Deltoids stimulation exercises

The deltoids are very often improperly trained either because of a bad choice of exercises or an incorrect technical application. Always remember that to be maximally effective an exercise should include: a controlled eccentric phase, a quick loaded stretch and an explosive (or an attempt to be explosive) concentric action. These things often take the wayside when we're training shoulders. Take lateral raises for example; most peoples will pause at the bottom of the movement, negating the potentiating effect of the stretch on motor unit recruitment. Others will lower the weight too rapidly (no control during the eccentric phase). These two mistakes really chip away from the effectiveness of the raises exercises (lateral, bent over, front raises). Then there is the matter of the lifting pattern. To make things simple remember this: the back end of the dumbbell should be in line or higher than the front end when you want to place more stress on the lateral head of the deltoid; the front end of the dumbbell should be higher than the back end if you want to target the anterior deltoid.

Key point(s): Because of the incline angle it is possible to get a more pronounced stretch of the deltoid by "squeezing" the arms toward the bench on the way down. Stretch those shoulders by bringing the arms back and toward the midline of the bench. Keep the back end of the dumbbell in line with the front end at the top position.

Exercise 74. Incline front raise

Exercise 74. Incline front raise

Key point(s): Stretch the front portion of the shoulder by bringing the arms far back (no need to bring them inwards) and by puffing the chest out. Lift the dumbbells with the thumbs toward the ceiling.

Key point(s): Stretch those shoulders by bringing the arms back and toward the midline of the body. Keep the back end of the hand in line or higher than the front end at the top position. Those with a lack of shoulder mobility can use the "in front of the body" variation, although it's a little less effective due to the decreased stretch.

Exercise 76. Behind the back cable front raise

Exercise 76. Behind the back cable front raise

Key point(s): Stretch the front portion of the shoulder by bringing the arms far back (no need to bring them inwards) and by puffing the chest out.

Key point(s): This is a regular shoulder press with a slight modification: at the bottom position, squeeze the elbows close to the body to stretch the shoulders. As you press the dumbbells up, do so in an arc, starting from the tucked position, pressing slightly outward at the beginning of the movement then back to inwards at the top. Bring the dumbbells close together, but don't hit them together. This exercise can also be performed seated.

Exercise 79. Barbell thrust

Exercise 79. Barbell thrust

Key point(s): Place one end of an Olympic bar in a corner of the room and load up the weight on the other end. Bring the bar to your shoulder holding it with one hand, this is the starting position. Press it explosively while keeping the torso stable and solid. Just like with the preceding exercise, tuck the elbow close to your body to stretch the shoulder.

Exercise 80. Barbell thrust around the world

Exercise 80. Barbell thrust around the world

Key point(s): Place one end of an Olympic bar in a corner of the room and load up the weight on the other end. Bring the bar to your shoulder holding it with one hand, this is the starting position. Press it forward and up over your head. Exchange hands at the top position and return the bar to the starting position for the other arm. Execute the same movement from the other side. This is one complete rep.

Note: Both shoulder thrust exercises can also be performed as a push press, using a slight leg drive to get the bar moving.

Exercise 81. Behind the back two arms cross lateral raise

Exercise 81. Behind the back two arms cross lateral raise

Key point(s): Stretch those shoulders by bringing the arms back and toward the midline of the body. Keep the back end of the hand in line or higher than the front end at the top position. Those with a lack of shoulder mobility can use the "in front of the body" variation, although it's a little less effective due to the decreased stretch.

Getting Started With Dumbbells

Getting Started With Dumbbells

The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.

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