14 Best Front Delt Exercises to Build Bigger Shoulder

build stronger shoulders and level up your workout routine

By Pakiza Sultana

Updated on

Workouts

Building broader shoulders can be a challenging fitness goal that many strive for, yet often struggle to achieve. A key player in this pursuit is the front deltoid muscle, an area that begs for targeted focus and strategic exercises. This article serves as your guide through 14 of the best front delt exercises designed to enhance shoulder size and shape, providing you with definitive techniques to level up your workout routine.

Let’s begin and transform those delts!

Key Takeaways

  • Target your front deltoids with standing overhead presses, incline dumbbell presses, Arnold presses, and other specific exercises to grow these muscles.
  • Compound movements like bench press work the front delts too, but isolation moves are key for balanced shoulder development.
  • Adopt good form during exercises to prevent injury and ensure that you’re engaging the correct muscles effectively.
  • To see progress in muscle growth, progressively increase weight or reps over time while maintaining good technique.
  • Consistent training of your front delts twice a week can lead to visible results and stronger shoulders within a 12-week period.

Understanding Your Deltoid Muscles

A photo of sculpted shoulders with gym equipment in the background.

Your deltoid muscles cap your shoulders and are the key to strong, sculpted upper arms. They are made of three distinct sections: the front (anterior), side (lateral), and rear (posterior) delts.

The front delts help you lift your arm up in front of you and play a big role in exercises like shoulder presses and bench presses.

When you work on your deltoids, it’s not just about looks. Strong deltoids help hold your shoulder joint stable. This makes it easier for you to carry things, throw a ball, or do any activity involving your arms.

Exercising these muscles also helps protect against common shoulder injuries by supporting the rotator cuffs—a group of smaller muscles around the shoulder that control movement.

Benefits of Strengthening Your Front Delts

A pair of dumbbells sitting on a gym bench in an empty fitness center.

Strong front delts make your shoulders look bigger and better. They are key for lifting things up and keeping balance in the gym. When these muscles are strong, they help protect against shoulder pain and injury.

This means you can play sports, throw a ball, or pick up groceries without worry.

Building stronger front delts also helps with upper body lifts like bench pressing and push-ups. It makes sure other muscles don’t take over the job that your shoulders should do. That way, every part of your workout counts more towards building muscle where you want it most.

Top 5 Best Front Delt Exercises

A set of dumbbells surrounded by gym equipment in a fitness setting.

For sculpting those stubborn front delts, we’ve handpicked five best front delt exercises that promise to redefine your shoulder game – dive deeper to unlock their potential for unparalleled muscle growth.

1. Standing Overhead Press

Grab a barbell and step into the power rack; it’s time for Standing Overhead Presses. This classic lift is a big compound exercise that targets your front deltoids, upper chest, and triceps.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and press the weight straight up from your shoulders until your arms are fully extended. Keep your core tight to stabilize yourself.

Make sure you keep good form to avoid injury while doing this powerful move. It works wonders for building stronger shoulders and more muscle mass when done correctly. Include it in your shoulder workouts twice a week using lighter weights or add heavier weights for fewer reps depending on what fits your fitness goals best.

This move is not just about strength; it also boosts overall upper body power – making those bigger shoulders achievable!

2. Incline Dumbbell Press

The incline dumbbell press works wonders for your front deltoids, upper chest, and triceps. Set up an incline bench at about a 45-degree angle to get started. Pick a pair of dumbbells that’s right for your strength level.

Sit back on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Push the weights up above your chest until your arms are straight, then slowly lower them back after a short pause.

Keep good form throughout this exercise to really hit those anterior deltoids and avoid any injuries. Your shoulders must stay stable and controlled as you lift and lower the weights.

Make sure you move through the full range of motion so all muscle fibers get engaged properly. This movement is not just great for building shoulder muscles but also gives your upper body overall strength when done consistently with proper technique.

3. Dumbbell Front Raise

Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms slightly bent at the elbows, holding the weights in front of your thighs. Raise one arm up in front of you to shoulder level, then lower it back down smoothly.

Do the same with your other arm. This move targets the front part of your shoulder muscle, known as the anterior deltoids.

Make sure you keep the rest of your body still while lifting the dumbbell; this puts all focus on strengthening those anterior delts. As you get stronger and more comfortable with this exercise, you can slowly add more weight to challenge yourself.

Remember to breathe out as you lift and inhale when lowering for best results!

4. Bench Press

The bench press builds your front deltoids as a key exercise. Lie back on the bench, keep your feet flat on the floor, and grip the barbell above you. Push up with control and bring it down slowly to just below your chest.

Good form is vital here; move smoothly to protect your shoulders from injury.

Work on breathing right—inhale when lowering the bar and exhale pushing it up. This compound exercise not only targets your front delts but also engages upper pecs and triceps for overall upper body strength.

