The deltoids are the triangular-shaped muscles of the shoulders, large muscles that allow the arms to lift, twist and flex. Though strong deltoids may be associated with weight-lifting bodybuilders, the deltoids can be strengthened with isometric exercise. Working out these prominently placed muscles will contribute to the appearance of a strong toned upper body and help to protect the vulnerable shoulder joints.
Perfect Press Ups
The pike press up is a powerful exercise that challenges the deltoids, as well as the arms, back and upper sides. Start on the floor forming a Capital A shape with your body, your feet hip-width apart, your buttocks high in the air and your hands pressed on the floor. Keep your head down and your gaze at the floor. Lower your body slowly down to the floor and then push back up to starting position. Repeat until your arms feel fatigued.
Pullups target the shoulders, chest, arms and sides. You'll need a securely mounted horizontal pullup bar or a similar structure. Start with your hands shoulder-width apart on the bar. Pull yourself up so that your chin hovers just over the bar, then lower yourself back down. You may need to bend your legs if the bar is not set high enough. You may need the assistance of a partner initially, as pullups require you to lift your entire body weight.
Arm circles are a simple exercise that require no equipment and help to strengthen the shoulders, triceps and biceps. Stand up straight, pulling your abdominal muscles in close to your spine to provide a strong foundation. Lift your arms up to the sides so that they are parallel to the floor and move them in small, quick circles forward. Once your arms feel tired, switch directions and move them backward. Rest for a few seconds, then repeat two more times.
Considerations and Concerns
Gradually increase intensity when exercising in order to safely gain strength. Stop if you feel any sharp, sudden pain and consult a physician or physical therapist. If you are recovering from a deltoid injury, do gentle exercises. The University of Missouri recommends lying flat on your back with a pillow under your head and simply raising your weak arm up from along your side to a vertical position, keeping your elbow straight alongside your ear. Hold your arm upright, keeping your wrist and fingers straight, and move your arm up and down for five minutes or until your arm becomes tired.