2. Dumbbell side lateral raise
Sure, the side lateral raise doesn’t hold as big a punch as the overhead press, but the benefits they provide are too good to not include in your arsenal. What other exercise isolated the side deltoid head so well? Besides, the medial head is what gives you that wide look and can make your waist line instantly look smaller as well. Side laterals allow you to push those fibers a little further and create that all-encompassing illusion of that sought-after V-taper.
The Twist: Besides the obvious ways to make them more intense; such as running the rack and supersetting with other movements, side laterals can be manipulated in such a way to get even more of an isolated burn out of each rep. Start with the dumbbells by your sides. Starting the motion with your pinky side up, raise the weights out to your sides directly in line with your body.
Don’t let the weights float out front. Here’s the key: instead of raising the dumbbells with your hands allow your elbows to lead the lift and lift them as high as your shoulders. No twisting or turning.
3. Barbell and dumbbell upright row
Upright rows are often thought of as insignificant shoulder builders due to lifters focusing on their sole purpose of trap development. Upright rows can also serve as a vital tool toward providing yet another multi-joint movement for more overall mass (along with the overhead press). This is particularly evident when different grips are used and where you pull from.
The Twist: As noted, taking a wider grip on the bar (or a wider arc of motion with dumbbells) will allow more stress to be placed on the medial deltoid heads and less on the trapezius muscles. A few inches wider than shoulder width will suffice.
If you start to experience shoulder pain then try using an EZ bar where your grip is slightly angled toward forearms. This should alleviate some of the discomfort. Also, be sure to pull up with your elbows higher than shoulder level. Pulling in this manner will engage the medial delts more fully.