What Is Underhand Front Raise? How Can You Do It?

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Written By Kathy Brewer

I am a certified personal trainer, and I take pride in helping people achieve their fitness goals through strength training, cardio, and nutrition. 





Did you know?

Your shoulder muscles will benefit greatly from the Underhand Front Raise exercises!

I have been doing this exercise for a couple of years now and I can easily say that my shoulders are now in great shape.

To do this exercise, you will need a weight that you can comfortably lift with one hand. This exercise is also known as a dumbbell front rise with an underhand grip.

Beginners as well as experts can start their morning routine with this exercise. Ideally, one is supposed to do 8 to 10 reps with 3 to 4 sets. 

In this article I will cover:

  • What is an underhand front raise?
  • How to do an Underhand Front raise?
  • What are the benefits of the underhand front raise exercise?
  • Best alternatives to underhand front raise
  • And much more…

So, let’s get started by learning more about this exercise…

What is Underhand Front Raise?

In comparison to different other exercises, the underhand front raise is executed with the supinated grip, which enables your elbow to move closer to your own body and helps in activating more of the front deltoid muscles. 

Additionally, the lower location of your elbows engages more upper pectoral muscles.

Both beginners, as well as skilled users, can benefit from the underhand front lift exercise. It is basic and straightforward to execute, and also incredibly effective.

If I try to explain it in simpler terms, the underhand front raise is an exercise that is done by lifting dumbbells in both your arms using an underhand grip and then stretching your arms upwards.

It helps in strengthening and improving your shoulders, chest, and arms. 

How to do an Underhand Front Raise?

Follow these simple steps to perform Underhand Front Raise – 

  • Stand tall with your back and shoulder straight holding dumbbells in both your hands at the level of your thighs. 
  • Lift the dumbbells up until you reach your shoulder’s level
  • Pause or stop at the same level for 1-2 seconds 
  • Take back your hands to the starting position where they are at the level of your thighs 
  • Continue with this pattern for about 8-10 reps, 3-4 sets depending upon personal fitness level and personal goals 
  • Take a minimum of 50 – 60 seconds of a break in between sets 

Benefits of Underhand Front Raise

Some of the benefits of Underhand Front Raise are – 

1. Toning of shoulder muscles

The underhand front raise is a shoulder-specific exercise that works the front deltoids, commonly known as the anterior muscle, as well as other shoulder muscle groups.

The underhand front rise increases the size and tone of your shoulders by engaging the anterior deltoid.

2. Enhancement of functional ability

According to the Sports Injury Clinic, shoulders assist you with daily tasks, particularly lifting.

Strong shoulders provide you the functionality and strength to lift, whether you’re putting something big on a shelf or pulling up boxes when you or a friend decide to relocate.

As you attempt to lift something heavy or catch something in the air, this can lessen your chance of straining.

3. Increases flexibility of shoulders

The underhand front lift enhances mobility by requiring the shoulder joint to move through its complete range of motion.

The underhand front raise workouts also work the pectoralis major and anterior deltoid, which are shoulder flexor muscles.

4. Improve and strengthens balance muscles

Although the underhand front raise primarily works the shoulder muscles, other muscles are also worked throughout the exercise.

Your upper back muscles are used in this workout as stabilizing muscles, which means they assist the deltoid in lifting weights. 

The erector spine, rotator cuff, and trapezius muscles are a few examples of the muscles in your upper back.

This workout also targets the muscles in your chest, including your pectorals and biceps, as well as the front of your arm.

The oblique and transverse abdominal muscles near the front of your abdomen are also used since they help to stabilize your body when you lift weights.

What muscles does Underhand Front raise focus on?

The one obvious advantage of not just this but all exercise is keeping you active for a longer period of time and revitalizing your body. But let us explore the exact muscles that get worked up while doing underhand front raises. 

This simple and straightforward underhand front raise exercise targets a number of your muscle groups including your shoulders, chest, and your arms. 

All of the muscles in your shoulder, including the deltoids, biceps, and triceps, are affected when you place weight on your hands and arms and draw them upward against the force of gravity.

This effect is heightened by the simple exercise we described. The underhand front raises exercise targets the anterior and lateral deltoid muscles in the shoulder, among other shoulder muscles.

Low rows and Australian pull-ups are two other workouts you can perform to strengthen your shoulders.

Your shoulders are not the only muscles that get worked out when you do this exercise. The muscles in your upper chest are also worked out along with back shoulder muscles. 

The serratus anterior and pectoralis major muscles in your chest are worked by this workout.

Working these muscles not only improves your health and fitness, but also your appearance because well-developed chest muscles look amazing.

3 Best Underhand Front Raise Alternatives

The Underhand Front Raise is one of the most effective exercises which has significant benefits but after several routine repetitions, it can get a little monotonous.

Below we will discuss some of the alternatives to this same exercise that can be performed to work out the same muscles.

1. Cable Front Raise

A gym cable machine is required for the first form, and this alternative is excellent for the anterior deltoid since it isolates the muscles and works them more vigorously.

Cable Front Raise

Simple steps to perform Cable Front Raise

  • Connect a straight bar to a low cable and the cable machine then change the weights on the machine.
  • Place the cable between your legs and the machine behind your back while holding the bar with the underhand grip.
  • Start lifting the bar up till your arms are at shoulder level and pause there for a few seconds. At this point, slightly bend your elbows.
  • Return to your starting position and raise the bar once more. You can do as many reps as required or suggested by your health trainer. 
  • You should do this exercise in 4 to 5 sets with 6 to 8 reps per set for the best results.

2. Underhand Barbell Front Raise

The difference between the second variation’s exercise and the first one we described is that you will be using a barbell rather than dumbbell. This will put the same level of pressure on your chest working chest muscles. 

Underhand Barbell Front Raise

Simple steps to perform Underhand Barbell Front Raise

  • Stand up straight while gripping the barbell with an underhand grip at the level of your thighs after adjusting its weight with the proper weights.
  • Pause as soon as you raise the barbell to your shoulder level. 
  • Return to your initial position from where you started. 
  • Repeat this sequence until you have finished the required amount of reps, returning to her starting posture before returning to your shoulders.
  • You should do this exercise in 3 to 4 sets with 8 to 12 reps per set for the best results.

3. Plate Front Raise 

This alternative of Underhand Front Raise is done with the help of a weight plate. Hold a weight plate while standing straight so that your arms are facing each other. 

Plate Front Raise

Simple steps to perform Plate Front Raise – 

  • Stand up straight in front of the plates
  • Keep your elbows slightly bent as you slowly lift the plate in front of you to around your head height.
  • Take a brief pause here, then gradually return the weight to its initial position.


The underhand front raise is an excellent exercise for strengthening the upper body, increasing shoulder mobility and stability, and reducing injury risk.

As you strengthen your core and pay attention to whatever muscles you are working on, it is acceptable, to begin with, lesser weights.

As your strength increases, gradually raise the weight.

Try out many variants to see which one benefits you the most and feels the best on your physique. Do not forget to give your body a full day to rest in between weightlifting exercises.

On your days off, mix up your workout with some stretching, balance training, or walking.

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