The deltoids, more commonly known as the shoulders, are often considered a difficult muscle group to build strength and muscle mass for. This is because they are a generally small muscle group and they are also very susceptible to injury. Many people have a hard time determining which exercises best target the shoulders, as well as how often they should be performed and what kind of weight should be used. These are some shoulder exercises that can be performed in a specific routine in order to gain mass and strength for the shoulders.
Before getting into the specifics of the exercises, here are some general ideas about the routine. First, these exercises should be performed with moderate, not heavy, weight in order to avoid injury. This moderate weight should equate to around 10-20 reps and the overall workout should be performed at a fast pace. The rest time between each set should be around half a minute, and the workout should take around a half hour. You should perform 3-4 sets of each exercise, and with each set you should increase weight and decrease the reps while still keeping it in the 10-20 rep range. Lastly, stretching and doing a light warm up to get your shoulders ready for exercise is essential for preventing injury and building strength and mass.
All of these exercises should be performed seated so that you can focus all of your energy into targeting your shoulder muscles. When standing, some of your energy deviates to helping you maintain your balance as you fatigue, and we also tend to get sloppy with our form by arching our backs and swinging our arms which takes away from the amount of work our shoulders are performing. The first exercise for building mass on your shoulders is a seated lateral raise. In this exercise you sit on a bench with your back flat but at a slight angle as you raise dumbbells out to your sides while keeping a slight bend in your elbows (about 30 degrees). Go until your hands are just above shoulder level, and then slowly lower them back down almost to your sides. The next exercise is the seated alternating front dumbbell raise where you sit in a similar position as the first exercise and raise a dumbbell out in front of you with slight bend in your arm and go until the dumbbell is at eye level and then back down (one arm at a time). Next, in the seated dumbbell press, you sit on a bench with back support and hold dumbbells at your shoulders. You then push them straight up until your elbows are almost straight without letting the dumbbells touch, and then you return them back down to your shoulders. Lastly, if your gym has a rear deltoid machine you should take advantage of it. Sit facing the bench, hold the handles out in front of you, and then pull the handles back with a slight bend in your elbows and go as far back as you can while squeezing your rear deltoids. For other workout routines or muscle specific exercises, contact an Answer is Fitness professional.