Plate Front Raise Exercise Guide: How to, Benefits, and Alternatives

plate front raise
Image via YouTube @BroserBuilt

Here’s everything you need to know about the plate front raise. 

If you want to look broader and build an aesthetically pleasing physique, you’ll want to get your shoulders as yoked as possible. That’s because the bigger your deltoids (shoulder muscles), the wider your frame will be and the more enhanced your V-taper — shoulder-to-waist ratio will be. This is known as the Adonis belt, and it’s essential for bodybuilders and any man looking to take their physique to Greek-God status. The plate front raise is an excellent exercise for targeting your shoulders. 

The plate front raise specifically targets your anterior deltoid. It’s a good movement for improving your shoulder strength and keeping your shoulder girdle healthy. This article will cover instructions on how to do them, the benefits, and some alternative exercises. 

Plate Front Raise Technique and Muscles Worked 

The plate front raise targets the front deltoid muscle of your shoulders. It helps build strength and muscle mass in your shoulders, improves your shoulder mobility, and keeps your shoulder healthy. In addition, it’ll engage your core muscles. It’s akin to the dumbbell front raise, except you’ll be holding a plate. 

How to Do 

  1. Start by finding a plate that matches your strength level (5 lbs, 10 lbs, 25 lbs, 35 lbs, or 45 lbs).
  2. Grasp the plate with your hands on opposing sides of the plates — you want to be in a shoulder-width stance. 
  3. The plate should be resting on your thighs, and you should be standing upright — this is your starting position. 
  4. While keeping your arms straight — with a slight bend in your elbows to protect your shoulders — raise the plate until your arms are parallel to the ground and pause for a second. 
  5. Next, lower the weight back to the starting position. 
  6. Repeat for the desired reps. 

*Note: Avoid using jerking motions while performing this exercise. Keep your back straight and only use your shoulders to raise the weight while keeping your body as stable as possible. 


plate front raise benefits

There are many benefits to adding the plate front raise to your training plan. 

Improve Shoulder Strength and Mass

Adding plate front raises to your routine will help you build strength and muscle mass in your shoulders. 

Chest Strength

Electromyographic analysis showed that front raises also engage your chest muscles (1). 

Good for Rehab

The plate front raise is a good exercise often recommended to rehabilitation patients to improve soft tissue injuries. It’s a shoulder exercise that keeps the weight light with a limited risk of injury. And it helps strengthen and enhance the function of your shoulder joint. The shoulder joint is a joint that’s easily injured, so including exercises that isolate each deltoid to enhance them will prevent injury. 

Increase Range of Motion 

The plate front raise will improve your shoulder mobility and flexibility. This will further protect your shoulders from injury. And it will also enhance your performance in other movements that use your shoulders, such as barbell shoulder press and dumbbell bench press

Improve Core Strength 

The plate front raise will increase the tension placed on your core to help stabilize the weight and control the movement. 

Improve Posture

Adding the plate front raise to your shoulder workout will improve your posture. It will help keep your upper back and shoulders from rounding or protracting. This will be healthier for your spine. 

Athletic Performance

If you’re an athlete that requires shoulder strength, such as a tennis player or baseball player, this will improve your athletic performance. Also, think of an offensive lineman who needs to block a defensive end; they need that pushing strength to hold off their opponents to protect their quarterback — and strong deltoids attribute to that pushing strength ability. 


Your shoulder muscles play a significant role in your aesthetics. Training your front deltoid will improve your aesthetics, which is vital in bodybuilding. The stronger and more muscle mass you can develop for your shoulders, the wider your frame will be, making your waist appear trimmer — enhancing your V-taper. 

Plate Front Raise Alternatives 

Here are some alternative exercises to the front cable raise. 

Dumbbell Front Raise 

The dumbbell front raise targets the same muscles as the plate front raise, except it’s done with dumbbells, so it requires more wrist rotation. And since the weights aren’t connected, it’ll engage more of your core and stabilizer muscles. 

Barbell Front Raise 

The barbell front raise also targets the front delt. And it allows you to use heavier weights since it’s performed with a barbell

Cable Front Raise

The cable front raise engages the same shoulder muscles. Since the front cable raise is done on a cable machine, there won’t be a portion of the lift that’s easier than the other. That’s because the cable machine gives you constant tension throughout the entire range of motion. For example, if you were to perform this movement with dumbbells, you would notice some portions where the load feels lighter. 


Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the plate front raise. 

Is the plate front raise effective? 

Yes, it’s an effective exercise for engaging your anterior delts to improve your shoulder strength, rehab muscle tissue, and protect your shoulder joint from injury. 

What muscles does the plate front raise work? 

The plate front raise engages your anterior deltoid muscles. 

What are the benefits of front raises? 

There are a few variations for front raises — plate front raise, cable front raise, and dumbbell front raise. They’re all designed to strengthen your anterior deltoid. 

What are plate raises good for? 

Plate raises are excellent for targeting your front deltoid shoulder muscle to improve your posture and athletic performance. 

More Exercise Guides

The plate front raise is an excellent front raise variation to mix into your shoulder routine. Here are some other exercises we recommend you add to your workout plan as well:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more exercise guides! 


  1. Coratella, G., Tornatore, G., Longo, S., Esposito, F., & Cè, E. (2020). An Electromyographic Analysis of Lateral Raise Variations and Frontal Raise in Competitive Bodybuilders. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(17), 6015.
Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.