Top 3 Exercise To Blast Your Delts For Bulletproof Shoulders

6 Ways To Build Shoulder Strength, Size and Conditioning

Three ways to blow up your shoulders.

Broad shoulders rule the day and truly complete the physique, make no mistake about that. Many times, we seek the v-taper that makes it look as though our waist is thin and the legs are bigger, and without broad shoulders, you will not have that look. Not only that, but building strong shoulders through shoulder exercises can help with other movements, such as the bench press, and even help with every day functionality.

If you’re looking to have an impressive upper body then that means you have to make improvements on every area of the torso. The back, the pecs, the abs, the arms, all of these muscle groups and body parts need to be given some quality time and attention in order to develop solid muscle mass bring together the overall package. The shoulders are a big part in making the upper body appear more powerful and that means paying special attention to the deltoids, as they are not the easiest muscle to grow.

Looking to take your boulder shoulders and turn them into mountains? Then follow some of these helpful exercises to improve the size and definition in your delts.

Anatomy of the Shoulders

shoulder exercises

The shoulders are made up of three different parts. To put it simple, the three parts of the shoulders are:

  • Front Delts
  • Lateral Head
  • Rear Delts

To get an effective shoulder workout in, you need to hit all three of these heads. Now, some people may also include the trapezius into their shoulder day routine, and that is more than okay. However, this article is focusing on our three favorite exercises for the three heads of the shoulders.

The Top 3 Shoulder Exercises

We have hand-picked some of our favorite shoulder exercises that have truly helped us improve our overall physiques, in terms of both physical appearance and functionality.

Check it out.

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3  6-8
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 8-12
Bent Over Barbell Row 3 6-8

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

dumbbell shoulder press

3 sets, 6-8 reps

As stated above, the delts aren’t simply made up of one section of muscle. In order to see overall growth in the shoulders – you have to attack different the portions of the deltoids. The anterior head is the front of the deltoids can be worked in a variety of different ways including different variations of the bench press, push ups, and dips.

For this portion of the shoulder we recommend performing the dumbbell shoulder press as it offer better range of motion a less chance of injury. The dumbbell shoulder press also is a nice way to isolate the front deltoid, making this exercise great to really overload that portion of the shoulder.

Dumbbell Side Laterals

lateral raise

3 sets, 8-12 reps

The middle head of the deltoids are, quite obviously, located in the middle region of the shoulder. They are the part of the shoulder that is responsible for making it look like you have a broader physique, the lateral head sticks out and makes it seem like you are wider. Just like with any of the other muscle groups there are a variety of different exercises that can be used to build up this muscle group, but we’re recommending the always reliable dumbbell side lateral raises. You can take these sets to failure, really burning out the muscle and breaking it down.

Bent over Barbell Row

barbell rows

3 sets, 6-8 reps

Finally, the last portion to build up in the shoulders is the posterior head, or the rear delt. For this we recommend the bent over barbell row for a number of reasons. It might seem somewhat out of place on this list of shoulder exercises, as many bodybuilders and powerlifters use the barbell row for hitting the back muscles. However, the bent over barbell row will also work the rear delts quite effectively, as well as be effective at working the upper back, which means you’re getting more bang for your buck.

Being the barbell row is a compound movement, you can overload it a bit more, which can be good for the delts. However, you do not want to go overly heavy on the movement, as it can compromise form and risk injury.

When doing the bent over barbell row with the intent of hitting the rear delts, you want to be at more of an upright position, where you are pulling the barbell into your lower rib cage, rather than to the hips.


Why is hitting shoulders important?

Hitting shoulder exercises is not only about looking good. Strong shoulders help to enhance your posture and strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint, creating more stability as well as an overall sturdier body structure. The shoulder joint is one of the most delicate joints, meaning it can be injured easily. The shoulder joint is also one that you use every day, meaning you do not want to have injured shoulders.

How heavy should I go on shoulder movements?

Now, when you are using these shoulder exercises, you do not want to go overly heavy. However, this does not mean to go light either, as you want to get in a solid workout that will break down the muscles and really give you a good pump. Being in the rep range of maybe 6-8 on compound movements (like the dumbbell shoulder press) and 8-12 on isolation movements (like the dumbbell lateral raises) could be the way to go.

When it comes to how much weight you are doing specifically, you need to keep in mind that you want to get a good mind-muscle connection, not just go through the motions. That being said, find a weight that allows you to obtain a good range of motion and contraction.

Shoulder Exercises Wrap Up

shoulder exercise

Overall, training shoulders is something that you need to be doing, no matter if you are a bodybuilder, powerlifter, or regular gym goer. Strong, well developed shoulders complete a physique. There are three parts to the shoulders, which can be nice because you only need to hit three solid shoulder exercises for an effective shoulder workout, and these were our top three. Do you agree with our list?

What other shoulder exercises do you perform in the gym? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.