13 Best Front Delt Exercises That Can Help Make Your Shoulders Stronger

Front delt exercises make it easy to lift your arms above the height of your shoulders. They can help reduce any pains around your shoulder joints, Add these to your training to build healthy, stronger shoulders.

anterior deltoid exercises

What is the anterior deltoid or front delt

The deltoid is the muscle bulk that covers your shoulder. It begins from your collar bone and ends in your upper arm. Its most frontal part is called the anterior deltoid or front delt. The middle and back of the deltoid are known as the lateral and posterior deltoid, respectively.

What does the anterior deltoid or front delt do?

The anterior deltoid moves the shoulder joint. The deltoid is responsible for all movements of the shoulder. But the front deltoid is responsible for the upward forward lifting and internal rotation of your arms.

What are front delt exercises?

Anterior deltoid exercises target the deltoid muscle. Such front delt exercises make it easier to lift your arms above the height of your shoulders. They can also help reduce any pains around your shoulder joints.

best front delt exercises -training with battle ropes

Benefits Of Front Delt Exercises

Front delt exercises can give you several benefits. Such benefits include

  • reducing the risk of a shoulder injury
  • helping you build strong shoulders to make it easy for your arms and shoulders to function as required
  • helping you get well-rounded shoulders and,
  • helping to improve your posture

Muscles Targeted by Anterior Deltoid Exercises

Front delt exercises primarily target the anterior deltoid or the front delts
But their effect spread to other muscles like:

  • lateral and posterior deltoid
  • upper traps
  • serratus anterior
  • upper chest
  • triceps

Best anterior deltoid exercises that can help make your shoulders stronger

Apart from the aesthetic effects of a well-toned deltoid, good front delt exercises strengthen and build muscle bulk. They tone the anterior deltoid, making daily lifting and pushing easier.

Below are some of the front delt exercises for mass you can do at home to condition and train your anterior deltoid:

Arnold Presses

standing Arnold press front delt exercises

This is one of the most popular strengthening exercises for anterior deltoid. You can do these front delt exercises at home in both sitting and standing positions. Make sure you keep your back straight and upright.

Required equipment: dumbbells

Steps to follow

  • Hold the dumbbells with your palm facing inward and gradually bring the weights towards your chest. Your elbows should be pointed forwards from the beginning.
  • Rotate the weights at 180 degrees at your wrists, push the weight vertically, and exhale all through the move.
  • Your palms should now face outwards and the dumbbells should now be fully hung in line with your shoulders.
  • Steadily, bring the dumbbells to the starting position and inhale while you do this.
  • Repeat.

You can use a backrest to reduce the tendency of developing back injuries.

Front Arm Raises

front raises - front delt exercises for mass

Front arm raises are also one of the most popular anterior deltoid dumbbell exercises you don’t need any expensive gym equipment, apart from a set of dumbbells.

You can do the exercise with both hands at the same time and you can target one hand and shoulder at a time.

Required equipment: dumbbells

Steps to follow

  • Maintaining a stance with feet shoulder-width apart, hold the dumbbells with an overhand grip. The dumbbells should be at the level of the thigh and also directly in line with the shoulders.
  • With the dumbbells in hand, lift the arm to a horizontal level and exhale while performing the motion.
  • Pause slightly at the top and bring the weights back to the starting position, that is, to the level of the thigh. Inhale while performing this part of the exercise.
  • Repeat.


  • You can increase the intensity of the exercise by making sure that the dumbbells do not get to the thigh. You can keep them about one or two inches away from the thigh.
  • Aim for about three sets of 10 repetitions each.

Military Presses

You can do the military presses anterior deltoid exercises either from seated or standing positions.

The exercises can help build strength in the anterior deltoid and improve the range of motion of the shoulder joints.

Required equipment: Barbell

Steps to follow

  • This exercise can also be performed from the seated or standing position. Ensure your back is straight and supported and hold the barbell with a forward-facing grip and forward-pointing elbows.
  • You can use a spot to get the weight on if it’s too heavy.
  • Keeping your core nice and tight, push the barbell vertically upwards until your elbows are fully straightened, exhale while doing this.
  • Pause slightly at the top and bring the weight into a lower position to the level of the collarbone, exhale while doing this.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps and sets.


