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Exercises to strengthen the deltoids

Exercises to strengthen the deltoids


It's important to develop each part of the deltoids in a balanced way, as harmonious, well-developed, shapely shoulders give width and thickness to the upper body. They also contribute to the impression of an X-shaped body, combined with a slim waist and well-shaped thighs.

In this article I'll guide you through the basic exercises and isolation exercises that will help you achieve harmonious, well-developed shoulders.

Basic deltoid exercises

Neck press at the bar

The aim of this exercise is to develop the overall mass of the deltoids, although the area most in demand is the anterior part.

Sitting on a bench with the backrest at a 90° angle, with your back well supported and your abdominal muscles contracted, grasp the barbell resting on the supports behind your head. With your arms bent at right angles, take hold of the bar at the same distance on either side of your head.

Musculation développé nuque à la barre

Remove the bar from the supports and push upwards until your arms are stretched above your head. It's important to maintain good control and balance to prevent injury.

From this position, flex the arms while controlling the descent and bring the bar to the base of the neck without it landing or hitting.

inhale on the way down, as the rib cage is wide open, and exhale on the way up.

Visitdumbbell shoulder press

This exercise can also be performed with a pair of dumbbells. This variant avoids stressing the cervical vertebrae, as the barbell exercise encourages the exerciser to tilt the head forward to allow the bar to pass through. What's more, the bar imposes a trajectory, whereas dumbbells offer greater freedom of movement. However, as the dumbbells are independent of each other, it's important to maintain a high degree of control.

musculation développé épaules

Military development

Another basic movement for the deltoids is the military bench press, which can be performed standing or seated. With your back braced against the back of a shoulder bench, grasp the bar as if you were doing a neck press, but don't bring the bar up to the nape of your neck. The bar will graze the nose and finish at collarbone level.

From this position, you then push the bar towards the ceiling above your head. The movement has a circular trajectory.

musculation développé militaireDéveloppé militaire mouvements

Standing military bench press

For the standing version, it's important to keep the knees slightly bent to act as a shock absorber. It's also important to keep the abdominal/lumbar muscles well sheathed to ensure greater stability.

développé militaire debout

Let's take a look at the exercises for working on the different parts of the independent deltoids.

Frontal elevations

First of all, let's take a look at dumbbell front raises, which work the anterior deltoids.

Élévation frontale

Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your thighs, legs slightly bent. From this position, raise the dumbbells slightly above the shoulders, keeping the arms straight. From this position, slowly lower back to the starting position.

Avoid body swaying, which would remove stress from the working muscle and therefore stimulation.

Since it's an isolation exercise, there's no need to use heavy loads.

This exercise can also be performed with a barbell, to work both shoulders simultaneously. Execution technique is identical to the dumbbell version.

It's also possible to do this exercise on the low pulley with your back to it. The advantage of working on the pulley is that it provides constant tension throughout the exercise.

Side elevations

Dumbbell lateral raises are the best exercise for working the outer part of the deltoids, provided you don't swing your body to give the dumbbells momentum. In fact, stimulation is most effective when the movement is performed strictly.

Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, arms slightly bent at your sides. Raise your arms on either side of your body, keeping your palms facing the floor and your elbows pointing slightly upwards.

Stop when your arms are in line with your shoulders, then slowly return to the starting position, stopping just before the dumbbells touch your thighs.

To minimize the risk of swaying, this exercise can be performed seated on the end of a bench. The movement starts with the dumbbells on either side of the bench.

There's no need to take on heavy loads, which means greater control of the movement.

Élévation latérale

Lateral lifts with tilted bust or bird's head

This exercise is designed to isolate the posterior deltoid area. It can be performed seated on the end of a bench, standing with the chest parallel to the floor, or on a machine (butterfly with the chest glued to the backrest).

We'll take a look at the bench version, which is the most popular.

Sit on the end of the bench, with your chest resting on your thighs. Legs are bent but leave enough space between them and the bench so that the dumbbells can pass underneath.

With your back flat, a dumbbell in each hand and your elbows slightly bent, spread your arms to either side and in line with your shoulders.

Elévation latérale buste penché

Go as high as you can without squeezing your shoulder blades, which would involve your back. Finally, return to the initial position, controlling the descent.

What's important is that you don't build up momentum with your chest, and that the movement really starts with the posterior zone of the deltoids.

Shoulder shrugs

This movement, which can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells, is designed to develop the trapezius muscles. This movement is sometimes incorporated into the back routine, as the trapezoids start at the base of the skull and run down the spine to the middle of the back.

In front of a squat rack, with a bar at thigh height, grasp it shoulder-width apart.

Unhook the bar from the support and take a step back. From this position, keeping your arms straight along your thighs, raise your shoulders as high as possible, as if you wanted them to touch your ears.

The bar must graze the front of the thighs for the entire distance.

Hold the contraction for one to two seconds, then return to the starting position while controlling the descent.

The back must remain straight and the abdomen/lumbar girdle sheathed to avoid injury.

Musculation shrugs ou haussements d'épaules

The dumbbell version is performed in the same way, except that the dumbbells remain on the outside of the thigh. To start the movement, place your dumbbells on a bench, which will prevent you from injuring yourself by pulling them off the floor with each set.

the use of dumbbells offers greater freedom of movement, which translates into a slightly longer route and a greater contraction than with the bar version.

musculation haussements d'épaules

What could be more impressive than the build of an ice-cream cabinet?

Now you're ready to develop broad, shapely shoulders from every angle. Of course, there are other variations and other machines to stimulate your deltoids in different ways.

So it's up to you)

AuthorAlexandre CARPENTIER

Bodybuilding Champion N.A.C 2012

Alexandre shares his bodybuilding experience with MegaGear blog readers

Posted in: Bodywork