If women dream about a thinner waist, men certainly wish for wider and better-defined shoulders. Without a doubt, you have this on your goals list as well. In this case, you will need to consider proper deltoid exercises that will boost the growth of your shoulders.

The deltoids are the muscles covering your shoulders, giving their unique rounded shape. Three groups of muscles are in this area, the anterior deltoid, lateral deltoid, and posterior deltoid, so when you perform delt workouts, you train all of them at once. What kind of exercises will promote the growth of your delts? Here is everything you need to know.

When they train, most people often disregard deltoid exercises that are so important for the development of the shoulders. Instead, they focus on working out muscles like biceps and triceps, as they will lead to nicely shaped arms. While this is true, you also need deltoid exercises if you want to enjoy outstanding results.

You may have the sensation that you’re working out your entire arm, but the truth is that without exercises to properly target them, your deltoids won’t grow as expected. This is why you need the help of the best deltoid exercises for the development of lean muscles in the shoulders. So check out these workouts below if you don’t have shoulder press machine at home.


Front deltoid exercises

Anterior deltoid raise

Man showing musclesEven though your shoulder muscles appear to be one and the same, the truth is that not all deltoid muscles exercise you perform target them adequately. The anterior deltoid raise, for example, will train your front deltoid. Another advantage of performing this exercise is that it will help you build strength to lift heavy objects in front of you, by using the force of your arms.

You will need a set of dumbbells for these delt exercises. Begin by standing up and positioning your feet hip wide. Allow your arms to rest along your body, as you hold one dumbbell in each of your hands. Then slowly raise your arms, without bending your elbows, until they are at the height of your shoulders. When reaching the final position, your palms should be parallel and facing each other. Lower the arms back to their initial position and repeat this shoulder workout.

Seated EZ bar underhand press

Another great workout for shoulders, targeting your front deltoid, the seated EZ bar underhand press does more than just provide bigger shoulders. It will improve stability in the shoulders and increase strength in your arms, as it also targets your triceps and the muscle found below your shoulder blade that covers your ribs as well. So, it is the kind of deltoid workout that must be in your training routine.

Have a sit on the bench, making sure its back is vertical so you will sit comfortably. Take the EZ bar in your hands by grabbing its middle section. You should hold onto it by performing an underhand grip. Now bend your elbows and raise the bar until it is under your chin. Then bring the bar over your head until your arms are completely straight. Slowly lower the bar under your chin and repeat the exercise.


Middle deltoid exercises

Upright row to hip fly

This is one of the best deltoid workouts that particularly target your middle deltoid. Of course, it will train your biceps and traps as well, contributing to an increase in strength over time. A pair of dumbbells will also be extremely helpful during this upright row exercise.

Stand up and spread your feet hip-wide. Hold the dumbbells in your hands, in front of your thighs. The palms holding the weights should be facing your body. Use your core muscles to lift the dumbbells to your chest. Make sure the palms remain in the same position. However, make sure your elbows will not get higher than your shoulders when performing the raise.

Then lower your arms until they reach your sides, bend the knees and push your hips backward, bending forward until your back is flat. At this point, you should allow your arms to hang in a straight line. While bent forward, raise the dumbbells behind. Lower your arms back and then repeat the entire exercise.


Rear delt exercises

Bent over lateral raise

Believe it or not, the read deltoid is usually the one left on the side, as it is not targeted by most exercises you perform. This is why most men don’t succeed in developing this particular muscle right. So, the best deltoid exercises should include a bend over lateral raise as well.

Only this way your rear deltoid muscle will be up to the challenge. To reap the benefits of this exercise, you will need to pay attention to the position. Maintain correct posturing during the shoulders workout to keep the rear delt engaged properly. Also, bear in mind that the safety of your spine counts the most, so avoid using weights that are too heavy for this exercise.

Begin by spreading your feet until they are hip wide. Hold a dumbbell in each of your hands. Slightly bend forward from your hips while making sure your back remains flat. At this point, your arms should be allowed to hang freely, with your palms facing each other. Bend your elbows just a little, to allow a good performance of the movement. Now lift your arms until they become parallel with your back. Slowly lower your arms and weights to their initial position and do it again.

Woman showing deltoid muscle

Exercises that target all three delt heads

Standing Arnold press

Probably some of the best deltoid workouts are those that target all three heads of your deltoids. So, if you’re in the mood for some diversity, it never hurts to try exercises that are more versatile. After all, you want to workout shoulders in the best way possible, while still enjoying the chance to develop lean muscles in other parts of the body as well. So, besides targeting all the deltoids in your shoulders, the standing Arnold press will also engage your triceps.

Again, spread your legs hip-wide and get a hold onto your dumbbells. Bring them under your chin, while making sure the palms are facing you. Press the dumbbells over your head while rotating your hands until your palms are facing in the opposite direction. Take a short pause at the top, then go back to the initial position, rotating your hands right back, until the palms are again facing you.

Callahan press

This may be one of the simplest deltoid workouts in terms of execution. But even so, it will train those delts right, giving you the chance to enjoy great results in a very short period. This is one of those deltoid muscle exercises that provide a full shoulder workout due to the fact that you get to train each delt group.

The exercise must begin with your legs hip-wide and your hands holding onto the dumbbells. Raise your arms by bending your elbow at a 90-degree angle, performing the so-called “cactus position”.

Make sure the upper part of your arms is properly aligned with your shoulders in this position. At the same time, your hands should point toward the ceiling. Once you managed to achieve all of the elements of this position, you should know that this is the start position for this particular exercise.

Now continue by bringing your arms in front of you, making sure your palms are facing each other. Of course, the elbows must remain bent at a 90-degree angle. Then take them back to their initial position, on the side, by reversing the movement.

Next press the dumbbells above your head until your arms are straight up. Bring the arms back to the initial position by slowly lowering the weights. You have now completed one rep of this exercise. Repeat and perform as many reps as you can.


Adjust your diet to your goals

You need to eat the right foods if you want to enjoy bigger muscles. It is useless to constantly train your muscles if you don’t give them the right kind of fuel that promotes growth. Also, there are foods known to reduce muscle soreness after a hard workout.

Thus, it is worth adapting your diet to meet your goals. As a general rule, you should eat proteins or take protein supplements after a workout. Proteins are needed for muscular growth, so you should not avoid them. Even if you don’t want to eat meat, there are plenty of other sources of proteins in the vegetable world, like whey protein or beans.

Also, foods like chocolate milk, cottage cheese, nuts and seeds, spinach, turmeric, and green tea help with muscle soreness and speed up your body’s recovery processes. So, you might very well have them after a workout session.

As a valuable tip, make sure you drink sufficient water throughout the day, before and after a workout. Dehydration, especially during workouts, leads to muscle cramps and that’s the last thing you want to experience when you’re looking to improve your training performances.