Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredCable
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull (Unilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Single Arm Cable Lateral Raise (Crossbody) Overview

The single arm cable lateral raise is a variation of the lateral raise and an exercise used to build the muscles of the shoulders.

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.

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

Single Arm Cable Lateral Raise (Crossbody) Instructions

  1. Position a cable at the lowest position possible and attach a single handle.
  2. Reach across your body and grab the handle with a neutral grip.
  3. Keep the elbow slightly bent and pull the handle across your body and raise laterally.
  4. Slowly lower the handle back to the starting position under control.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Single Arm Cable Lateral Raise (Crossbody) Tips

  1. If you want to keep more tension through the side delts, use a slightly slower eccentric than normal and keep some slack in the cable instead of allowing the weight stack to touch.
  2. Allow the arms to move freely but don’t lock out the elbows.
  3. 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.
    • Allow the arm to rotate during the movement so that the thumb is pointing up a peak contraction. 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.
  4. Keep the abs braced and don’t arch the back at the top of the movement.
  5. Don’t jut your head forward during the movement - this is about stimulation for a small muscle group. Focus during the movement and don’t rely on momentum.
  6. Allow the arm to move freely but don’t lock out the elbows.
Xiaoyi Sheng
Posted on: Mon, 01/17/2022 - 02:36

What if I don't have access to cable machine? Any other recommendations other than dumbbell lateral raise?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 01/18/2022 - 18:02

Let me know what you do have access to, and I'll throw some suggestions your way.

Posted on: Mon, 04/25/2022 - 15:00

I also don't have access to a cable machine, but do have dumbbells, barbell, rack and bench. Is there another exercise I can do to hit the same benefits?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:25

Seated lateral raises with the dumbbells, or very wide grip upright rows will target the side delts as well. If you have plates, you can use those as well for a unique challenge.

Posted on: Thu, 03/09/2023 - 23:19

You can use bands