Barbell Front Raise: Your Guide To Safely Building Strong Shoulders

Are you struggling with developing strong front deltoids to complete your shoulder aesthetic? Do you want to achieve a better barbell front raise technique but don’t know where to start? Many people neglect their front deltoids in their workouts, which can lead to an imbalanced appearance. It’s a common issue amongst lifters and fitness enthusiasts. But there’s a solution to this problem- incorporating barbell front raises into your training routine can help you hit this muscle group properly. In this blog post, we’re going to walk you through the benefits of the barbell front raise, along with tips to improve your form and technique to ensure maximum gains.

Barbell Front Raise Summary

Graphic image of a fit man performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Barbell Front Raise Instructions

  • Grab the barbell in front of you with an overhand grip. Keep you elbows straight or slightly bent and fixed.
  • Then, raise your barbell forward and upward until your upper arms are above parallel with the floor.
  • Lower your barbell back to your hips.
  • Repeat this isolation exercise until your deltoids are fatigued

Video Tutorial

How To: Barbell Front Raise | 2 MOST COMMON MISTAKES! (STOP)

Barbell Front Raise Muscles

Target (Agonist)


Dynamic Stabilizers

  • None


  • Levator Scapulae
  • Trapezius – Upper
  • Wrist Extensors

Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the barbell front raise exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Barbell Front Raise

The barbell front raise is an excellent exercise to target the lateral deltoid muscle. This exercise works the lateral deltoid by having the athlete lift a barbell from a hanging position in front of the body up to eye level. As the barbell is lifted, the lateral deltoid muscles contract, resulting in increased strength and size. Additionally, this exercise also works the core muscles and stabilizing muscles of the shoulder, providing an all-around strength training benefit.

Tips for Performing Barbell Front Raise

The Barbell Front Raise can be an effective exercise to help you build strength and tone your shoulders. To maximize the effects of this exercise, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Perform Suitable Warm-Up Before You Begin Adding Your Heavy Weight. Not doing a proper warm-up is the most common way to injure yourself.
  • Perform The Minimum 3 Of 8-20 Reps For Hypertrophy. Now there are numerous theories about how Muscle Growth is brought on, they all come to an agreement that sets with 60-80% of your 1RM is going to lead to hypertrophy.
  • Have A Plan At The Gym. It is best to plan your training session in advance when you have an objective. If your goal is only to maintain, you ought to continue to have a plan when you start your workout.
  • Ensure you prepare your muscles with some dynamic movements before you begin your lift.
  • Complete the Proper Number Of Sets Utilizing Rest. Your objective, in the beginning, ought to be to do 3 sets to near fatigue. However, you can increase to 5 sets. If your muscle tissue isn’t exhausted at the ending of 3 – 5 something needs to change. Initially, you can increase the resistance to make each repetition tougher. Additionally, you can decrease the rest time in between your sets.

Benefits and Tips Video

3 Awesome Barbell Front Raises

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When performing the Barbell Front Raise, it is important to remember proper form in order to get the most out of the exercise and stay safe. To ensure you are getting the most out of the exercise, avoid these common mistakes.

  • Don’t Go It Alone. Your training partner may be an incredible driving force. A workout partner can certainly end up being useful spotter.
  • You Can’t Rush Your Training. When you speed through your training session you are likely to use poor technique and injuries.
  • Don’t Allow Yourself To Cheat. In most cases, cheating is using momentum rather than the strain of your primary muscle tissue. Occasionally, a little bit cheating on your final rep can be good to overload your muscle, although not for more than a handful of reps.

Find More Barbell Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

When looking for variations, complementary, or alternative exercises for the Barbell Front Raise, it is important to consider how the chosen exercises work similar muscles. Here are a few exercises that work similar muscles as the Barbell Front Raise and can be used as an alternative.

Barbell Standing Front Raise Over Head

Graphic image of Barbell Standing Front Raise Over Head.

The Barbell Standing Front Raise Over Head is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Barbell Front Raise. This exercise works the anterior deltoid, as well as the triceps, biceps, and forearms. It is performed by holding the barbell at shoulder width and lifting it up and over the head in a controlled motion. This exercise helps to further strengthen the shoulders while also increasing stability and range of motion. By adding this exercise to your routine, you can target the same muscles as the Barbell Front Raise while also strengthening the core and upper back muscles.

Barbell Standing Upright Row

Graphic image of Barbell Standing Upright Row.

Barbell Standing Upright Row is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Barbell Front Raise. It targets the same muscles in the shoulder and upper arm, but with a different range of motion. With the Barbell Standing Upright Row, you keep your elbows close to your body as you lift the barbell up to shoulder level. This exercise works the front and side deltoids, along with the trapezius and rhomboids. To make this exercise more challenging, you can add weights to the barbell or add reps. This exercise is a great way to build strength and endurance in the shoulder and upper arm muscles.

Barbell Wide Grip Upright Row

Graphic image of Barbell Wide Grip Upright Row.

The Barbell Wide Grip Upright Row is an excellent alternative or complementary exercise to the Barbell Front Raise. This exercise targets the shoulders, traps, and biceps while also engaging the core and upper back muscles. It involves gripping a barbell with an overhand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder-width and pulling the bar up to chest level. This exercise can help build strength in the shoulder muscles and increase the development of the upper body. It is a great option for those looking to build their upper body strength, as it requires strict form and engages a wide range of muscles.

Check Out These Top Barbell Exercises

Cable Front Raises

Graphic image of Cable Front Raises.

Cable Front Raises are a great alternative to Barbell Front Raises as they provide a more controlled motion and allow for isolation of the shoulder muscles. Using a cable machine allows you to adjust the weight as you go and also provides constant tension throughout the entire range of motion. To perform this exercise, you stand facing the cable machine with the cable attachment in each hand. Keeping your arms slightly bent, lift your arms to shoulder level, then lower them back down. Cable Front Raises can be done with a variety of cable attachments such as a rope, bar, or handle and can be done with single arm or double arm variations. This exercise is an excellent way to target the front deltoid muscles and is a great complement to the Barbell Front Raise.

Cable Seated Rear Lateral Raise

Graphic image of Cable Seated Rear Lateral Raise.

The cable seated rear lateral raise is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the barbell front raise. This exercise is performed while seated, with the arms out to the sides and a cable in each hand. The palms should be facing down, and the elbows should be slightly bent. As you raise your arms up and out to the sides, focus on squeezing the shoulder blades together at the top of the movement. This exercise helps to target the rear deltoid muscles, which are often underdeveloped when compared to their front counterparts. Therefore, this exercise can help to balance out the strength of the shoulder muscles, making it a great addition to any upper body workout routine.

Cable Single Arm Forward Raise

Graphic image of Cable Single Arm Forward Raise.

The Cable Single Arm Forward Raise is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Barbell Front Raise. This exercise works the anterior deltoid, which is the primary muscle targeted in the Barbell Front Raise. Unlike the Barbell Front Raise, this exercise requires more stabilization and balance, which makes it a great choice for those looking to work on their core strength. Additionally, due to its single arm nature, it can be done with lighter weights, making it an excellent choice for those who are new to weight training and looking to build up their strength.

Find More Shoulders Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

To ensure a balanced workout, it is important to incorporate exercises that target the opposite muscle groups of those used in the Barbell Front Raise. This will help you to achieve better posture, increased strength, and improved overall body balance. Below are some exercises that work the opposite muscles as the exercise Barbell Front Raise.

Lever Chest Press (Machine)

Graphic image of Lever Chest Press (Machine).

The Lever Chest Press (Machine) is an excellent complementary exercise to the Barbell Front Raise. It works the opposite muscle groups by pushing instead of pulling, strengthening the chest muscles, shoulders, and triceps. The Lever Chest Press also increases stability in the core and helps to improve posture. Additionally, it is great for increasing range of motion as it allows for a deeper stretch than a Barbell Front Raise. By doing both exercises, you are not only targeting opposing muscle groups but also improving overall strength and stability.

Chest Dip

Graphic image of Chest Dip.

The chest dip is a great complement to the barbell front raise exercise. It works the opposing muscle group of the chest, the back, and helps to even out muscle imbalances caused by the front raise. The chest dip requires the use of a dip station or bench with parallel bars. To perform the exercise, start by standing up in between the bars and gripping them firmly. Then, slowly lower your body down until your elbows are bent and your chest is close to the bars. Push yourself back up to the starting position, focusing on engaging your back muscles as you do. By alternating between these two exercises, you can maximize strength and muscle building in both the chest and back.

Assisted Wide Grip Chest Dip

Graphic image of Assisted Wide Grip Chest Dip.

The Assisted Wide Grip Chest Dip is an excellent exercise to complement the Barbell Front Raise. This exercise targets the chest muscles, specifically the pectoralis major and minor, while also engaging the triceps and anterior deltoids. It is a great way to strengthen the opposing muscle group of the Barbell Front Raise and allow for a balanced upper body workout. This exercise can be performed either with a dip station or with a band or cable machine. By using the assistance of either a dip station or band/cable machine, it allows for a deeper range of motion and more control over the movement.

Elevate Your Upper Body with Barbell Front Raises

To add some definition to your upper body, incorporating barbell front raises into your workout routine can be extremely beneficial. This exercise targets the front part of your shoulder muscles, which are often neglected in other upper body workouts. Standing with a barbell in your hands, lift it up to shoulder height and then slowly lower it back down. The controlled movement will activate those muscles and help sculpt your arms and shoulders. Be sure to start with a light weight and focus on proper form to prevent injury and maximize results.

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Shoulders Barbell Exercises

Pin image for barbell front raise post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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