Anterior Deltoid training is accomplished in many exercises, but strengthening them can be highly beneficial for upper body gains and overall health.
Where Is The Anterior Deltoid?
It is the front third of your shoulder originating along the lateral third of the clavicle and inserting on the deltoid tuberosity of your humerus. Common actions of this muscle are abduction, flexion, and internal rotation. Simply put, this muscle raises your arm in front of your body, and turns your shoulders in. Pay attention to these motions, as you do them every day in your daily life. This muscle also assists in exercises that word your chest.
How To Stretch Your Anterior Deltoid
Overuse of the anterior deltoid can cause injured shoulders, especially if exercises are done inappropriately. Stretching your anterior deltoid before and after training is extremely important and it is done by positioning your hand slightly lower than your shoulder on the surface of a wall. To begin the stretch, turn your body away from the arm on the wall, and keep a slight bend in your elbow throughout the stretch. Keep turning your body until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulder. Hold and then switch arms.
What Exercises Train The Anterior Deltoid?
Arnold Presses (Dumbbell)
- Sit or stand to be sure to keep the back straight and grasp the dumbbells.
- If the weight is heavy, you may have to knee the weights into position.
- With the palms facing inward move the weights to the chest. When in the start position, the elbows will be pointing forward.
- Press the weight vertically while rotating the weights 180 degrees at the wrists, exhaling throughout the movement.
- The palms should now be facing outward and the weights should be fully suspended in line with the shoulders.
- Slowly lower the weight to the start position (elbows in front of chest), inhaling throughout the movement.
- Repeat steps 4-6.
Front Arm Raises (Cable)
- Set the pin of the pulley to the lowest setting.
- Secure a single-hand or straight-bar attachment to the cable machine.
- Position the body to face directly at the weight stack.
- Grab the attachment with an overhand (pronated) grip, stand up straight while keeping the knees slightly bent and the feet shoulder-width apart.
- With a slight bend in the elbow(s), raise the attachment up and away until it becomes eye level, inhaling as you pull it up.
- Slowly lower the attachment down, exhaling throughout the motion.
- Repeat steps 5-6. If using the single-hand attachment, switch hands after a set is completed.
Front Arm Raises (Dumbbell)
- Stand with the feet shoulder width apart or less and grasp the dumbbells with an overhand grip. The dumbbells may rest on the thighs but they should be relatively in-line with each respective shoulder.
- Either perform one arm at a time (all the repetitions straight through for one set) or alternate sides for this exercise. It is uncommon to raise both dumbbells at the same time, though it may be performed in that manner.
- Raise the arm to horizontal (or slightly above), exhaling throughout the movement.
- Lower the arm to the starting position (to the thigh), inhaling throughout the movement. For an additional challenge, when in the lowered position do not allow the dumbbell to rest on the thigh, instead keep the dumbbell slightly in front of it (an inch or so).
- Repeat steps 3-4 for as many repetitions as are desired either alternating arm between each repetition or exercising each shoulder individually. (Sets should generally fall between 3 to 6 with 6-12 repetitions.)
Military Press (Barbell)
- Sit or stand to be sure to keep the back straight and grasp the barbell with the palms facing forward.
Note: A narrow grip (which naturally forces the elbows forward) puts focus on the front deltoids and the upper chest. A wide grip(which naturally forces the elbows to point to the sides) puts the focus, again, on the front deltoids and also on the middle deltoids. If seated, the barbell will likely be on a rest well behind the body.
- From the seated position, if the weight is heavy, you may need a spot to get the weight into position overhead. Also, keep the core tight.
- Press the weight vertically until the arms are extended (or very near to being so), exhaling throughout the movement.
- Slowly lower the weight to until it reaches the collarbone, inhaling throughout the movement. Only allow the elbows to fall below a horizontal plain if it is comfortable to do so.
- Repeat steps 3-4 for as many repetitions as are desired. (Sets should generally fall between 3 to 6 with 6-12 repetitions.)
Military Presses (Dumbbell)
- Sit or stand to be sure to keep the back straight and grasp the dumbbells. If seated, carefully rest them on the knees.
- From the seated position, if the weight is heavy, you may have to knee the weights into position.
- Move the weight to shoulder level with the palms facing forward.
- Press the weight vertically until the arms are extended and in line with the shoulders, exhaling throughout the movement.
- Slowly lower the weight to near the start position (horizontal with the floor), inhaling throughout the movement.
- Repeat steps 4-5.
Follow up with the video below to see how to build anterior deltoids properly.
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Consult with a physician before starting any exercise routine.