START: "In the start position, I hold two dumbbells at my sides at arms' length, palms facing in," Beth says. "Maintaining a slight bend in my knees and waist to keep pressure off my low back, I lean forward very slightly." MOVE: Raise the dumbbells directly out to your sides, keeping your elbows bent 5-10 degrees. Stop once your arms are parallel to the floor, and bring the dumbbells together in front of you while keeping your arms parallel to the floor, an active range of motion called horizontal shoulder adduction. Once your arms are extended directly out in front of you and the weights are only a few inches apart, retrace that movement to return to the top point of the lateral raise: arms out to the sides, elbows slightly bent. Then lower the weights back down to your sides.
START: Set an incline bench at 30-40 degrees and lie on the long pad so that one side of your body is flush against it. Position your non-working arm so that the lower half supports your head; position your working arm, dumbbell in hand, to hang across your body, your elbow slightly bent and your palm down. MOVE: Contract your shoulder to lift the dumbbell upward, keeping your upper arm moving through the same diagonal plane throughout, so that it always forms a 90-degree angle with your torso. Retrace the movement back to the start position.
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The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.