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Deltoids Shape your Shoulder
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that allows us a tremendous amount of movement and flexibility. Nine muscles originate from the pectoral girdle and cross the shoulder joint to insert on the humerus (the upper arm).
The deltoids act as stabilizers and movers of the shoulder.
They have three parts: the anterior, the medial, and posterior. These three give that round look to your shoulder. 2
How do they attach to the bone?
The deltoids originate on the clavicle (collarbone) and from two places on the scapula (the shoulder blade); they then cross over the shoulder area; finally, they insert into the humerus (upper arm bone).
How do they help us?
The deltoids work together to help us move our arm in several ways:
- At the front of the shoulder, they flex and rotate the upper arm.
- In the middle, they abduct our arm (take it out to the side).
- In the back, they allow us to extend our arm backwards and to swing our arm.
What exercises can I do to strengthen the deltoids?
Using free weights (with a weight that is appropriate to your needs), here are four simple exercises to work the deltoids:
- Front Raise: Standing, with arms down and palms facing back, raise the arms to shoulder level and down again. (Do not go higher than the shoulder.)
- Side Lateral Raise: Standing, with arms down and palms facing in, raise the arms out to the side up to shoulder level only and down again.
- Chest Press: Lying on your back on a mat, place your hands with weights in front of your chest and push up. Lower again.
- Arnold Press: To begin, grasp a dumbbell in each hand and raise the weights to the top position of a dumbbell curl. Then rotate the hands in so that the palms face forward and raise the dumbbells overhead. Reverse the movement on the way down.
Other pages about other muscles:
- The Abdominals
- The Adductors and Abductors: Muscles in the Thigh
- The Erector Spinae: Spine Muscles
- The Forearm, Elbow, and Wrist
- The Glutes
- The Hamstrings: Back of the Thigh
- The Hip Flexors
- Latissimus Dorsi: The Lats
- The Lower Leg: The Calf and the Shin
- Muscle Cramps and Other Injuries
- Muscles of the Head
- The Muscular System: How it Works
- Opposing Muscles
- Pectoralis Major and Minor: The Pecs
- The Quadriceps: The Front of the Thigh
- Taking Care of your Feet
- The Trapezius and the Rhomboids
- The Upper Arm: The Biceps and the Triceps
I am a BCRPA-certified fitness instructor in Vancouver, BC. I teach four classes at the West End Community Centre in Vancouver, BC, mostly designed for the older adult. The Inevitable Disclaimer: Everything published here expresses only my opinion, based on my training and research. What you do with the information is entirely your own responsibility. I am not liable for any injury you suffer that seems to be related to anything you read here. Always consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program. For other articles, return to the table of contents.