T Nation

Want to Target Medial Delts



please excuse my English...
I think it will be difficult to explain because of my English, but anyway, lets go :

-> My medial delt is lacking.
I've been OP for months now, and the results on my front delts are great. I perform them like CT explains in '6 week to super-hero' : bar in front on me, making a shoulder shelf, and elbows up.

For 2 months now, I perform lateral raise ...with no results in term of feeling them working, nore in term of growth :-/

I've read articles on T-Nation like these :




My question is :
Do you think I should try a kind of "triad" or change the way I perform OP (behing neck, larger grip, or anything else) ?

Thanks a lot !


how much can you overhead press compared to your bodyweight?

having a video of your form would help too


I had difficulties recruiting lateral delts before, too. Here's how I do laterals now:

Bend forward about 20-30 degrees from upright. Retract shoulder blades HARD, and keep them that way. Hold DBs at your side, but away from your side (never let them settle by your hip). Flex delts by performing a sort of 'outward shrug' - pressing DBs out to the side, moreso than raising them up. Raise DBs until your upper arms are just below parallel to the floor. Flex delts at the top, lower slowly. Ideal rep range 10-20.

Do laterals this way, with less weight but with a great focus on the target muscle, until you can call on your lateral delts at any time, just like you can probably flex your pecs at will, and then in time this muscle will start to improve.


bodyweight : 172
OP : 110 for 5x5 reps last time I perform them (2 months ago)



Two things I've liked that worked decently so far
1. Do your presses seated and if your only doing one shoulder day a week and not training for a event do dumbbell presses
2. Ditch normal laterals and do a db upright row but don't shrug and pull OUT with your elbows. Tried them after I heard bitwitell and they work a ton better then laterals. It's pretty much just a bent lateral, but thinking it as an upright queues you to drive up with your elbows. A Larry Scott video I watched I heard him say that the shoulder only cares about your elbow position.


well, bringing your OHP up to the same as your bodyweight would be a good start, otherwise it would be like trying to make a fast car without a powerful engine. Unless those are 110lb DBs then, er, do what texas guy said


I think if were you, I'd look at John Meadows training articles. Trying heavy side lateral partials, at least for me, gets my medial delts burning like no other. If you start each rep from a deadstop, you'll defiantly 'feel' the medial head working. Do those for a set or two, to kind of pre-fatigue, then to some regular laterals.

In all honesty, I'd say if you take Caveman's advice, use your OHP as the key indicator of progress, then do any move (whether it be mine or Texas man's) that actually targets the medial delt (aka you feel it being worked specifically), your shoulders will improve

Just FYI, I'm no where near big, but I have decent delts, and I'm in the process of doing exactly what I told OP to do, and it's working for me


This ^^ most important part is focusing and using only your medial delts. Drop the weight if you have to and do your warmup sets. Even though it may look "pussy", i start my shoulder work with lat and front raise using only 10-15lb dumbells. Once you can get that shoulder pump, its much easier to recruit the muscle for heavier lifts.

Also the last time you did OHP was 2 months ago? that could be a prob with shoulder development lol hit the OHP and upright rows hard!


Three months ago, you told us...


That is why your delts aren't growing.

The problem's not with your training, it's with your food.


The search ninja strikes again.


OK, that's right, too :wink:

Just one more question :

should I overhead press with 'narrow grip, elbows up'


' wide grip, elbows out ' ?

Thanks !


use cables or a good lateral raise machine. most of the guys i know with awesome medials quit doing DB lateral raises a long time ago.ditch the upright rows, there are other exercises that hit the traps and medials just as well with way less risk to the shoulders.

my two cents.



That's not right "too", that's the number one reason.

If your entire body isn't getting bigger, how in the world would your shoulders get bigger?

This is also why it's pointless to be worrying about "targeting your vastus lateralis", like you mentioned in a recent thread.

More like the first grip, usually just outside shoulder-width will provide a solid balance of power, range of motion, and joint health.


OK, thanks to everyone for the advices.

PS. I perform OP seated


But I gained visible mass on my 'teardrop', not on the vastus lateralis





x2 with bringing up overhead press, another thing that would help is clean every rep. That along with eat 3 giant meals a day will do wonders and let the chips fall where they may.


^this guy gets it


You're still undersized overall, so there's no point in trying to "fine tune" your physique by over-emphasizing the side delts or quad sweep. Try adding 30 pounds of lean mass so your entire frame can fill out more before worrying about little stuff like that. (Pun intended)