Boulder Shoulders: 5 Exercises to Build Your Delts

Boulder Shoulders: 5 Exercises to Build Your Delts

Ripped and toned shoulders help add definition to the upper body and it helps men achieve a mesomorph look.  In addition, the shoulders perform a wide range of movements used in everyday life, making this muscle group crucial to everyday living.

The shoulders, also known as the deltoid muscle, are responsible for lifting the arm vertically out at the side.  The deltoids have three portions: front, middle, and rear, all of which need to be worked regularly in order to have well-rounded and strong shoulders.  The shoulder is considered a “ball-and-socket” joint, meaning the joint can move around in all different planes and can even perform circumduction.  Now that you have a little background on the deltoid muscle and the shoulder area, now is your chance to begin developing shoulders that will have the ladies oohing and awing over your ripped delts.  Listed below are the five best shoulder exercises you need to add to your workout in order to add strength and bulk to the deltoids.

5 Best Exercises to Build Your Delts

  • Overhead Press (aka military press). The overhead press is a great way to work the entire deltoid muscle, but predominantly the front portion of the deltoid is being worked.  One of the hardest movements for humans is to lift a heavy weight overhead (against gravity) and the overhead press requires strong shoulders to help move it upwards.  In addition to working the shoulders, you are likely to get a great workout in the core, upper arm, chest, and lower back as well, making this exercise one of the best.  If you are new to the exercise, start light and progress from there.  Your can use a squat rack, cage, or free weights for this exercise [1].  Aim for three sets of 10 reps with a weight that challenges you in the end.
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise. The lateral raise works entirely the deltoids and will target the entire area of the deltoid muscle [2].  This exercise can be performed seated or standing and start with lighter dumbbells to start.  Lift the weights to the height of your shoulder (no further unless instructed by a professional) and lower down slowly.  A controlled movement is ideal when working the shoulders- jerky movements can cause shoulder strain.  Start with three sets 10 and add weight for progressions.
  • Known more for a whole body, Olympic style exercise, a clean can really work the deltoids as well as other back/shoulder muscles in the body.  The high-pull motion in the clean is a complete power movement that is sure to add bulk to your type IIx muscles in the deltoids.  Moreover, if you add an overhead press with the clean, you are adding the shoulder sculpting.  Start with lighter weight until comfortable and progress with heavier weight when your form is impeccable.  Aim to perform three sets of 8-10 and make sure the last few reps are pretty hard.
  • Reverse Fly with Neutral Grip. While this exercise is traditionally a trap exercise, it is a great one for working the posterior aspect of the deltoid.  Either using a bench or a machine, aim to perform three sets of 10 and challenge yourself on the last few reps.
  • Incline Bench Press. Any bench press will work the pectoral area, but the incline bench press will work the anterior portion of your deltoids.  Aim to complete about three sets of 10 using an incline bench and start with lighter weight than you normally would on the standard bench press.


Your Challenge

If working your shoulders is something you desire, give yourself a good month-long program of steadily working the deltoids in order to see results.  Track your progress by writing down your weight and learn great form before progressing with heavy weight.  Over this next month, give the five exercises described above a real shot and take before and after pictures so you can see your results.





About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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