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Top 5 Side Delt Exercises to Grow Your Shoulders

HomeHealth & FitnessTop 5 Side Delt Exercises to Grow Your Shoulders
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The deltoids, usually called “delts,” are the essential muscles that give the shoulders their expansive and adjusted appearance. The deltoid muscle is isolated into three unmistakable parts: foremost (front), average (side), and back (back). The medial or “side” deltoid often garners much attention for those looking to achieve broader, more pronounced shoulders. Strengthening and developing the side delt exercises can significantly improve shoulder aesthetics and function.

Top 5 Side Delt Exercises to Grow Your Shoulders

Top 5 Side Delt Exercises

The top 5 side delt exercises that can help target and sculpt this specific portion of the deltoid muscle.

1. Lateral Raises

Lateral raises are among the most popular side delt exercises, primarily targeting the medial deltoid.

How to do it:

  • Begin by standing upstanding with free weight in each hand, palms confronting internal.
  • Keeping your arms slightly bent, raise the dumbbells to the side until they reach shoulder height.
  • Lower them slowly back down.

Top 5 Side Delt Exercises to Grow Your Shoulders


Lateral raises isolate the side deltoid effectively, ensuring maximal engagement and growth.

2. Upright Rows

This compound movement engages the sides, front deltoids, and traps.

How to do it:

  • Handle a free or hand weight with an overhand grasp, hands marginally smaller than shoulder-width separated.
  • Lift the weight straight up to your collarbone, leading with the elbows.
  • Lower the weight back down slowly.

Top 5 Side Delt Exercises to Grow Your Shoulders


Upright rows target the side delts and provide a comprehensive shoulder workout by engaging other surrounding muscles.

3. Dumbbell Shoulder Press

While a compound movement engages all three deltoid parts, it can emphasize the side delt with the proper technique.

How to do it:

  • Sit on a seat with back help, holding the free weight in each hand at ear level.
  • Press the dumbbells up and together overhead.
  • Slowly lower them back down.

Top 5 Side Delt Exercises to Grow Your Shoulders


The shoulder press builds overall deltoid strength, emphasizing the side delts when performed with a wider grip.

4. Machine Lateral Raise

This exercise replicates the movement of the dumbbell lateral raise but provides more consistent resistance throughout the motion.

How to do it:

  • Sit on the machine with the cushions on your arms’ sides.
  • Push the pads outward using your side delt strength until your arms parallel the ground.
  • Return to the starting position.

Top 5 Side Delt Exercises to Grow Your Shoulders


Machine side delt exercises offer controlled motion and are ideal for those who wish to prevent cheating during the movement.

5. Cable Lateral Raise

Using cables can provide consistent tension on the side delts, making the exercise more challenging.

How to do it:

  • Stand next to a low pulley cable machine with a handle attached.
  • Handle the handle and raise your arm to the side with a slight twist in your elbow until it’s shoulder level.
  • Gradually return to the beginning position.

Top 5 Side Delt Exercises to Grow Your Shoulders


The constant tension from the cable can lead to a more intense muscle contraction, potentially leading to better side delt development.


Achieving pronounced and well-defined shoulders requires a comprehensive approach, and incorporating the above side delt exercises into your regimen is a step in the right direction. These exercises can improve shoulder width and aesthetics when performed correctly and consistently.

FAQs For Top 5 Side Delt Exercises to Grow Your Shoulders

A mix of these exercises can provide a comprehensive shoulder workout. However, ensure proper warm-up and maintain good form to prevent injuries.

Both isolation and compound exercises have their merits. While isolation exercises target the side delts more directly, compound exercises engage multiple muscle groups, providing overall strength and muscle growth.

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Iqra Shah
Iqra Shah
Hello, I am Iqra Shah, a dedicated health and fitness blogger from Lahore with a master's in physical education. I have 4 years of experience in blogging. With a passion for holistic well-being, I share expert insights and practical tips to help readers achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier lives. My engaging content combines my love for research with a commitment to promoting a balanced lifestyle, making a trusted source for all thingsĀ health-related.


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