7 Best Shoulder Exercises for Complete Deltoids

7 Best Shoulder Exercises for Complete Deltoids

Shoulders are quite possibly the most underrated body part of the human body. However, having fully developed, well-rounded shoulders are absolutely vital to creating a symmetrical complete physique.

Shoulders appear to generally have a limited range of exercises available at their disposal. The truth of the matter is with a little bit of creativity you can completely change the structure of your current workout routine.

Related: 5 Moves for Perfect Cannonball Delts

The shoulders are not a single muscle, but rather a group of three separate heads that each need to be worked independently for maximum growth and engagement. By sticking to both the basic fundamentals and some additional exercises you will work the complete deltoids in a structured and logical fashion.

3 Best Shoulder Exercises For a Complete Deltoid

Overhead PressOverhead press: Often times the overhead press is considered the ugly step child of the big four compound movements (along with bench, squat, and deadlift). However, the overhead press engages the entire body and is one of the best compound core workouts that can be performed. Be sure this exercise is the bread and butter of your shoulder day routine.

Dumbbell press: The dumbbell press can be performed seated or standing (for additional core engagement) and helps engage all areas of the shoulder. Progressively overloading with this movement overtime will help build thicker, broader shoulders.

Arnold press: The Arnold press is a spin on the original dumbbell press that involves rotating the shoulders in a 180 degree fashion to disperse the tension amongst various heads of the shoulder. Use a weight that is slightly lighter than the dumbbell press due to the increased difficulty in performing the movement.

2 Best Exercises For Lateral Deltoids

Dumbbell lateral raises: In order to build a complete superhero like shoulder it is of vast importance that you develop the lateral head. You want shoulders that look 3D and extend out from your body then lateral raises are a must do movement.

This exercise should be performed with a lighter weight and limited rocking and swinging throughout the movement. The beauty of the exercise is in its variability being able to be performed standing or seated as well as single or double arm.

Cable lateral raises: Cable exercises should not be frowned upon in any workout routine because they are an important assistance exercise. Cables allow for constant tension throughout the movement placing stress on the muscle during both the eccentric and concentric portions of the movement. These make a great substitute or addition to side lateral raises.

3 Best Exercises For Rear Deltoids

Rear delt dumbbell flys: Many people often neglect the rear deltoid during their shoulder workout due to the fact that it cannot be seen with your own two eyes. However, to have the fully developed round shoulder look you must perform rear delt flys.

Rear delt flys are performed in a similar manner to side laterals with the exception of the fact that your torso is rotated down nearly parallel to the floor. Be sure to use a lighter weight in this movement to avoid injury.

Rear delt flys (Pec Dec machine): Most pec dec machines at commercial gyms can be adjusted in such a way that the arm extensions of the machine go further inwards allowing for contraction of the rear deltoid.

Rear delt cable flys: If you want to switch up your normal rear delt exercise routine be sure to incorporate rear delt cable flys. These are a great way to target and isolate the rear deltoid. Using the cables make for a great finisher to your standard shoulder day.
Rear Delts

2 Best Exercises For Front Deltoids

Dumbbell front raises: Though many claim that performing isolation exercises for the front deltoid are unnecessary, classic bodybuilders everywhere will still include them to help build massive shoulders. Switch things up by lifting the weights in a horizontal (standard) or vertical (hammer) manner.

Plate raises: Take a moderate weight plate (e.g. 25-45 pounds) depending upon personal strength and concentrate on performing higher repetitions for maximum hypertrophy. Stick to the 10-15 rep range for this exercise to aide in burning out the shoulder muscle.


Shoulders should not be ignored by neither bodybuilders nor powerlifters. They are absolutely necessary for creating the appearance of a wider torso while simultaneously creating the illusion of a slimmer waist.

During each shoulder routine aim to perform at least two exercises for each of the heads of the deltoids for maximum shoulder development. Perform these movements on a consistent regular basis and you will have huge bowling ball shaped shoulders to complete your physique.

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