7 Intense Front Delt Exercises | How To Build Bigger Shoulders!

By
Mike Kenler
July 9, 2021

What Are Your Front Delts?

The deltoid muscle in your shoulder is separated into three main fibers: the anterior (front), lateral (middle) and posterior (rear) deltoids. 

All three heads of the deltoid work together to stabilize the shoulder joint and move the arms in many directions. 

However, the front delts specifically activate to flex your upper arms, which brings your arms up and in front of your body.

The anterior deltoids also assist in the abduction of the shoulder, which helps your arms move up and to the side.

Benefits Of Front Delt Exercises

Exercises that specifically target the front delts are extremely valuable. 

Training the front delts should be prioritized for the following reasons:

1.  Reduced Risk of Injury 

Because your shoulders can move freely in different directions, they can be more susceptible to injuries than other joints.

For that reason, building strength in your front deltoids can help stabilize your shoulders.

Training your shoulders can provide that added support to prevent injuries that can sideline you for weeks. 

2. Stronger Shoulders 

These front delt exercises are designed to tear the muscle fibers in your shoulders and increase anterior delt hypertrophy. 

As a result, you will build bigger shoulders, which will boost your performance in compound exercises such as the overhead press and the incline dumbbell press.

Your front delts are the secondary mover in a variety of pushing exercises — you should train them accordingly.

3. Improved Aesthetics 

If you are exercising to improve your physical appearance, you should aim to prioritize your shoulders. 

Many people tend to overtrain their chest, leaving them with proportionally smaller deltoids.

While many pushing exercises do engage the front delts, these exercises specifically target the front delts to help you develop broader shoulders.

Not only are big shoulders aesthetically pleasing, but it is generally safer to promote balanced muscle development in your torso.

With that being said, let’s learn some of the best front delt exercises!

7 Intense Front Delt Exercises

1. Dumbbell Front Raise

This is one of the best front delt exercises for people of all fitness levels. Grab a pair of dumbbells and give it a shot!

Setup:

a) Assume a comfortable stance in a standing position with your back straight. 

b) Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing towards you.

Action:

a) Contract your front deltoids to raise the dumbbells in front of you, stopping just above forehead level. 

b) Pause for a moment, then slowly return to the starting position.

c) Repeat!

2. Angled Downward Push-Up (Pike Push-Up)

No weights? No problem! This bodyweight front delt exercise can be just as intense as weighted shoulder exercises. 

Setup:

a) Place your hands next to each other on the ground with your fingers facing each other. 

b) Step your feet back and raise your butt in the air. Your head should be directly over your hands.

Action:

a) Bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your forehead towards the ground.

b) Pause for a moment and contract your front delts to push yourself back to the starting position.

c) Repeat!

3. 1-Arm Kneeling Landmine Press

The kneeling landmine press is one of the best exercises to overload your deltoids. 

Setup:

a) Secure the barbell in a landmine attachment, in a corner, or however you can stabilize the end of one side of the bar on the ground in front of you.

b) Assume a half kneeling position with your back straight in front of the barbell. Your lead foot should be opposite to the shoulder you are training. 

c) Grab the bottom of the barbell with your palm facing away from you and bring it just over your shoulder.

Action:

a) Contract your front deltoid to press the barbell upwards.

b) Squeeze your deltoid hard at the top and slowly return to the starting position.

c) Maintain tightness in your shoulder and repeat this motion.

4. Barbell Overhead Press

The overhead press is an essential shoulder exercise that targets both your front and middle delts. 

Setup:

a) Grab the barbell with a double overhand grip and your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

b) Carefully lift the barbell up and let it rest on your front delts. Engage your core.

Action:

a) Keeping your lower body still, contract your deltoids to press upwards until your arms are locked and the barbell is above your shoulders.

b) Slowly return the barbell to the starting position.

c) Maintain tightness in your core and repeat!

 

5. Dumbbell Arnold Press

This front delt exercise is a great way to add some variety to your shoulder training.

Setup:

a) Assume a comfortable stance in a standing position.

b) Grab the dumbbells with your arms bent and your palms facing inward, as if you were at the top of the dumbbell curl. 

Action:

a) Contract your front delts to press your arms upwards while twisting your hands so that your palms face outwards. 

b) Squeeze your delts at the top of the rep and slowly return to the starting position. 

c) Repeat!

6. 1-Arm Kettlebell Front Raise

Training your deltoids unilaterally can help reduce muscle imbalances between shoulders.

Setup:

a) Assume a comfortable stance in a standing position with your back straight. 

b) Grab the kettlebell with your palm facing towards you.

Action:

a) Contract your front deltoid to raise the kettlebell in front of you, stopping just above forehead level. 

b) Pause for a moment, then slowly return to the starting position.

c) Repeat and feel free to switch sides!

7. Resistance Band Slicers

This front delt exercise relies on time under tension to break down the muscle fibers in your front and middle delts.

Setup:

a) Assume a comfortable stance on a resistance band with your back straight. 

b) Grab the handles with your palms facing down.

Action:

a) Extend your arms straight and bring the handles out in front of you. 

b) Next, bring the handles apart until they are in line with your shoulders out to the side. 

c) Slowly return to the starting position and repeat this motion!

Looking For A Complete Shoulder Workout?

Follow along to this intense 5 minute dumbbell shoulder workout!

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Mike Kenler
Director of Writing | Certified in Plant Based Nutrition at T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies