Flex Your Delts

An 8-week plan to add major shoulder size and width.

DELTOID ANATOMY

Here, we illustrate the function and position of each of the three deltoid heads. The front delt originates on the collarbone, the middle delt originates on the front side of the shoulder blade and the rear delt originates on the back side of the shoulder blade. Each head converges into one common tendon that attaches to the humerus (upper-arm bone), allowing the deltoid to move the arm in a variety of directions. This is the reason there are a wide variety of delt exercises that move in different directions. 

ANTERIOR (front) DELTOID  PINK   

  • FUNCTION
    • Flexes upper arm at shoulder, such as during front raises 
  • EXERCISES 
    • Seated alternating dumbbell front raises 

MIDDLE DELTOID  RED 

  • FUNCTION
    • Abducts upper arm, such as during lateral raises
  • EXERCISES 
    • Standing dumbbell lateral raises
    • Seated dumbbell lateral raises
    • Standing cable lateral raises 
    • Seated barbellshoulderpresses *
    • Standing barbell shoulder presses *
    • Seated dumbbell shoulder presses *
    • Smith machine behind-the-neck presses* 

* These exercises involve all three deltoid heads, with the greatest emphasis on the middle and front heads. 

POSTERIOR (rear) DELTOID  BLUE 

  • FUNCTION
    • Horizontal abduction of upper arm at shoulder, such as during bent lateral raises 
  • EXERCISES 
    • Incline rear-delt dumbbell lateral raises Incline cable rear-delt lateral raises 

 

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