When it comes to a physique, we all want to look perfect. Ideally, having a V Taper is the goal for most. When it comes to achieving such a look, having large shoulders is one of the biggest factors towards making your body look larger while making your waist appear even smaller/slimmer. In order to have adequate growth in your shoulders to grow your deltoids into the boulders every male dreams of having, it usually requires altering one’s training methods or approach to how they currently train shoulders. It’s important to remember that our shoulders are comprised of 3 primary deltoids:
These are more simply known as the Front, Side and Rear deltoids. So how does one go about training each of the parts of the shoulders? Here is an example of some exercises that target such specific parts such as the front or rear deltoids.
✓ Lateral Raises
To perform this exercise correctly, start with a weight/dumbbell that you can properly control on both the raising and lowering motion. Just because you can lift extremely heavy for this exercise doesn’t mean that you should. Start with the weight at your sides and not in front of you. Slowly raise the weight from your side until your arm is parallel with your shoulders and is raised to where the dumbbell is at shoulder height. Remember, Lateral Raises means you are raising from the side, not from the front. This exercises is important for focusing the tension primarily on the Medial/Lateral Deltoid (the side of the shoulder).
✓ Dumbbell Shoulder Press
This exercise can be performed either seated or standing based off of your preference. Using a pair of dumbbells, and in this case seated, you will lift the weight up into a position in which the dumbbell is at shoulder height to start with. By pressing the weight upwards, you will lift the dumbbell as high as you can but avoid locking out the elbow joints. Slowly lower the weight back down to starting position and repeat again for another rep. Do not lock out the elbow joints to avoid any possible injury from occurring. Tip: by performing these standing you will also engage the abdominal muscles as well.
✓ Barbell Front Raises
Begin with a barbell with a weight load that you can easily control, just as with lateral raises. Standing with the weight in hand and rested in front of your waist/hips. Slowly lift the weight upwards until your arms are extended and outright in front of your face and the barbell is at head level. Hold and squeeze the deltoids during this contraction before slowly lowering the weight/barbell down to starting position. Try to control the lowering motion and lower the barbell in a few seconds and avoid letting it just simply fall and drop, which removes tension on the release, while also putting yourself at possible risk of injuring or tearing your shoulders.
✓ Standing Barbell Rear Delt Press
This exercise is to help target the rear deltoids, that many people struggle to grow. Using the same barbell in which you used for Barbell Front Raises, begin in a standing position. Raise the weight up until the bar is above your shoulders and is rested behind your head right around trap level. If you look in the mirror, you will see the barbell behind your neck and your arms will be at around a 90-degree angle in starting position. Slowly push the weight up until the bar is above your head, but avoid locking out. Just lift the weight high enough to keep the tension on at all times and slowly release back down to starting position behind your head. Focus on slow reps and lowering as slow as possible to keep proper and adequate tension.
✓ Behind the Neck Lateral Pull Downs
Using the seated cable machines and the wide grip lateral pull down bar, begin as you would a normal lateral pull down. However, instead of leaning back and pulling the bar down in front of you towards your chest, remain upright the entire time and slowly pull the weight down until the bar is behind your head and can touch the bottom of your neck or top of the back. Squeeze the contraction and slowly release until you are at the point in which your arms cannot extend any further but remembering to keep the tension and contraction at all times. Squeeze with each rep and control the release as best as possible during the exercise in order to properly engage the rear deltoids.
Take Home Message
There you have it. 5 of the best exercises to help target the front, lateral and rear deltoid to ensure proper growth in your shoulders. Perform a shoulder routine around 2x a week and make sure to stretch before and after a workout. If at any point during a shoulder routine you feel strain or pain during a lift, decrease the weight load. If the pain continues, avoid any further shoulder workouts until pain subsides.