Stick to proper technique to make every rep count without risking harm to your muscles or joints.

5. Arnold Press

Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit tall with a straight back. Start the Arnold Press by holding the weights at shoulder height, palms facing you. Now lift them overhead while turning your palms to face forward.

This move hits your front delts hard, helping you build stronger shoulders.

Keep your movements smooth and controlled when doing this exercise. Rotate those palms back toward you as you lower the dumbbells to complete one rep. Arnold Presses are not just about lifting; they’re about muscle activation and proper form.

Stick to these guidelines for effective front delt training without risk of injury.

Additional 9 Best Front Delt Exercises

A set of gym equipment arranged on the floor for workout.

Dive deeper into your shoulder regimen with these nine additional best front delt exercises, each designed to target and refine your physique—revel in the strength gains that await as you explore diverse moves beyond the basics.

1. One-Arm Kettlebell Front Raise

Grab a kettlebell and stand tall. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift the kettlebell in one hand to shoulder height, then lower it back down. Your palm should face your body as you lift.

This move targets your front deltoids.

Make sure to keep good form throughout the exercise. Do not swing or use momentum to lift the weight; control is key! Start with a lighter weight and focus on smooth movements. It’s more important to do it right than to lift heavy.

Remember, strengthening your shoulders takes time and effort. Working out twice a week can help build those front delts over about 12 weeks. Keep at it, and you’ll see results!

2. Resistance Band Sliders

Neatly arranged dumbbells in a well-lit gym environment.

Resistance band sliders are a game-changer for front delt exercises, offering a unique way to build stronger shoulders. You can add them to different moves, like presses or raises, to create constant tension in the muscles.

This tension works your delts harder and can lead to bigger gains over time. Sliders make your workout more challenging but also more effective.

Start by standing on the resistance band with both feet shoulder-width apart. Grip each end of the band in your hands. Slide one hand forward while keeping the other steady; this targets the front of your shoulders.

Alternate arms and feel how sliders increase muscle activation compared to traditional methods. They’re portable and versatile, making them perfect for home workouts or taking on-the-go for never-miss-a-day training sessions!

3. One-Arm Kneeling Landmine Press

Get ready to challenge your front deltoids with the One-Arm Kneeling Landmine Press. This powerful move not only targets your shoulders but also amps up core involvement for full-body benefits.

Start by kneeling with one knee on the ground, and hold the end of a barbell in one hand at shoulder level. Keep your back straight and brace your core.

Press the weight up until your arm is fully extended, then lower it down with control. Focus on keeping your movements smooth and steady to maintain good form throughout each rep. With this exercise, you’re building more than just muscles; you’re improving stability and strength where it counts!

4. Barbell Overhead Press

Grab a barbell and step up to the rack—that’s where the Barbell Overhead Press begins its work on your front delts. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the bar just outside your shoulders.

Push the weight straight up above your head until your arms are fully extended, then lower it back down with control. This move isn’t just great for building strong shoulders; it also engages your core and stabilizes muscles throughout.

To make sure you’re getting the most out of this exercise, keep your form strict. Avoid arching your back or using momentum to lift the weight. Instead, focus on moving slowly through each rep—pushing up powerfully and lowering back down with purpose.

Pair this staple with leg exercises in a workout to hit multiple muscle groups at once. And remember, consistency is key! Stick with suggested sets and reps to see those front delts grow.

5. Shoulder Press

Shoulder press stands strong among the best exercises to pump up your front delts. This classic move works more than just your shoulders; it engages the whole upper body, including your triceps and upper back.

Choose from dumbbells, barbells, or a machine to push weight directly overhead while standing or sitting. Make sure you keep good form—back straight and core tight—to prevent injury.

Keep in mind that since front delts can be slow to recover, sprinkle shoulder presses into your routine wisely. To really see those muscles grow, do this exercise about twice weekly for three months.

Properly spaced out, presses will challenge your deltoids from different angles and contribute to broader shoulders without overdoing it at the gym.

6. Incline Bench Press

The incline bench press targets the upper chest and front deltoids. It’s a great exercise for building strength in these areas. You lie on an inclined bench and press weights upwards, working the muscles harder than a flat bench press.

This angle hits your front delts effectively, helping them grow stronger.

For best results, do this exercise twice a week during a 12-week program focusing on your front delts. Choose sets and reps based on your goals—whether you’re after endurance, bigger muscles (hypertrophy), or more power.

Make sure to adjust the incline to get the right angle for hitting the front of your shoulders just perfect. Keep good form always to avoid injury and get the most out of every lift!

7. Military Press

Military Press builds your shoulder strength like few other exercises can. You stand tall and press a barbell from the front of your shoulders straight up over your head. This move doesn’t just work your front delts, it also hits your triceps, upper chest, and traps hard.

