Articles by Vince Gironda
Balanced Deltoid Development
(IronMan Magazine Jan 1977 Vol. 36 No. 2)
Was there ever a hero who didn't have broad shoulders?
Remember that the shoulders are a three headed
muscle. The front, side and rear deltoid heads
are joined around the shoulder area to form a
rounded, melonlike mass.
For full development, each head has to be trained
individually with specific exercises.
DELTS: LATERAL HEAD...
most overworked muscle is the Front Deltoid (presses); bringing
out this aspect of the Deltoid does not add to your width,
it only makes you look thicker! How do you develop the lateral
head of the Deltoid? Lateral Raises. However Lateral Raises
improperly performed develops Front Deltoid. the proper
way to bring out the Side Strand is to start the Lateral
Raise touching dumbbells in front of the thighs with all
four bells touching; elbows slightly bent and raise to the
side, keeping the weights in front of the body all the way
up to ear level (no higher).
Now for the most important part of the movement: The Front
Bell must be lower than the Rear Bell. f the Front Bell
is higher you are working the overworked Front Deltoid again.
Remember, all bench presses and dumbbells work with the
dumbbells held with palms facing the lower body are 90 degree
Another aspect of Laterals is to round your shoulders forward
and also use your elbows as a concentration point. In other
words, lead with your elbows - and last, but not least -
keep your knees slightly bent during the exercise. And always
work in front of a mirror to catch any flaws in your performance.
(Musclemag Magazine October 1988)
Vince, I can't seem to feel my side head
of the delt work when I do standing lateral raises. I try
turning the wrists but as the weights get heavier, I don't
seem to be able to isolate the side head. Any suggestions?
I recommend you do the lateral raise seated. This is my
version of one of the fastest developers of the outside
head of the deltoid. This movement cups the lateral strand
and brings it to prominence.
Here is how to perform this great movement.
Sit on the end of a flat workout bench with a dumbbell
in each hand. Lean forward from the hips and touch both
ends of the dumbbells together under the thighs; always
touch all four bells under the legs and keep the upper body
in the proper position to keep the stress on the lateral
Hold your forward position of your body as you raise the
dumbbells upward to head height. When the dumbbells reach
head height or the top of the movement, be sure the back
of each bell is higher than the front. This insures the
side or lateral strand of receiving maximum stimulation.
Try four sets of 8-12 reps, with no more than 30 seconds
rest between sets.
You seldom recommend pressing movements
for the deltoids (shoulders) yet I have noticed that a great
number of Olympic lifters of the past who did presses had
really great deltoids, and even present lifters who do jerks
have huge shoulders. Are you against pressing for shoulder
I must admit that I have not got results from pressing,
and certainly prefer more isolation-type exercises such
as lateral raise for deltoid development. Larry Scott did
use a type of pressing movement very successfully. He used
dumbells but maintained a constant tension on the deltoids
by not "locking out" at the top of the pressing
movement. This exercise became known as the Scott Press
and later was adopted by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and consequently
the movement is also known as the Arnold Press.
You mention that Olympic lifters who jerk heavy weights
tend to have large deltoids. Has it not occurred to you
that they also clean the weight to the shoulders before
jerking it? I have great respect for the wide grip upright
row motion (a strict form of cleaning a barbell). Use this
exercise in your shoulder training routine and see those
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