T Nation

Isolating the Medial Delts

What are some of the best exercises and techniques ya’ll use for your medial delts?

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I know how to gain muscle overall. I know how to get stronger. I know how to cut. I know how to design a balanced program. Are you sure I’m going to get any advice beyond eat a cheeseburger and lift heavy stuff?


I just wanted to be the first to ball bust. You simply can’t get away from heavy pressing, first of all. Why do you believe that your lateral deltoid muscle needs extra attention?
Doing lateral raises correctly will target these muscles. Don’t get sucked into trying to do the angry bird lateral clean. Initially, add’l body english and other loose form things may be counter productive. Forget about the hand lifting the weight and move the upper arm.
The path should be along the scapular plane.
If you imagine the weight is attached to your elbow, you’ll be fine

John Meadows.

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
I just wanted to be the first to ball bust. You simply can’t get away from heavy pressing, first of all. Why do you believe that your lateral deltoid muscle needs extra attention?
Doing lateral raises correctly will target these muscles. Don’t get sucked into trying to do the angry bird lateral clean. Initially, add’l body english and other loose form things may be counter productive. Forget about the hand lifting the weight and move the upper arm.
The path should be along the scapular plane.
If you imagine the weight is attached to your elbow, you’ll be fine[/quote]

My story is that my main focus is powerlifting. But now I want to move to ‘powerbuilding’. I’m cutting out some of the de work I’ve been doing and subbing in more bb style stuff and also doing more of a bb style split where the movements and muscle groups worked are split up more across the week.

From the the powerlifts and powerlifting assistance, my front and rear delts and traps have beefed up from all the bench pressing, standing presses, deads, rows, and facepulls and my shoulders look relatively thick from the side. But from the front, they look kind of narrow. They totally lack that ‘cap’ I believe it’s called.

And I’ve the got the heavy pressing nailed. Standing press is my first exercise on my shoulder and tris day.

And thanks for the tips.

I’ve also read about pointing the thumb slightly down like gently pouring a tea pot. Have you heard or tried anything like that?

Do this

High repa 20-30

Keep head tilted back to take out the traps

Just raise 4-6 inches

Strap up

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
I just wanted to be the first to ball bust. You simply can’t get away from heavy pressing, first of all. Why do you believe that your lateral deltoid muscle needs extra attention?
Doing lateral raises correctly will target these muscles. Don’t get sucked into trying to do the angry bird lateral clean. Initially, add’l body english and other loose form things may be counter productive. Forget about the hand lifting the weight and move the upper arm.
The path should be along the scapular plane.
If you imagine the weight is attached to your elbow, you’ll be fine[/quote]

My story is that my main focus is powerlifting. But now I want to move to ‘powerbuilding’. I’m cutting out some of the de work I’ve been doing and subbing in more bb style stuff and also doing more of a bb style split where the movements and muscle groups worked are split up more across the week.

From the the powerlifts and powerlifting assistance, my front and rear delts and traps have beefed up from all the bench pressing, standing presses, deads, rows, and facepulls and my shoulders look relatively thick from the side. But from the front, they look kind of narrow. They totally lack that ‘cap’ I believe it’s called.

And I’ve the got the heavy pressing nailed. Standing press is my first exercise on my shoulder and tris day.

And thanks for the tips.

I’ve also read about pointing the thumb slightly down like gently pouring a tea pot. Have you heard or tried anything like that?[/quote]
I have heard it. Do this. At the top portion of the scapular plane, (no weight) hold your arm in what would be the top of the rep. Elbow as high as the knuckle. Now, put the other hand on this deltoid. without dropping the height of the elbow, pronate and supinate the hand repeatedly. How much contraction did you feel in the deltoid? NONE. The deltoid has no action on the radius and ulna nor does it act on the elbow. Look at mountain dog. Some swear by it. If you do a good volume of lateral raises, do some lateral raises, do a few sets leaning toward the target shoulder, some leaning away from the target shoulder. Use cables too. Single arm Db presses keeping the forearm perpendicular to the ground. Press until the shoulder touches the ear. It’s almost like a vertical fly. Arnold presses. When pressing, make sure you are not doing a lordotic standing incline press. Press the weight and press it to the lockout point behind your head.

and from this article, http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/inside_the_muscles_best_shoulders_and_trap_exercises&cr= it appears the banded face pull is a winner too. I completely forgot about that one.

