All the information you need to do a plate front raise properly to build strong, shapely shoulders.

What is Plate Front Raise?

A plate front raise is a popular shoulder exercise that only needs one piece of equipment – a weights plate. If you’ve got a plate at home, you can do front raises with plate in your home workouts. Otherwise, they’re a great addition to your gym sessions on shoulder day or upper body day.

Plate Front Raise Which Muscles Worked?

The plate front raise is predominantly a shoulder workout. The shoulders are made up of three muscle heads (posterior, medial, and anterior). Plate front raises work the medial (side) and anterior (front) part of the shoulder to give your shoulders that nice full, round look. This exercise will also work your core, traps, and chest muscles to a lesser degree.

How to Do a Plate Front Raise

Step One

Choose your weight. Don’t expect to go super heavy with plate front raise. Start with a 5kg plate and then move to a 10kg if that feels OK for reps.

Step Two

Hold the plate like a steering wheel, with your hands at 3 and 9 on a clock-face. You’ll naturally use a neutral grip, which is good for shoulder health.

Step Three

Stand with the plate at your hips, arms extended. Brace your core and raise the plate up in front of you with straight arms.

Step Four

Stop when the plate is at eye-height, and lower it back down to your hips with control. Keep the reps slow and don’t swing the weight.

Benefits of a Front Plate Raise

Improve Shoulder Strength

Plate front raise is a great exercise for building strength, muscle, and shape in your shoulders. You don’t need much equipment or space to do a front raise with a plate, and it’s pretty easy to learn good technique. You can drop this exercise into your shoulder workouts, upper body day, or full body sessions.

Increase Chest Strength

Surprisingly, plate front raises actually help increase your chest muscles too. Although it’s not a classic pressing movement, it will activate the pectorals and put them under load which will naturally build muscle mass and strength in the upper chest.

Use Neutral Grip

Most shoulder exercises use a pronated grip, with your palms facing downwards. Front raises with plate use a neutral grip (palms facing each other) which opens up the shoulder joint. This means front raises with a plate are a healthy, comfortable shoulder exercise.

Perform Drop Sets

All you need for plate front raises is a plate. This makes it super easy to play around with high reps, partial reps, or even drop sets. Try performing 10 reps with a 15kg plate, 10 reps with a 10kg plate, and then to failure with a 5kg plate.

Challenge Core Strength

Plate front raises bring in core activation because the movement is performed standing up. This makes plate front raises more of a full body movement than isolated delt exercises like prone dumbbell raises. You can do a seated plate front raise but this will take out that core activation.

Are Plate Front Raises A Good Shoulder Exercise?

All front raise variations are a great way to target the front and side delts in order to build muscle mass, shape, and strength in the shoulders. Plate front raises are a really nice option because they require you to use a neutral grip (which is healthy for the shoulders) and force you to keep your hands shoulder-width apart. There are lots of ways to make plate front raises more challenging, like slowing down the tempo or doing drop sets with lighter plates.

What Exercises Can I Do With Plate Front Raises?

Try adding plate front raise to your shoulder workouts, upper body days, or one of your full body workouts. For a well-rounded shoulder session, pair plate front raises with an overhead press (barbell strict press, seated dumbbell press, or military press) and an exercise for the posterior delts (rear delt flyes or cable face pulls).

Plate Front Raise Workout Tips

Start with a lighter plate the first few times you do this exercise. It’s important to get the technique right and let your muscles get used to the movement. Try to use large weights plates if possible (rather than the little fractional plates) as this will keep your hands at an optimal distance from each other. Most gyms have full sized 5kg plates as well as large 10kg and heavier plates. Why not find a great gym near you using Hussle’s gym finder?

Remember to use your core to stabilise your body as you lift the plate up and down in an arc in front of your body. There’s no need to lift the weight too high – up to your face is just fine. Control the weight on the way down as well as on the way up, and don’t rest for too long with the weight at your hips. Keep the movement going to really build strength and shape in those shoulders!