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Cable Front Raise: A How To Guide To Master Your Form

As I started my fitness journey once again, I find myself trying to remember all of the exercises I use to do. It really isn't easy getting back into fitness and exercise, especially after having a baby.

But, regardless if you are post-partum like me, or if you have never set foot inside of a gym, starting a new fitness routine can be a bit overwhelming. Actually, it just might be overwhelming even if you are a seasoned athlete. It's hard navigating an exercise routine, nutrition and just having an overall sense of balance in your life - that is, until you actually learn how to acheive it.

I firmly believe with patience, determination and routine, you can find balance in your life and life a happy, healthy and fit lifestyle. When I started thinking about this, I found myself asking myself 'Where do I start?' Well - the answer I came up with wasn't so simple...but, I pulled out my personal training handbook and flipped through it to find some motivation.

I came across one of my favorite exercises...the cable front raise. I figured I'd start here to give me some confidence since it was (at one point) on of my favorites.

Many of you might be thinking 'I've never heard of that exercise before, What is that?' Not to worry - I'll answer that question as well as the benefits of this exercise and other modifications if you can't perform it.

What is the Cable Front Raise?

The cable front raise is classified as an upper body isolation exercise with the anterior head of the deltoid muscle group being the main focus of the exercise’s resistance.

Due to the fact that the distal point of the exerciser’s body remains firmly in place during the entirety of the repetition, the cable front raise is also classified as a open kinetic chain movement, allowing individuals with weak or unstable stabilizer muscles to perform the exercise without much worry of injury.

Tip #2 - Why is the Cable Front Raise Performed?

The cable front raise is one of the most popular exercises that is performed by regular gym goers and seasoned athletes. Usually, they perform this exercise because it's a light training exercise for the deltoid muscles. Some athletes choose this exercise to improve muscle mass or to improve strength.

Here's a fun fact: Did you know the cable front raise is based on a similar exercise that is used in physical rehabilitation in order to repair soft tissue injuries? Yes! For real! It's also used to improve range of motion and to reinforce tissue that has been healed. It's truly amazing what our muscles can do if we exercise them and strengthen them.

How to do the Cable Front Raise

The Cable Front Raise is a pretty easy exercise to complete.

1. First, you will want to Grasp the straight bar on your cable machine and stand straight with palms facing towards your body with a slight bend in your knees.

2. Make sure you maintain a straight position. Then, go ahead and raise the straight bar in front of you with a slight bend in your elbows.

3. Raise the straight bar until it’s at head height before holding for one second at the top of the repetition.

4. In a slow and controlled manner lower the straight bar back down in front of your waist and go ahead and continue until you have completed the desired number of reps you want to achieve.

* I would recommend anywhere between 10 - 12 reps and 2 to 3 sets depending on your fitness level.

Are there Variations to the Cable Front Raise?

What I love about exercises is that there is such a variety of different variations of the same exercise out there. If you don't know if there's a variation, I'd recommended that you go ahead and research it. More than likely, there will be a variation you can do.

Let's say that the cable machine is out of order when you head to the gym. At first, you might be thinking: 'Oh no! Now what?!' - I've been there! It's terribly upsetting when the machine that you want is out of commission. But don't give up hope, you can still complete a variation of the same exercise! - Yes, really!

Even though a variation is not a direct replacement for the cable front raise, due to many factors such as angle, intensity and stimuli, it's still a good workout.

Here's a few variations:

Dumbbell Front Raises

The Dumbbell Front Raise is a free weight alternative for the cable front raise. It's pretty easy to complete as well. Instead of using a cable, you will use dumbbells that have equal weight in order to have the same effect as the cable front raise.

*If you don't have a good set of dumbbells, I highly recommend using Pone First Dumbbells. These dumbbells are made of a high-quality cast iron core to strengthen durability, toughness, and stability. It's designed so it will not break or bend after repeated use.*

Front Plate Raise

The Front Plate Raise is very similar to the dumbbell front raise, except it uses a weight plate instead of dumbbells. This exercise is great because it focuses on focused training to the deltoids while holding onto the weighted plate.

If you feel like you are up for a challenge, you could always use two equal weighted plates with one hand. I would also have to warn you, this might be VERY uncomfortable. You might struggle to grip the weighted plate well while trying to complete the exercise.

*If you want to completed the Front Plate Raise and are in need of weights, I highly recommend using Sporzon! Cast Iron Weighted Plates. These are designed with 3 large openings with strips on them for easy grip.*

Kettlebell Halo

  1. Begin in a standing position with good posture. Shoulders should be relaxed and positioned over the hips. Knees should remain straight but soft (not locked or stiff).

  2. Hold the kettlebell in front of the body, grasping the horns (the vertical sides of the handle). The handle should face down and the bottom or ball of the kettlebell faces up.

  3. Begin by circling to the right. Carry the kettlebell around the right side of your head and let the kettlebell drop down behind the neck. Finish the circle by bringing it around the left side of your head back to the starting position. You will be touching your hair—you almost want to mess it up as you come around.

  4. After you complete one full rotation, reverse direction. Begin by circling to the left and finish by coming around the right back to the starting position.

*Good quality kettlebells are needed for this exercise. I actually own one of Amazon Basics Kettlebell. I can tell you, one of the best kettlebells I have owned!*

Common Cable Front Raise Mistakes

Not Hitting All Muscles Of The Deltoid

The shoulder is made up of three muscles. When working on the shoulders, it is so important to be able to hit all three muscle groups, which are:

  • The anterior deltoid (the front of your shoulder)

  • The medial deltoid (the side of your shoulder)

  • The posterior deltoid (the rear of your shoulder)

If you don't have correct form, you aren't hitting all three muscles in the shoulders. Yes, there are only a couple of basic moves: presses and raises. And the traditional dumbbell and barbell press are an excellent way to start out working the shoulder muscles. It is through these types of exercises you are able to become stronger and therefore, be able to do different variations of raises.

Not Bending the Knees

When you are performing any kind of exercise, you should be thinking about your form. I've seen so many gym goers make the mistake of locking their knees when completing standing shoulder exercises. This is a huge mistake! It's so important to be able to slightly bend your knees to increase your stability AND reduce the risk of injury.

Using A Partial Range Of Motion

Again, I have seen a lot of this type of mistake at the gym. You aren't doing yourself any favors if you are only doing partial reps. It is so incredibly important to be able to complete the full range of motion. It is so much better to do 3 or 4 reps with proper form than to do 10 reps with bad form.

Do you have a favorite exercises from above? If so, comment and share below!

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