If you want to build a well-defined upper body but struggle to grow your shoulders to create your desired definition, you are probably not engaging the deltoid muscle group to its full potential. The shoulders consist of the anterior or front deltoid, the lateral or side deltoid, and the posterior or rear deltoid.
Before, I have worked with many trained professionals with different work ethics and goals. They all agreed that the deltoids are quite a stubborn group of muscles. This is why today we would look at six side delt exercises for a stronger lateral deltoid.
It requires serious dedication to efficiently grow the lateral (side) deltoid and the posterior (rear) deltoid, but it is not impossible with proper training.
The lateral deltoid is on the outside of the shoulder. It assists the shoulder joint that aids in the elevation of our arms upwards and to the side.
Many benefits come with growing the lateral deltoid. It makes your shoulders appear broader and more prominent, making your upper body look more toned, but it also holds many day-to-day benefits.
The lateral deltoids are responsible for daily activities, including pulling, pushing, or lifting items above your head.
Strong side delts also assist in stabilization when performing weighted exercises in the gym, such as bench-press.
Since you have to put in a lot of effort to grow defined side deltoids, you must include around three exercises targeting the side delts in your workout at least twice a week.
Luckily the recovering time of the side delts is not long, so you can push for maximum reps when working these guys!
This post will look at the following six exercises to strengthen your lateral deltoids:
Bodyweight exercises sufficiently targeting the side delts are at a minimum.
With that in mind, if you plan on working out at home, you will need some dumbbells for the most significant part of the following exercises.
Let’s look at a few side-delt exercises in more depth.
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What Can I Do to Strengthen My Side Delts? 🤔
Here is a list of exercises you can do to grow your lateral deltoids that will add the finishing touches to your dream upper-body physique.
1. Overhead Dumbbell Press
According to Healthline, the dumbbell press activates the deltoid muscles and works the chest, shoulders, triceps, upper back, and lower back.
You can do the overhead press in a seated or standing position.
If you perform an overhead dumbbell press in a standing position, the core is also activated to provide stabilization.
You can also do this exercise by alternating between your left and right arm or moving both arms simultaneously.
See below for a demonstration of how to do this exercise correctly- the arm movement applies to the standing or sitting overhead press.
How to do the overhead dumbbell press:
Here are our top three workout benches to consider if you wish to buy one.
2. Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises
Many beginners struggle with side lateral raises, yet it is one of the most fantastic isolation exercises for strengthening the side-deltoids.
Choosing a weight range that allows you to do the entire movement is critical to ensure maximal efficiency.
Watch a YouTube demonstration below on correctly doing dumbbell side lateral raises.
How to do dumbbell side lateral raises:
Repeat this movement and do not fully rest until the set is complete. Base the size of your sets on the number of repetitions your fitness level allows. A good goal is to do 2 or 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Here are our top three recommended adjustable dumbells to use in your workout.
3. Side Plank With Lateral Raises
The side plank already does a great job in targeting the core and side deltoids, but adding movement to the arm not engaged (the one in the air), increases the efficiency of the exercise.
I needed to include this exercise because the side plank and the lateral raise target the same muscle in different ways, making it a brilliant and versatile workout.
For this exercise, you only need one dumbbell.
Choose a weight that you feel comfortable raising above your head.
Choose a lighter weight rather than failing to complete a full set or injuring yourself.
See below a YouTube video demonstrating side-plank lateral raises.
How to do side plank with lateral raises:
4. Dumbbell Standing Around the World
The around-the-world movement ensures maximal fiber activation in the shoulders.
This movement put constant strain on the deltoids, specifically the side delts, making it a fantastic exercise to grow and tone those lateral deltoids.
See an illustration of this movement before you get into it.
You can also lie down on a bench for this movement if you have one in your vicinity.
See a video below demonstrating how the movement should look using a bench.
You can use light dumbbells for this exercise, especially if you have not perfected this movement yet.
The standing around-the-world exercise could be quite challenging without the necessary arm strength.
How to do dumbbell standing around the world:
5. Dumbbell Arnold Press
According to Coachman, the Arnold press is one of the most efficient deltoid workouts− named after professional bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Therefore, extremely heavy weights are unnecessary for this exercise to be super effective.
The Arnold Press targets muscles often neglected, with its main focus being the lateral deltoids.
The extensive range of motion ensures that the muscles stay under pressure for longer, maximizing muscle growth and making it a crucial component of your shoulder workout routine.
See below for a demonstration of how to do the Arnold press correctly.
How to do dumbbell Arnold press:
6. Dumbbell Upright Row
Dumbbell upright row is a versatile exercise that targets the upper back and the shoulders, especially the lateral deltoids.
It is crucial that, like with all the activities mentioned above, you choose a weight that will allow you to complete the sets while maintaining the correct technique.
Here is a YouTube video illustrating dumbbell upright rows.
How to do dumbbell upright rows:
Training the deltoids is critical to achieving an overall toned upper body.
Strong lateral deltoids are helpful for everyday activities and a good posture.
They largely contribute to the general toning of the shoulder area, especially in giving you the broad shoulder and thin waist physique.
Remember that muscle growth takes a lot of time and dedication. Progress is a slow process− even more so with stubborn muscles like the lateral deltoids.
Nonetheless, the six side delt exercises for a stronger lateral deltoid mentioned in this post are some of the most efficient lateral deltoid exercises.
Adding these into your shoulder workouts would help you reach your personal shoulder goals.
Ensure you check out our posts on the perfect shoulder and abs workout for beginners and at home chest and shoulders workout before you go.
Last update on 2022-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API