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Strong arms aren’t the only important thing when it comes to lifting, powerful shoulders are just as vital.

Deltoids encase your shoulder joint, providing you with the strength for carrying items from A to B, prevent injury and maintain proper posture.

What are the best exercises for your Deltoids, allowing you to isolate the muscle and ensure a proper workout? Not to worry, we have got you covered! Here are the 5 Best Deltoid exercises that are worth it.

Standing Dumbbell Press

Related: 16 Best Low Impact Cardio Machine 

You might think why can’t I just do a seated press? Well, the Standing Dumbbell Press is much more effective for shoulder growth, improved stability and balance, while also targeting your core.

A study conducted by the University of Padova proved an increase in the use of muscles when doing a standing dumbbell press – just so you know it is worthwhile! 

  1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Hold a dumbbell of appropriate weight in each hand.
  3. Lift the dumbbell to your shoulder level.
  4. Rotate your arm so your palms are facing forward. This is your starting position. 
  5. Tense your core and slowly push the dumbbells up above your head, fully extending your arms.  
  6. Pause
  7. Slowly return the weight to the beginning position. 
  8. Repeat this exercise in sets of 3 of 12 reps. 

Prone Reverse Fly

Wait a minute! You are going to grab a bench and some dumbbells and skip the machine for this one. Doing this exercise this way isolates your rear deltoids and engages more stabilizer. 

  1. Grab a flat bench and lay face down. The balls of your feet should be firmly planted for support and stability. 
  2. Pick up an appropriate weight dumbbell in each hand. You should be using the Neutral hand position (your palms need to be facing each other).
  3. Have a slight bend in your elbows, while your arms should be angled out a little. 
  4. Slowly, raise the weights so they are in line with your shoulders (or slightly above if you really want that burn!). Don’t forget to squeeze your shoulder blades together as you after lifting the weights. 
  5. Lower your arms and repeat. 
  6. Do the Prone Reverse Fly in 3 sets of 12. 


  • Keep constant control and tension throughout the exercise and roll up a towel to place under your forehead for a little cushioning

Lateral Raises (With Kettlebells)

Related: 12 Week Kettlebell Program

Sometimes a Kettlebell is a better option than dumbbells and in the case of Lateral Raises, it couldn’t be more true.

Using a kettlebell instead of a dumbbell alters where the weight sits – the weight of a dumbbell sits directly in your palm, while the weight of the kettlebell is under your palm. 

  1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Pick up a set of kettlebells and hold them at your sides. 
  3. Lock your wrists and slightly bend your elbows. 
  4. Raise the weights straight out to your sides until they are at your shoulder height. Your body should make a ‘t’ shape. 
  5. Pause for a couple of seconds. 
  6. Slowly return the kettlebells to your sides. 
  7. Complete these Lateral Raises in 3 sets of 12. 


  • Don’t allow momentum to take control. Keep this exercise slow and controlled so you have to really squeeze your delts. 
  • If you want to change it up a little you can go into seesaw mode! You just alternate arms. Lift your right arm. Now, simultaneously as you lower your right arm, raise your left. That is considered one rep!

Arnold Press

This is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favorite deltoid exercise. This is like an overhead press with a slight twist that really engages your deltoids and promotes gains. 

Warning: If you experience any pain while performing this movement, stop and find another exercise to this. Due to the rotation in this movement, it can put a strain on your shoulder joint and impinged your shoulder. 

  1. Sit down on a bench with your feet planted firmly on the ground, roughly hip-width apart. 
  2. Pick up two dumbbells and hold them in your palms as if you have just finished a bicep curl. The weights should roughly shoulder level with your palms facing your shoulders. 
  3. Simultaneously, you are going to push the dumbbells up and over your head, while rotating your arms so your palms are now facing away from you. 
  4. Pause with your arms fully extended for a couple of seconds. 
  5. Reverse the movement to go back to the starting position. 
  6. Repeat this 12 times and complete 3 sets. 


  • You can also do this movement standing to improve the engagement of your stabilizers and improve balance. 

Front Raises

If you don’t particularly like doing push-ups, this is a great option to compensate as the front raise primarily targets your anterior deltoid, just like a push-up! 

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand resting at your thighs with your palms facing each other. 
  3. Raise your arms in front of your body until they are level with your shoulders. 
  4. Slowly return to the starting position. 


You can change this exercise up by:

  • Holding a weight plate with both hands to increase the work out of your side delts. 
  • Alternate the arm you raise like a seesaw ie. Raise your right arm, simultaneously as you lower your right you are going to raise your left. 


Your Deltoids are vital muscles when it comes to preventing injury, maintaining a proper posture and carrying stuff from point A to point B.

You can use these movements in a combination to feel the burn when you work on your shoulders.

Now you know the 5 best exercises to really workout your deltoids. How far are you going to go?