The shoulder muscles, or deltoids, are composed of three muscle heads: the anterior, posterior and lateral muscles. The primary function of the deltoid muscles is to assist in arm rotation, vertical arm raising and lateral lifting, according to the University of Washington Department of Radiology. Deltoid isolation exercises should be included in any upper body strength training routine for women. Not only will they strengthen the upper body, but they will slightly widen the shoulders, making the hips look narrower. Check with your physician before starting any resistance training routine to ensure its safety.
The upright row isolates the lateral, or side, deltoids while simultaneously calling upon 12 various muscle groups for stabilization and movement control. Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your right foot slightly in front of the left. Place a slight bend in your knees. Hold the dumbbells in front of your pelvis with your palms facing your body. Carefully pull the weights vertically up your torso. Allow your elbows to flex outward. Stop the motion when the dumbbells are parallel with your upper chest. Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Repeat eight to 12 repetitions in each set, with a goal of one to three sets.
Seated Dumbbell Press
The seated dumbbell press isolates all three deltoid muscle heads, which include the front, rear and side muscles, as well as the triceps brachii muscles. Grasp a pair of dumbbells, and sit on a weight bench with a backrest. If a weight bench in unavailable, use a sturdy chair with a straight backrest. Plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Contract your abdominals and keep your back straight while you lift the weight so your upper arm is parallel with your shoulders and your palms facing the wall in front of you. Exhale as you press the weighs simultaneously up toward the ceiling. Stop the motion when your elbows are almost fully extended. Carefully lower the weight back to the starting position. Repeat one to three sets with eight to 12 repetitions in each set.
The lateral raise isolates the lateral deltoids. Hold a pair of dumbbells by your side while standing with your right foot 6 to 8 inches in front of the left. Hinge your upper body forward so your chest is slightly past your right knee. Place a slight bend in your knees. Hold the dumbbells in front of your body with a small bend in your elbows. Keeping your chest and head facing forward, carefully raise your arms laterally. Stop the movement when the weights are parallel with your shoulder. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat six to 10 repetitions with a goal of completing one to two sets.
The front raise exercise isolates the front and side deltoid muscles. Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your right foot slightly in front of the left. Place a slight bend in your knees, and hold the dumbbells so they are resting in front of your thighs. Position the weights so your palms are facing your pelvis. While keeping your head and chest facing forward, contract your abdominal muscles. Slowly raise the dumbbells in front of your body. As the dumbbells approach your chest, tilt the weight inward so your palms are slightly pointing in opposite directions. Stop the movement when your arms are parallel with your shoulders. Return the weights to the starting position. Repeat eight to 10 repetitions with a goal of completing one to two sets.
Jonathan McLelland has been a professional writer since 2005. He has worked as a story writer and editor for the international sitcom, “Completing Kaden,” as well as a proposal writer for various production companies. McLelland studied communication and theater at St. Louis Community College.