When you begin working on sculpting your figure into the fitness model ideal, the first steps are usually to get your abs and butt into shape. Working on your shoulders will improve your whole silhouette, giving you an hourglass frame.

Although the shoulders are actually home to a fairly complex muscle group. Many different muscles insert on the shoulder joint. However, your deltoid is the muscle that is the most visible. Having truly defined shoulders requires you to develop all of the muscles in your shoulders, but working on your deltoids will give you very visually-appealing shoulders to give you that hourglass figure.

Exercising Your Deltoids

The deltoid muscle has three heads, or sets of fibers that form distinct sections: the anterior (front) deltoid, lateral (middle or outer) deltoid and posterior (rear) deltoid. A lot of exercises work each section of the deltoid but focus on one section more than the others. It’s important to work each of the deltoid heads proportionally so your shoulders grow and shape themselves proportionally.

Anterior (front) deltoid exercises:
● Barbell or dumbbell shoulder press (can be performed seated or standing up)
● Military barbell press (can be performed seated or standing up)
● Front dumbbell press (can be performed seated or standing up)
● Arnold dumbbell press (can be performed seated or standing up)
● Barbell or one-dumbbell front raises
● Dumbbell or low-pulley hammer raises (can be performed with both arms at once or single arm)
● Dumbbell or low-pulley front raises (can be performed with both arms at once, single arm, or alternating)

Lateral (middle/outer) deltoid exercises:
● Nautilus lateral raises
● Side lying lateral raises
● Dumbbell or low pulley lateral raises (can be performed seated or standing up, working both arms, single arm, or alternating)

Posterior (rear) deltoid exercises:
● Pec deck rear delt laterals
● Behind the neck barbell military press (can be performed seated or standing up)
● High pulley lateral raises
● Bent over dumbbell or low pulley lateral raises (can be performed seated or standing up)


Sample Program

You can customize your routine to include whichever exercises you enjoy the most. As long as you make sure to include exercises that will work each of your deltoids’ heads, you are free to design your routine as you like it. Keeping it simple, at least at first, works well for most people. Sticking to the basics as opposed to designing a complex routine or one that incorporates a large number of different exercises is not necessary. However, if you find a more complex routine is more interesting for you, you might want to do more.

Here is a sample program that incorporates exercises that work all three deltoid heads:

● Behind-the-neck barbell military press: 8-15 reps, 4 sets
● Barbell military press: 8-12 reps, 4 sets
● Single arm dumbbell lateral raises: 12-15 reps, 4 sets

Rest for about one minute between each set. Again, you can customize your routine however you want. You may consider Increasing the weight on the barbell presses with each set and decreasing the reps each time. For instance, for the behind the neck military press, you can add weight and decrease your reps, doing 15 reps one set, then 12, 10, and 8.

It’s likely that you’ll eventually want to change up your routine as you get stronger. You can add intensity and volume by adding more weight, doing supersets, and decreasing your rest interval between sets and adding more sets per session.

As with all workout programs, it will take some time before you start seeing the changes you’re working for. However, with patience and a commitment to improve every week – even if it’s something as simple as increasing your weight just for one set – you’ll have the shoulders to match the rest of your strong, sexy body!

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