The Elite Physique

Cap Those Delts

cap those delts
Tips and Tricks to Cap Those Delts

If you are ready to cap those delts, here is the information you need.  The shoulders, also known as the Deltoids or delts, add shape and width to the upper body.  The shoulder is divided into three parts, anterior, acrominal (lateral), and posterior.  The shoulders are an important factor in training, as well as bodybuilding presentation because they bring together the total package.  Properly developed shoulders bring out your v-taper, giving a smaller appearance to your waist and they help to create beautiful proportion.  Strong shoulders are important for training since they are involved in most of your upper body movements.

Each of the shoulders’ three sections contains fibers that run in different directions.  Shifting resistance to the different sections depends on movement of your upper arm.  To cap those delts and have a well-balanced shoulders you need to train all three sections equally.

Shoulder Press

To cap those delts you need to make the shoulder press your best friend.  The shoulder press is the mass builder of shoulder exercises and it should be incorporated first.  Pressing movements to the front are the safest.  The behind-the-neck press is an unnatural movement and adds stress to the neck, and if the weight is too heavy you can cause damage.  You can use a machine, dumbbells, or a barbell to effectively execute the shoulder press.  Free weights presses will be the best mass builder.

shoulder training

Exercises That Target the Sides of the Shoulders

Having well-developed lateral deltoids will enhance your symmetry nearly 100%. However, to best build these you need overall shoulder strength, which is created by pressing movements. Basically what I’m saying is that you can’t just focus on one part of the shoulder or the other to cap those delts.  Focus and train it as a whole so it’s well-developed and strong.

Upright Row

A confusing lift is the upright row.  Many people think it works the front of their shoulder, but nothing could be further from the truth.  The shoulder is attached to the humerus, and since it is a shoulder joint, the arm goes to the side.  Therefore, the upright row works the lateral deltoid, not the anterior, as many believe.  To avoid rotator cuff damage when executing this movement, do not allow the humerus to elevate past what is parallel to the floor.  This exercise works the same deltoid head as the next exercise, the lateral raises. Therefore, using both movements in one training session is not needed since they do the same thing.

Lateral Raises

Cap those delts with lateral raises.  When performing lateral raises, be sure the humerus travels out to the side of the body, not toward the front.  Do not elevate your hand past what is parallel to the floor.  The range of motion is from the side of the body and finished at a 45-degree angle.  Some people use a slight medial, inward, rotation at the contraction, something like pouring water out of a pitcher, however if the weight is heavy this can cause damage.  The lat raise is not a power movement.  In fact, states, “When doing lateral raises, don’t focus on using heavy weights. That’s not the point. The point is to isolate certain muscles and work them, and that does not require heavy weight. In fact, using heavy weight might lead to injury.”

lat db raises

Exercises That Target the Front of the Shoulders

The anterior deltoid, front of the shoulder, is stimulated a lot during chest training, especially with the incline presses.  No extensive training is necessary unless they are very weak in comparison to the rest of your chest and shoulder area.  Even though the anterior deltoids come into play with many chest exercises- that is no reason to neglect them.  Train them hard to cap your delts.

Front Raises

Obviously, the front raises stimulate the anterior part of the shoulder.  To cap your delts, incorporate front raises with either with a barbell, a dumbbell, or a plate.  Bring the weight straight out until arms are parallel with the floor and return the movement.

Arnold Presses

The Arnold Press is another front shoulder exercise you can use to cap those delts.  Many folks tend to forget about this movement.  With a pair of dumbbells, begin with your hands at shoulder height and palms facing each other.  As you press upward, rotate your hands forward until your arms are straight over your head.  As you lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, rotate your hands toward each other once again.  After each set, say the phrase, “I’ll be back.” Ok, that part was a joke.

front db raises

Exercises That Target the Back of the Shoulders

Many bodybuilders have weaker rear deltoids because they are often neglected.  Other stronger muscles will take over for them if you are not concentrating hard on your rear delt training technique.  Train them at a slow pace in a controlled manner to cap those delts.

Rear Deltoid Machine

The rear-deltoid machine is the best movement to isolate the back of the shoulders.  As you contract, squeeze the shoulder blades together and hold the contraction for two seconds and return to the starting position slowly.  Keep constant tension on the rear delts throughout the exercise.

Bent Side Lateral Raises

Another good exercise for the rear-deltoids is the bent-over dumbbell raises.  Bend over at the hips, grasping a light to moderate dumbbell in each hand.  With your upper body parallel to the floor, slowly bring each dumbbell straight out from your sides, making sure not to elevate them past your body that is parallel.  Use the same contraction method and squeeze the shoulder blades together, keeping constant tension on them throughout the exercise.

shoulder workout for women

Lying Incline Posterior Deltoid Raises

Lying incline posterior deltoid raises are also excellent for the rear deltoids.  Simply lie on your side on a low angled incline bench and hold a dumbbell in front of you.  From this position raise it up overhead, contracting the shoulder blade and lower it to a 90-degree angle in front of you.  This movement also targets the lateral deltoid.

Lying Incline Posterior Deltoid Rows

Lying incline posterior deltoid rows is another awkward, rear deltoid movement. Lie face down on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand and contract your shoulder blades together. This movement will also target the traps.

It’s not necessary to do more than one lateral, front, or rear delt exercise.  The object is muscle stimulation, not exaggeration. Don’t make it a workout marathon.  Train briefly with maximum intensity to cap those delts.

Learn more cool training techniques below…


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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

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My name is Karen Sessions and I am a life-time natural female bodybuilder, multi-certified fitness instructor, author, specialist in performance nutrition, and a success coach. I've been in the fitness industry since 1988! I teach people Just Like You how to transform their bodies, get in shape, build muscle, lose fat and compete in Bodybuilding, Physique, and Figure Competitions. When you have the CORRECT information you can have total confidence and turn your dreams into reality... and I can help transform YOUR body. I have helped THOUSANDS of clients reach their goals and I can help you, too. Be sure to grab my free gift above so you can start moving toward your goal.

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