  • You can also use a backrest from this exercise to reduce the possibility of sustaining a back injury.
  • It is also important to keep the core muscles tight and engaged as you perform these exercises.
  • Military presses place so much stress on the shoulder joint. To reduce the effect of this stress, only move the bar to the extent of your comfortability.

Upright Rows

upright row with ez bar

Upright rows work to strengthen the anterior deltoid together with the overall trapezius and deltoid improving their size and strength.

They are very good front delt exercises and can be a fantastic addition to any well-rounded workout regime.

Required equipment: Barbell or EZ bar

Steps to follow

  • Hold the barbell using an overhand grip that is greater than 5 inches standing upright to allow the bar to rest on your thighs.
  • Keeping your core muscles tight all through the move, bring the weight underneath your chin. Your elbows should be pointed outwards and should be raised to the extent of your comfortability.
  • Bring the bar back to its starting position gradually. Exhale while performing this movement.
  • Repeat for the desired number of times.

A narrower grip increases trapezius involvement. A wider grip increases the involvement of the anterior deltoid.

Overhead Shoulder Press

overhead shoulder press front delt exercises with dumbbells

The overhead shoulder press is as close to a cynosure as you can get in shoulder training. This is arguably one of the best front delt exercises. The angle is perfect, and the range of motion is long.

Required equipment: barbell, dumbbells, or kettlebells.

Steps to follow

  • Stand up keeping your feet hip distance apart. Also, keep your knees slightly flexed.
  • Grab the weight, and place it across your shoulders. Hold it in front of your neck, over your upper chest, and with a forward-facing palm and bent elbow.
  • Move the weight directly over your head upward. Do this until your elbows are almost entirely extended.
  • In a controlled manner, more it back into the starting position.
  • Repeat.


  • Squeeze your abs, quads, and glutes as you move the bar up.
  • Target doing three sets of about 12 repetitions each.

Incline Dumbbell Press

incline dumbbells press

The incline dumbbell press is another front delt dumbbell exercises for home gym. Though many prefer to use dumbbells for the exercise, you can use a barbell, if you prefer.

Required equipment: dumbbells or barbell, adjustable incline weight bench.

Steps to follow

  • Adjust the weight bench to an inclination of 45 degrees.
  • Grab a pair of dumbbells. Lie down facing the bench. Allow your arms to hang straight down while holding one dumbbell on each side. Maintain a proper body posture by keeping your head and neck straight.
  • Lift the dumbbells as high as possible by contracting your shoulder blades. The dumbbells should be kept at 90 degrees to the floor. Your elbow should form a 90 degree with your upper arm.
  • Pause slightly at the top and bring the dumbbells lower until your elbow is almost fully extended.
  • Repeat for the desired number of times.

Target three sets of up to 10 reps.

Bench Press/Floor Press

bench press

Also called the chest press, you can either do the exercise on a weight bench or the floor. The varying names are usually based on where you do the exercise. They are quite effective in isolating your anterior deltoid (4).

Required equipment: weighted bar, weight bench.

Steps to follow

  • Lie with your back on the floor or the bench,
  • Keep your knees flexed and your feet solidly planted on the floor or the bench.
  • Grab the weighted bar across your chest, holding it with both hands. Your grips should be shoulder-width apart and your elbows bent and in toward your sides.
  • Push the weighted bar till your elbows are almost fully stretched out.
  • Lower the bar, reversing the course and bringing it towards your chest.
  • Repeat the cycle.


  • If your main objective is to increase the bulk of your anterior deltoid, combine this exercise with push-ups to achieve a significant result.
  • You should target doing three sets of 12 to 15 reps each.



The handstand is one of the most suitable front delt exercises at home. That is because you don’t need any gym equipment for the exercise. It is also one of the most known exercises people do in many athletic and physical activities.

The handstand anterior deltoid exercise is simple but could be very tricky to perform or master.

The exercise involves supporting your whole body with your hand.

In other words, you “stand” on your hands instead of on your feet. Thus, your feet will be pointing upwards when you do the exercise.

