How to Get Definition in Your Delts

July 17, 2019 by  
Filed under Increase Muscle, Weight Lifting

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Our shoulders are used in just about every upper body exercise we do. Because of the extreme range of motion and critical function, it's important to make sure they are strong and that your exercise routine is a balanced one. The shoulder muscles, or delts, are triangular muscles that cover the shoulder joint. In order to develop this group of three muscles, it is important to know how to develop all three in a balanced way. The delts are made up of the anterior, posterior, and medial muscles. There are also smaller rotator cuff muscles. We will share with you a couple of workout routines you can try to get definition in your delts!


woman girl fitness delts

Source: Pexels

Shoulder Structure and Function

The structure of the shoulder is made up of smaller rotator cuff muscles and larger deltoid muscles. The smaller rotator cuff muscles support the ball and socket joint. The larger deltoid muscles are comprised of the posterior, medial, and anterior muscles. Together they move the arm away from the body. The anterior deltoid works with the lats, pectorals, and subscapularis to rotate the humerus bones allowing for the palms to face backward. The posterior delts are involved in a transverse movement. Below are a few exercises for shoulder strength:


Standing while doing the shoulder press not only exercises your delts, but requires you to stabilize your core and practice balance. To perform this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with a dumbbell in each hand
  • Raise them to eye level, bending your elbows about 90 degrees
  • With your core stabilized, extend your hands up and together, extending your elbows 180 degrees
  • Pause and return to starting position slowly


Doing this exercise free-hand versus on a machine will allow you to isolate the rear delts and give you more control with your hands. To perform this exercise:

  • Lie down on a flat bench face-down with the balls of your feet firmly on the floor, using a rolled towel to support your forehead
  • With a dumbbell in each hand, slightly bend your elbows with your arms at an angle
  • Pull back your shoulder blades as you bring up the weight, squeezing and releasing in a controlled manner
  • Repeat, remembering to maintain tension and control throughout the reps


Targeting the rear delts, this exercise also works out the medial and frontal deltoids as well. It's good to add to the end of your routine. Keep the weights light to maintain the correct form and maximize every rep with muscle-mind connection. To perform this exercise:

  • Keeping the core tight, bend over and slightly bend the knees
  • With palms facing each other, do the first seven reps by retracting the scapula, squeezing, and slowly resisting the negative
  • With palms facing down, do the next seven reps; pinkies should be out as the rear delts are squeezed for each rep
  • On the last seven reps, palms are back to facing each other; do a forward raise
  • Shoulders should be down with each lift; lower them slowly in a controlled manner


Using kettlebells will add more of a challenge to this workout for your shoulder stabilizers and forearms. Each rep needs to be controlled as you focus on squeezing the deltoids. To perform this exercise:

  • Hold kettlebells at your sides
  • Bend elbows slightly, lock your wrists, and lift each one up and out to the side until parallel to the ground; turning your thumbs down at the top of the contraction will target your side deltoids
  • Pause, slowly lowering to starting position
  • Variation: Do this with a heavier weight that hangs underneath the handle


The exercise will work on your rear delts, lats, and core. To perform this exercise:

  • With a neutral grip, pull your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up until your chest is at the bar
  • Pull yourself up with your shoulders and keep the chest open, squeezing your rear deltoids at peak contraction; your body should be at a 45-degree angle from the ground at the top of the pull
  • Stabilize your core as you slowly lower to starting position, with your body upright

Another Way to Get Definition in Your Delts

woman raising dumbbells for delts

Source: Pexels


This starts with a warm-up of steady and slow presses and rows using dumbbells, followed by a seated side lateral. It works to pre-exhaust your delts, meaning that you will lift less for the following workout:

  • Standing Dumbbell Press - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Standing Dumbbell Upright Row - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Standing Military Press - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Seated Side Lateral Raise - 3 sets, 8 reps
  • Front Plate Raise - 3 sets, 8 reps
  • Upright Barbell Row - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Cable Rear Delt Fly - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Arnold Dumbbell Press - 3 sets, 10 reps


All shoulder work is done seated. Heavy military presses build the shoulders. Your back, legs, and glutes can't assist while you are seated.

  • Seated Barbell Military Press - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
  • Standing Dumbell Press - 3 sets, 8-10 reps
  • Side Lateral Raise - 3 sets, 10 resp
  • Front Dumbbell Raise - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Cable Rear Delt Fly - 3 sets, 10 reps


  • Side Leg Raises - 4 sets, 12 reps
  • Standing Military Press - 5 sets, 10, 8, 6, 8
  • One-Arm Incline Lateral Raise - 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Upright Barbell Row - 3 sets, 10, 8, 8 reps
  • Front Incline Dumbbell Raise - 3 sets, 8 reps
  • Reverse Flys - 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Barbell Shrug - 4 sets, 15, 12, 10, 10 reps
  • Middle Back Shrug - 3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps
  • Smith Machine Behind the Back Shrug - 3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps


High-volume 28 sets incorporate high-rep sets, supersets, and heavy mass-building. You will see growth, exhaustion, and burnout. Use controlled, slow contractions, hold for a full second at peak, and pause 1 to 2 seconds at the bottom before the next rep.

  • Standing Dumbbell Press - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Standing Barbell Press Behind Neck - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Front Plate Raise - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Side Lateral Raise - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Cable Seated Lateral Raise - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Machine Lateral Raise - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Seated Cable Rows - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Reverse Machine Flyes - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Upright Barbell Row - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Shrug - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Dumbbell Shrug - 3 sets, 12 reps


5 More Exercises to Define Your Delts

woman carrying kettlebell against black background

Source: Pexels


When seated on a bench, press your back against the pad and plant your feet on the floor. With the dumbbells at shoulder height, your elbows out to the sides, and your palms facing forward, lift them straight up. With your arms just short of being straight, lower them and repeat. Make sure not to lock your elbows as this would work out the triceps.


These exercises will target the medial delts. Sit on a bench with a pair of dumbbells in each hand and your arms down. Slightly bend your elbows and raise both arms to the sides until slightly above the shoulders. Keep palms facing down to maintain tension on the medial deltoids.


Take a comfortable standing position and a pair of dumbbells in your hands and hold them in front of your thighs. Raise the left one forward to shoulder height, lower to starting position, and then repeat with the right one. Alternate this for 20 to 24 reps keeping the elbows bent slightly to work the front delts.


Set a cable pulley to shoulder height using the rope attachment. Step back a few steps to get tension with your feet in a shallow lunge position. Pull your elbows back and up slightly to work the rear deltoids. Slowly release the weight and keep the body stable. Relax your neck with your shoulders down.


While seated on a bench, hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height, elbows to the sides and palms forward. Lift one hand straight up and hold, and lift the other to the same height and drop the first hand. Briskly alternate this motion in a controlled pace until you have completed your reps. Make sure not to lock the elbows at the top position.


topless man in grey shorts

Source: Pexels

It's important to remember to stretch after every upper body workout, not before you start. Keep the shoulders pressed down and don't shrug when doing presses or raises. It's easy to tense the neck and traps, which can result in neck strain. Increase tension in your little finger and not your thumbs to increase tension in the deltoids when doing shoulder presses. Keep your elbows and hands in line when doing lateral raises for maximum engagement. Don't lock the elbows at the top of a shoulder press. Don't swing the weights, but move them in a controlled manner when doing raises.

Form is important when doing any exercise. Good form prevents injury and helps you get the maximum benefit from your workout. Always take a little time to think about what you are doing and have fun!


Increase Muscle and Build Confidence with the Right Body Building Routines

April 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured Image, Increase Muscle

If you are like most people, you are probably always looking for a way to increase the muscle mass on your body, and get the chiseled look that you see from celebrities and body builders. You can get results from lifting weights and eating a healthy diet, but you should know that it is going to take some time and a lot of work to be able to get the results that you are looking for.

For some people, gaining muscle is easier than for others, and it doesnt seem that they have to do much work at all to get bigger muscles and chiseled looking muscles. For others, they may have to spend a lot of time at the gym trying to get half as much body building results. Because each person is different, it can be difficult to know how long or how much work it is going to take you to get the results you want in body building.

No matter what your body chemistry is like, if you follow a plan and stick to it, you can start to see results. The amount of muscle that you are able to build is what may vary. Some people have a better chance of getting muscles that look defined and stick out, while others may struggle to get any kind of definition. One of the first things that anyone needs to do when they are starting a body building routine is to pack on the pounds that they need to convert into muscles. This does not mean that you can go out and eat whatever you want and then work it off. It means that you do need to increase the amount that you eat, but it has to be in the form of healthy foods and the right kinds of foods.

One of the best ways to know that you are getting the right kinds of food in your diet to help you with building muscles is to supplement your diet with extra proteins. Protein supplements help you build the lean looking muscles that you want. Many people find that starting out with a healthy weight gain from healthy foods is key to helping them build the muscle that they need and get on the right track with their body building programs. You can see results as long as you stick with the program and are determined to make it work.