The deltoid muscles stretch from the top of the collar bone to below the clavicle.
It’s actually the padding around a very complicated ball and socket joint. This joint provides more body movement than any other joint in the body.
However, it’s also the one that causes frequent injuries in athletes. With most parts of your body, there are many exercises you can do to target a specific muscle.
The deltoid muscles are small, but they can be worked from several different angles and many movements to help achieve the desired results. The deltoid is one of the most mobile areas of the body. You need to target these specific muscles in order to build up your muscle strength, as well as the size of your shoulders.
Traditional Deltoid Exercises
When many athletes think of the deltoid muscles, there are a few exercises that immediately come to mind. The military press or the shoulder press is one of them. Others include front dumbbell raises, lateral dumbbell raises and the Big O.
These exercises are specifically designed to target your deltoid muscles and improve your strength. However, it’s imperative that these exercises are completed the right way.
The Military Press
The military or shoulder press is probably the most common deltoid exercise. It’s named after the way soldiers raise a rifle over the heads during their physical training.
It specifically targets the lateral head of the deltoid muscles. One of the main things to remember when doing the military press is to keep your back straight.
This exercise can be done either sitting or standing. Place enough weight on the bar so your muscles fail at about 12-15 repetitions. Grip the bar with both hands, shoulder width apart. Raise the bar straight up, but do not lock your elbows.
You should exhale forcefully as you raise the bar. When you lower the bar, do not go any lower than your shoulders, or you could injure your joints. Repeat until muscle failure. Over time, you will be able to increase the weight and do fewer repetitions.
Front and Lateral Dumbbell Raises
These exercises work the anterior area of the deltoids. Begin by standing straight with dumbbells or a weighted bar in your hands in front of your body. Your palms should be facing your body.
Exhale forcefully and raise the bar to shoulder height only. Do not let your body lean backwards or you could cause injury to your back. Now inhale while you lower the weights slowly. Do not do this exercise quickly and don’t swing the weights. For best results, do three sets of 8-12 repetitions.
The Big O
This exercise is great for deltoids as well as other muscles in your shoulders. Stand with your feet farther apart than shoulder width. Bend your knees slightly and make sure your back is straight. Hold a weight plate with both hands.
When you hold this weight plate, make sure your hands are at the 9 o’clock and the 3 o’clock position. When you move the weight, don’t go any higher than your eye level or any lower than waist level. Now start making big circles with the weight.
As you move the weight to the right and lower it, turn your hips slightly to the right. As you pass your waist and begin lifting the weight again, turn your hips slightly to the left. These work best with a weight that will allow you to do 12-15 repetitions and three sets.