You must

  • aim to make your body as straight as possible,
  • keep your feet and hands fully stretched
  • Keep your feet together, and
  • keep your hands about a shoulder-width from each other

You can start the exercise standing with your back facing a wall if you are a beginner. This will allow you to train yourself to get more stability at the initial stages.

Chest Dips

tricep dips

The chest dips are well-known for building the pecs. But they have a good effect on the anterior deltoid too. Chest Dips are great compound exercises and you easily do them in your home gym.

Required equipment: dip bars, power tower, or any other similar equipment.

Steps to follow

  • Hold each bar with each hand and lift yourself above them. Your arm should be parallel with your body. Maintain a neutral head and neck. Keep your knees flexed so that they are at 90 degrees while maintaining extended hips.
  • Move yourself down slowly while inhaling. Do this until your shoulders are at a level just below the elbows.
  • Maintain a forward-leaning body (at about 30 degrees) and allow your elbows to point outwards till you feel a slight stretch of your muscles.
  • Move back to the starting position while exhaling.
  • Repeat.


  • Avoid going too low as this can cause injury to your shoulders.
  • Aim for 3 sets of about 5 reps at the beginning and progress to about 10 reps per set.

Battle Ropes

battle ropes front delt exercises

This body conditioning exercise works great for the deltoid, particularly the anterior deltoid (2).

It builds hypertrophy and endurance in the anterior deltoid. They are like front raises because they involve a series of shoulder flexion.

Battle ropes work on both arms independently (5) and are front delt exercises for mass and strength.

Required equipment: Battle Ropes

Steps to follow

  • Hold the ends of the rope with both hands.
  • Your grip should be in front of your hips and should be shoulder-width apart.
  • Tighten your core and start raising and lowering each arm rapidly and explosively.
  • Keep doing this for both arms alternatively for about 3 to 4 sets of about 2 minutes each.

You can adjust the resistance by adjusting the amount of slack in the rope. The intensity increases when you move closer to the anchor point. The intensity decreases when you move farther from the anchor point. That is the closer you are to the anchor point, the higher the intensity and vice-versa.

Resistance Band Slicers

resistance band exercise

These front delt exercises with bands utilize time under tension in breaking down muscle fibers in both your anterior deltoid and lateral deltoid.

Required equipment: resistance Band.

Steps to follow

  • Maintain a comfortable stance with the resistance band with your back erect.
  • Hold the handles using a downward-facing palm.
  • Stretch your arms outward and bring the handles out.
  • Pull the handles apart gradually. Do this till the handles are in line with your shoulders and out to the side.
  • Move it gradually to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

Aim for three sets of about 10 reps each.

Landmine Press

landmine press

The landmine press is one of the best front delt exercises. It can take so much stress off the shoulder joint, without any reduction in the ability to increase muscle strength and bulk. It can also work on the core muscles simultaneously.

Required equipment: barbell

Steps to follow

  • Stand upright holding the heavy side of the barbell with one hand in front of your chest.
  • Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  • Push the weight up until your arm is fully extended.
  • Lower the weight slowly and repeat.


  • Ensure that the free end of the bar is secure in a corner or landmine device.
  • Ensure you tighten your back and core muscles during the move. Back stability is important in all front delt exercises to prevent injuries to the back.

Upright cable rows

Upright cable rows are some of the best front delt exercises to add to any comprehensive workout regimen. They are effective front delt cable exercises. They can help you build your traps and delts, as well as help build strength and mass.

You will need a cable machine and an EZ bar for the exercise. You can opt for a straight bar instead of an EZ bar if you prefer that.

A wide grip on the bar can help you to target your shoulders much better. On the other hand, a narrow grip will help you to target your traps.

Required equipment: Cable machine with appropriate weight loaded, EZ bar or straight bar

Steps to follow

  • Attach your preferred bar (straight or EZ bar) and load the cable machine with the appropriate weight.
  • Using an overhand grip, grasp the bar, palms about 6 inches apart
  • Stand upright and let the bar rest against your thighs
  • Tighten your abs and pull the bar until it gets as close as possible to your chin. Keep your abs tightened while pulling.
  • Exhale and slowly lower the bar to your starting position
  • Repeat the process for as many reps as you can

Reduce the loaded weight if you experience any stress or pain in your wrist


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