Top 5 Deltoid Strengthening Exercises

The deltoid muscle is an important muscle in the shoulder, as it helps to provide strength for the shoulder joint. Strengthening the deltoids can help to support the shoulder joint, improve posture, and reduce the risk of shoulder injuries.

Deltoid literally means delta shaped (oid = shape, delt = Greek letter that looks like a triangle). You'll probably be familiar with a river delta that is triangular in shape. The deltoid muscle is divided into three distinct parts: the anterior (front) deltoid, the middle deltoid, and the posterior (back) deltoid. Each part is responsible for a different type of movement. The anterior deltoid is responsible for shoulder flexion, the middle deltoid is responsible for abduction, and the posterior deltoid is responsible for shoulder extension.

The deltoid muscle is a key part of the shoulder complex. It's involved in activities such as pushing, pulling, and lifting, and it helps to stabilize the shoulder joint. It's also important for athletes, as it helps create power and control when performing certain sports-related movements.

The deltoid muscle is most often worked with exercises such as shoulder presses, lateral raises, and rear deltoid raises. It's important to perform these exercises correctly to ensure that the muscle is being properly worked and that the shoulder joint is being properly stabilised. The detloid is the strong load-bearing prime mover, but the rotator cuff are smaller stabilisers around the shoulder.

Injuries to the deltoid are fairly rare, with the rotator cuff injury being a much bigger problem. However, if you do injure the deltoid, seek advice and help from our team at Surrey Physio. We use manual therapy, electrotherapy such as LASER, and acupuncture to help you heal.

Here are five of the best exercises to strengthen your deltoids:

1. Military Press

This exercise works the front deltoids and the major muscles in the shoulder region. To perform the exercise, stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Press the weights up above your head until your arms are fully extended. Slowly lower the weights to the starting position and repeat. Repeat for 10-15 reps, three sets.

2. Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Holding a dumbbell, lift your arm to the side to shoulder level. Slowly return to your side. This is a strengthening exercise for your shoulder, especially to the deltoid muscle and rotator cuff. Repeat for 10-12 reps, three sets.

3. Single Arm Reverse Fly’s

This exercise works the rear deltoids. To perform the exercise, stand with your feet outside of shoulder width apart with one hand on an upright bench, hinge at the hips and start with a dumbbell in front of you. Laterally raise the dumbbell and retract the shoulder blade with your elbow slightly bent, slowly lower the dumbbell and return to the starting position and then repeat for 10-12 reps, for three sets.

4. Rear Deltoid Row with TRX

Hold the handles shoulder width apart with hands in a neutral position and lean backwards so the torso is at a 45-degree angle. Pull the shoulder blades together and downwards, then pull the body towards the hands by bending the elbows. Slowly return to the starting position using good muscular control. Repeat 10-15 times, for three sets.

5. Standing Band Lateral Raises

Stand shoulder width apart with a resistance band in each hand by your side. Raise the band laterally with your elbows locked to shoulder height. Lower the band back to the starting position at a slow pace and repeat the movement for ten reps, three times.

(Therapists: these videos are provided by Rehab My Patient – the best exercise prescription software for therapists to prescribe exercises Patients: if you are a patient needing advice, call Surrey Physio to book a telephone/video consultation with one of our expert physios or osteopaths, or book in face-to-face for an appointment. You can call us on 0208 685 6930 or book online by clicking the link at the top of the page).