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7 Side Delt Exercises – Boost To Strengthen Your Shoulders

Getting a perfect side delt muscle is every bodybuilder’s dream. The muscle not only signifies strength but also adds a perfect contour to the upper ...

by Jessica Bennet

This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

Getting a perfect side delt muscle is every bodybuilder’s dream. The muscle not only signifies strength but also adds a perfect contour to the upper body. It enhances the width of the shoulder and improves the overall posture. However, building the side delt muscles is not a piece of cake. 

The front delt is much easier to develop when compared to the side delt. But I have found some delt exercises, specifically designed for enhancing the side delt. In fact, there are so many exercises that you can do to develop your side delt. In this article, I have narrowed down the seven most effective exercises that can give you the perfect body contour in no time. 

So, let’s dive into it. 

What Is A Delt?

The deltoid is a triangular-shaped muscle and it forms a rounded contour of the human shoulder and helps the arm move to the side and the front and back. This muscle is made of three different muscle fibers: the anterior, posterior, and lateral. The lateral portion is known as the side delt. 

People who focus on exercises such as dumbbell military press, lateral raise, and rear delt raise, think that these can help develop side delts. They also try to do heavy lifting that does nothing for the deltoid muscles.

While developing the delt muscles, it is important to go light and work on lifting the right amount of weight that focuses on these muscles. To target the middle delt, it is crucial to focus on shoulder abduction, where you need to engage in exercises that get the arms away from the body. You need to move your arms at specific angles while practicing these exercises. 

We will now look at the best seven side delt exercises.

The Top Seven Side Delt Exercises

1. Single-arm lateral raise using resistance bands

This is a unilateral side delt exercise that helps to strengthen the shoulder muscles and increases the size and strength of the shoulder. 

Single-Arm Lateral Raise Ssing Resistance Bands

How to do it?

  • The first step is to loop the resistance band around the left foot. You have to step on it firmly. 
  • Keep your feet a distance wider than the shoulder. 
  • Hold the other end of the band in your right hand and your palm should be facing downward. 
  • In slow motion, raise the band until it reaches the shoulder height, pause for a second, and then bring it down to the thigh level.

2. Upright row using a resistance band

This is another side delt exercise that hits all the major upper body muscles, including the shoulders, back, and biceps.

How to do it?

  • You should step on the resistance band and place your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Grasp the other end of the band with both hands and your palms should face down. 
  • The starting position is by the sides of your thighs and there should be some tension.
  • You have to engage your core and pull the band up just below your chin level and your elbows should reach shoulder height. 
  • You need to pause for a second in this position and return to the starting position. 

3. Y raise using a resistance band

The ‘Y’ or ‘V’ raise with a resistance band can help improve your posture and enhance the side delts. 

How to do it?

  • Tie a resistance band on the bottom of a post or pole. 
  • Grab both the ends of the band in each hand. 
  • Keep your foot apart wider than the width of the shoulder.
  • Raise your arms back and behind you forming a ‘Y’ position with your torso. 

4. Lateral raise using a dumbbell

This is a side plank position that boosts the side delt muscle and should be done with a dumbbell. 

How to do it?

  • Get into a side plank position and keep your right forearm on the floor and it should support the whole body. 
  • Bend your right knee and rest your left leg on it. 
  • Grab a dumbbell with your left hand and rest it on your left leg. 
  • Before starting, engage your core and slowly raise the dumbbell unit until it reaches shoulder height. 
  • Pause for a few seconds and return to the starting position. 

5. Bent arm lateral raise using a dumbbell 

Many studies have shown that this is one of the most beneficial exercises for the side delt. 

Bent Arm Lateral Raise Using A Dumbbell 

How to do it?

  • Stand and keep your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Hold a pair of dumbbells vertically on both hands with a neutral grip. 
  • The elbows should be bent at 90 degrees and position the dumbbells on the side of your stomach.
  • Engage your core and rotate the arms upwards rotate it upwards 
  • The contraction on the deltoids can be felt. You can pause for a moment, and then bring the dumbles to the starting position. 

6. Monkey row with dumbbell

This exercise can enhance the whole deltoid muscles and can tap into the muscles without causing any injury. 

How to do it?

  • Stand and keep your feet shoulder-width apart and grab one dumbbell in each hand. Position them beside the thighs. 
  • Exhale and lift the dumbbells towards your armpit until the arms are parallel to the floor. The elbows should be flared out to the sides. 
  • Pause for a moment and bring it back to its original position. 

7. Scott presses with dumbbells

Scott Presses With Dumbbells

This is a must-do press for contoured shoulder blades

How to do it?

  • Stand and keep your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells in a position where the little fingers are facing up and the thumbs are facing down. 
  • Bring the dumbbells to the chin, exhale, and swing back the elbows backward and upward. You should move your head and torso accordingly. 
  • Inhale and reverse this movement and return to the original position. 


One of the important points that you should remember while doing these exercises is that you should always focus on the right muscles. Each movement should hit the right muscle. If your core focus is on boosting side delt muscles, you should focus on exercises that help these muscles.

Another factor is that you should do each exercise at a slow pace, and 6-12 reps for each exercise are recommended. It is crucial to train regularly, maybe twice or thrice a week, for optimal results.

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