How to Train Your Front Delts?

To achieve well-defined shoulders, it’s important to target specific exercises, particularly focusing on the front part of your shoulder muscles (front deltoids). This article delves into training these muscles, covering their anatomy, effective exercises, and answers to common questions.

Whether your goal is strength, aesthetics, or improved shoulder function, this guide provides tips to develop strong and impressive front deltoid muscles.

Front Delt Muscle Anatomy

Front Delt Muscle Anatomy

The front deltoid muscle is located at the front of your shoulder and is a crucial part of the deltoid muscle group, aiding in arm movement and shoulder stability.

  1. Origin and Insertion: The front deltoids start from the outer third of the collarbone (clavicle) and connect to the front of the upper arm bone (humerus). It’s interesting that these points are close, making it tricky to separate from the nearby pectoralis major muscle.

  2. Functions: The main jobs of the front deltoids are lifting your arm forward and upward (shoulder flexion) and rotating your arm inward. Think of movements like lifting your arm or arm wrestling—these involve the front deltoids.

  3. Interaction with Pectoralis Major: The front deltoids have a close relationship with the upper part of the pectoralis major, both in terms of origin and function. While the pectoralis major aids in lifting your shoulder from a wide position (like in a wide-grip bench press), the front deltoids are better suited for lifting your shoulder when your arm is closer to your body.

4 Front Delt Exercises

To build strong and visually appealing shoulders, focusing on your front deltoids (anterior deltoids) is crucial. These muscles lift your arms forward and are essential for many upper body movements. Let’s explore four effective exercises to specifically target and develop your front deltoids.

1. Overhead Press

The overhead press is a classic compound exercise that works various muscle groups, including the front deltoids. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Stand or sit with a barbell, dumbbells, or kettlebells at shoulder height.
  2. Push the weight overhead until your arms are fully straight.
  3. Lower it back down to shoulder height.

This exercise is great for front deltoid development because it targets the muscle at an ideal angle, providing a wide range of motion. Whether you use a barbell or dumbbells, the overhead press effectively works the front deltoids while also engaging the side deltoids and rotator cuffs.

2. Incline Dumbbell Press

The incline dumbbell press is a flexible exercise that targets the front deltoids and upper chest. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lie on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Start with the dumbbells at chest level.
  3. Push them upward until your arms are straight.
  4. Lower the dumbbells back to chest level for one rep.

This exercise works your front deltoids and upper pecs more than flat bench presses. It’s excellent for developing both areas. Using dumbbells allows for a wider range of motion, which can enhance muscle growth.

3. Dumbbell Front Raise

The dumbbell front raise is a targeted isolation exercise for the front deltoids. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your body.
  2. Lift the dumbbells forward until they’re at shoulder height.
  3. Slowly lower the weights back down, maintaining control.

Focus on using your front deltoids to lift the dumbbells, and avoid swinging them. Start with light weights to maintain proper form, and increase the weight gradually as you build strength. Keeping your shoulder blades down throughout the movement ensures effective muscle engagement.

4. Bench Press

While the bench press is often seen as a chest exercise, it can also involve the front deltoids if done right. Here’s how to focus on engaging your front deltoids during the bench press:

  1. Keep a moderate arch in your back.
  2. Use a narrower grip on the barbell.
  3. Avoid over-arching your back and concentrate on controlled movements.

Following these tips can help you target your front deltoids more effectively during the bench press. However, if you opt for a wide grip and excessive arching, you’ll mainly work your middle and lower chest muscles.

Learn more: Best Exercises for Building Muscle and Strength

Front Delt Workout Plan

To effectively target your front deltoids and enhance overall shoulder strength, follow this focused workout plan. It combines key exercises for a well-rounded development. Remember to adjust weights and repetitions based on your fitness level and progress.

Front Delt Workout:

  1. Overhead Press:

    • 3 sets x 6 reps
    • Begin with the classic overhead press to activate your front delts strongly. Use a barbell, dumbbells, or kettlebells, and push the weight overhead, fully extending your arms.
    • Aim for three sets of six repetitions to build strength and stability.
  2. Incline Dumbbell Press:

    • 3 sets x 12 reps
    • Progress to the incline dumbbell press to target your front delts and upper chest. Lie on an incline bench and press the dumbbells upward, focusing on controlled movements.
    • Complete three sets of twelve repetitions for a comprehensive upper body workout.
  3. Dumbbell Front Raise:

    • 3 sets x 16 reps
    • Isolate your front delts with the dumbbell front raise. Hold dumbbells in front of your thighs and lift them to shoulder level, maintaining proper form and minimal swinging.
    • Perform three sets of sixteen repetitions to enhance muscle engagement in the front deltoids.


  • Proper Form:

    • Maintain correct posture and technique during each exercise to effectively target the front deltoids.
  • Progressive Overload:

    • Gradually increase weight or repetitions as your strength improves to keep challenging your muscles.
  • Rest Between Sets:

    • Allow adequate rest between sets (around 60-90 seconds) to recover and perform at your best.
  • Warm-up:

    • Prior to starting the workout, perform a dynamic warm-up to prepare your shoulder joints and muscles for the exercises.
  • Cool-down:

    • After completing the workout, perform static stretches to enhance flexibility and reduce muscle tension.

Incorporating this front delt workout plan into your routine helps in building stronger and more defined front deltoid muscles. Consistency and proper technique are crucial for achieving your desired results. Always listen to your body and adjust based on your goals and progress.

Front Delt Training FAQ

Here are answers to common questions about training your front deltoids (anterior deltoids) to help clarify and guide your effective front deltoid training:

1. How Can I Make My Front Delts Bigger?

To build your front deltoids, follow these steps:

  1. Include two to three good front delt exercises in your workout plan.
  2. Pick a rep range and training volume that’s right for muscle growth.
  3. Make sure to push your muscles by adding more weight or reps over time to keep them challenged and growing.

2. Should You Train the Front Delt Specifically?

While your front deltoids are involved in many upper body exercises such as bench and overhead presses, you might not always need specific training for them.

Think about your overall workout routine, especially if it already includes these compound movements. Training them in isolation could raise the risk of overuse injuries, so pay attention to your body’s signals.

3. Are Front Raises a Good or Bad Exercise?

Front raises are great for isolating and targeting the front deltoids, but to get the most out of them:

  1. Use light weights.
  2. Focus on maintaining proper form without swinging the weights.
  3. Keep your shoulder blades tucked down for controlled, focused movements.

However, if your workout routine already includes a lot of pressing exercises, adding front raises might give your front deltoids too much work and lead to overtraining.

4. What Exercise Works the Front Deltoids?

Exercises that involve lifting your arms forward or upward in front of your body target your front deltoids. You can choose from bench presses, overhead presses, incline presses, and front raises. Select the ones that align with your goals and preferences.

5. How Can I Optimize Front Delt Workouts?

To optimize front delt workouts:

  • Combine various exercises targeting the muscle from different angles, such as overhead presses, incline dumbbell presses, and dumbbell front raises.
  • Include a variety of rep ranges (e.g., low to high) to stimulate muscle growth through multiple mechanisms.

Final Words

If you want to see the benefits of working out and have others notice too, focus on training your delts. They’re one of the quickest areas to show improvement.

When your delts get stronger, you’ll not only look stronger but also feel stronger. Stay consistent and dedicated to your training, and you’ll see big results!

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