Exercising your deltoid muscles isn't only beneficial for good-looking shoulders; strengthening this major muscle can help prevent injury and reduce pain from sitting at a desk all day. Focusing on deltoid exercises is an excellent way to minimize risk of hurting yourself while lifting heavy, too.
Here are a few of our favorite shoulder workouts to incorporate into your fitness routine:
This exercise is great because it's simple and can be done anywhere. Use heavy dumbbells (or a barbell) and aim to complete 10-12 reps of at least three sets. Remember to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your core tight, and extend your arm directly above your head with each press. Resist the urge to use momentum and focus on using only your shoulder muscles.
Another simple deltoid exercise with dumbbells: Lateral raises are fantastic for strengthening your shoulders. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and raise both of your arms (with weights) out to either side of your body (making a T-shape). Do 10-12 reps of at least three sets. Then, for a challenge, continue the same movement but bring your arms out in front of you for front raises. Repeat the motion at a diagonal, or at 10 and 2 o'clock. Alternate between all three.
Planks & Burpees
We love planks because they work various muscles, including deltoids. Walking planks and shoulder-tap planks are both great for working shoulders. Try this fun rotation for a killer deltoid workout: 30 seconds walking planks, 30 seconds shoulder-tap planks, 30 seconds burpees. Repeat for five sets, if you can!
Bent Over Rows
One more dumbbell exercise for the list, bent over rows also work your shoulders. For this one, you'll also want to stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart and lean forward (you can also use a bench for support). Keep your back straight and core tight as you hold a dumbbell in one arm and let it hang towards the floor. Then, in a slow and controlled motion, bring the dumbbell up in a rowing movement, until the weight is by your side. Do 10-12 reps on each side for a minimum of three sets.
Always remember to hydrate and fuel before and after your workouts. And to prevent injury, ensure you feel confident completing an exercise before giving it a try. Youtube has excellent tutorials, and most gyms have personal trainers on-site to assist with form/technique.