A shoulder routine does not mean that you need to add multiple new exercises into your arsenal. Instead, find a few choice exercises and rotate them through your workout routine, and you will notice a change in the shape of your overall upper body as the muscle begin to define and expand. The hardest part of this muscle is to understand the movements that are needed to isolate it.
The deltoid muscle is the rounded portion of your upper arm that crosses up on to your shoulder. When searching for exercises for the deltoid, you will often read about working the three different “heads” of the deltoid, referring to the bundles that can be noted on well-developed muscles. There is the anterior (front), the lateral (middle) and the posterior (back) head, and each one can be worked distinctly to improve the definition and contour of this muscle.
To isolate each of the heads, be sure to be move carefully through your movements so that you are not jerking the muscle. If you have to use momentum to get through your exercise, the weight is too heavy and you need to back off to get a smooth clean pull. The goal of this process is to clearly understand the motion that it takes to isolate each section of this muscle.
Each of the following exercises will help you to get the “feel” of which part of the deltoid you are isolating. One you know which part you have pushed, you can add in other exercises with increased weight to improve the look and girth of the muscle.
Anterior Head of the Deltoid
To isolate the front of the shoulder, you can start with seated military press using a barbell. Start with the barbell raised over heard, with hands just past shoulder width. Slowly bring the barbell down to chest level, and then return to over head, using a smooth clean movement. You should feel the front of the shoulder muscle during this exercise.
Lateral Head of the Deltoid
You can use lateral dumbbell raises to isolate the middle of the shoulder. In a standing position, hold the dumbbells with your arms at your sides. In a controlled movement, raise your arms to the side until your arms are near shoulder height, taking care that you have enough space on each side of you. When you get your arms to should height, slowly return them back to your sides.
Posterior Head of the Deltoid
Using a barbell, you can complete bent over rows, which will focus on the back part of the deltoid. Standing with your legs shoulder width apart and slightly bent, grip the barbell with your hands facing inward. Bend at the waist and lift the barbell with your arms straight. Lean over at about a 45 degree angle and pull the bar towards your chest. Slowly move the barbell back to neutral, and then pull the dumbbell back towards your chest.
Using these three exercises will help you to understand where each of the deltoid heads lie on your shoulder. Once you have a better understanding of the motion that it requires to isolate each section of the deltoid, you can focus on the motion that is needed to isolate each area, and then tailor your exercise program according to what you are working on in your lifting plan.