How to Do a Deltoid Workout

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

I recommend 2 deltoid workouts per week- working them with either your chest, legs or back. The shoulders' function is the lift objects vertically above the head and to lift the arm, either to the side or in the front of the body. For this reason the two basic movements that work the delts are lateral raises and barbell or dumbell presses. Another movement which mimics how the shoulders lift objects in front of or above the body is the upright row. Both of these workouts will be focusing on presses, lateral raises and/or upright rows.

Step 2

Workout 1- heavy day 6-8 reps for these exercises: 1. Barbell shoulder press- 1 warm up set of 15 reps, followed by 4 sets of 6-8 reps. 2. Standing shoulder press 3 sets of 6-8 reps. 3. upright rows on smith machine- 3 sets of 6-8 reps. Feel free on the standing shoulder press to loosen your form a little in order to raise the weight. The whole idea on this day is to generate strength and power in the shoulders to lead to thick shoulders

Step 3

The second delt workout of the week should fall about 3 days after the first. If you perform the first workout on Monday, perform this one on Thursday or friday. Workout 2- Light day 14-18 reps for these exercises: 1. Standing side lateral raises X 4 sets 2. Seated Barbell EZ-curl bar presses behind the back x 3 3. Seating dumbell front lateral raises x 3 The goal of this workout is to work in the higher rep range to thoroughly exhaust the muscle to carve out striations and build the muscle. This workout focuses mainly on lateral raises to directly hit the shoulders.

Step 4

I found doing one heavy day and one light day really helps to achieve all around development of the deltoids. The deltoid does seem to respond best to higher reps (which is why it is so important to do a light volume workout for delts later on in the week). However, a heavy day will help to build the power and force which allow you to use heavier weight on your lighter days.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

Please look up the correct way to perform the exercises listed if you are unfamiliar with them. Proper form is essential to delt development.

Stuff You'll Need

Suggested Further Reading

Author Title Price
Book New Rules of Lifting $12.82

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This Student Author's Background

Funny or interesting story about this topic...

Deltoids get alot of work in other exercises, the front delts are used in press movements such as the dumbell and barbell bench presses, as well as rowing and pulling exercises such as pull-ups and dumbbell rows. If you play sports such as baseball- shoulders get a lot of good repetition work. When I used to play baseball, I was able to get carved delts in a short amount of time just by all the throwing I was doing. The good thing about deltoids is they are made for higher volume and alot of pounding, which means they are composed of a relative equal amount of fast and slow twitch fibers. For this reason they can handle a larger amount of volume and should be trained in this manner in order to successfully have thick, toned shoulders.

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I have been involved in health/fitness and bodybuilding for a number of years personally and professionally.

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