5 Best Side Delt Exercises To Maximize Your Shoulder Gains

Amp Up Your Shoulder Workout With These 5 Best Side Delt Exercises

Amp Up Your Shoulder Workout With These 5 Best Side Delt Exercises

Are you looking for an effective way to work out your side deltoid muscle? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.

Your goal may be to build muscle and size in your shoulders or maybe even just add definition; whatever it is, these side delt exercises are sure to help.

Not only can they give shape and strength training benefits but also added stability and posture improvements.

You’ll find there’s no better way to get those coveted V-shaped upper body muscles than through strong side delts.

So what are you waiting for?

Read on, and let’s start getting that back going today with these side delt exercises:

Best Side Delt Exercises For Mass

Listed below are some of the best side delt workouts you can do at home with minimal equipment:

1.      Seated Arnold Press

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The Seated Arnold Press is a versatile shoulder exercise that engages the side deltoids, front deltoids, and triceps.

By pressing the dumbbells overhead with a rotational movement, it significantly emphasises the side delts, helping to create a broader and more defined shoulder appearance.

This exercise also improves shoulder stability and mobility while allowing for a full range of motion.

Muscles Targeted: Side delts, front delts, triceps

How To Perform?

  • Sit on a sturdy bench with a backrest, or use an adjustable weight bench with back support. Place your feet flat on the ground and maintain an upright posture.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, with your palms facing your body (neutral grip). Your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Start with the dumbbells near your chest. Press them upward and outward while rotating your palms to face forward as you extend your arms.
  • Continue to press the dumbbells overhead until your arms are fully extended but not locked out.
  • Slowly reverse the movement, bringing the dumbbells back to the starting position while rotating your palms back to a neutral grip.
  • Perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps with controlled movements.

2.      One-Arm Cable Raise

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The One-Arm Cable Raise is an excellent isolation exercise for the side deltoids.

By lifting the cable handle laterally against resistance, it directly targets and strengthens these muscles.

The benefit of using a cable machine is that it provides constant tension throughout the entire range of motion, resulting in better muscle engagement and development.

Muscles Targeted: Side delts

How To Perform?

  • Attach a single-hand cable handle to a low pulley machine and set the desired weight.
  • Stand with your side to the cable machine and grab the handle with your far hand (the hand farthest from the machine). Your near hand should be placed on your hip.
  • Stand with a slight bend in your knees and maintain a straight back.
  • Keeping your arm mostly straight (with a slight bend at the elbow), lift the cable handle upward and outward to the side until your arm is parallel to the ground.
  • Hold the contraction for a moment, feeling the tension in your side delt.
  • Slowly lower the handle back to the starting position.
  • Complete 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps on each side.

3.      Seated Behind-The-Neck Press

While Seated Behind-The-Neck Press primarily works the front deltoids, it also engages the side deltoids to a significant extent.

This compound side delt exercise helps in developing overall shoulder strength and size, contributing to a balanced and aesthetic shoulder profile.

However, it’s crucial to perform this exercise with proper form to avoid any unnecessary strain on the shoulder joints.

Muscles Targeted: Side delts, front delts, triceps

How To Perform?

  • Sit on a bench with a backrest and set up a barbell in a squat rack at about shoulder height.
  • Grip the barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with a pronated (palms facing forward) grip.
  • Unrack the barbell and lower it behind your neck. Ensure that your back is straight, and your chest is up.
  • Press the barbell upward until your arms are fully extended but not locked out.
  • Lower the barbell back down to behind your neck with control.
  • Perform 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps with proper form.

4.      Dumbbell Lateral Raise

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The Dumbbell Lateral Raise is one of the most effective side exercises with dumbbells for directly targeting them.

It allows you to isolate and work on this muscle group, resulting in better lateral shoulder development.

By lifting the dumbbells to shoulder level or slightly higher, you can enhance the width of your shoulders, creating a more V-shaped upper body appearance.

Muscles Targeted: Side delts

How To Perform?

  • Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Keep your feet hip-width apart and a slight bend in your knees.
  • Maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout the exercise.
  • Slowly raise both dumbbells out to the sides until they are at shoulder level or slightly higher. Keep your palms facing downward during the movement.
  • Hold the top position for a brief moment to feel the contraction in your side deltoids.
  • Lower the dumbbells back down to your sides in a controlled manner.
  • Aim for 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps with controlled motions.

5.      Side Plank

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While primarily known as a core-strengthening exercise, the Side Plank also engages the side deltoids.

This no-equipment side delt exercise helps stabilize the shoulder girdle and improves shoulder endurance, making it an essential component for overall shoulder health.

Strong side deltoids assist in maintaining proper posture and shoulder stability during daily activities and other workouts.

Muscles Targeted: Side delts, obliques, core

How To Perform?

  • Lie on your side on a mat or the floor with your legs straight and stacked on top of each other.
  • Prop your upper body up on your elbow, which should be directly under your shoulder.
  • Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core muscles to maintain stability.
  • Lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your feet to your shoulders.
  • Hold this position for as long as you can while maintaining good form. Aim for 20-30 seconds initially and work your way up to longer holds.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Final Verdict

All in all, the side delt exercises outlined in this post are a great way to get you started on building strong, toned side delts.

The key is to have a consistent workout routine that works for you and to be consistent about it.

Exercises such as lateral raises, Arnold Presses, bent over raised and bent over lateral raises will bring desired results if done correctly.

Most importantly, remember always to stretch beforehand and warm up slowly with waves of lighter weight before progressing to higher weights. Additionally, listen to your body during the workout itself and pause when you feel strain or pain.

Get moving on your fitness goals today – set aside some time to work on your shoulder exercises each day and feel the results.

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