If you’re looking to develop impressive upper body muscle, then working on your front delts, officially known as the anterior deltoids, is going to be a vital part of that. It’ll help to create well-developed boulder shoulders and an overall impressive appearance.
Incorporating front delt exercises into your routine is vital, but how can you do it? Thankfully, we’re here to help! We’ll give you some brilliant front delt exercises to try and see what variations you can do to mix it up. Let’s get started!
The Importance of Front Delt Exercises
There are three main heads of your deltoid muscle and often the front deltoid gets overlooked in favor of the medial (side) and posterior (rear) delts. Your front delt, however, is vital for effective shoulder flexion and helping to give you a more rounded look.
Without spending time and putting in work on your front delts can, and most likely will, lead to an imbalance. This can not only make your shoulders look a little odd, but it can affect your shoulder development and lead to injuries. All parts of your deltoid need to be worked on equally.
Having undersized front deltoids can lead to a variety of issues that include a lack of shoulder stability, poor posture, and a lack of strength. Simply put, neglecting your front delts in favor of other upper body muscles is always a bad idea.
The Ultimate Simple Front Delt Workout Routine
For those looking to increase the size of your delts, it’s important to isolate these muscles and engage them effectively. The best way to do accomplish that is with a great delt workout routine. Thankfully we have the perfect workout for you right here.
Barbell Front Raise (4 Sets – 15-20 Reps)
With this simple exercise, you want to start by holding a barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart. You should have your palms facing down (called a pronated grip) and your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulder.
The weight on the barbell shouldn’t be too heavy and allow you to comfortably do four sets of 15-20 reps. To do this exercise, keep your arms straight in front of you and then lift them up until your arms are parallel to the floor.
Along with working on your front delt, this exercise will also help to develop your upper chest and back muscles.
Cable Front Raise with Rope (4 Sets – 10-15 Reps)
Here we move from the barbell to a cable machine. You’ll want to attach the rope handle to the cable and set it at its lowest point. You’ll then want to stand with your back to the machine and let the cable come through your legs.
An overhand grip is best, and you’ll want your legs and hands to both be around shoulder width apart. Keeping your arms straight, you can now raise your arms from down by your waist and up until they are parallel to the floor. You can also bend over slightly at the wait but with your back straight and core flexed.
Slowly lower the rope back down to avoid injury before repeating the process. This will provide constant tension to your front delts while also working your side delts and pecs.
Single Dumbbell Seated Front Shoulder Raise (4 Sets – 12-16 Reps)
For this exercise, all you’ll need is a set of dumbbells and a bench, or seat. Have a dumbbell in one hand and the other either resting on your thigh or holding another dumbbell down by your side.
You want your palm facing downwards and then raise the dumbbell straight in front of you until it is parallel to the floor. You can then lower it back down and either complete the set with one hand, or switch between your arms. This allows you to focus on each delt individually and allow you to ensure muscle symmetry. Give it a shot with your palms facing inward also, more like a hammer grip.
Neutral Dumbbell Shoulder Press (4 Sets – 8-12 Reps)
The neutral dumbbell shoulder press is one of the simplest exercises you can do. Here you’ll want to be standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height. The neutral grip means you’ll have your palms facing each other. You can also do these sitting too.
Now just press the dumbbells over your head until your arms are fully extended. Bring them slowly back down and then repeat. This exercise with the neutral grip will work a lot of muscles including your side delts, pecs and triceps. Be careful on the negative (way back down) because you don’t want to drop your elbows too low, it’s a common way to get a shoulder injury. A good rule of thumb is to not let your elbows dip below your shoulders.
Front Delt Workout Variations
Doing the same workout every day can not only become a little boring but it can also lose effectiveness. Not only that, but it may become too easy for you. Here are some great front delt variations you can try to mix it up.
A great way to work your delts is via supersets. Here you can focus on your front delts, switch immediately to another shoulder exercise and switch back again without any rest.
This adds a great level of intensity to your workout while also increasing its efficiency. Supersets involve targeting opposing muscles with no rest in between. So, with delts, you want an exercise that focuses on the front delt and then switches to the rear or lateral (side) delts.
Supersets are ideal for those with a higher level of fitness to get the most out of their workouts. You can increase your training volume while stimulating muscle growth. Since lots of fitness trainers swear that high volume reps are key to shoulder growth, this may be a good thing to try.
Another great idea is dropsets. The standard practice is to pick a weight, do as many reps as you can on that weight and then move on. With drop sets, you do as many reps as you can on one weight before dropping down the weight and repping again.
This can quickly lead to muscular hypertrophy which is a great way to build muscle. Once you reach failure with your first weight, you should drop it down by about 20-30% before you do again until failure, and repeat.
Static holds allow you to increase your time under tension (TOT) and focus on one arm at a time. This helps you to isolate those front delts and build them into a more rounded and powerful muscle.
With static holds, you keep your non-moving arm in a halfway position under tension while you do reps with your other arm. This means that your delts will be constantly challenged and they’ll work harder.
This can only be done when using single dumbbells but can be highly effective in providing a high level of isometric contraction. This results in increased muscle activation to improve overall development.
If you want to develop a well-rounded and aesthetically pleasing upper body then you can’t neglect the shoulder muscles and the front deltoids. By incorporating these four front delt exercises into your workout, you can not only improve your look but also improve shoulder mobility and reduce your risk of injury.
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