You need delts and you need them now! Having a V-taper includes a bunch of components and one of them is to get your shoulders as wide and round as humanly possible. So dickin’ off and not working them hard – or smart – enough is a correctable mistake that should be addressed right away.
What you want to do is hit your shoulders and traps from different angles and here are seven exercises that we feel will get the job done:
This staple exercise can be performed in a number of ways. Seated with a barbell or on a Smith machine are the most common. Using a back support on the bench is important for good form and to avoid injury.
Similar to the above, just press the weight in front of you up to your clavicle and then go back up. Keep the weight close to you or else your pectoral muscles begin to take over.
An older movement was performed standing and rotating behind the neck and military presses one-by-one.
There are also many different machines that do the same movements, some that are biangular that enhance the range of motion at the top of each repetition.
Seated on a bench with a back support, this exercise can be performed in a number of different ways. They also give you a wider range of motion at both the top and bottom of the movement than using a barbell. Rotating your wrists outward and touching the outer ends of each dumbbell can add to pressing the weights straight up.
SIDE LATERAL RAISES
This exercise is best performed with a weight that you can handle without using any added momentum or a swing motion. Strict reps held at the top will really add the curve to your delts.
They can be done seated or standing, together or alternating. Sitting straight up, begin by holding the dumbbells down at your sides and keep the back of your hands facing the ceiling. When standing, you can start the movement by holding the weights in front of you. On some days, mix it up a bit by doing one-armed leaning raises with a dumbbell or on the cable crossover machine.
You can also switch things up a bit by leaning face down on an incline bench and raising the dumbbells up behind you. This works the back your rear deltoids.
A variation from dumbbells is the machine, which really isolates the movement with bent elbows.
FRONT LATERAL RAISES
These are best performed with dumbbells in an alternate fashion. You can go halfway up to the mid-chest or all the way up over your head, but the latter does put a lot of unnecessary pressure on the shoulder. You can also do them with a barbell, but many people tend to try and lift too much weight, limiting the range of motion.
The traps can be worked together with either shoulders or back, depending on your preference. Because lat exercises are generally done with heavier weight than delts, you may have more energy to couple the traps with shoulders.
These can be done with a barbell, a Smith machine or dumbbells. Whichever you feel most comfortable with, remember to just go straight up and down instead of rolling your shoulders, which puts a lot of stress on your rotator cuff.
The best way to do these is with a barbell. Some like to use a Smith machine, but this will limit your range of motion at the top of the movement, where you can get a really good squeeze. Change your grip from a close to medium every workout to hit the traps from a different angle.