Work the deltoids with these 5 exercises

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The deltoids is a super important muscle for our balance and mobility

We always talk about the importance of having our body in the best physical and mental state possible, and in this case, we are going to talk in-depth about a very important upper-body muscle group called the deltoids.

What you should know about the Deltoids

The deltoids is the muscle that forms what we colloquially call the “man ball”. This muscle is wide, voluminous, and covers the anterior, lateral, and posterior aspect of the shoulder. The deltoid is one big muscle and not three like many people think. This muscle originates from the shoulder girdle, and runs all the way between the clavicle and the scapular spine.

The deltoids muscle fibers are structured in three parts:

  • Anterior clavicular, this is inserted into the clavicle, and participates in movements of internal rotation and shoulder flexion, which translates into raising the arm forward.
  • Posterior spinal, or as we colloquially know as the posterior deltoid area, this muscle fiber is inserted into the spine of the scapula, and participates in the movements of external rotation and extension, which translates into the movement of raising the arm backwards.
  • Acromial, is inserted in the acromion or as it is also known the bony relief of the scapula and participates in the separation. It is considered the main separator muscle and the most powerful.

The muscle fibers that we have just discussed descend and unite in a common tendon that inserts into the lateral part of the humerus, in the so-called V or deltoids impression. Innervated by the nerve called axillary or circumflex. It receives blood supply from the posterior circumflex artery.

It is important to strengthen this deltoid muscle, since it is in charge of giving stability to our joints, and helps us to better support efforts; but deltoids empowerment should not be abused without working the rest of the musculature. For this we will talk about what are the muscle groups of the shoulder.

Another way of classifying the functioning of the deltoid is by dividing it into three portions that should be considered as separate muscles.

  • Anterior deltoids: shoulder elevation. It is the primary motor of flexion and horizontal flexion, and the accessory motor of abduction and internal rotation. Helps the respiratory system.
  • Lateral deltoids: Primary motor of abduction and vertical extension.
  • Rear deltoids: Primary motor of horizontal extension and accessory motor of extension, abduction and external rotation.

What are the muscle groups of the shoulder?

The shoulder is made up of two muscle groups: the rotated cuff, responsible for stabilizing the joint and rotating the humerus; and the deltoid, responsible for giving the shoulders a round appearance, and in charge of flexion, abduction and extension of the joint.

Most common deltoid injuries

To diagnose shoulder problems and injuries, health professionals use the patient’s medical history, and perform a physical examination and imaging tests.

If you have deltoid pain and don’t know what it might be, it is most likely that the rotator cuff is affected, or you have a dislocation from blows and trauma. In addition, this area is usually affected at the muscular level, and contractures are created not only due to bad movements, but also due to stressful situations.

When the deltoid muscle is injured, a person may experience deltoid pain or tenderness in the front, side, or back of the shoulder, especially when raising the arm. In some cases, the deltoid muscle can tear and cause some swelling, and they can even look like bruises.

Common Causes of Deltoids Injuries

The most common causes of deltoid pain are repetitive use injuries and muscle strain. In fact, people who repetitively work their shoulders and deltoids are at greater risk of developing an injury to these muscles. In addition, sudden muscle strain from heavy lifting or an accident can cause serious deltoids injury.

How to avoid deltoids injuries?

If you are wondering what to do to keep your shoulders healthy, strong, and toned, it is to work them correctly and with a head, adapting the exercise and weight to us, to avoid future injuries.

These are some of the tips we give you to take care of your shoulders:

Get a good warm up

If we perform the exercise directly, we will have all the ballots to have problems with the shoulder. That is why it is essential to perform a good warm-up, including some cardio exercises and stretching exercises.

Work flexibility

We have already discussed the importance of stretching before physical activity, not only to avoid injuries but also to ensure correct muscle flexibility, in this case, that of the shoulder. Flexibility provides us with muscle strength and elasticity, and a good range of motion. That being said, sports such as yoga or Pilates are highly recommended activities to improve our strength and balance and prevent possible falls and trips that often lead to fractures.

Strengthen your shoulders

Strengthening the deltoid muscle around the shoulder will help keep you stable and protect you from injury; but you don’t need to have to perform exclusive strength exercises, or carry too much weight.

