Shoulders Workouts -- Weight-training Exercises for Big Delts

Shoulders Workouts -- Weight-training Exercises for Big Delts

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Deltoid-specific exercises can increase muscle mass of your shoulders.

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Most guys would love to have broad, muscular shoulders. You can achieve this look by strengthening your deltoids. Your deltoids are composed of three sections: the anterior, middle and posterior deltoids, which are located in the front, outside and back of the shoulder respectively. Performing exercises that target each section can help give you the large shoulders you desire.

Sets and Reps

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends performing two to four sets with eight to 12 repetitions per set for each exercise to achieve deltoid muscle mass gains. Also, rest two to three minutes between sets to give your deltoids a break. You should be tired after performing each set but not exhausted. Take at least one day off between deltoid workouts to allow for muscle recovery and adaptation. Throughout each exercise, lift the weights in a controlled manner using proper form to prevent the risk of injury.

Warm-up and Cooldown

Before you begin working your deltoids, warm up by jogging, walking or riding a stationary bike for five to 10 minutes. Also, stretch your deltoids before exercising to decrease your risk of injury. Try the crossover stretch in which you use one arm to cross the other arm over your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your shoulders. Do this three times for each arm and hold each stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. When you complete your workout, cool off by stretching and doing some light cardiovascular activity. This will decrease muscle soreness.

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

The seated dumbbell shoulder press strengthens your anterior deltoids. Begin this exercise on a bench with the backrest up so that you are in a seated position with your head, shoulders and back making contact with the bench. Lift the dumbbell to shoulder height with your palms facing outward. Slowly extend your elbows and raise the dumbbells over your head. Bring the dumbbells back to your starting position in a slow, controlled manner. Exhale when bringing the weight up and inhale when bringing the weight down. If you are lifting large weights, use a spotter for safety and support.

Upright Row

Strengthening the middle deltoid is key to helping you achieve broad shoulders. The upright row targets your middle deltoids. Start by grabbing a weighted barbell with your hands over the bar and shoulder-width apart. Stand with the barbell at waist level. Slowly raise the bar up to your chin while simultaneously flexing your wrists. Slowly lower the bar until your arms are straight. Exhale when raising the bar and inhale when lowering it.

Rear Lateral Raise

The rear lateral raise targets your posterior deltoids. You can perform this exercise either seated or standing. When seated, bend your body forward and begin with the dumbbells under your legs. Grip the dumbbells so that your palms are facing each other. Slowly raise the dumbbells until your elbows are shoulder height. Lower the dumbbells to their original position. You perform the same movement in a standing rear-lateral raise, but the starting position is different. Begin in a standing position with your back bent forward and your knees bent. The dumbbells should be in front of you with your palms facing each other and your elbows slightly bent. For each exercise, exhale when raising the dumbbells and inhale when lowering them.

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