Why The Cable Front Raise Is An Efficient Delt Exercise

A complete guide to a great exercise in the cable front raise.

We often look to those free weights exercises to boost growth in all our muscles, but the cable front raise is not one to ignore. Using cable machines, and other machines for that matter, will enhance our gains in a different way by providing for more support and the ability lift more weight as a result. Machines and cables allow for increased time under tension, thus building your muscles and giving you the most effective workout possible. With plenty of exercises to perform, you get the best of both worlds with an exercise like the cable front raise.

Working our shoulders are important for these are pivotal points of attachment and support for our arms to our trunks. By working our shoulders as effectively as we can, we start to build strength for sport specific movements while also working on posture, balance, and improving everyday activities. The right approach with something like cable machines can better help us tackle our gains for the better.

Let’s take a look at the cable front raise and see what makes this exercise so great. As an efficient delt exercise, we’ll get into what it is, what muscles get worked, the benefits around it, and how best to perform it so you can see those great gains you want most.

cable front raise

What Is The Cable Front Raise?

The cable front raise is an isolation exercise designed to target your delts so you see great growth. One nice component to this exercise is that given the nature of the movement, you can work weak or unstable muscles around your delts without fear of further injury, thus progressing your gains forward. You can perform this exercise with a handle or attachment for both hands to be used at the same time, or something more unilateral to work each delt individually.

Muscles Worked

The primary muscle targeted with the cable front raise are your delts, however, other muscles do get a little work given the nature of the movement. Your upper and lower back, forearms, and a portion of your upper chest will be required to help with the movements, although you may not see substantial growth like in your delts.

cable front raise

Benefits Of Cable Front Raise

The benefits around the cable front raise include a host of valuable advantages to make you include this in your workout. From strength, size, aesthetic, and more, this is definitely not something to take away from your routine.

Benefits of the cable front raise include:

  • Better shoulder development: By working your entire delt muscle, you start to build overall shoulder development to see those gains take shape and allow yourself to feel strong and stable.
  • Increased strength and size: Working these muscles to the point where they will grow, you will get stronger and your shoulders will get bigger for overall better strength and size (1).
  • Improved posture: Our shoulders are important for our posture and by working them, you start to build better overall support for our postural needs (2).
  • Reduced risk of injury: Working those stabilizer muscles surrounding the main delt muscles, you build them up so they better can handle an increased load as you look to reduce your risk of injury.
  • Use a cable machine: Using machines can benefit you in the long run and allow for the best when it comes to adding time under tension and other useful resistance with your exercises.
  • Plenty of variations: This exercise has plenty of variations to diversify and add variety to your workout so you only see effective gains without sacrificing anything.
  • Promote upper body aesthetic: You want to look good and working with those stronger, more rounded shoulders will only make your aesthetic pop even more.

How To Perform It

Here are the steps for performing the cable front raise. Form is key and you want to make sure a focus is on technique to see effective growth and limited risk of injury.

  1. Set your desired handle and weight on the pulley machine.
  2. Facing away from the machine, grab the handle with your palms facing down. Once in your starting position, engage your core and set your feet so you feel planted on the ground.
  3. When ready, lift your arms as if performing a traditional front raise exercise. Your arms will be parallel to the floor at the top. You can have a slight bend in the elbow as well to help with form and control.
  4. With a controlled motion, lower back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for your desired number of sets and reps.

shoulder mobility

Cable Front Raise Alternatives

Aside from this great exercise in the cable front raise, knowing what alternative exercises will work best for you can greatly improve all your gains. By opening yourself up to the possibility of alternative exercises, you start to add variety into your workout so you see those gains you want most while still challenging the targeted muscle group.

Alternative exercises to the cable front raise include:

  • Barbell Shoulder Press
  • Dumbbell Front Raise
  • Kettlebell Angled Press
  • Shoulder Press Machine
  • Arnold Press
  • Incline Dumbbell Front Raise

Best Exercises To Pair With

Along with alternatives exercises, knowing which exercises pair well with the cable front raise will allow you to build those shoulders and other upper body muscles so you see great gains to strength, size, and aesthetic. Mixing in those great boulder shoulder workouts will prove most effective. Exercises like the cable upright row and Viking press have the ability to push you through a serious workout. Lateral raises will help target your delts and build both sport specific and functional strength (3).

Wrap Up

The cable front raise is a great exercise to build those delts so you see only the best gains. Working on form and putting an emphasis on the amount of resistance will better prepare you for what comes your way. Give this exercise a try and see what it can do for all your gains as you seek the best for your shoulder and overall delt development gains.

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*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Lopes, J.; et al. (2019). “Effects of training with elastic resistance versus conventional resistance on muscular strength: A systematic review and meta-analysis”. (source)
  2. Lee, D.; et al. (2017). “Changes in rounded shoulder posture and forward head posture according to exercise methods”. (source)
  3. Stiggins, C.; et al. (1987). “Side lateral raises”. (source)
Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.