Image Map

Balancing Out Your Delts 

If you are like me, you grew up a bench-aholic. A bench-aholic is that guy who walks into the gym, doesn’t warm up, then starts benching with 135, 225, and goes for a max ice cold.  Besides helping his orthopedic surgeon put his kids through college, the bench-aholic creates imbalanced delts.

Imbalanced delts are when you have one delt head way more developed than another. In the bench-aholic’s case, the Anterior (front) delt is way way bigger than his rear delts.  If you are in fact a bench-aholic, relax. I have a solution, and you don’t need twelve steps to help you down the road to recovery.

The first fix is easy:

No more flat benching. Start your chest workout with flys or cables to warm up. Then hit the Incline bench. If you keep your shoulder blades back and do them decent, nice, and slow you may be surprised that your rear delts are sore after 4 sets or so. This is the time you hit the rear delts with flys, cables, or a reverse peck deck.  4-7 sets of 12-20 reps going for about 80 total reps to failure. Go only so heavy that you feel all delts. No mid-back like middle traps or rhomboids. To do this, push your shoulders as far forward as possible and try to draw a half circle with your pinkies. After your rear delts are redder than rudolphs nose, proceed with your usual chest routine.

Now for the second fix:

On shoulder day, start with rear delts. Then hit middle, then presses, then don’t touch front.  Heres an example workout I have used to balance out the severely overdeveloped bodybuilders:

Reverse Pec Deck: 7 sets of 12 reps (7×12) all reps to failure 30 second rest. Push and semi-circle method as detailed above.

Wide Grip Upright Dumbbell Rows

Super set with

Lateral Raises: 4 x 10, 1-1.5 minute rest. Pull the DBs away from each other

DB or Barbell Press: 4 x 12 Try to bring the bar or Dumbbell handles down to your chin. 

Behind-the-back smith upright rows: 4 x 10

You may throw in Arnold presses 7 x 12 at the end if your anterior delts absolutely need attention.

Use this theme of pre-exhausting the weakest muscle in your physique for 3 weeks then hit it with a heavy compound first for about 3 weeks. In this example take the rear delt 7s off the front of the workout and put them after the behind the DB or BB presses.

No one wants to be imbalanced. Bodybuilding has lost it’s way and symmetry and aesthetics have went the way of the dinosaur in the past couple decades. Fortunately Bikini and Men’s Physique are bringing the quality back to the sport, and I expect bodybuilders to start focusing more on what really matters: the total package. And nothing is more important to an impressive physique than 3-D boulder shoulders!

Thats a brief cursory overview of how to train your delts. Feel free to ask questions on the forum! its 48,000 strong!

Other body part articles






How to plan your workout split for the week


Nothing in this article or on this site should be considered medical advice or as an endorsement to violate any law of the country in which you reside.  The information given is for fun and entertainment purposes only.  All claims are 100% dependent upon proper diet and exercise.  Please consult a medical practitioner prior to any diet and exercise program.