Front Raises with a Barbell
Deltoid and Shoulder Exercises

Most people perform shoulder front raises with dumbbells, but you can also do this shoulder exercise with a barbell or body bar.

There are slight differences between dumbbells and a barbell.

Because the dumbbells are not connected, they are generally less stable than a barbell. Since dumbbells are harder to control, most people have to use a lighter weight with dumbbells.

With a barbell it's harder to vary your grip and shoulder position, but it's usually easier to lift more weight when using a barbell.

Below are pictures of front raises with a barbell or a body bar.

Shoulder Exercises

Starting Position: Begin by grasping a barbell or body bar with your palms facing down. Keep your arms about shoulder width apart. Slightly bend your knees and keep your back in good posture.

Form: While keeping your core muscles engaged, lift your arms up to shoulder height. Hold for a brief second and then slowly lower to the starting position.

shoulder exercisesshoulder exercises

shoulder exercisesshoulder exercises

Personal Trainer Tips: Posture is very important during this exercise. During this exercise, many people have a tendency to excessively arch the lower back, so make sure you keep your core muscles engaged.

Also make sure you move in a slow and controlled manner so that momentum doesn't take over.


You can vary your hand position to get a slightly different emphasis. Bringing the hands closer together will place increased emphasis on the anterior deltoid, and moving the hands farther apart than shoulder width will place more emphasis on the middle deltoid.

And remember you can also do front raises with dumbbells.


Both men and women can use this exercise in their shoulder workouts. You should simply use a weight that fits your fitness goals and ability.

Body bars start as low as 9 pounds and go up to over 20 pounds. Standard barbells weigh 45 pounds, but there are many different versions of fixed barbells that run from 10-100 pounds.

If you just want to focus more on general fitness, choose a weight that you can do 12-15 times. If you want to focus more on strength and muscle development choose a weight that you can do 8-12 times.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT

Learn More of the Best Shoulder Exercises

Go to the Home Page of All About Arm Exercises

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