There is currently a symmetry issue with my deltoids, my anterior and posterior delts seem to be quite well developed, although my lateral delt is quite significantly behind in progression. Overall this has lead to my shoulders to having a reverse triangular shape, flat and straight. My triceps are well developed and they stick out quite a bit further then my lateral delt making my physique narrower towards my traps and neck which are well developed.
How can I correct this imbalance between the muscles and improve overall symmetry? Should I focus more work toward my lateral delt with less emphasis on the other two? Should I add 1-2 sets of lateral delt work after other workouts through the week?
I train shoulders on a monday in a 5 day body part split for 14-17 sets 3-4 sets anterior delt 3-4 sets lateral delt 3-4 sets anterios delt 3 sets of heavy trap work 2 sets isolation trap work
Maybe change your routine to focus more on lateral and less on anterior? Add more exercises for the lateral and go with a compound movement as the only anterior exercise. Remember the front get a lot of work through chest/tricep work, thus the side need more isolation on your shoulder day.
Well if you want the lateral delts to catch up more quickly, I would recommend that you train it twice a week. During the usual shoulder workout, maybe you can start off with the usual dumbbell press to keep the shoulder flowing. After that, bombard it with 3-4 sets of single-arm lateral raises (6-10reps). After that, you can add in about 2 sets of anterior and posterior exercises each to just maintain those muscles.
The second workout would just involve strictly single-arm lateral raises. The catch is: 100 reps of them. For me, I would do 5 sets 10 reps of the usual lateral raises and another 5 sets 10 reps of bent-arm lateral raises. You would be longing for the sweet release of death by the time you're done with this
As you can see, the first workout generally focuses on slightly heavier lateral raises while the second workout focuses on lighter weights but crazzyyy amount of reps. Trust me, the lateral delts will definitely FEEL this. You don't have to strictly use lateral raises all the time though, a wide-grip upright row will do fine too. But for me, I would stick to lateral raises first till I bring up those lateral delts before I include other variety of exercises.
You can probably get away without even directly hitting the anterior and posterior heads for a bit. The front will still receive some stimulation from all your chest work, and the rear will still get some from any back rowing motions. That should allow you to really focus on the middle head, multiple times per week if you can, with lower volume/sessions, but very intense focus. As the middle head shouldn't interfere with other body parts (from being sore), you won't even have to shift your chest, back etc sessions into maintenance mode either.
Try turning your thumb down a bit on DB lateral raises too. This takes the emphasis off the anterior. I slide my hand to one side of the DB handle so that my pinky is up against the end of the handle. Then the natural imbalance pulls the thumb side down slightly and turns your pinky up towards the roof and help stop using the anterior.
great advice from Stu. I've been focusing on lateral delts for the past 2 weeks now and have seen a huge improvement from doing this. My split right now is: M- Lower body + 3 sets of lateral variation (+ 1 set till all out failure). T- Bench + assistant work. W- shoulder circuit consisting of 3 lateral and/or posterior head exercises (trying to minimize anterior). TH- Back FRI- same as Monday.
I know it looks like a ton of volume but I'm one of those guys who get little to no lateral head stimulation out of anything other than raises, so this has not negatively impacted my Bench/Back work. Keep in mind that the body adapts to large amounts of stress. This type of frequency is new to me and I believe it is what has brought the results. Once I stop seeing these results and/or it starts to effect progress in my other lifts, i switch it up.
After this I plan to get back into a heavier delt routine again and then i will probably go back to this, who knows. It's all about stressing the body in new ways inorder to get the response you are looking for.
P.S.- Get ahold of some BCAA for intra workout, I am a firm believer in using these especially with higher volume. A big part of the mondays and fridays delts work is simply getting blood/nutrients to the muscle!