T Nation

Exercises to Target the Medial Delts Best


I have ok front and posterior delts, but overall my traps absolutely dwarf my delts. My medial delts are much less developed than my front and posterior, and coupled with my narrow clavicle and tall traps, give me this bottle shape.

I'm currently doing Standing Military, Seated NG DB Press, Seated Laterals, and sometimes Standing BTN Press.


my middle delts were lagging too, i brought them up but now they make my traps look a lot smaller ha.

but anyways what i did to make mine grow a bit was i made lateral raises priority. I would do 3 sets with dumbbells in the beggining of my workout and i would do another 3 sets seated on a machine later on in my workout close to the end.

I dont know if this helped but since they are a smaller muscle and already not used to doing a lot of weight i started with 25lb dumbbells for sets of like 15 and weekly i raised the weight and lowered the reps. Then just did them one arm at a time when i got to 40lb dumbbells and when i got to 45lbs for sets of five i dropped back to 25lb dumbbells and hit sets of 20 and did the same thing til i got back to 45lb dumbbells with one arm for sets of 10.

you could also try increasing frequency, like also hitting your middle delts between sets on another day like a chest day

on another note i wouldn't ignore isolating every muscle apart of your delts. I'm very prone to shoulder injuries and i learned the hard way that isolating them is pretty important even if you just do it as a preventative with light weight and high reps plus if you hurt yourself thats going to be one of the first things a physical therapist is probably going to tell you to start doing.


I personally find i 'feel' them most when doing lateral raises but from behind my back, this works either with dumbells or cables. Another option is the lying lat raise, i dont use them but i know some people swear by them. The muscle natuarally has a lot more TUT when doing the exercise in this fashion due to never being able to relax it.

Do you vary rep ranges?

Could be that the muscle reponds better to higher reps and you're focusing on lower reps or vice versa - just a thought.

Otherwise i read somewhere that because the deltiod group is a pennate muscle it needs to worked from all angles, ie. raising laterally from the front, side and back. Dont know if there's any substance in that but worth a try.


why are you doing so many pressing movements if you want your medial head to improve? I recommend you check out Meadow's article on shoulder training. Also, you might want to give cable laterals, scott presses, leaning away laterals and machine laterals a try


FFW to 1:20


i havent really improved my lateral delts yet but for the last few weeks i've been doing lateral raises first full ROM then following with 50 partials a la john meadows

dont plan on doing this forever but i do feel them better on presses


Check out shoulder training: the mountian dog way.....


Check out shoulder training: the mountian dog way.....


You've already got some good responses but I'll just say tha if the middle delts are priority for you atm just do one pressing movement.

Also a lot of people don't like the upright row but if you use an olypic bar with a shoulder width grip and make sure you keep your chest up, shoulders back and elbows above the hands then I would recommend it as a great exercise for the middle delts and traps.


Try pre-exhausting your meds by doing your laterals FIRST, then doing your presses. And stop working on your traps for a while. It's not always about having every single muscle group as big as they can be. After a while, it starts to become about balance.


1morerep -

Good to see you're still around!


Thanks! I was MIA for a while but back in the swing :slight_smile: