As men, we always want to add strength and size to our muscles. And while the chest and arm muscles tend to get the most attention, the deltoid muscles are also important.
Deltoids are one of the largest muscles in the body, and their name comes from the Greek word for triangle. The deltoids are responsible for the shape and contour of your shoulders, so they play a significant role in your overall appearance.
It’s responsible for a wide range of motions, including Extension, Flexion, Abduction, and Adduction. The deltoid muscle is responsible for lifting the arm away from the body (Abduction), bringing the arm back down to the side (Adduction), and moving the arm forward and backward (Flexion and Extension).
In addition, It is used in a wide variety of activities, including lifting weights, swimming, and throwing a ball. It is also one of the muscles activated when you shrug your shoulders. So, your deltoids are significant in multiple ways.
In this post, we'll cover the deltoid muscles and then provide six exercises you can do to isolate them and build them up. Let's get started!
What are Deltoids?
Deltoid muscle anatomy is quite fascinating when you take a closer look. This large, triangular muscle is actually composed of three distinct parts: the anterior (front) deltoid, the medial deltoid (middle), and the posterior (rear) deltoid. Each of these parts has a different role to play in shoulder movements.
For example, the anterior deltoid is responsible for lifting the arm forward, while the posterior deltoid is responsible for pulling the arm back. As its name suggests, the medial deltoid helps stabilize the shoulder joint.
The deltoid muscle is attached to the clavicle (collarbone) and the scapula (shoulder blade) via tendons. It also attaches to the humerus (upper arm bone) via a broad sheet of connective tissue called the rotator cuff. The deltoid muscle is one of the muscles that make up the rotator cuff, stabilizing the shoulder joint.
When the deltoid muscle contracts, it raises the arm away from the body. For example, when you lift your arm to wave goodbye, you use your deltoid muscle.
The deltoid muscle gets its name from its delta-shaped appearance when viewed from above.
Best Deltoid Shoulder Exercises for Men
There are several ways to train the deltoid muscle. One way is to use dumbbells or barbells for shoulder presses. Another way is to use resistance bands or cables for lateral raises. And lastly, you can do bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and planks.
When training the deltoid muscle, it is important to use a full range of motion. This means that you should raise the weight up until your arm is fully extended overhead. And when lowering the weight, you should lower it down until your arm is at your side again.
Doing partial reps (not going through a full range of motion) will not effectively train the deltoid muscle.
1. Barbell Push Press
The barbell push press is a great way to strengthen your deltoids. But it's not just your deltoids that benefit from this exercise - your triceps, traps, and upper back all get a good workout too. The key to performing the push press correctly is to use a smooth, even motion.
- Start by squatting down and placing the barbell on your shoulders.
- Then, explosively push up with your legs while pressing the barbell overhead.
- As you lower the barbell back down to your shoulders, control the weight and keep your elbows close to your body.
- You'll get the most out of this powerful exercise by following these simple tips.
2. Barbell High Pull
The barbell high pull is one of the most explosive exercises you can do. It activates all the major muscle groups in your body and speeds up your heart rate. But it's also a complex movement that requires a proper form to avoid injury. Here's a step-by-step guide to doing the barbell high pull safely and effectively.
- Start with the barbell on the ground in front of you.
- Grab it with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees and hips to lower your body into a quarter squat position.
- From there, explosively extend your hips and knees to a standing position, pulling the barbell up along your body as you do.
- As the bar reaches chest level, shrug your shoulders and pull your elbows up high, so the bar ends at eye level.
- Reverse the motion to return to the starting position and repeat.
3. Barbell Shoulder Press
The barbell shoulder press is a great exercise for building strong, defined shoulders. It's also a great way to improve your posture and prevent injuries.
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your core engaged to do the exercise.
- Then, hold a barbell at shoulder level with your palms facing forward.
- From there, press the barbell overhead until your arms are fully extended.
- Slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position and repeat.
Remember, when doing the barbell shoulder press, keeping your core engaged and your back straight is important. Otherwise, you may injure yourself. So take your time and focus on form.
4. Dumbbell Seated Lateral Raise
The Dumbbell Seated Lateral Raise is an exercise that works the medial deltoids. It is a great way to build strength and muscular endurance.
Start with a lightweight and progress slowly. Use a spotter if necessary. Remember to breathe and keep the core engaged throughout the exercise. The Dumbbell Seated Lateral Raise is a great way to really bring that rounded shape to the shoulders. Give it a try!
- Start seated with the DMoose dumbbells at your side, with the palm facing inwards.
- From there, arc the dumbbells out and away from you.
- Your arm should be slightly in front of your shoulder to keep it as stable as possible.
- Lower the weight slowly and with control before doing another rep.
- Be sure to keep your core engaged throughout the movement.
5. Arnold Press
For any budding bodybuilders out there, the Arnold Press is a must-have exercise in your arsenal. Named after the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger, this move targets your shoulders (deltoids). And, as we all know, big shoulders are the key to a winning physique.
- Start by sitting down on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Then, press the weights straight up above your head.
- From there, twist your hands, so your palms face forward and lower the weights back down to shoulder level.
- Finally, press the weights back up and repeat for 12-15 reps.
6. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The dumbbell shoulder press is a classic move that targets the shoulders, triceps, and upper back. It's a great exercise for building strength and definition in the upper body, and it can be done with various dumbbell weights.
The key to doing the dumbbell shoulder press correctly is maintaining good form throughout the entire range of motion. Here's a step-by-step guide to doing the perfect dumbbell shoulder press:
- Start by sitting on a bench or chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- Place your hands on the dumbbells and hold them at shoulder level with your palms facing forward.
- From this position, press the dumbbells up overhead until your arms are fully extended.
- Keep your core engaged and your back straight throughout the movement.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, and repeat for 8-12 reps.
1. What shoulder exercise hits the heads of the deltoids?
The following shoulder exercises hit all heads:
- Overhead Barbell Press/Military Press.
- Dumbbell Seated Laterals Raises.
- Arnold Dumbbell Press.
- Barbell Front Raise.
- Barbell Shrugs.
2. What is the most important shoulder muscle?
Rotator Cuff Muscles
The four rotator cuff muscles in your shoulder area are imperative for the range of motion and stability in your arms. Along with tendons, they support the movement of your shoulder and help you raise and rotate your arms.
3. How do I get defined shoulders?
The following exercises can help you get defined shoulders:
- Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press.
- Plate Press Out.
- Dumbbell Front Raises.
- Seated Arnold Press.
- Dumbbell Reverse Delt Fly.
4. How can I make my deltoids bigger fast?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to make your deltoids bigger will vary depending on your individual muscle composition and genetics. However, some tips on making your deltoids bigger fast include doing shoulder presses, lateral raises, and front raises with heavy weights, doing shoulder exercises involving multiple joint angles, and using resistance bands or cables to add resistance to your shoulder exercises.
The Bottom Line
The six exercises we've outlined are a great place to start if you want to build strong, functional shoulders. Remember that anatomy is important in shoulder training – make sure you target all the muscles in the shoulder complex for overall health and stability. And finally, be patient! You won't see results overnight, but with consistent effort, you will see your shoulders transform.