• Sam Pattison

4 Tips to Grow Delts That Stick Out Like a Nun in an Opium Den

If looking jacked is your goal, then at one point or another you're going to try and grow some delts. So here are some tips to help you do just that.

1) Don't Forget Heavy Pressing

Far too often people get caught up solely doing isolation work for their delts. Isolation exercise have their place in delt training, however shoulder pressing movements will be able to be loaded significantly more than a dumbbell lateral raise. Due to the load being higher in the press, there is more mechanical tension on the muscle which is a significantly different stimulus than what you will get from a dumbbell raise.

Last point on shoulder pressing. No one is built the same. Some people will have to set up a bench on a high incline angle in order to properly train their delts, while others will be able to use a normal military press bench. There are factors that go into that such as degrees of external rotation in the shoulder and limb length, but I'll go more in depth on that at a later time.

2) When Performing Isolation Exercises, Try Raises in Different Planes of Motion

This point and the next tie into each other. In order to efficiently train a muscle group, especially in isolation, the goal has to be to bring the origin of the muscle and the insertion of the muscle closer together. When you can no longer bring the two points together, you will reach a peak contraction.

Now circle back to where I said, "No one is built the same." Two people may have different origins/insertions, due to numerous factors.

So what I mean by that is, in order to EFFICIENTLY train the lateral delts, Trainee A may be able to get away with normal Dumbbell Lateral Raises, while Trainee B has to do Dumbbell Front Raises with a Supinating grip.

Just because one exercise is called a "Lateral Raise", and the other is called a "Front Raise" doesn't mean that they efficiently train the lateral delts or anterior delts respectively.

So forget what an exercise is called, and FEEL the muscle you are supposed to be training.

3) When Performing Isolation Exercises, Try Different Grips

There are three grips, and two variations that we are going to talk about.

Pronated, Pronating, Neutral, Supinating, Supinated

Think about Pronated as palms facing down, Supinated as palms facing up, and neutral as palms facing each other. Now, think about Pronating and Supinating as starting in a neutral hand position and ending in a fully Pronated or Supinated grip at the peak contraction, and then lowering the weight back to a neutral grip.

So to piggyback off my last point, various grips will help bring the origin and insertion closer together. In my experience, Pronating and Supinating grips work really well, but again it depends on the biomechanics of the trainee.


I know this is a crazy concept, but you don't get bonus points by doing a lateral raise to the point where the weight is over your head. At that point, you are loading passive tissues, and/or muscle groups that you aren't trying to target. By staying in the active range of motion, you are keeping tension on the muscle you are trying to train, and hopefully feeling that muscle working to control the weight. When you leave the active range of motion for that muscle, you have to be able to refocus and "find" the tension again. Most novice to intermediate lifters truly can't find the proper tension in the muscle group they are trying to train, ESPECIALLY when it comes to their delts. Also, most injuries in weight training occur when load is transferred from active tissue to passive tissue. So by keeping the movement in the active range will efficiently promote hypertrophy, and also reduce risk of injury.

Now you can take these tips, implement them into your training, and watch your shoulders grow.

Remember everyone is different, and what works for Joey McInstagramfamouspants may not work for you. So the more you pay attention in training, the more you can learn about yourself.

That way you can get jacked, faster.


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