Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Traps, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Dumbbell 6 Ways (Raise) Overview

The dumbbell 6 ways exercise is a combination movement that combines a dumbbell lateral raise, dumbbell internal rotation, dumbbell overhead front raise, and dumbbell external rotation.

The movement is considered to be an intermediate exercise and puts the shoulder under a significant time under tension duration.

The exercise targets every head of the deltoid and would probably be best added to the beginning or end of your workout depending on what you hope to accomplish with the exercise.

Dumbbell 6 Ways (Raise) Instructions

  1. Select the desired weight from the rack then take a few steps back into an open area.
  2. Take a deep breath and raise the dumbbells to shoulder height using a neutral grip (palms facing in) while keeping the elbows slightly bent.
  3. Bring the dumbbells together at shoulder height and then lift the arms fully overhead.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position under control.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Dumbbell 6 Ways (Raise) Tips

  1. If you want to keep more tension through the side delts, don’t allow the weights to touch your sides and control the eccentric (lowering) portion of the movement.
  2. Keep the abs braced and don’t lean back or arch the back at the top of the movement.
  3. Allow the arms to move freely but don’t lock out the elbows.
  4. If you encounter pain within the shoulder while performing the movement, consider implement one of the following tweaks:
    • Tilt your pinkies slightly higher than your thumbs. Imagine you’re pouring out a cup of water.
    • Turn your palms forward so that your thumbs are pointing away from your body. This will put the shoulder in a more externally rotated position and potentially open up the shoulder joint to allow for a bit more movement.