A crucial muscle group that that you should never neglect or train routinely, are the deltoids, or what some call the shoulder muscles. Whether you’re jogging shirtless on the beach, sunning yourself at the pool, or wearing your best suit for an important job interview, an awesome set of shoulders will help you tower above the rest. The deltoids are located at the top of each arm and consist of the front (anterior) deltoids, mid (lateral) deltoids, and the rear (posterior) deltoids. Well-developed deltoids resemble canon-balls, and they add a broadness and dimension to your upper physique. Because of their size and difficult location, you need a variety of specialized exercises in order to develop them. Also, the stronger your deltoids are, the more protected and the less stress you will place upon those deeper rotator cuff muscles.
Here are five of my favorite weight training exercises for the deltoids. Try a combination of 3 or 4 of these exercises with every shoulder workout. Also, you can train shoulders on their own separate days or you can combine them with just about any other muscle group!
- Seated dumbbell presses are great for front and mid deltoids as well as for traps and triceps. Sit on a bench with your back straight. Grasp two dumbbells with an overhand grip and lift them to your shoulders, palms facing forward. Inhale and press your arms to an extended overhead position. Exhale as you lower them back to your shoulders.
- Side raises are great for the mid deltoids and they help you to achieve a broader look to the upper body. Stand with your feet slightly spread. Keep your back straight, your arms hanging at your sides. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, raise the dumbbells to shoulder height, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Return to your sides. You can also do this exercise seated on a bench with your back straight and simply raise the dumbbells to your sides as if you were standing. Doing these exercises in a seated position helps you to isolate the side deltoids better, and yep, they’re more difficult!
- Front raises are superlative for the front and rear deltoids. Stand with your feet slightly apart. Hold the dumbbells with your palms down (overhand grip). Resting the dumbbells on your thighs or slightly to the side, raise the dumbbells forward to shoulder height alternating each side.
- Bent over lateral raises are great for the overall shoulder, but especially for the rear deltoids and upper back. Stand with your feet spread apart and your knees slightly bent. Bend forward at the waist and keep your back straight. Hold the dumbbells with your elbows slightly bent. Inhale and raise the dumbbells to your sides. Exhale as you complete the movement.
- The upright row is another exercise for the mid and rear deltoids. Holding a weighted bar in front of you with an overhand grip, pull it to your chin while keeping your elbows above the bar. Keep the bar close to your body.
- With each of the above exercises try performing three to four sets of 10 to 12 reps with manageable but challenging weights. Also, remember to watch your posture. Don’t slump! Shoulders back, head up, chest out!
Tom Bonanti is a certified personal trainer and licensed massage therapist (MA#40288) with his own one on one personal training gym and massage studio www.pumpnincgym.com at 1271 NE 9th Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33304. Contact [email protected] with questions or call Tom (954) 557-1119 to set up a free fitness consultation today!