What are the Different Types of Deltoid Exercises?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2019
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The deltoid is a group of muscles in the shoulder that often an important part of a bodybuilding routine. Some of the different types of deltoid exercises include shoulder front raises, seated lateral raises and dumbbell shoulder press exercises. The barbell military press is also effective for building muscle in the shoulder. It’s important to keep in mind there are actually three different deltoid muscles and performing a variety of exercises is usually best to work them all effectively.

The barbell military press is one of the most effective deltoid exercises that works both the side and front muscles. To perform this exercise, a person should sit on the end of an exercise bench or stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a barbell from the top, with hands wrapped over the bar at about shoulder width apart. With the barbell at about neck height in front of the body, the barbell should be pressed overhead until the elbows are almost straight. In a controlled manner, the barbell should then be lowered to starting position, then the press can be repeated. The correct form is essential for a barbell military press, so it’s important for an athlete to see a live demonstration of the exercise before trying it for the first time.


The shoulder front raise is another example of the many front deltoid exercises. In a standing position, the athlete should hold a dumbbell in both hands at the side of the body. In a controlled manner, one of the hands should be raised up and in front of the body to about shoulder height before being slowly lowered back down to the starting position. It’s important for the athlete to make sure the dumbbells aren’t swung up and down and that the back is kept straight and the abdominals engaged.

Other deltoid exercises include the dumbbell shoulder press, seated lateral raise and front raise. Although the different exercises work on the various parts of the deltoid muscles, it’s always essential that the athlete maintains good form during the exercise in order to avoid injury. Poor form can place excess train on the shoulder joint and surrounding muscles.

The shoulder joint is highly mobile, making it more susceptible to injury. For this reason, deltoid exercises are not only important for aesthetic reasons, but also to help protect the joint from problems in the future. If a bodybuilder works on only the front deltoids rather than all three muscle groups, this can cause additional problems which is why a balanced training session is important.



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