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The Lean Look

When you look at fit people, what are the first things you notice? One of the answers that you thought of is probably the solid and defined appearance of the upper body. For both men and women, having a strong looking upper body gives the appearance of being toned, lean and athletic—perfect for the beach or for filling in those in-season clothes.
In order to achieve such great upper body shape, you need to take on deltoid exercises. The deltoids are your muscles on the upper body, and contrary to popular belief it is not just one muscle group. It is comprised of three separate muscle groups namely:

  • Front deltoids—responsible for allowing your arms to move upward and forward. This is essentially the muscles over the front area of your shoulders.
  • Side deltoids—this is the area than can visually add up more bulk to your shoulders and back. This group is responsible for moving arms out to the sides. This is essentially the middle muscles over your shoulders.
  • Rear deltoids—this area is responsible for assisting most back movements. This is essentially the muscles on the lower back portion of your shoulders.

Most first time gym goers are eager to work on their deltoid muscles because of its body defining role. In order for the exercises to achieve the desired results, it’s important that the routine that you will do targets these specific muscle groups. It is important to note that these exercises will involve weights and it is important to do them properly in order to avoid injuries. If you are a first timer, it is best not to attempt to improvise. Engage the help of a fitness trainer who can show you how to do the routine properly and give you tips on safety.

Example of a side deltoid exercise—seated lateral raise

You can do this standing up or sitting down. When standing up, place your legs shoulder width apart with a dumbbell on each hand. Your arms should be on the sides, with palms facing your thighs. Slowly lift the dumbbells up one at a time around shoulder level, parallel to the floor. Hold for a few seconds and slowly bring down.

Example of a front deltoid exercise—shoulder front raise

When you do this exercise, remember to try and keep straight and avoid leaning backwards or forward. Hold a pair of dumbbells on your side, with your palms facing your thigh. Slowly lift up one at a time, slightly above shoulder level. Try not to swing the weights.

Example of a back deltoid exercise—dumbbell shoulder press

This is best done sitting down while using a back press to avoid using the lower back as support. With your hands each holding a dumbbell, raise them around ear level. Slowly lift up above the head with your arms straight up, knuckles parallel to the ground.