One Arm Cable Lateral Raise: Muscle Worked & Alternate

The single arm cable lateral raise is a variation of the lateral raise with you do with cable that help to build the muscles of the shoulders.

Using the cable pulley machine is helpful because it provides constant tension on the target muscle group as you move the weight through the range of motion.

The one-arm cable lateral raise is an isolated shoulder exercise that targets the lateral deltoids (middle head of the deltoid muscle) which is the rounded muscle at the very top of each shoulder. It also helps to increasing stability in both the wrists and the core.

You can use both arms while performing the exercise, but it’s often recommended to use just one to add more difficulty to your workout and stimulate more gains.

Deltoid (Shoulder) Muscles

The deltoid muscle of the shoulder consists of three separate sections or heads.

Muscles Worked During One Arm Cable Lateral Raise

Primary Muscle Worked: Lateral deltoid.

Secondary Muscle Worked: Anterior deltoid, Posterior deltoid, trapezius, supraspinatus.

A handful of other muscles worked or play the role of stabilizer muscles, include your

One Arm Cable Lateral Raise

Benefits of Single Arm Cable Lateral Raises

  • One arm cable lateral raise strengthening the side delts, that helps to stabilize the shoulders, which can help prevent future injuries.
  • Lateral Raises improve the overall aesthetics and definition of your shoulders. One hallmark of someone who’s in shape is having wide-toned shoulders.
  • A Single arm cable lateral raise can create better mind-muscle connection than raises using two arms.
  • The lateral deltoids play a part in stabilizing the weight when performing bench press or overhead press. By working directly on the lateral deltoids, there will be a transfer of strength to your other lifts.
  • One arm cable lateral raises are more evenly distributed, and you have more of a constant load on your shoulder muscles throughout the whole range of motion.
  • Cable machines are a safe and efficient tool to incorporate into your normal workout program.
  • It helps create balanced shoulder development between sides.

One Arm Cable Lateral Raise Exercise Guide

The one-arm cable lateral raise is an isolated shoulder exercise that targets the deltoids, while increasing stability in both the wrists and the core.

You can use both arms while performing the exercise, but it’s often recommended to use just one to add more difficulty to your workout and stimulate more gains.

This exercise targets the medial deltoid, which is important to building a complete set of strong shoulders.

How To Do Single Arm Cable Lateral Raise

  1. Stand next to a cable pulley machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and the handle attachment adjusted to the lowest setting.
  2. Select a weight that you can lift with only one shoulder.
  3. To maintain good posture, push your chest forward, and point your shoulders back while slightly bending both knees.
  4. Grab the handle and stand straight up with your arm fully extended and feet facing forward. Maintaining a slight bend in your working elbow, raise your arm up to shoulder height.
  5. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  6. Do at least 10–15 reps per set for each arm.

Single Arm Cable Lateral Raise Tips

  • Keep your torso still, your back straight, and your elbow slightly bent.
  • Don’t just swing your arms. Keep controlled motion throughout the exercise.
  • Always use weights that you can handle comfortably.
  • Allow the arms to move freely but don’t lock out the elbows.
  • If you want to keep more tension through the side delts, use a slightly slower eccentric than normal.
  • Incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program.
  • Rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups to allow sufficient recovery.

Training Volume (No. Of Reps and Sets)

Perform anywhere from 10-15 reps per set and 3-4 set of one arm cable lateral raise.

If you are going below 10 reps, you are probably using too much weight and are relying on muscles other than your shoulders to lift the weight.

Choose a weight you can lift with control using only your shoulders.

Modifications To One Arm Cable Lateral Raise

When performing one arm cable lateral raises, there are a couple of modifications you can make.

One modification you can make when performing one arm cable lateral raises is to turn your wrist and point your thumb down to the ground, as if you are pouring water out of a pitcher, as you lift the weight.

You can also make a second modification when performing one arm cable lateral raises by positioning your arm differently at the start of the exercise. You could start with your arm in front or behind your body.

The leaning lateral raise is the third modification, which helps to prove to isolate the lateral deltoid, letting it move through a more expanded range of motion.

Single Arm Cable Lateral Raise Alternative

Before we deep dive into the best single arm cable shoulder raise alternatives. We must remember, a good one arm cable lateral raise alternative will be able to satisfy the following criteria:

1. Activate the deltoid muscle groups, which is trained in the single arm cable lateral raise.

2. Isolate the muscle groups during execution.

3. Train the shoulder muscle through a longer range of motion.

1. Lying Dumbbell Lateral Raise

If you are looking for some creative alternate of single arm cable shoulder raise to train your lateral deltoid, then lying dumbbell lateral raise is the best option for you.

The side-lying lateral raise increases strength and stability throughout the entire shoulder. This exercise more specifically targets the lateral deltoid.

Having a great lateral head will give the illusion of a super-wide set of shoulders.

Incline side laterals are perhaps difficult for beginners, but it is an interesting variation on conventional lateral raises.

Lying Dumbbell Lateral Raise

2. Dumbbell One Arm Lateral Raise

This dumbbell shoulder exercise is performed with one arm at a time. Dumbbell one-arm lateral raise is an excellent exercise to isolate and build side deltoids.

It is the Simple and best alternate of one arm cable shoulder raise.

To build the middle head of the deltoid muscle, make dumbbell one-arm lateral raise a part of your deltoid exercises.

Dumbbell one-arm lateral raise

3. Cable Machine Y Raise

Another good single-arm lateral cable raise alternate is exercise is the cable Machine Y raise that you can do during your shoulder workout.

The cable Y-raise is a fantastic exercise for the whole shoulder that activates all fibers of the deltoid anterior, lateral, and posterior, but it mainly targets the lateral shoulder.

This lateral deltoid exercise combines horizontal shoulder abduction with external shoulder rotation. Strengthening the external shoulder rotators and the internal shoulder rotators.

Cable Machine Y Raise


What do single arm lateral raises work?

The single-arm lateral raise is a shoulder exercise that targets the middle head of the deltoid muscle. It’s a fundamental strength-training move and is a great option to work on your deltoid muscle.

How do you do lateral raises on cable one arm?

One-arm cable lateral raises are performed using a single handle attachment on the low cable pulley system. You will find this in nearly all gyms.

Is one arm lateral raise better?

The one-arm lateral raise is a unilateral exercise, and it is the best option for training the deltoid muscles. The primary benefit of unilateral exercises is their ability to evenly train both sides of the body.

It helps to avoid overuse, overtraining, or compensating with the dominant side, which can help to isolate and correct muscle imbalances, which in turn can help to prevent injury and facilitate rehabilitation.


Cable lateral raises are a great exercise to give a balanced shape to your shoulders and make them look broader.

Single Dumbbell Exercises To Train Your Shoulder

Leave a Comment