Deltoid Workouts

Side raises are a deltoid exercise.
i Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

The deltoid muscles are important because they control movement of the shoulder. There are three deltoid groups: anterior or front; lateral or side; and posterior or rear. You can do some workouts to strengthen deltoids with no equipment while others are easily done with dumbbells, a stability ball or a medicine ball. Combine specific exercises into your own workout program to meet your goals and fitness.

Limb Lifts and Pushups

    You can begin a deltoid workout with simple limb raises and pushups. Lie on your stomach and lift one arm and the opposite leg in succession. Move to a superman, raising both arms and both legs at the same time. Next do pushups, lifting your trunk with your arms. Start with bent-knee pushups, then move to a full pushup, rising onto your toes.

Dumbbell Raises

    Incorporate dumbbell raises into your workout. Hold dumbbells in each hand while standing up and lift them until your arms are parallel to the floor. Do raises to the front and side raising your arms, together or one at a time. For back raises, bend at the waist or lie face down on an incline bench and lift the dumbbells to the side.


    Lie on your back on the floor or a weight bench for dumbbell presses. Hold dumbbells at your shoulders and press them upward until your arms are straight and the weights are above your head. Set the bench back at an incline or rest your back on a stability ball for press variations. You also can do flyes while on your back, moving dumbbells from up above your body to the sides with your arms extended and parallel to the floor.

Stability Rotations

    Rest your torso on a stability ball with your feet on your toes and arms outstretched. Rotate your arms from that basic position to a "T" formation, with arms to the sides, a "Y" formation with arms at a 45-degree angle or a "W" formation with arms bent at the elbows. Start each move with arms straight ahead, do the rotation, return to the starting position and do the next rotation. Keep your body straight during the exercise.

Medicine Ball Toss

    Recruit a partner and toss a heavy medicine ball back and forth to work deltoids. Hold the ball in both hands against your chest, step forward with one foot and toss the ball to a partner about 6 feet away. Stand up and prepare to catch a return throw. Bounce a medicine ball off a wall as an alternative to using a partner. Toss the ball using your shoulders to push it forward.

the nest