If I had to pick one muscle group that was deemed to be the weakest area of the body on most people, it would probably be the shoulders. Many people forego specific shoulder training as the shoulders are involved when working the chest and back. However, I believe it is important to isolate the shoulder muscles, namely the deltoids. There are three deltoid muscles that “cap” your shoulder: the frontal, medial, and rear. Shoulder press exercises are very important because they train all three of the deltoids. However, I think it is important to train each of them individually, especially the medial deltoid, which is the largest and the prettiest of the three. A nicely defined medial deltoid is impressive because it shows that you are getting specific with your training. Probably the best exercise to train the medial deltoid is the Dumbbell Lateral Raise. Here’s how it works:

1. Pick a couple of dumbbells and stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells by your side at arm’s length with the palms of the hand facing you. This will be your starting position.
2. While maintaining the torso in a stationary position (no swinging), lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward as if pouring water in a glass. Continue to go up until your arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this movement and pause for a second at the top.
3. Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position as you inhale.
4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

For variation, this exercise can also be performed sitting down. It is very common in this exercise to arch the lower back to get the weight up once fatigue starts to set in. Care should be taken to avoid this cheating tactic as it can potentially strain the lower back while not targeting the medial deltoid properly. Try this one- it works!