1. The wide grip upright row increases electrical activity in the middle and rear deltoids by more than 20% when compared to the narrow grip
2. Performing DB chest presses/shoulder presses on Swiss Balls doesn’t increase activation of the abs, deltoids or pecs
3. Press the bar overhead and hold for six seconds. Then lower the bar down and do a half rep but with a six second hold. Count each 1 ½ reps as one rep and do at least six reps. Spend those six seconds when the bar is in the overhead position tensing and contracting the deltoids hard. You won’t be able to use as much weight using the 1 ½ principle but it won’t matter because the deltoids work so hard
4. Try a old school movement. W-presses are nothing like regular dumbbell presses. You might say W-presses are to deltoids as dumbbell flys are to pecs. This is because the dumbbells are raise overhead in a wide arc. You can do these either seated or standing. Hold two moderately light dumbbells at shoulder height (about what you use for side laterals is the right weight, or maybe five pounds more), the palms facing the ears. The hands should be pulled back in line with the shoulders and be wide and outside the deltoids. In this position the hands and arms form a W—hence the name.
5. The Klokov Muscle Snatch Is the Best Overall Deltoid Builder. This is one of the best most bang for your buck exercise for building huge strong delts. Yes, it requires flexibility. Dmitry Klokov has deltoids that would make a silverback gorilla look puny. He has done 75 kg for 5 reps on that one. Also a very effective trap 3 builder. From experience, it helps break plateaus in the bench press.
6. Just because a muscle fails to respond to one type of training does not mean it will not respond to another type. Larry Scott trained deltoids by doing 6 drop sets, 6 drops per drop set, or 36 sets on his special version of dumbbell presses (what I call Scott presses with a tilted grip and doing only the middle three-fifths range of motion), side laterals and bent laterals. That’s over 100 sets but Larry could do it in less than 2 hours because he took no rest between drops and only a minutes rest between drop sets.
7. The upright row recruits the traps, deltoids, and elbow flexors. It is considered a most bang for your buck exercise.
It also has much transfer on tasks, such as loading the back of a truck. It is also a great general preparation exercises for Olympic lifters to condition the muscles in the top pull in both the clean and the snatch.
Now recent research done at the University of Memphis, has shed some light on how the width of the grip affects muscle recruitment. They compared the electrical activity in various muscles according to three different grips:
1 Narrow: half of shoulder width
2 Should width
3 Wide: Double shoulder width
Here is what they found out:
1 The wide grip increases electrical activity in the middle and rear deltoids by more than 20% when compared to the narrow grip.
2 A decrease in biceps activity, accompanied by upper traps activity increases were also found with the wide grip.
Point being, if your shoulders are lacking in relation to your upper arms, go wider on the grip!
8. Want A Very Effective Method to Build Large Delts and Middle Back? This is a very challenging and effective exercise to put mass on your shoulders and between your shoulder blades. It is demonstrated by my co-lecturer Dmitry Klovov. Best is to do 5 sets of 6 reps for optimal results. As you can see the tempo is explosive in nature. You can watch the man demo right here: https://youtu.be/A34Hh16YSn4
9. Many a shoulder problems could have been avoided with a few minutes of external rotation work for the rotator cuffs. Don’t neglect this kind of work.
10. The Four Percent Solution
Let’s say you have a weak deltoid muscle complex and you want to improve your upright row strength. And, for the sake of this example, we’ll say your best performance for the upright row is 100 pounds for 7 reps.
This is what your rep/set cycle would look like:
Workout 1: 4-5 sets x 7 reps at 100 pounds
Workout 2: Increase the weight from the last workout by 4-5 percent and do 1 rep less per set: 4-5 sets x 6 reps at 104-105 pounds
Workout 3: Increase the weight from the last workout by 4-5 percent and do 1 rep less per set: 4-5 sets x 5 reps at 108-110 pounds
Workout 4: Use the load you used in workout #2 for the workout #1 rep target. In this case, you’re shooting for: 4-5 sets x 7 reps at 104-105 pounds. If you achieve your goal, it means you’re already 4-5% stronger!