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How Should I Work Delts? (Discomfort)


Shoulders are one of the most impressive bodyparts to build, but I have been very frustrated at my deltoid training.

During lateral raises, I feel a weird discomfort (almost pain) that frustrates me and caused me to drop them from my workouts. I have tried thumbs up, to the side, to the front, diff angles, etc, but there is always weirdness going on in the shoulders. BB and DB press seem to be fine until I go heavy (failing at 6 reps or under).

For now, do you guys think I should just do overhead presses at more of an angle and in the smith, and lateral raises that aren't raises so high? (less than shoulder level)

What should I do? any recommendations? I need to get these delts up! (along with the rest of my body of course)

Anyone else who has experienced the same, and how did you work around it? Also, what grip is the safest for shoulder joints when OH pressing? (closer or wider)


Lts you can try. For laterals a slight bend forward can put the stress in the right area. Try partial ranges of motion. Try cables if you havent. Usually cant use as much weight but you get constant tension. Bands are a great tool as well for learning how to fire delts and get them to do more work at the top.


Ive tried all of those methods of lateral raises as well.

I wouldn't think there is anyone to see about it, considering it is probably just the natural structure of my joints.


How do the shoulders feel when doing rear delt flyes and front raises?


Do your joints feel uncomfortable when doing side raises with very light dumbbells?

If yes, that means your form is wrong.

If no, that means you're simply trying to use too heavy a weight once it is heavy (this was my own personal experience. I would build up to a weight that I could technically get from point A to point B, and I would call it a side raise, but the reality was my SIDE DELTOIDS weren't strong enough to lift this weight on their own so my shoulder would call upon other muscles to help, like the rotator cuff. This was a big pain in my ass for a while until I realized I just wasn't lifting with the appropriate weight and controlling my repetitions. A very common beginner mistake.)


what is your entire routine, including rep ranges and daily schedule?
Smith machine? Not for much of anything


slight pain in the rotator cuff area, like almost impingement


No, not on light weights. Explain the proper form. Could be a good reason..


rep ranges usually failing on 3-6 reps on top sets. I will post my routine tomorrow. Why is the smith not good for anything?


I would up the rep-range for isolation stuff personally, it's kinder on my joints.

Smith machine is be fine for people who are not beginners, as long as you don't use it for everything etc


If laterals continue to bother you, stick to heavy OH pressing off the rack.

Also, try band pullaparts and band/cable external rotations. The band work combined with heavy OH pressing should work nicely.


Has it always been like this, or is it a recent issue? You reailze that you actually might just have an impingement, maybe scar tissue build up, slight tearing at part of the cuff muscles.... everyone is quick to suggest differetn exercises and rep schemes, but to be honest, the lateral raise is pretty much an isolation movement which should place the majority of its stress on the medial head of the deltoid. It's not really a complicated movement.



Maybe try to warm up rotators before training. I always do before any pressing workouts, and my shoulders barely hurts (but half a year ago I got some strong pain in left shoulder. I think I was very close to serious injury. I started doing rotators few times a week and then warming them up and the pain heaven't returned yet, at least not that strong I couldn't lift my arm up. That was a different issue, but I believe rotator cuff exercises are best for any shoulder pain. Don't know if it will help, but you could try it.


For front laterals try going neutral grip or even pinkies up, for side laterals do heavy partial swings, same for rear delts, these exercises should be painfree until you firgure out the bigger problem and can train normally.


Could try seeing an ART trained therapist


Get a tennis ball and a lacross ball and roll the infraspinatus/teres minor area. See if that helps. If its Supraspinatus you might have to get a massage therapist to get in there for you. I havent had much luck treating the Supraspinatus by myself unfortunately. Too much traps and posturing to get into it sufficiently.


Is there a specific method I should use when using the tennis ball, or can I just keep it simple and put my bodyweight on it and roll around the whole areA?

Also, thinking about just adding a light db press on chest days now


A ball against a solid wall is best for this muscle group. Roll in the direction the fibres run. So from the inside edge of the shoulder blade to the outside near the armpit. If you find any really tender areas hold the pressure on that spot for 30-60 seconds or there abouts. Try to be as relaxed as you can and make sure you are not tensing the muscle you are rolling.

Google Trigger Points or buy a book like this one http://www.triggerpointbook.com/ which is awesome for basic ideas you can do at home or work.