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How to Do Bent Arm Laterals

You need big shoulders to muscle your way through a crowded bar, a crowded bus, or a crowded boutique—this deltoid exercise will get you to the front of the line in no time.


  • Step 1: Sit on edge of bench Sit on the edge of a bench with your knees and feet together.
  • TIP: To add a degree of difficulty and involve more torso muscles, sit on a Swiss ball while doing this lift.
  • Step 2: Grasp dumbbells & position elbows Grasp the dumbbells and position your elbows at a 90-degree angle, palms facing each other.
  • Step 3: Lift elbows Slowly lift your elbows away from your torso until they reach shoulder height, so that your palms now face the floor.
  • TIP: Keep your torso ramrod straight—it focuses the lift on your shoulders, so you don’t use any back muscles to assist the movement.
  • Step 4: Lower elbows Slowly lower your elbows to your side.
  • Step 5: Repeat Repeat. Keep it up, and you’ll be pushing those shoulders through crowds in no time!
  • FACT: This exercise is also called 'beer cans,' because the motion of your arms mimics that of pouring beer out of a can.

You Will Need

  • Two lightweight dumbbells between 5 and 15 pounds
  • A bench or chair
  • Workout clothes
  • A Swiss ball (also called a physio ball)

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