Cable Front Raise: Muscles Worked, Benefits, Tips

If you’re looking to add some variety to your shoulder workout, the cable front raise is a great exercise to try.

The cable front raise is an effective exercise for building strength, size, and mobility in the shoulder muscles, particularly the anterior deltoids. During it, the other heads of the deltoid muscle group are also activated.

It is often used as a “finisher” exercise to induce the final bit of training stimuli into the muscle group after performing other, more intense exercises.

This post will cover everything you need to know about the cable front raise, including its benefits and proper form.

What is the Cable Front Raise?

The cable front raise is an isolation exercise, with the anterior deltoid muscle group being the main focus of this exercise. It is an excellent exercise for strength and conditioning in the deltoid’s muscle groups.

The cable front raise is mostly done by athletes and regular gym goers to make the anterior deltoid muscle bigger and stronger. The front cable front and similar exercises may also be added into a physical rehabilitation program.

Use light to moderate resistance, depending on your strength level and experience, to do this.

You can also perform the cable front raise using a rope attachment or a single stirrup, one arm at a time.

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Muscles Worked During Cable Front Raise

The cable front raise primarily works the deltoid muscles group. The deltoid muscle of the shoulder consists of three separate sections or heads. The anterior deltoid (In front), Lateral deltoid (at the side) and Posterior deltoid (behind)

Cable front raise

How To Do Cable Front Raise

  1. Attach a straight bar to a low cable pulley.
  2. Grab the bar using a shoulder-width or wider overhand grip.
  3. Stand close to the pulley with your body upright, your shoulders pulled back.
  4. Exhale as you pull the bar up the front of your body until the bar is at shoulder height.
  5. Hold for a count of two. Inhale as you lower the bar to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Pro-Tips for Cable Front Raise

  • Keep your shoulders back, chest out, and body upright.
  • Try not to bounce at the top of the movement, allow the shoulders to flex and then lower slowly. This is an isolation exercise, so the focus should be on form and muscle contraction, not weight.
  • Do not allow the handle to touch your body, and do not allow your body to move (or swing) throughout the movement.
  • Keep your back straight and your head up. Keep your body still. Only your arm should move.
  • Do not use your lower back to power through the motion. Use controlled movements to lift with your delts.
  • Pause for a moment at the top position.
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Cable Front Raise Variations

Utilizing the cable pulley machine is useful in that it provides constant tension on the target muscle group as you move the weight through the range of motion.

1. Single Arm Cable Front Raise

The Single Arm front raise is one of the most common shoulder exercises you’ll see being done because it is effective in building the front delts.

By performing the Single arm cable front raise exercise unilaterally, you’ll be able to focus on one side at a time. You’ll also be made aware of if you have any muscle imbalances that need attention.

How To Do Single Arm Cable Front Raise

  1. Attach a single grip handle to a low pulley cable machine.
  2. Stand facing away from the machine and grip the handle with your right hand using an overhand grip (palm facing down).
  3. For balance, stagger your feet. The foot in front should be the one that is opposite to your working arm.
  4. Keeping your elbow very slightly flexed, exhale as you raise the stirrup (handle) forward and upward in a semicircular motion until your arm is above horizontal.
  5. Hold for a count of two. Inhale as you slowly reverse the motion and lower the stirrup to the starting position.
  6. Repeat the exercise with your opposite arm.

2. Rope Front Raises

The rope front raise, as the name suggests, is a simple machine variation performed with the rope. It allows you to keep the resistance on your shoulders throughout the entire movement.

By emphasizing the front part of your shoulders, it increases strength and stability while promoting muscle growth.

Rope Front Raise

How To Do Cable Rope Front Raises

  1. Place the rope handle on the lowest notch. Stand over the rope and reach down with both hands and grab the rope.
  2. Bent slightly at the knees and pull the rope to your waist.
  3. Keep your arms straight and lift the rope up to shoulder height.
  4. Lower the rope back down to the starting position. This completes one repetition.

Benefits of Cable Front Raise

  • Build Muscle: Performing the cable front raise over a period of time increases muscular hypertrophy, improved muscular endurance and an enhanced neuromuscular control connection.
  • Aesthetic Benefits: When combined with proper rest, it improves the deltoid muscle groups size and shape.
  • Improved Posture: Performing the cable front raise helps to posture, both in terms of their ability to maintain said proper posture, and achieving the natural alignment of their spinal column’s curvature.
  • Provide Constant Load: Throughout the whole range of motion, cable raise provides a constant load on your shoulder.
  • Reduce Pain and Injury: For people who experience discomfort in their joints during the shoulder press, cable raises are a great alternative.
  • Safe and Efficient: Cable machines are a safe and efficient tool to incorporate into your normal workout program. The smooth flat resistance results in less wear and tear on the joints, especially the wrists, elbows, and shoulders.
  • Versatility: The cable machine shoulder workout offers almost unmatched versatility because you can change up the load, angle, grip positioning and body positioning easily.

Alternate of Front Cable Raise

Several alternatives do exist that either make use of different equipment that can create the same intended effect, or that only activate one side of the body at a time.

1. Dumbbell Front Raise

The more common free weight alternative to the cable front raise, the dumbbell front raise. It is simply a cable front raise that uses evenly weighted dumbbells to induce a similar training stimuli as the latter exercise.

This exercise can be done in the standing position or in the sitting position, with a pair of dumbbells. The seated version calls for strict form and prevents cheating. This exercise can be done in an alternating movement or both hands together.

Front Raise

2. Plate Front Raise

The Plate front raise exercise is a variation of the traditional barbell front raise that increases forearm and hand strength, while targeting your front deltoids. You can do the plate front raise seated or standing.

If you lift heavy, the weight plate front raise will significantly challenge your core and especially your lower back. Therefore, increase weight gradually to give your lower back time to adapt.

Plate front raise

3. Barbell front raise

The barbell front raise is a shoulder exercise used to target the front deltoids. Use of the barbell can allow you to overload the muscles to a greater degree than one may be capable of doing with dumbbells.

Barbell front raise

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