Exercises for deltoid
The strengthening of the deltoids is a key element that can break or give the perfect physique, so you must have a good shoulder routine.
On many occasions, those looking for an aesthetic physique ignore the shoulders, concentrating, for example, on getting bigger arms or a marked abs.
You have to work the deltoid muscles specifically – it is important to keep in mind that they are made up of three different sections (heads).
First, you must know the three heads of the deltoid muscle to understand what is working with each specific exercise – you must address each of the three heads to develop the shoulders in all their fullness.
1) The anterior deltoid, which is on the front.
2) The medial deltoid, the largest part and the one that will give you a broader look.
3) The posterior / posterior deltoid, on the back of the shoulder joint.
This training plan is based on the isolation of the deltoids, with a minimum participation of the triceps.
This is because I personally like to train shoulders and triceps on the same day, so I like to keep them as fresh as possible to train after the shoulders.
I recommend a good warm up for deltoids. The shoulders are more prone to injury if the exercises are not performed correctly.
Try to perform a series of each exercise with a lighter weight to increase flexibility in movements.
Exercises for the shoulder routine
1. Arnold Press with dumbbells
It is a variation of the traditional shoulder press – it is an exercise that provides a movement of rotation along the range of motion, subjecting all heads to stress.
a) Start by placing a bench with a 90 degree angle (to support the back) and place the weights on both sides of the bench.
b) Slowly take the weights and, with your palms towards the torso, place them at chin height.
c) Start lifting slowly while keeping the dumbbell close to the torso.
d) Complete the movement by externally rotating the hands while continuing to move the weight in an ‘arc movement’ above the head (similar to a normal shoulder press movement.)
Series and repetitions: 3 x 10-12
2. Press with bar
This is one of the favorites of the old school bodybuilders and probably one of the less popular movements. However, it is a great exercise to widen the shoulders!
If you use a lot of cargo, I recommend doing it early in the session with a Resistance Belt like Myprotein.
To work the medial head is much better than the normal overhead press, because the elbows move sideways instead of towards the front, subjecting the medial deltoid to more stress.
• Using a squat cage if possible to make it easier to place the bar at the right height for you.
• Step under the bar with the load you have chosen and place it on the back of the shoulders, just below the neck.
a) Grab each side of the bar with strength so you can safely pull it out of the cage – use the strength of the legs to do this keep the torso straight.
b) Little by little, get away from the cage and spread your legs the width of your shoulders and focus on keeping your back straight.
c) Exhale and extend the bar over the head completely by raising the arms.
d) Hold this position for 1-2 seconds, inhale and lower the bar to the starting position.
Series and repetitions: 4 x 10-12
3. Front lifting SS lateral lifting with dumbbells
The following exercises will most likely be the most difficult, since they are performed as an SS superset. However, this combination of these exercises is very important for the general development of the shoulder.
It is also, in my opinion, the best way to isolate the medial and posterior heads. It can be executed both sitting and standing.
SS 1st part: Front elevations with dumbbells
The frontal elevations are one of the best ways to isolate the anterior deltoids. The grip can be prone or neutral and will not affect the essence of the exercise.
a) Start by placing the weights on the sides, making sure you stay upright when you lift the weight.
b) When lifting the dumbbells, relaxing the elbows a little could avoid the tension of the triceps.
c) You can turn your arms slightly towards the inside / outside, as long as you feel the tension in the muscle you are working on.
d) When the arms are parallel to the ground, hold the position and feel the contraction for a second before lowering the weights. Alternate with both arms.
Repetitions: 10 per arm – 20 in total.
SS 2nd part: Lateral elevations
Unlike frontal elevations, lateral elevations are more difficult to master for most.
The use of dumbbells provides more freedom than the use of a machine that can, in fact, cause joint damage if the pivot points do not adjust correctly to your posture.
a) Take a pair of dumbbells and place them on the sides (palms inwards).
b) Keep your torso motionless to avoid swinging movements, bend your elbow slightly and begin to exhale while you raise the dumbbells up to shoulder height.
c) When the arms are parallel to the ground, keep the contraction for 1-2 seconds.
d) Exhale and slowly lower the arms until reaching the initial position.
Series and repetitions: 3 x 10, 3 x 10
So far we have mainly covered the anterior and medial deltoids. It’s time to emphasize the posterior deltoid.
I chose this exercise specifically because an underdeveloped posterior deltoid is bad for the posture and pulls the shoulders inward due to the dominance of the other two heads.
Variations: Either placing your head on a bench, using cables, standing, sitting, it does not matter, as long as you do it correctly! Lean forward as if you will try to touch the knees with the chest.
• Choose the variation that you like most – examples, take the dumbbells, set the weight and lower the pulley on the cable machine.
• If you decide to use the pulley, you will work each arm individually.
a) With a slight flexion of legs, bend the waist so that your torso is parallel to the ground.
b) Once in the correct position, begin to exhale slowly and extend the arms to the sides until they are parallel to the ground.
c) Squeeze on top of the movement for 1-2 seconds.
d) Inhale as you lower the weight slowly until you return to the starting position.
Series and repetitions: 3 x 10
Example of shoulder routine
• Shoulder Press 3 x 10-12
• Arnold Press 4 x 10-12
• Front elevation SS Side elevation 3 x 10
• Birds 3 x 10
Final tips to keep in mind
• Concentrate on getting the contraction of the muscles, making sure that you are working them. Training to hurt is not always true.
• Listen to your body and make adjustments if necessary.
• Do not neglect the diet. Eat enough nutrients for your body to recover. The supplements can be of great help in this regard.