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Anterior Deltoid Exercises

author image Bethany Kochan
Bethany Kochan began writing professionally in 2010. She has worked in fitness as a group instructor, personal trainer and fitness specialist since 1998. Kochan graduated in 2000 from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, Medical Exercise Specialist and certified YogaFit instructor.
Anterior Deltoid Exercises
A man doing push-ups. Photo Credit: DeanDrobot/iStock/Getty Images

The anterior deltoid is the front section of your shoulder muscle. This area of the muscle originates on your clavicle and runs down to connect on the humerus, or upper arm. When the anterior deltoid contracts it can abduct, flex, transverse flex and internally rotate your arm. Because it is only one part of your deltoid and your shoulder is the most complex joint in your body, it is impossible to isolate the anterior delt entirely. But you can perform exercises that recruit the muscle fibers more than others.

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Front Raises

Front raises can be done with a barbell, dumbbells or resistance band. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms to your sides and shoulders back. Hold the weight so that your hands are shoulder-width or slightly wider with your palms facing your body. Keeping your elbows straight, raise the weight out in front of your body, stopping at shoulder height. Do not use momentum or rock your body. Slowly lower the weight for one complete repetition.

Seated Shoulder Press

Sit on a bench that has a back support, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Sit up tall with your shoulders back and down and feet flat on the floor. Bring your arms up so that your upper arm is parallel to the floor and your forearm is straight up to the ceiling with your palms forward. Your arms are at a 90/90 position and look like a goal post. Slowly press the weights up toward the ceiling, drawing the inside of your elbows toward your head, keeping your shoulders down. Lower the weights back to the start position in a controlled manner for one complete repetition.


Pushups work your anterior delts and your pecs, as well as engage the muscles of your triceps and core. Start in a kneeling position and place your hands on the floor about shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Arms are perpendicular to the floor, not angled. Your body should be a straight line from your head to your knees. Keep your abs tight and slowly bend your elbows, lowering your body toward the floor. Stop 1 inch off the floor and reverse the movement, straightening your arms back to the start position for one complete repetition. Progress to pushups from your toes for an increased challenge.


If you are new to exercise try performing just one anterior deltoid exercise at each resistance training session. Do one set of eight to 12 repetitions with a challenging weight. Maintain proper technique throughout the entire set of repetitions. As you become stronger increase the resistance and add a second or third set of each exercise. Take at least 48 hours between sessions to allow your anterior delts to recover and get stronger.

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