The dumbbell lateral raise is a shoulder exercise. It also involves the upper trap muscles that are basically where your upper back and neck meet. This exercise is effective in developing strength and size of the shoulders. Very light weights can also be used for therapy purposes.
To perform this exercise use a weight that you can handle for 10-15 repetitions. Raise the dumbbells to your sides until your elbows are the same height as the top of your shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder muscle and your traps before releasing the weights back down.
Refrain from swinging your body or the weights back and forth, which will only create momentum. Any kind of momentum takes away from the exercise. You should be standing up straight with your abs tight through the entire motion.