10 Best Front Delt Workouts For Massive Size & Strength In 2023
If you’re looking to improve your performance at the gym, then you understand how important your front deltoids are. They are essential for performing most press, hinge, and squat exercises– all of which help build a balanced and effective physique.
Did you know that the anterior deltoid (or front delt) is one of the three muscle groups that make up the deltoid muscles? Not only that, but this one in particular, is responsible for moving the upper arm in front of your body and over your head, which is a movement most people repeat hundreds of times throughout their day.
Neglecting the development of your front delts can lead to severe muscle imbalances, reduced mobility, and reduced performance in and out of the gym.
In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the most effective front delt workouts and their benefits.
Front Delt Workouts For Upper Body Development
The front deltoids are one of the most important muscles in the upper body and help boost shoulder strength, mobility, stability, and posture. They are vital for the execution of numerous exercises and the overall development of the body.
Key benefits of front delt workouts include:
- Correct muscle imbalances and posture.
- Reduce risks of injuries.
- Strengthen rotator cuffs.
- Enhance performance
- Develop upper body.
Benefits Of Front Delt Workouts
Performing front deltoid workouts with or without equipment offers a range of benefits. Here’s a deeper look at the benefits of front delt exercises.
1. Correct Muscle Imbalances And Posture
Over and under-training certain areas of the deltoid muscles are common causes of muscular and postural imbalances in the body. The most prevalent of these imbalances is a forward slouch or hunch common in bodybuilders who neglect training their latissimus dorsi (back) and rear deltoid  muscles.
Having developed front, side, and rear deltoids, as well as rotator cuffs helps reduce the risk of muscular imbalances and postural problems.
Reduce Risks Of Injuries
By exercising the front deltoids, through the incline dumbbell press, shoulder press, and other related exercises, you can reduce the risk of injury when performing shoulder, chest, and barbell squat variations.
Having stronger shoulder muscles also gives you better control during the eccentric and concentric portions of an exercise, making it easier to avoid potentially serious injuries.
2. Strengthen Rotator Cuffs
A strong and well-developed front deltoid complements the middle and rear deltoids and strengthens the entire shoulder complex, placing less stress on the rotator cuff muscles .
The rotator cuff muscles are a group of four muscles responsible for stabilizing the shoulder joint. Incurring an injury to them could mean reduced muscular performance, joint mobility, and chronic pain.
The front or anterior deltoids are routinely recruited when performing various press and hinge exercises throughout your workout.
For example, the incline bench press requires the front delts to act as stabilizers, making them a secondary target of the exercise. Lower body development exercises like the deadlift and front squat also require strong front delts to execute.
Developing them through exercises like the pike pushup, resistance band slicer, or band overhead press can help boost your all-around performance.
10 Best Front Delt Workouts 2023
1. Without Equipment
Training your front delts without equipment is equally as effective as with equipment. Here are five front-delt workouts without equipment. Here are five front-delt workouts without needing equipment.
The pike pushup is a calisthenics exercise that focuses on shoulder flexion and engages the upper chest. To perform this exercise, start in a standard pushup position and then hinge your waist until you are in a downward-dog yoga pose.
Lower your body with your shoulders until your head touches the floor, and then press until your arms are fully locked. This is a pike push-up, which is a great bodyweight exercise because it stresses your shoulder muscles and can improve hip and hamstring flexibility over time.
The Pseudo-Planche Pushup is an advanced variation of the regular pushup with the
wrists externally rotated. This simple change shifts most of the load of the exercise from the chest to the anterior and medial deltoid muscles, and the long head of the triceps.
You perform this unusual exercise by leaning forward, shifting more of your body
weight onto the shoulder muscles. The Pseudo-planche pushup has the secondary
benefit of improving core strength and wrist flexibility.
Hindu Pushups are an advanced push-up variation that extends the basic exercise with
a bigger range of motion. The goal of the exercise is to improve spine flexibility and shoulder strength and mobility.
You start the Hindu pushup by assuming the downward dog position with your legs wide apart. Bend your elbows until they touch the floor and push forward with your triceps while fully stretching your back, and finish with your hands straight and fully locked out.
Consecutive Shoulder Taps
The Consecutive shoulder taps are a low-impact Planche (a gymnastic upper body strength movement) variation that targets the front deltoids.
You start the exercise by assuming the plank position– which is with your elbows and feet on the floor and your core engaged— but with your arms straight not bent.
