Egyptian Raise: A Unique Way to Train Your Shoulders

What is Egyptian Raise?

Egyptian raise is a variation of the lateral raise, a popular exercise that targets the middle part of your shoulder muscles, also known as the lateral deltoids. The lateral deltoids are responsible for moving your arms away from your body, and they contribute to the width and roundness of your shoulders.

Unlike the conventional lateral raise, which involves lifting both arms to the sides at the same time, the Egyptian raise is a unilateral exercise, meaning you only work one arm at a time. To perform the Egyptian raise, you need a dumbbell and a sturdy support, such as a column, a rack, or a cable machine. You hold the dumbbell in one hand and lean to the opposite side while holding onto the support with the other hand. Then you raise your arm to shoulder level and lower it back down, repeating for the desired number of repetitions before switching sides.

What are the Benefits of Egyptian Raise?

The Egyptian raise has several benefits over the traditional lateral raise, such as:

  • Increased range of motion. By leaning to the side, you create more space for your arm to move up and down, which means you can work your muscles through a longer distance and stimulate more muscle fibers.
  • Improved isolation. By working one arm at a time, you can focus more on contracting your lateral deltoid and avoid using momentum or other muscles to assist you. This can help you develop a better mind-muscle connection and enhance your muscle growth.
  • Reduced shoulder impingement. Shoulder impingement is a common problem that occurs when the rotator cuff tendons get pinched between the upper arm bone and the shoulder blade. This can cause pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility. By leaning to the side, you change the angle of your shoulder joint and reduce the risk of impingement.
  • Enhanced symmetry. Many people have imbalances in their shoulder muscles due to genetics, posture, or training habits. By doing unilateral exercises like the Egyptian raise, you can address these imbalances and improve your shoulder symmetry and aesthetics.

How to Do Egyptian Raise Correctly?

To perform the Egyptian raise correctly, follow these steps:

  • Grab a dumbbell in one hand and stand next to a sturdy support with your other shoulder facing it.
  • Place your feet together and hold onto the support with your free hand at chest height.
  • Lean away from the support until your torso is at an angle and your arm with the dumbbell is perpendicular to the floor.
  • Keep your arm slightly bent and your shoulder blade retracted.
  • Lift your arm up to the side until it is parallel to the floor or slightly higher.
  • Pause for a second and squeeze your lateral deltoid.
  • Lower your arm back to the starting position under control.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions before switching sides.


The Egyptian raise is a unique way to train your shoulders that offers several advantages over the conventional lateral raise. It increases your range of motion, improves your isolation, reduces your shoulder impingement, and enhances your symmetry. It is a great exercise to add to your shoulder routine if you want to build bigger and stronger lateral deltoids. You can use different weights, rep ranges, and tempos to challenge yourself and vary your workouts. Try it out and see how it works for you!

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