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Deltoid Demolition

December 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
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Your shoulders are used in one form or another in every upper body exercise in the gym… when fully developed a broad set of shoulders will not only increase your overall upper body strength, but will also give the illusion of that sought after ‘V’ taper. Athletes who demonstrate significant overhead strength are known to have great shoulder development so it makes sense to focus on the movements that allow for the greatest amount of load on the bar. This workout begins with two major power movements focusing on developing maximal strength, followed by specific isolation movements to ‘cap’ off the development of all 3 deltoid heads.

Exercise 1: Seated Smith Machine Military Press

For this first exercise we want to use a large compound movement like the Standing Military Press in the lower rep ranges to stimulate growth of the muscle fibre tissue. However unlike the traditional standing military press where there is a tendency to ‘jerk’ the weight overhead, we will use a seated position in the Smith Machine to ensure all of the force generated in the movement comes from the shoulder, and in particular the front deltoids.

Set 1: Warm up set with light weight for 10 reps.

Set 2: Warm up set with a moderate weight for 6-8 reps.

Set 3-7: 5 working sets. Use a heavy weight that allows you to reach at least 6 reps on all sets, progressively increasing the weight after every set.

Exercise 2: Seated Dumbbell Arnold Press

The Arnold Press is a traditional movement with a ‘twist’… LITERALLY! To perform the movement, start by holding a set of dumbbells to the front of your chest with your palms facing towards you. Then using a controlled motion, press the dumbbells up while at the same time rotating your wrists to finish the movement with your palms facing away from your body. By using a pressing movement with a rotation we can stimulate both the anterior (front) and medial (side) heads of the deltoids, for that ‘3D Delt’ development!

Set 1: Warm up set with a moderate weight for 8 reps.

Set 2-5: 4 working sets. Use a weight that allows you to perform at least 8 reps across all sets, progressively increasing the weight after every set.

Exercise 3: High Cable Rear Delt Row

This is a great exercise to use after the major pressing movements, as it helps to create a balanced physique by stimulating the rear deltoids for upper back development whilst rotating the shoulders backwards to help maintain healthy posture. To perform the movement set a rope pulley at eye level and grasp with an overhand grip, in a controlled manner focus on pulling your elbows out and away from your midline until your hands reach your chest. Using the cable allows you to maintain continuous tension throughout the entire movement, so make sure to keep a controlled motion during the eccentric (negative) portion of the exercise.

Set 1: Warm up set with moderate weight for 15 reps.

Sets 2-3: 2 working sets. Use a weight that allows you to perform 10-12 reps.

Set 4: Drop set. Use a weight that allows you to perform 10-12 reps, then immediately drop the weight by 30%-40% and perform reps until failure.

Exercise 4: Plate Drag Lateral Raise

Following the heavy movements this exercise is a great training tool for developing the mind-muscle connection required to fully activate the medial (side) delts. When using dumbbells most athletes will involve far too much forearm and bicep involvement to lift the weight, hence we are going to use this delicious exercise utilising weight plates instead. To begin the movement start with your arms by your side, palms facing towards your body and use a pinching action to grab a weight plate in each hand. Slowly lift the plates to shoulder height making sure to lead with your elbows by “dragging” them in an up and out motion. We are not looking for explosive power during the movement so keep a tempo of 2 seconds during the lifting (concentric) phase, 1 second at the top of the movement (isometric) and 3 seconds for the lowering (eccentric) phase of the lift.  

Set 1: Warm up set with light weight for 15 reps.

Sets 2-3: 2 working sets. Use a weight that allows you to perform 10-12 reps.

Set 4: Drop set. Use a weight that allows you to perform 10-12 reps, then immediately drop the weight by 30%-40% and perform reps until failure.

Exercise 5: Standing Barbell Upright Rows

And just when you thought we were done… BAM! We’ve gone and thrown these standing barbell upright rows in the mix! Because your deltoids, in particular your front deltoids, will be completely fried by this stage of the workout, this exercise, if performed correctly with strict form, will actually stimulate medial deltoid and trapezius growth. So how do you do this exercise correctly? Simple – slow and steady reps, keeping your heels firmly on the ground to removing any “jerking”, and leading each and every rep towards the ceiling with your ELBOWS, not your wrists.

Set 1: Warm up set with light weight for 15 reps.

Sets 2-3: 2 working sets. Use a weight that allows you to perform 10-12 reps.

Set 4: Double drop set. Use a weight that allows you to perform 10-12 reps, then immediately drop the weight by 30%-40% and perform reps until failure, then immediately drop the weight again by 30%-40% and perform reps until failure.

By following this routine consistently you will be able to develop ENORMOUS shoulder strength and size! We hope this workout has inspired you to make a statement and build a pair of your own DEVASTATING Delts.

For more gym motivation and an extreme shoulder workout check out In The Gym With Team MassiveJoes. STAY MASSIVE!

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