There are accessories to effectively work and strengthen this area, such as Wiemspro electrostimulation suits; a fitness technology 100% recommended by health and sports professionals.

This EMS technology uses electrical impulses to penetrate the deepest deltoid muscle fibers, generating a powerful contraction of the muscle, and exercises it in a more effective way than with any other activity or exercise developed in a conventional way, that is, without the complement of the electro.

Having said this, it is not necessary to lift more weight, nor to carry out excessive strength exercises if we have the support of electrostimulation.

In addition, we will not only quickly, effectively, and visibly improve deltoid muscle strengthening with electrostimulation; Since a lot of tension is concentrated in this muscle, electrostimulation will also help us relax this muscle and release accumulated tension.

The 5 best exercises for the deltoids

We have previously commented on the importance of having good functioning deltoids, both for everyday actions, as well as for specific exercises such as golf, tennis, or paddle tennis. Therefore, we are going to discuss the 5 best exercises to develop good deltoids.

Front raises

The front elevations are performed with the feet slightly apart, and we can use dumbbells, a bar, or another element with a lightweight. Next, we contract the abdomen and raise our arms to shoulder height, hold for a few seconds, and slowly descend until we return to the starting position.

If we do the elevations with dumbbells, we can alternate the arms in each repetition.

Work the deltoids with these 5 exercises

Lateral raises

These raises come in two versions: the classic lateral raises and the lateral posterior raises.

Classic Lateral Raises

Begin by placing your feet shoulder-width apart. We grab the dumbbells with our hands inward. We raise the arms out to the sides until they are at shoulder height. We hold for a few seconds at the top, and slowly lower ourselves until we return to the starting position.

Rear Deltoid Raise

We stand with the legs slightly bent and separated at the width of the hip. Next, we lean over, bending at the hips with our backs slightly arched and knees bent. We take a dumbbell for each hand and place the arms perpendicular to the ground. Next, we proceed to carry out the elevations taking the weight outwards. From that position, we slowly lower back to the starting position.

Neck rowing

To perform this exercise, we must have our feet hip-width apart, and grasping the bar in pronation. With the bar as close to the body as possible, we raise it to the chest and hold the position for a few seconds. Elbows should remain open throughout the entire stroke.

This is one of the quintessential rear deltoid exercises and one that is most used to improve the rear deltoid, or as it is colloquially known for the rear shoulders.

Shoulder press

In the shoulder press we find two possible exercises:

Barbell Shoulder Press

We stand with our feet hip-width apart. We hold the bar in front of the chest with the arms bent and the hands at the distance of the shoulders. We have to place the elbows pointing downwards, and the wrists must be straight. To have a better performance, we contract the abdominals and buttocks as we prepare to raise the bar above the head, without leaning back. We hold for a few seconds and slowly return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

We place ourselves in the same starting position as in the shoulder press, we take the dumbbells and hold them with our hands at shoulder height with both arms bent. Next, we push the dumbbells up until the elbows are fully stretched. We hold for a few seconds and lower the dumbbells slowly to the final position.

What you should know about the Deltoids

Battle Rope

Within the Battle Rope, we find an infinite number of exercises for all types of profiles; and we can combine them with squats, strides, etc. to involve a greater number of muscles in the exercise.

But one of the most basic exercises of the Battle Ropes is the double wave, which consists of placing your feet at shoulder height and holding the ropes by the ends with your hands. To this we add a slight bend in the knees and then we move our arms up and down, picking up more and more speed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Deltoid Exercises

How do you work the deltoids?

The deltoids are muscles located in the upper part of the arm and shoulder, consisting of three main portions: the anterior deltoid, the lateral deltoid, and the posterior deltoid. These muscles are responsible for most shoulder movements and are essential for arm and shoulder joint stability and functionality. Here’s how you can work each part of the deltoids:

  1. Anterior Deltoid:
    • Shoulder Press: Sit or stand with a barbell or dumbbells in your hands at shoulder height. Lift the barbell or dumbbells over your head until your arms are fully extended and then lower them slowly.
  2. Lateral Deltoid:
    • Lateral Raises: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Lift the dumbbells out to the sides until your arms are parallel to the ground and then lower them slowly.
  3. Posterior Deltoid:
    • Rear Delt Flyes or Rear Pulldown: Using a cable machine or resistance band, sit and pull down or back with your arms extended and elbows slightly bent. This works the posterior part of the deltoids.

