When you're in the gym, chances are you don't see anyone flexing and admiring their shoulders. But while your shoulders might not be considered glamorous, high-priority "show" muscles, they are important for everyday life. Your shoulders are composed of several muscles, including the deltoids. Because you have three deltoid muscles in each shoulder -- the lateral, anterior and posterior deltoids -- a three-day workout plan can be appropriate. Always exercise with proper supervision.
Role of the Deltoids
Nearly every time you move your arm, your deltoids are in action. Your anterior deltoids assist in rotation, flexion and abduction of your arm; your posterior deltoids drive extension and abduction; and your lateral deltoids help flex and abduct your arms. This means that when you're rotating your arm, moving it forward or backward, or lifting it away from your body, you're depending on your deltoids. If you have athletic events that require arm movement, you may wish to schedule your deltoid workouts several days in advance of the event so you're not sore.
Anterior Deltoid Workout
On your anterior deltoid workout day, you'll have the option of working out at home or in the gym. If you want to exercise in the gym, you can use exercises such as the cable front raise, barbell military press or alternating dumbbell front raise. If you want to hit your anterior deltoids at home, you can perform handstand pushups or pike presses, which are essentially angled pushups -- a midpoint between regular pushups and handstand pushups.
Posterior Deltoid Workout
There is minimal overlap between your anterior and posterior deltoids, so the second day of your three-day workout can be dedicated to your posterior, or rear, delts. Some exercises you may wish to include are the cable reverse fly, rear lateral dumbbell raise, dumbbell row or t-bar row.
Lateral Deltoid Workout
You may wish to take a break between your posterior and lateral deltoid workout days, as there will be some overlap in the exercises. To work your lateral deltoids, try dumbbell or cable lateral raises, barbell upright rows and cable rows. Working your lateral deltoids without the use of dumbbells, barbells and other equipment can be tricky, but the angled side bridge is one body-weight exercise that works your lateral deltoids.
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