3 Reasons Why Your Delts Aren't Developed - The Muscle PhD

3 Reasons Why Your Delts Aren’t Developed

If you’ve been trying to get your shoulders to grow, yet you’re unable to develop your delts no matter how hard you try, you don’t need to stay frustrated. It’s not your genetics or anything of the sort. You’re about to learn the three reasons why your delts aren’t developed.

Are You Using the Same Grip All the Time?

The first reason you might not have fully developed delts is that you have a stagnant grip. Do you use the same grip every time you do a military press? That’s a surefire way to not only have stagnant growth, but also limited delt growth.

Changing your grip width can do wonders in helping your shoulder development. The “delts” are not just one thing. There are the front delts, typically called the anterior delts; the side delts, called the medial delts; and finally, the rear delts.

Do you really think you can train all those muscle groups with the same exercise and grip? Absolutely not. Your grip width impacts how your delts are developed. It’s important to switch up your grip width if you want that fully developed 3D look to your delts.

Overhead press delts

The side delts are abductors, meaning they move your arms up to the side. So taking a wider grip in your workouts will place more of an emphasis on the side delts than the other front and rear delts by taking advantage of that abduction movement.

However, if you switch your grip to a closer grip that’s shoulder-width apart, you’ll place more emphasis on the shoulder flexion motion, which will in turn activate the anterior, or front delts.

Just by making these seemingly minor modifications to your grip width, you’ll see a fuller development of your anterior and side delts. Just don’t use the same grip that you’ve been using for months or even years.

Are You Maximizing the Stabilizing Aspect of Your Delts?

The second thing you need to understand is that the delts stabilize the shoulder joints. So, by increasing the stability component of a lift, you’ll be able to activate your delts a lot more.

If you’re doing a military press, you might not be too surprised to know that standing military press is much more beneficial to your delts than a seated military press. That’s because the shoulders become more activated on a standing military press.

In order to emphasize the stability aspect of the delts, do standing military press, or standing dumbbell shoulder press exercises. That will help in developing your delts further than you would have with a seated military press.

You can also try a mechanical drop set. Start off by doing the standard dumbbell shoulder press, then sit down on the bench and you’ll find that you’ll be able to get in more reps just because you’re on a more stable surface.

Do You Reach Peak Tension When You Exercise Your Delts?

Your side delts typically reach peak activation around midway through the lift all the way to 90 degrees. If you’re not taking advantage of the time when peak tension is reached, you might not be actively developing your delts.

Most people come down from a lift, then use a swinging motion that uses momentum to get them back to the top of the lift. That’s not going to help activate your delts at all. On a side lateral raise, remember that the second half of the lift is when you get the most tension on the side delts.

Lateral raise to grow the delts

By having maximum width, strict form on a side lateral, and going to failure on side delts, you’ll be able to achieve maximum activation of your delts. If you have a training partner, you can also do a unique exercise technique.

Start by doing partial reps in which your workout partner pushes down on your shoulders, then do partial reps on the second half of your lifts. That will bring out the side delts.

It’s sad to say that most people don’t focus at all on their rear delts, which is a shame because they’re probably the most important muscle if you’re looking for that 3D look to your shoulders in which they’re developed from front to rear.

We hope this article helped you understand the three main reasons why your delts aren’t developed. Check back in next time you have a question!

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