Remember, it’s important to perform these exercises in a controlled manner with proper technique to prevent injuries. Additionally, you can incorporate compound exercises like bench press, military press, or pull-ups as they also engage the deltoids along with other muscles.

It’s essential to warm up before deltoid exercises and stretch afterward to prevent injuries. Also, adjust the weight and intensity according to your fitness level and personal goals, and consider working on all aspects of the deltoids for balanced development and good shoulder function.

How can you improve the deltoids?

To enhance deltoid development and strength, it’s important to incorporate a combination of specific shoulder exercises and maintain a proper training routine. Here are some tips for improving your deltoids:

  • Exercise Variety: Include a variety of exercises that focus on all three aspects of the deltoids (anterior, lateral, and posterior). Examples include shoulder press, lateral raises, front raises, rear raises, and rear pulldowns.
  • Lift with Proper Form: Ensure you perform exercises with proper technique to avoid injuries and effectively work the muscle. Use a full range of motion and avoid using excessive weight that may compromise your form.
  • Increase Intensity: To see improvements, you need to progress over time. This means gradually increasing weight or resistance as you become stronger. This can be done through the use of heavier dumbbells or barbells or adjusting resistance on machines.
  • Train Regularly: Consistency is key to improving any muscle group. Establish a shoulder training routine that includes specific exercises at least twice a week.
  • Proper Nutrition: Ensure you get enough protein in your diet to support muscle recovery and growth. Also, maintain a balanced diet for overall energy and health.
  • Rest and Recovery: Allow your deltoid muscles to recover properly between workouts. This means giving them time to repair and grow. Get enough sleep and consider stretching and massages to relieve muscle tension.
  • Progressive Training: Implement a progressive training plan where you gradually increase the intensity and volume of your workouts over time.
  • Compound Exercises: In addition to specific shoulder exercises, perform compound exercises like bench press, military press, and pull-ups, as they also engage the deltoids and aid in their development.
  • Suplements: Consider taking supplements such as protein powder or amino acids to support muscle recovery and growth, but consult a healthcare professional before starting any supplements..

Remember that improving the deltoids takes time and patience. Listen to your body, avoid overtraining, and seek guidance from a trainer or physical therapist if you have concerns or are working to overcome a previous injury.

How many sets to do for deltoids?

The number of sets you should do to work your deltoids can vary depending on several factors, including your fitness level, goals, and the training routine you follow. However, as a starting point, it is generally recommended to perform at least 3 to 4 sets per specific deltoid exercise.

Here are some general guidelines that can help:

  • Beginners: If you are new to deltoid training, start with 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per exercise. This will allow you to get accustomed to the exercise and build a solid foundation.
  • Intermediate: As you progress, you can increase to 4 sets per exercise. You can continue with 8 to 12 repetitions per set or vary the repetitions according to your goals. For example, you can do 4 sets of 6-8 repetitions if you want to focus on building strength.
  • Advanced: For those with more experience and specific goals such as maximum deltoid development, you may consider performing 4-5 sets or more per exercise. This can include repetitions in the range of 6-10 repetitions for hypertrophy or even fewer repetitions with heavier weight for strength development.

Remember that the key is not only the number of sets but also the quality of each repetition. Ensure you perform exercises with proper and controlled technique. Additionally, it’s important to vary your exercises and movement selection to target different parts of the deltoids (anterior, lateral, and posterior) and avoid overtraining.

The best strategy is to adjust your sets and repetitions based on your personal goals and how your body responds to training. It’s also important to listen to your body and allow enough time for deltoid recovery between workouts to prevent injuries and allow the muscles to recover and grow properly.


In short, we have to learn to listen to our body to strengthen it, while avoiding injuries such as those of the deltoids. We advise you to try these basic exercises and then apply Wiemspro electrostimulation training to your routine if you want to achieve better results in less time.