Keep in mind that while this is a great way to push those muscles, you shouldn’t do military presses too often. Front delts need time to recover after a workout.

Lift the weight with confidence but don’t rush; good form is key here. Start with lighter weights until you master the motion. Avoid poor form as it could lead to injury and slow down progress toward bigger shoulders.

Make military presses part of a balanced shoulder training program for best results.

8. Upright Row

The upright row is a powerful move to bulk up your shoulders and upper back. You’ll use a barbell or dumbbells, keeping your back straight as you lift. Make sure to keep the weights close to your body as they go up.

Your elbows should be high and above your hands at the top of the lift.

Watch out for common mistakes like lifting too heavy too soon, which can hurt your shoulders. Use a grip that’s just right—not too wide, not too narrow—to hit those deltoids best.

Keep it smooth and controlled; jerky moves won’t do any good here. Stick with responsible weights and proper form to build strength safely in this challenging exercise.

9. Shrugs

Shrugs really work your deltoids and trapezius muscles. They’re perfect for a solid shoulder workout. To do them right, stand straight with the weight at your mid-thighs. Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart holding the barbell.

Lift those shoulders as high as you can, like you’re trying to touch your ears. This helps grow strong delts! Just don’t rush it—raise and lower the weights slowly to keep form and prevent injury.

If you use a Smith machine, that’s even better for staying on track with good posture throughout the exercise.

FAQs About Front Delt Training

Curiosity peaks when it comes to sculpting those sought-after shoulder muscles—everyone’s got questions. Dive into the nitty-gritty of front delt training, where we tackle your burning queries and set the record straight on achieving those powerful, chiseled delts.

Should You Train the Front Delt Specifically?

Training your front deltoid muscles is a topic of debate. Some say you don’t need special exercises because they work during presses like the bench press and overhead press. Others believe isolation moves are key for full growth.

What’s clear is that front delts play a major role in lifting and shaping your shoulder curve.

You might consider focusing on your front delts if they lag behind other muscles. Compound lifts hit multiple areas, but adding specific front raises ensures each part of the shoulder gets attention.

It’s about balance – working all parts equally for strong, well-built shoulders. Use dumbbells, cables, or even resistance bands to target them from different angles and boost your gains!

How Can I Make My Front Delts Bigger?

To get bigger front delts, you need to focus on exercises that work this specific area. Start with standing overhead presses and incline dumbbell presses for compound movements that target your shoulders.

Mix in some isolation work like dumbbell front raises too. These exercises engage the shoulder muscles by flexing and internally rotating them.

Lift heavier weights over time but always keep your form strict to avoid injury. Do not arch your back too much or use a grip that’s too wide, as these mistakes can shift focus to other muscles.

Aim for progressive overload by adding more weight or reps each week. This will help you build muscle size in your front delts safely and effectively.

What Exercise Works the Front Deltoids?

Standing overhead press targets the front deltoids like a champ. You push the weight straight up above your head, engaging that key shoulder muscle. This exercise lets you lift heavy and see progress over time.

Another top pick is the dumbbell front raise. It hones in on those front delts with precision, lifting the weights right in front of you.

Incline bench press adds variety by hitting the muscles at a different angle. Mix it up with Arnold presses too; they were named after bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger for good reason! Start with palms facing you and rotate as you press upward, working multiple parts of your shoulders all at once.

These exercises offer balanced training for strong and sculpted front deltoids.

Sample Front Delt Workout Routine

Neatly arranged dumbbells in a well-lit gym environment.

Building strong front delts can take your shoulder strength to new heights. Here’s a sample workout routine that targets these crucial muscles.

  1. Begin with the Standing Overhead Press: Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps. Plant your feet shoulder-width apart, grip the barbell, and push it above your head with power.
  2. Move on to Dumbbell Front Raises: Perform 3 sets of 12 reps each arm. Hold dumbbells in front of you and raise them to eye level, keeping your arms straight.
  3. Next, tackle the Arnold Press: Work through 3 sets of 10 reps. Start with dumbbells at shoulder height, palms facing you; as you press up, rotate hands so palms face forward.
  4. Incline Dumbbell Press is next: Aim for 4 sets of 8 reps. Lie on an incline bench, press dumbbells from chest height to above your shoulders.
  5. Finish with Resistance Band Sliders: Complete 2 sets of 15 reps each side. Stand with one foot on a resistance band and slide your hand upward, keeping tension on the band.

Conclusion

Building bigger shoulders takes dedication, but the right exercises can make a huge difference. Mix it up with presses, raises, and rows to hit those front delts hard. Remember – good form beats heavy weights when aiming for growth.

Stay consistent, eat well, rest enough, and watch your shoulders expand!

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