Hit every angle with four moves that develop beautiful delts.
If you love the look of a powerful pair of shoulders, but have trouble adding size and shape to yours, look no further.
These moves have become weight-room standards for a reason: they’re designed to hit every shoulder head:
the anterior, also called the front head, which inwardly rotates the arm; the medial, or side head, which brings the arm away from the body; and the posterior, also called rear head, which rotates the arm behind the body.
These moves may be old school, but combined in this six-week program that gradually increases in weight, they’re extremely effective in developing the head-turning delts you’ve been aiming for.
WEEKS 1-2: 4-5 sets of 12 reps
WEEKS 3-4: 4-5 sets of 6-10 reps (increased weight)
WEEKS 5-6: 3-4 sets of 5-6 reps (heavy weight)
DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS (works all 3 heads)
Set up: Sit on a bench (with or without back support) holding a pair of dumbbells. Keep your spine long and straight, your core tight, and feet planted firmly on the floor. Bend your elbows and raise the dumbbells to shoulder height with palms facing forward.
Action: Extend your arms and press the dumbbells overhead until they touch slightly at the top. Pause, then slowly lower the weights back down to the starting position.
ONE-ARM SIDE LATERAL RAISE (focuses on the medial)
Set up: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, next to a pole or chair and hold on with one hand for support. Hold a dumbbell in your other hand at your side.
Action: With your elbow slightly bent, slowly raise the dumbbell at your side up to shoulder height. Lower it back down in a slow and controlled motion.
FRONT RAISES (focuses on the anterior)
Set up: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell plate with hands placed at the three o’clock and nine o’clock positions. Extend arms downwards with a slight bend at the elbows; the plate should be down near your waist in front of you.
Action: Keeping your arms nearly straight, slowly raise the plate to slightly above shoulder level. Hold the contraction for a second then slowly lower the plate back down to the starting position.
REVERSE INCLINE DUMBBELL FLIES (focuses on the posterior)
Set up: With a dumbbell in each hand, sit backwards on an incline bench, pressing your upper body against the bench. Let the weights hang down to both sides, palms facing each other and elbows bent.
Action: Contract your shoulder blades and simultaneously raise the dumbbells out to the sides in an arc motion until your arms are parallel to the floor. Slowly lower the weights back down to the starting position.
Routine By Nichelle Laus, fitness expert and kickboxing instructor
Photography by Dave Laus | Model Nichelle Laus | Location Sweat Shop Union