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
I just wanted to be the first to ball bust. You simply can’t get away from heavy pressing, first of all. Why do you believe that your lateral deltoid muscle needs extra attention?
Doing lateral raises correctly will target these muscles. Don’t get sucked into trying to do the angry bird lateral clean. Initially, add’l body english and other loose form things may be counter productive. Forget about the hand lifting the weight and move the upper arm.
The path should be along the scapular plane.
If you imagine the weight is attached to your elbow, you’ll be fine[/quote]

My story is that my main focus is powerlifting. But now I want to move to ‘powerbuilding’. I’m cutting out some of the de work I’ve been doing and subbing in more bb style stuff and also doing more of a bb style split where the movements and muscle groups worked are split up more across the week.

From the the powerlifts and powerlifting assistance, my front and rear delts and traps have beefed up from all the bench pressing, standing presses, deads, rows, and facepulls and my shoulders look relatively thick from the side. But from the front, they look kind of narrow. They totally lack that ‘cap’ I believe it’s called.

And I’ve the got the heavy pressing nailed. Standing press is my first exercise on my shoulder and tris day.

And thanks for the tips.

I’ve also read about pointing the thumb slightly down like gently pouring a tea pot. Have you heard or tried anything like that?[/quote]

I’m not a bodybuilder in the sense that I don’t focus on hypertrophy/hyperplasia to the exclusion of other goals. However, I do know a thing or two regarding proper lifting techniques.

First of all, don’t call them “medial” delts. Medial means midline. The muscle you are referring to are lateral. Some call them mid or middle head, lateral head. This sounds nitpicky, but if you’re ever in an intellectual discussion and you want to get your point across, it never hurts to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s.

As for the pouring the water out a jug technique, that’s one of those old-school bodybuilding techniques. Some bodybuilders feel that by pointing the thumb down, you are better able to reduce the anterior delt involvement and shift the focus to the lateral delts. I actually think there is something to this - especially the closer you are to the sagital plane.

What’s also interesting is that slight forward lean at the torso can further the shift to the lateral delt. Obviously, if you are doing a strict no-trap form of raise as the zraw demonstrates, a forward lean is not what you want. But just keep the lean technique in mind for other variations of the lateral raise.

The pouring-water-from-a-jug position does internally rotate the humerus. This has a potential of creating impingement. And since you have a background of heavy benching, you’re already a candidate for impingement (like it or not - it’s the cost of doing business). Therefore, a slight thumbs up position will take you out of internal rotation.

And, as jpdubya advised, keep it in the scapular plane.

There are countless variations on the lateral raise. It’s really up to you to do the leg work to research and experiment. However, the above two things (scap plane, thumbs slightly up) should remain a constant if you are serious about minimizing any chance of impingement issues.

^

Good to know about the impingement and keeping my shoulders healthy. I’ve had problems with my shoulder in the past.

[quote]zraw wrote:

This right here. Worked great for me

I do them seated though

I do what Zraw does and then follow up on behind the neck presses for high reps
They’ve blown up

BTN anything is a no go for me. It’s just asking for shoulder problems on top of the heavy bench pressing. Even Bradford presses make my shoulder ache in a bad way for days.

[quote]zraw wrote:
Do this

High repa 20-30

Keep head tilted back to take out the traps

Just raise 4-6 inches

Strap up[/quote]

Zraws advice on this is pretty much golden.

Dumbbell pressed after medial delt raises? Do they hurt?
Presses Arnt nessary for shoulder just another exercise and what I Perfer.
John meadows doesn’t incorporate them but rarely and uses raises. zraw has been working with him and look at his.

Coach Thibs shoulder specialization program ftw… HSS100 helped quite a bit

[quote]texas man wrote:
Dumbbell pressed after medial delt raises? Do they hurt?
Presses Arnt nessary for shoulder just another exercise and what I Perfer.
John meadows doesn’t incorporate them but rarely and uses raises. zraw has been working with him and look at his.[/quote]

All other presses are fine and actually make my shoulder feel better. It’s just behind the neck lat pulldowns or presses that wreak havoc. Same with shrugs from behind.

I haven’t messed around with arnold presses too much. I’m sure I can find a video but do you happen to know of any in particular that you like?

I don’t do any behind the neck stuff either. Arnold presses work well just because of the amount of time they keep the muscles under tension. I’ve only used them a few times but they make my shoulders burn every time.