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Target Your Side Delts for Wider Shoulders With Dumbell Shoulder Palm Presses


 

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Secret Training Tip #925 - Target Your Side Delts for Wider Shoulders With Dumbell Shoulder Palm Presses

Home -> Advanced Training -> Secret Training Tips -> Secret Training Tip #925



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If you want wider shoulders, you've gotta work your side delts.

However, the staple exercises like barbell and dumbell shoulder press only work the medial delts to a limited degree...they tend to put a lot of focus on the front delts.

I've got a version of the dumbell shoulder press that's going to change that...

It's going to not only focus the tension on the side delts, it's also going to focus the tension better on the delts just in general by minimizing tricep involvement.

And it's all in how you hold the dumbell...

You see, one interesting thing I've found with training in general is that an open hand position when pressing increases muscle activation in the target muscles.

I believe it's one of the reasons that bodyweight exercises like push-ups (which use an open hand) give better muscle activation than versions where your hand is gripping on something (which I find tends to shift focus to the triceps somewhat).

Now, I don't know if it's because of the greater contact with the surface of the palm or the wrist position/angle or what the reason....there could be several different explanations.

Whatever the reason, now we're going to apply that open-hand concept to free weight training with this method.


How To Do It:

First, I'm going to show you what the hand position looks like, then I'm going to tell you how to get the dumbell into position in the easiest fashion.

So here's what it looks like in the picture below. As you can see, the dumbell is vertical and resting on my upper arm at the bottom. My hand is rotated around so my fingers are pointing in towards my head and my palm in on the underside of the dumbell plates. I have my my thumb hooked around the handle to keep it solidly gripped.

Target Your Side Delts for Wider Shoulders With Dumbell Shoulder Palm Presses

This open-hand position is totally what we're looking for in the exercise. Also, because the bottom dumbell plates are braced against your forearm, it allows for a unique bit of additional resistance at the top, as you straighten your elbow and push the plates up at and angle due to the leverage of the dumbell against your arm (easier to see than explain - you'll see it below).

So here's how to get it into position.

First, set the dumbell on the floor in front of you, handle perpendicular to your body. I'll do a faraway shot and a closer-up shot to make it easier to see.

Target Your Side Delts for Wider Shoulders With Dumbell Shoulder Palm Presses

Notice how my thumb and forefinger are spread apart...you're going to be gripping your thumb around the handle like this.

Target Your Side Delts for Wider Shoulders With Dumbell Shoulder Palm Presses

Now grip the handle and set your palm flat against the underside of the near plates.

Next grip the handle with your other hand - you'll be using help to get the dumbell up into position.

Target Your Side Delts for Wider Shoulders With Dumbell Shoulder Palm Presses Target Your Side Delts for Wider Shoulders With Dumbell Shoulder Palm Presses

Now use both hands to lift the dumbell up to your shoulder.

Target Your Side Delts for Wider Shoulders With Dumbell Shoulder Palm Presses

Take your other hand off, making sure your thumb is hooked around the handle then you're ready to start.

Target Your Side Delts for Wider Shoulders With Dumbell Shoulder Palm Presses

Then press up, just like you would a normal standing dumbell shoulder press.

As you'll see in this pic below, as I extend my elbow, the act of straightening it leverages the dumbell to an angle. And because it's a weight, you actually get resistance in that small angled-lockout movement which puts even more tension on the lateral delt.

Target Your Side Delts for Wider Shoulders With Dumbell Shoulder Palm Presses

Do all your reps on side (about 6 to 10 reps is good) then grab the dumbell handle with your other hand again and bring the dumbell back down to the floor. Regrip with the other hand and repeat.

Target Your Side Delts for Wider Shoulders With Dumbell Shoulder Palm Presses Target Your Side Delts for Wider Shoulders With Dumbell Shoulder Palm Presses

One of the other bonuses with this exercise is the core work. Because you're only pressing with one arm, it places great stabilizing requirements on the core muscles.

You will notice that range of motion is shorter with this exercise than with regular shoulder presses. And the heavier you go, the shorter the range gets because of the number of dumbell plates.

This is something you could fix if you have adjustable dumbells, loading more on the top end and less on the bottom end. Generally speaking, though, it won't be much of an issue.

If you're tired of normal dumbell presses, this is definitely one you'll want to try, for a change of pace and to really target the medial delts (a.k.a. side delts, a.k.a. lateral delts) in a unique fashion.

 


This is a pic of me (Nick Nilsson) the author of "The Best Shoulder Exercises"

You'd never know that shoulders are one of my WORST bodyparts!

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The Best Shoulder Exercises You've Never Heard Of
 

The Best Shoulder Exercises You've Never Heard Of

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This book is packed with 76 powerful exercises and training techniques for your shoulders. You'll get full descriptions, pictures, and video so you'll know exactly what you're doing every step of the way.

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