Deltoid Muscle Exercises To Try At Home Or The Gym

For those who may not know, the deltoideus muscles, also called the deltoids, are the muscles that run on top of and down the sides of the shoulders. They’re made of three different muscle fiber sets known as the lateral, the posterior, and the anterior, all of which allow your shoulders to move while also supporting your rotator cuff. There are different deltoid muscle exercises that you can do at home or at the gym. To suit everyone, here are a few useful exercises that you can do with and without weights in order to get the muscle tone you’re seeking.


General Info

Before you jump into the exercises, you should understand just how important your deltoid muscles are. The shoulders are essential when it comes to your upper body’s range of motion as well as your physique. Without the deltoids, you wouldn’t be able to lift your arm away from the trunk of your body let alone perform basic exercises like lateral raises or cable back rows.

More importantly, the deltoid muscles support the humeral head of the humerus so your shoulder doesn’t dislocate under heavy loads. The following exercises will help you increase the size of your deltoid muscles and help your overall performance in and out of the gym.

Deltoid Muscle Exercises with Weights

​Here are a few deltoid muscle exercises that you can perform with weights either at home or at the gym.

  • Standing Dumbbell Press

When you perform a dumbbell press while standing instead of sitting it can actually help trigger shoulder growth. You’ll just have to adjust the size of the weight you normally use since you’re more likely to use a heavier weight when you’re sitting down. To perform this exercise stand straight with your feet separated slightly (shoulder-width) and lift the dumbbells until they’re level with your eye while your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. With your core engaged, push the weights up and together while straightening your elbows completely. Return to the starting position and repeat until fatigued.

  • Prone Reverse Fly

While the reverse fly machine in your gym can get the job done, you’ll get more out of your workout if you perform this using free weights instead. To perform this, start by lying face down on a bench with only the balls of your feet planted on the floor. Then, grasp the dumbbells. Bend your elbows slightly and angle your arms out. Pull the weights up by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower the weight in a controlled manner to return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise keeping control of the weights and tension in your arms.

  • Lateral Raises With Kettlebells

By replacing dumbbells with kettlebells, you’ll be making the standard lateral raise that much more challenging which will help your deltoid muscles grow. Remember to remain in control instead of allowing the momentum of the exercise to control you. Start with the kettlebells at your sides keeping your elbows bent slightly. Raise the kettlebells out to the side and up to the point where your arms are straight and parallel to the floor. Hold the position for a second and then lower the kettlebells back to the starting position slowly.

​Deltoid Muscle Exercises Without Weights

If you don’t have access to weights at home and don’t have a gym membership, you can still perform successful deltoid exercises using your own body weight as resistance. These deltoid muscle exercises are easy to do and are quite effective.

  • Deltoid Extensions

On a mat, get down on all fours with your knees about hip-width apart and your hands under your shoulders (shifted a little toward the center of your chest). Next, take your left arm and bend it at the elbow. Then reach it across under your right arm as far as it will extend keeping your palm up and your core engaged.

Next, lift up your left shoulder and extend the arm in the opposite direction until it is straight (your left arm should extend out to the side to create a straight line from your fingertips across the width of your back and shoulders). Repeat this 10 times and then switch sides repeating the exercise on that side 10 times. Try to work up to sets of 30 on each side.

  • Push-Ups

Standard pushups allow you to strengthen your deltoids by using your own body weight. Get into a standard push-up position then move your arms outward about two inches; this will better work your deltoids. Perform pushups as your normally would but try to hold your lowered position for one second each time. Push back up to the starting position and repeat until you can’t do anymore.

  • Pike Press

Get down on all fours again and move your arms until they’re shoulder-width apart and shift your weight so you’re supporting yourself more with your hands. Curl your toes and push your lower body up so that your body looks like an upside down letter “V” (think of the yoga position downward dog).

Keep your back straight and your core engaged as you breathe out and bend your elbows lowering your head to the floor (like a pushup). Hold that bend for one second then push back up to return to the “V” position. Repeat this until failure.


These deltoid muscle exercises are not only easy for you to do at home or at the gym but they offer something for everyone whether you prefer using weights or not. Try one or all of these on your own and watch your deltoids grow in size.

Anna Smith

Hi there ! I’m Anna Smith, chief editor at Healthankering. I'm a proud mother of three passionate about health tips, beauty and ways to live healthier with more energy ! We start Healthankering to provide advanced material about not only the best ways to get healthy, but also to entertain and create a great community. Welcome aboard !

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