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Underhand Front Raise [Exercise Guide]

upright front raise

What Is A Underhand Front Raise 

The underhand front raise is a great shoulder exercise with simple technique and strong effect. The exercise’s main distinctive feature is the underhand grip. What does it add to the movement? First of all, elbows become more active and are tucking in more. Secondly, the stress shifts to the upper chest, front delts, and biceps. And finally, the movement strengthens your grip. Using an underhand grip, you maximize your muscle-building potential. Regular practice can make your upper body stronger and increase your muscular mass.

What Muscles Does Underhand Front Raise Work

The primary focus of the underhand front raise is the anterior deltoid and upper pecs.

Also, the exercise works:

  • shoulders (all three deltoid heads)
  • upper chest (pectoralis major and serratus anterior)
  • biceps

How to Perform Underhand Front Raise

Step 1. Get into the starting position

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Begin exercising by grabbing your dumbbells with an underhand grip (palms facing you).

Step 2. Bring your weights up

Lift the weights to your chin level. Focus on the wall in front of you while you do lifts. You can use your muscles more effectively if you think of reaching some distant spot ahead of you.

Step 3. Go back to the starting point

As you exert yourself, exhale slowly while maintaining a neutral spine. Make your way back to the starting point.

Advantages Of A Underhand Front Raise

Muscles isolation

Everybody knows that isolation is the primary condition for effective workouts. An underhand front raise can offer that desired isolation to the targeted muscles.

A bigger range of motion

The movement implies more freedom in arms compared to the barbell front raise. Your hands are not locked in, which allows you to load your muscles more.

Underhand grip benefits

Simply reversing your grip, you increase the targeted muscles’ activity. Some studies show the increment reaches up to 30%.

Good looks

Underhand front raises help to achieve broad shoulders or a V-shaped torso. To get the most out of your weightlifting exercises, do underhand front lifts several times a week and take a rest day in between.


The technique is simple and suits any fitness level. There is no need for expensive equipment or a gym membership. All you need for practice is your desire, time, and a pair of dumbbells.

5 Underhand Front Raise Alternatives 

1. Cable Front Raise 

The cable front raise primarily targets front delts, providing a constant tension. If you’re looking to increase shoulder strength and function, this workout is the right choice. You need a cable machine to perform this exercise.

How to do a cable front raise:

  • Stand facing the cable machine with the pulley attached low. 
  • The cable should run between your thighs. You must stand straight with your arms out.
  • Lift the bar to your shoulders as you exhale. Pause for a few seconds at the peak of the action. Avoid slouching.
  • Take a deep breath, then lower the bar to its starting position. 

2. Dumbbell Front Raise 

This isolated exercise helps increase strength and definition in the shoulders, simultaneously improving your shoulder mobility.

How to do a dumbbell front raise:

  • Maintain a straight back and place both feet shoulder-width apart from one another. Grab your dumbbells with a neutral grip.
  • Raise the weights in front of you until they are at chin height.
  • Pause for a while at the movement’s top. Then, go back to the starting position.

3. Cobra Pushup 

This unique movement simultaneously works your chest, shoulders, abs, triceps, and back. Cobra pushup helps build stronger muscles, improve flexibility, and eliminate excess weight.

How to do a cobra push-up:

  • Starting position involves placing your hands directly in front of your shoulders on the floor. Hands should be at least shoulder-width apart if not a little further. 
  • Lift your upper body up and away from the ground. Holding your hips as near to the floor as possible, move your upper body into a slightly forward posture and do a push-up. 
  • Take a few seconds pause at the peak of the movement. All of the targeted muscles should feel tense.
  • Return to the starting point.

4. Shoulder L Raise 

By focusing on the rotator cuff, the standing L raise is an effective exercise for improving the strength and stability of the shoulder area. Additionally, the standing posture works best for enhancing balance and core stability.

How to do a shoulder L raise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab your dumbbells using a neutral grip. Let your arms stay extended along your body. One palm should face your body; another one should face your thigh.
  • Keep your shoulders back and your core tight. Bring the weights up to your eye level. Your arms should remind you of “L” at the movement’s top.
  • Go down, and make a rotation movement, switching your hands’ position. That’s one rep.

5. Arnold Shoulder Press 

Arnold Schwarzenegger is credited with being the first person to publicize this exercise, which works all three heads of the deltoid muscles. As a result of the rotational action, your chest feels more tension, and your mobility grows with every rep.

How to do Arnold shoulder press: 

  • Grab two dumbbells and begin.
  • Position your feet so that they are about shoulder-width apart. Hands facing in on dumbbells with elbows bent. Your starting point is here.
  • Keep your shoulders down while pressing up with your arms extended. 
  • At the apex of the action, keep your spine neutral and prevent hyperextension of your back.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells to the ground.


Underhand front raise is a compound exercise that combines a simple technique with maximum effectiveness. What makes a move special is an underhand grip. It boosts muscles’ tension and maximizes growth potential. The movement isolates the shoulders and upper chest and allows for a bigger range of motion. The icing on the cake is it’s available to anyone who wants stronger delts and pecs. You just need a pair of dumbbells and your free time to achieve the goal.