Courtesy of Ditillo Blog Fan.
You can craft a set of beautiful deltoids using nothing but dumbbells. In fact, deltoids are the one muscle group that thrives on dumbbells alone.
The design of the dumbbells makes all the difference in the world. No one makes dumbbells that can hold a candle to the ones turned out by Advanced Free Weight Systems of Redland CA or Hogan Health Equipment of Salt Lake City, UT.
This is not a commercial either. I just want to steer you in the right direction and it[s not an article about dumbbells. So, I can't go into a lot of details about what makes them so great but . . . without a doubt, the "Hour Glass" handle has got to be their crowning glory. This unique handle gives you the kind of control you need to build incredible deltoids.
Okay, enough about that, let's build some incredible deltoids.
We've got three deltoid heads we have to hit, right? To make it easy, let's just call them front, side and rear deltoids. Then we don't have to keep juggling those long names.
Surprisingly the movement for building each of the three heads is very similar but . . . the work emphasis is quite different. For example, side and rear should get most of the direct work because the frontal deltoid head gets worked all the time. Bench presses, dips, etc. all work frontal deltoid. But almost nothing works the side and rear heads so you have to focus most of your attention on them. I mentioned earlier, each deltoid head can be worked with a similar movement.
Now . . . to describe this difficult movement using only the printed word and a few pictures, that's the task.
Off all the exercises for the body, the ones using dumbbells to build deltoids are the hardest to get right but . . . once you get the proper form, your gains will soar. I'm not kidding either. Francis Benfatto's deltoids grew like crazy and his unique deltoid shape became the envy of fellow bodybuilders once he learned this simple but difficult training technique.
I'm only going to have enough space to cover side deltoids raises so let's get with it . . .
You Need a Mirror for This One
Even the clothing is important on this exercise. It helps a whole bunch if you can see the deltoids in action so you know when you are doing it correctly. That's why you should do this exercise without a shirt or at least with a tank top while standing in front of a mirror. This is important, because you need to see the rear deltoids flex in the mirror at the top of the exercise. Seeing the movement in the mirror is the key to getting the form right. Okay, let's walk through it once. Stand facing the mirror, grasp the dumbbell with the little finger side of the hand pressed hard against the inside plate of the dumbbell.
How to Keep Your Traps from Ruining Everything
Now the hard part. You've got to raise the dumbbells out to the side and just high enough to see the rear deltoids flex in the mirror without flexing the traps. If you flex the traps by lifting the shoulders rather than lifting the elbows you are going to build traps. Once the traps get stronger than the deltoids you can kiss a great set of delts goodbye because the traps will insist on doing all the work. Once this happens . . . they start to bully everything and the deltoids just sit back and let them do it.
The best way to keep the traps from getting into the action is to cheat just a little bit at the top of the exercise. I hope some of this makes sense to you so I'm going to keep at it.
Let's start over and go through it again with a little more detail.
Stand facing the mirror. Bend over slightly at the waist. Hold one dumbbell over the other with the thumbs ends of the dumbbells facing the mirror.
The following is a "two bob" process. Before you start to raise the dumbbells, "bob" down a little bit with the upper body to give yourself a slight assist to help start raising the dumbbells. Right at the top of the movement . . . bob the upper body again . . . to keep the traps out of the picture. You should see the rear deltoids fles in the mirror. The dumbbells should go no higher than the shoulders.
It helps if you think of the dumbbell handles as full of water and right at the top of the exercise you just dump a little water out of the handle.
Again, you need to be able to see the rear deltoids flex while watching them in the mirror. Be careful you don't lift the shoulders. Just lift the arms. This is a fantastically effective exercise for building side deltoids . . . if you do it right.
I know it's tough to get it with just these words but . . . the rewards are more than worth the effort.
The Key Is in the Forearms
I just thought of something I fogot. Use plenty of chalk on your hands. You want a very firm grip on the dumbbells because the key to using more weight on this exercise is the power you can transfer from the forearms to the deltoids.
I know it sounds strange. But you have to CONTROL THE DUMBBELLS WITH THE FOREARMS. If you are just swinging them like pendulums you won't get near the benefit. You have to control the dumbbell all the way up and all the way down. If you do it just right, all the stress is transferred directly to the side deltoid head which adds width to the shoulders.
How to Look More Massive
This was always one of my weaknesses. I had to learn how to stack meat on my shoulders so you couldn't detect the narrowness of my bone structure. If you're like I was, you might take comfort in the fact that . . . in a way, being smaller is a blessing because once you get as wide as the other guys you will have all this extra meat on your body which makes you look so much more thick and massive.
"Great body builders are not great because of their technique; they are great
because of their passion."
Enjoy Your Lifting!