The exercise that I will be covering today is called a standing lateral raise which we will complete with a rubber band. It is considered a tricep, back, and shoulder exercise and is typically done with various machines in the gym. Since I have emphasized that using heavyweights in the gym is not practical for someone with muscular dystrophy, I will give an alternative using a safe rubber band exercise. I will be discussing how to complete this exercise and provide videos for reference and explain possible benefits from completing this exercise. I want to emphasize that this exercise is one of many that can activate the many muscles I previously mentioned, so do not limit yourself to this exercise only.

Healthline’s article “6 Resistance Band Exercises for Shoulders” states that to complete the lateral raise, you need to:

  1. Stand in the middle of the band
  2. Hold the band in each hand with your palms facing down
  3. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows as you raise your arms to the side. Aim to have your shoulder reach a 90-degree angle
  4. Once you read the 90-degree angle, pause for a few seconds.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position and then repeat the exercise. 

Healthline’s article image crisscrosses the rubber bands, which is not something the following websites will. You can do it whichever way you would like. Bodylastics video “HOW TO DO Standing Shoulder Lateral Raise with Resistance Bands” emphasizes the need to bend the elbows, keep the arm somewhat straight, and keep the palms facing downward. Also, make sure you keep your chest pumped and back straight. Also, SKLZ’s video “Resistance Band Lateral Raises” shows a person completing this exercise by alternating the arms instead of doing them simultaneously. The video explains that you should not shrug your shoulders when completing this exercise. If you are, use a lighter band because performing the exercise incorrectly can have side effects such as increased tightness in the shoulders.

Having stronger shoulders, back, and triceps will help you maintain a better posture instead of remaining hunched over. Having a better posture impacts numerous aspects of your life. Stronger muscles in the areas will prevent injuries and pain. Combining various back and shoulder exercises with the standing lateral raise is the most effective way to increase muscle and mobility in these areas. Your shoulders may also look more defined, which would enhance your appearance as well. While I cover these benefits quickly, they have widespread implications in your life, so make sure to strengthen these muscles. 

For people with muscular dystrophy, stop this exercise before exhaustion as your body finds it more challenging to help muscles recover and grow. If you perform this exercise safely, I am sure you will witness some benefit. I enjoy this exercise and have integrated it into my upper body routine to activate muscles in the shoulder and back which are not typically used in other rubber band exercises.