How to do a Front Shoulder Raise

What is a Front Shoulder Raise?

Shoulder Raises are a popular exercise for your shoulders that are often accompanied by dumbbells. There are generally two directions this movement is performed; laterally (to the sides) and anteriorly (towards the front). For years I didn’t know that Shoulder Raises can be performed by only using your bodyweight and a towel, and once I learned the movement, it quickly became one of my favorite exercises for my shoulders. The Front Shoulder Raise is a shoulder strengthening exercise and instead of using a dumbbell, you use a towel and a little bit of physics. You can provide plenty of resistance in this movement for your shoulder simply by pulling down on the towel with your opposite hand. 

The following muscle groups are engaged when performing Front Shoulder Raises:

  • Shoulders

How to Do a Front Shoulder Raise (Instructions):

Start in a standing position while holding a towel in both of your hands. Raise your right arm directly in front of you until it is parallel to the floor, while holding the end of the towel in your left hand near your left leg. For resistance, pull the towel backwards with your left hand. Lower your right arm to the middle of your leg. Repeat the movement by raising your left arm parallel to the ground in front of you, pulling the towel backwards with your right hand. Repeat.

Trainer Tips for Front Shoulder Raises: 

  • Progression (make harder)
    • Increase the resistance by pulling harder with the hand that is down near your leg. 
    • Pause for 2 seconds at the top of the movement.
    • Perform the movement slowly. Count to 2 on the way up, and count to 4 on the way down.
  • Regression (make easier)
    • Decrease the resistance by not pulling as hard with the hand that is down near your leg. 
  • Application:
    • Perform 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of the movement. 

Front Shoulder Raises are used in the Layman’s Fitness 12 Week Bodyweight Program, which you can learn more about here.