instructions.

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Ryan Horton

Horton Barbell was created by Ryan Horton who has served as a Sports Performance Coach for almost 20 years. My mission is to create a training resource to help as many coaches and athletes as possible maximize athletic potential.

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