Start the exercise by raising your left hand and tapping your right shoulder while balancing on your three other limbs. Repeat the action, but with your hand touching your left shoulder.
Planche Lean Or Hold
The Planche Lean is an advanced Calisthenics exercise that emphasizes the front delts,
training it with a static hold.
You execute the Planche Lean by assuming the plank position, but with your elbows
locked and hands straight. Then you flex your abdomen, legs, and glutes as you raise
your scapula. Rock forward while holding that position until you feel your body weight
shift to your front delts and your shoulders give out.
2. With Equipment
Resistance Band Slicers
Resistance Band Slicers are an effective resistance band shoulder exercise targeting all three heads of the deltoid muscle but place primary emphasis on the front delts.
You start the exercise by placing a resistance band on the floor and stepping on the belly of the band with your legs about shoulder-width apart.
Pick up both ends of the band and raise until your wrists are level with your shoulder. Swing your hands outwards until you feel the tension in your side and rear delts, then swing your hands back until they’re in front of your shoulders.
1-Arm Kettlebell Front Raise
The 1-Arm Kettlebell Front Raise is a variation of the dumbbell front raise performed with a kettlebell instead. It works your abdominal muscles as well but primarily targets your front delts.
You start the exercise by engaging your core and swinging the kettlebell upwards until they’re the same height as your shoulder then lower it back down.
Barbell Overhead Press
The Barbell Overhead Press is the quintessential front delt exercise. It is a staple in most bodybuilding workouts and is performed by lifting a barbell off the rack or floor and raising it over your head until your hands are fully extended. Remember to keep your core and glutes engaged the entire time.
The Barbell Overhead Press also recruits the middle and rear delts, which act as stabilizers.
Dumbbell Arnold Press
The Arnold Press is named after the father of bodybuilding himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. You perform the exercise with two dumbbells in each palm with your legs about shoulder-width apart. Your elbows should be bent with your palms facing upwards.
In a single motion, push the dumbbell above your head, rotating your palm outward as you come up. Pause at the top, when your hands are stretched above your head, then lower the weight, guiding it down the same path you lifted it.
The Arnold Press is a popular exercise among bodybuilders because it targets the medial and rear deltoid muscles along with the front delts.
The Kettlebell Press is essentially an Arnold Press with a Kettlebell but with some simple yet important differences. Because of the Kettlebell’s unique weight distribution, your obliques, glutes, and abdominal muscles work overtime to balance the weight as you press the kettlebell above your head. Then lower the weight, guiding it in the same way you lifted it.
Tips For Front Delt Workouts
Here are some key tips to consider while doing the front delt workouts:
- Start weighted exercises at a safe weight and progress slowly.
- Look up easier variations of bodyweight exercises.
- Focus on form over performance.
- Perform your front delt exercises after you’ve finished your chest workout.
- Eat a healthy breakfast and maintain a good diet to see the best results.
- Choose low-impact shoulder exercises like consecutive shoulder taps to increase tone, which can also help you to lose weight and get a flat stomach.
Front delt exercises target and develop the anterior deltoid, which is arguably the most
used muscle in the shoulder. Strengthening the muscle improves posture, overall
performance, prevents injuries, and preserves the rotator cuff.
There are a plethora of great front delt workouts to choose from based on your equipment and strength level. Regardless of your choice, you will see steady growth if you exercise consistently and eat a good diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Front delt workouts are exercises that build the front or anterior portion of the deltoid muscle.
Yes. Front delt workouts can help balance out the shoulder, improving your overall posture and shoulder stability.
Stronger front delts make it easier to handle weight in the overhead position and avoid potentially serious injuries.
Yes. The rotator cuff is put under a lot of stress when the shoulder is imbalanced. Building a strong shoulder with great front delt workouts helps you mitigate that risk.
Yes, they can. A strong front delt is required to perform most chest presses, deadlifts, front squats, and other compound exercises.
No you do not. There are tons of bodyweight front delt workouts, some of which are included above.
- Jeno SH;Varacallo M (2023). Anatomy, Back, Latissimus Dorsi. [online] Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28846224/.
- Adel Elzanie and Varacallo, M. (2023). Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Deltoid Muscle. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537056/.
- Smita Maruvada, Madrazo-Ibarra, A. and Varacallo, M. (2023). Anatomy, Rotator Cuff. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441844/.