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If you want to build bigger delts, you likely have used the traditional exercises like shoulder presses, side lateral raises and front raises. In this video, I’m going to show you 6 new shoulder building exercises that will help you hit the front, middle and rear delts in all new ways (each backed by science) to allow you to get new results from an otherwise stale shoulder workout.
It is important to point out that the front delts are often overworked when it comes to shoulder training. Far too many exercises are performed that target the front delt over the other heads of the delts and this leads to the common imbalances we see in those that lift weights. I made sure that I showed you more options that hit the middle and rear delts here to not only help them grow but to give them the attention they are likely not getting at the moment in your current shoulder workout.
That said, we start off with one front delt exercise called the crush grip dumbbell press out. Here you are clasping both hands onto the handle of a single dumbbell with the intention of squeezing your hands as tightly together as you can. This acts to isometrically contract the chest. You might be thinking, why am I activating the chest on a shoulder exercise. The purpose of this is to isometrically occupy the chest so that it cannot contribute as much to the flexion of the arms out in front of the body. The front delts are forced to do more of the work, and when you are trying to build them up this is exactly what you want.
Next is the butterfly front raise. This initially starts as an exercise for building bigger front delts but quickly turns into one that hits the middle delts well at the top of the movement. We know that middle deltoid activation is strongest with a component of internal rotation at the shoulder. This does not mean that the shoulder needs to be internally rotated however. You can internally rotate from an externally rotated shoulder position (back towards neutral) and still get the increased activation of the area of the middle region of your delts.
We continue on with the targeting of the middle head, this time without having to use any weights at all. The bodyweight side lateral raise is one that takes advantage of the concept of relative motion at a joint. We know that shoulder abduction is the movement at the shoulder that is responsible for firing up the middle delt. Instead of having to lift the arm away from a fixed body you can alternatively rotate the body away from a fixed arm. Try this and you will feel how intense the contraction is without ever having to lift a weight.
The rear delt is one of the most overlooked heads of the shoulders. Probably this is due to it being out of sight when compared to the other two heads of the delts. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. In order to hit this area the best you need to not just perform horizontal abduction of the arm but extension of the arm in relation to the torso. Externally rotating the arm will give you the ability to get even more extension behind the body which enables one of the most intense rear delt contractions you will ever experience.
The hip hugger is one that allows you to use heavier weights to still get the the abduction necessary for getting maximal shoulder and deltoid contraction. With the arms going back behind the body as well here you still get that additional rear delt contribution that is so sorely needed.
Finally, the swimmers is an exercise you will use light weights to perform but see great benefits from doing. Don’t be fooled by the size of the dumbbell however. This exercise hits all three heads of the delts in a sequential fashion and throws in the additional benefits of eccentric front delt contraction on the descent of every rep.
As you can see, there are many ways to train your shoulders that you may not have thought about if you are stuck on the classics of shoulder exercises like presses and lateral raises. If you train like an athlete you open up many possibilities to your training that you never thought of before. If you are looking for a complete program for building massive shoulders and overall athletic muscle, head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System.
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