Deltoids- The unsung hero of physiques
When people rave about specific body parts, the two most common subjects, arms and quads. Arms have always been the showpiece muscle that trainers of all levels asked to flex and happily oblige. Huge legs take an almost mythic significance in recent decades. Plenty of folks appreciate thick pecs and elusive rugged backs. Oddly enough, the shoulders get no glory of the the other muscle groups. Without wide, round, full deltoids with all three heads developed, your physique just basic. If delts lagging, your physique, not overall impressive mass and power. And forget the V-taper. You need width in both upper back and shoulders to complete that coveted look.
All overhead presses: Proper range of motion is to lower the bar. Or dumbbells or machine movements arms until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Some insist on lowering until dumbbells touch shoulders or bar hits clavicles. This is too far and overstretches your shoulder joints.
Dumbbell lateral raises: Keep your hands slightly higher than your elbows as you bring the weights up. For some, the “pouring water out” motion at the top of rep enhances the muscle contraction. For others, it does nothing. Experiment with light dumbbells to find the right form for you that allows you to feel the side delts contracting maximally.
Upright rows: The correct form for upright rows isn’t a straight upward pull. Rather an arcing motion of pulling up and back. Think about pulling the bar or dumbbells over your shoulders. Obviously that’s not possible, but it will put you in the proper plane of motion.
Delt Program Routines:
Full shoulder routine A
- Bent dumbbell lateral raises 4X12
- Rope face pulls 4 X12
- Seated dumbbell presses 4X12
- Dumbbell lateral raises 4X12
- Wide-grip barbell upright rows 4X12
- Smith machine presses 4X12
Full shoulder routine B
- Machine rear lateral raises 4X12
- One-arm cable rear lateral raises 4X12
- Barbell military presses 4X12
- Machine lateral raises 4X12
- Dumbbell upright rows 4X12
- Machine presses 4X12
Side delt “bonus” routine A
- One-arm cable lateral raises 4X12 each arm
- Seated dumbbell lateral raises 7X10-12…same weight and only 30 seconds between sets.
Side delt “bonus” routine B
- Up and down the rack -Laterals 2 rounds. Start with a pair of light dumbbells, doing 10-12 reps. Move up the rack without resting until you reach weight you can only do six to eight reps. Immediately reverse direction and grab lighter dumbbells. Continuing until the pump is too much to bear. Even light dumbbells impossible to budge. The progression might look like this:
15×12: 20X12: 25X12: 30X10: 35X10: 40X18: 35X8: 30X8: 25X10: 20X10: 15X8