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Make Your Lifts Even Better Whilst Building Bigger Rounder Delts

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We’re going to start with some heavy, compound lifts to build overall strength and mass, and then get our pump on with lighter isolation lifts in this workout. This lets us build massive boulders and chisel them into a pure sculpture of strength and size.

Think about how many things you carry from point A to point B every day. Your backpack to the office. Groceries up the stairs. Strong arms are important to make this all happen, but if you’re sleeping on your shoulders, you’re making a big mistake.

Not to mention that powerful deltoids (that’s the major muscle that wraps the shoulder joint) look great in everything from plain T-shirts to, well, nothing. Deltoid workouts are worth the investment. So we pulled together our top, all-time best deltoid exercises to hone, tone, lengthen and strengthen.

Do this regimen religiously to build the power and posture to perform at your max and prevent injury. You need to keep the intensity high. During this workout, focus on your lifts and building your best self.

1. Seated Military Press:

Warm-up set: 2 sets of 6 reps Working sets: 3 sets of 6 reps Rest: 1-2 minutes between sets

How to:

  • Adjust the barbell to just below shoulder height while standing then load the desired weight onto the bar.
  • Place an adjustable bench beneath the bar in an upright position.
  • Sit down on the bench and unrack the bar using a pronated grip.
  • Inhale, brace, tuck the chin, then lower the bar to the top of your chest.
  • Exhale and press the bar back to lock out.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

 

2. Arnold Press:

Warm-up set: 1 set of 6 reps Working sets: 3 sets of 6 reps Rest: 1-2 minutes between sets

How to:

  • Set up an adjustable angle bench to 90 degrees and select the desired weight from the rack.
  • Pick up the dumbbells from the floor using a neutral grip (palms facing in). Position the end of the dumbbells on your knees and sit down on the bench.
  • Using a safe and controlled motion, kick your knees up one at a time in order to get each dumbbell into place.
  • Once the dumbbells are in place, rotate your palms so they are facing you.
  • Take a deep breath then press the dumbbells overhead by extending the elbows and contracting the deltoids.
  • As you press, rotate the dumbbells until your palms are facing forward.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position (the arms should be roughly 90 degrees or slightly lower depending upon limb lengths).
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

 

3. Single-Arm Incline Lateral Raise:

Working sets: 3 sets of 8-12 reps Rest: 30-45 seconds between sets

How to:

  • With a dumbbell in your right hand, sit sideways on an incline bench and rest your left side against the back pad.
  • Place your left hand on your thigh or on your abdomen.
  • Extend your right arm straight down along your right-hand side with your elbow slightly bent and the dumbbell parallel to the floor.
  • Exhale as you raise your arm outward and straight up to the ceiling, keeping the dumbbell parallel to the floor throughout.
  • Hold the position for a couple of counts and then slowly inhale as you reverse the motion and lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
  • Perform a complete set and then switch sides.

 

4. Cable Lateral Raise:

Working sets: 3 sets of 8-12 reps Rest: 30-45 seconds between sets

How to:

  • Attach a handle to the lowest pulley and stand to one side of the cable machine.
  • Grab the handle with one hand and the tower with the other, to brace yourself.
  • With your elbow slightly bent, raise your arm to the side until your elbow is at shoulder height.
  • Lower and repeat.

 

5. Alternating Front Incline Raise:

Working sets: 3 sets of 8-12 reps Rest: 30-45 seconds between sets

How to:

  • Grasp dumbbells and lie supine on the upper portion of a 45-degree incline bench with legs straight.
  • Position dumbbells downward below each shoulder.
  • With elbows straight or slightly bent, raise one dumbbell forward, up and over the shoulder until the upper arm is vertical.
  • Lower dumbbell down to starting position.
  • Repeat raise with another arm, alternating between sides.

 

6. Reverse Machine Fly:

Working sets: 3 sets of 8-12 reps Rest: 30-45 seconds between sets

How to:

  • Face the fly machine while seated with your chest against the pad and the handles positioned in front of your torso.
  • Reach forward and grasp each handle with a pronated or neutral grip.
  • Contract the rear delts while keeping the elbows bent and open the arms in a reverse fly motion.
  • Slowly lower the handles back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

 

7. Barbell Shrug:

Working sets: 3 sets of 8-12 reps Rest: 30-45 seconds between sets

How to:

  • Stand tall, holding a bar in an overhand grip with your hands just outside your thighs.
  • Lift your shoulders straight up, hold for one or two seconds in this elevated position, then lower them back to the start.
  • Throughout the exercise, make sure you keep your shoulders back and your spine and elbows straight.
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