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One of the surest marks of a rugged male physique is broad shoulders. Combine a wide shoulder structure with melon-size deltoids, flaring lats, and small waist-hip structure, and you have the type of symmetry that attracts attention.

Why are the deltoids so important to a body-sculptor. Simply put, the delts are visible from every angle, and weak deltoids can be seen from every angle as well. You can sometimes hide weak calves or arms, but never weak deltoids. So the deltoids both add to shoulder width and improve virtually all visible angles of the shoulders.

The deltoids are the one muscle group (s) that requires three types of movement for complete development: pressing, pulling, and leverage exercises. The primary shoulder muscle group is the deltoid, which contracts to move the upper arm bone in a variety of directions. The deltoid is segmented into three lobes, called heads. The anterior head is the front lobe; the medial head, the middle lobe; and the posterior head, the rear lobe. And each head of the deltoid is contracted harder than the others in order to move the upper arm bone in three different directions.

Before we launch into our shoulder exercises remember to complete 15 - 20 minutes of warm-up cardiovascular to loosen those muscles; and an additional 10 minutes of upper-body stretching.

Seated One-Arm Dumbell Lateral Raise
Sitting erect at the end of a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand, angle your thumb on your working hand down, pinkie up. Maintain the hand position throughout the movement to place stress on your delt.

Lifting the weight up with a slight bend to your elbow. At the top, with your elbow just above shoulder height, reverse the direction and lower the weight in a controlled manner. To keep stress on the muscle, stop short of fully relaxing the arm before beginning the next repetition. Return to the starting position and repeat for 12 repetitions and a total of three sets for each arm.

Seated Dumbbell Press
To begin, sit on a straight-back bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor, and pick-up your dumbbells off the floor once you're seated. Move the dumbbells into position with your elbows shoulder level and slightly forward, your forearms angled in slightly so that the inner plates of the dumbbells are directly above your delts.

With your knuckles pointed at the ceiling, push the dumbbells straight up, stopping short of locking-out your elbows. Control the weights all the way down until your arm is parallel to the floor or slightly lower, the weights at approximately ear level. Return to the starting position and repeat for 12 repetitions, and a total of three sets.

Remember that sculpted shoulders are key in the development of a great body.

Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at

Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center, LLC
459 Acoma Street · Denver, Colorado 80204 · 303-860-7131
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6am-8pm · Saturday: Closed · Sunday: Closed