Purpose: To work the outside head of the deltoid and, to a lesser degree, benefit the front and rear heads. Doing One-Arm Laterals with a cable and floor pulley gives you two advantages: It allows you to isolate first one side of the body, then the other; and the cable provides constant tension unaffected by your motion relative to the pull of gravity.
Execution: 1) Grab the handle and stand with your arm down and across your body, your free hand on your hip. 2) With a steady motion, pull outward and upward, keeping the angle in your elbow constant throughout the movement, until your hand is just slightly higher than your shoulder. Twist your wrist as you raise your arm as if you were pouring a pitcher of water. Do your reps with one hand, then an equal number with the other. Don't lift the weight by raising up with your body, use the deltoids.
Variation: Try doing the movement with the cable running behind your back instead of in front.
Purpose: To focus the work on the side delt head. This movement, which was a favorite of Sergio Oliva's, helps bring out definition in the shoulders, and works the rear and front heads as well.
Execution: 1) Stand upright, with your arm down beside you, holding on to a handle attached to a floor-level pulley. Place your other hand on your hip. 2) Keeping your arm straight, lift it up in an arc in one smooth motion until it is higher than your head. Lower your arm back to your thigh. Finish your repetitions, then repeat using the other arm.
Purpose: To develop the rear deltoids by isolating and flexing the rear deltoid when reaching the top position of the Cable Lateral movement.
Execution: 1) Sitting on a stool or low bench, take hold of a handle attached to a floor-level pulley in such a way that your arm is fully extended across the front of your body. 2) Keeping your body as still as possible, pull the handle across and up until your arm is fully extended to the side at about shoulder height. 3) At the top of the movement flex your rear deltoid to get a really full contraction. Lower the weight back to the starting position. Finish your repetitions, then repeat with the other arm.
Purpose: To develop the side and rear deltoids. This exercise, a favorite of British bodybuilders, also helps develop the traps.
Execution: 1) Take a dumbbell in each hand, then extend your arms straight out to either side, palms turned up. 2) Slowly lift your arms up and bring them together over your head. Your arms do not have to be locked out on top. Keep your body steady during the entire movement. From the top, lower the dumbbells slowly down to the starting position.
Purpose: To develop the front head of the deltoids. This exercise not only works the front head of the deltoids through its entire range of motion, but also involves the traps during the top of the movement. It can be done either standing or sitting.
Execution: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand. 1) Lift one weight out and up in a wide arc until it is higher than the top of your head. 2) Lower the weight under control while simultaneously lifting the other weight, so that both arms are in motion at the same time and the dumbbells pass each other at a point in front of your face. In order to work the front head of the deltoids directly, make certain that the dumbbells pass in front of your face rather than out to the side. To do this same movement with a barbell, grasp the bar with an overhand grip, let it hang down at arm's length in front of you, and with arms kept locked, lift it to a point just higher than your head, staying as strict as possible, then lower it again under control.
Variation: Do Front Raises in a seated position for a stricter movement, since you can't use your body to cheat on the lifts.
Page 4 of shoulder exercises