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5 Effective Exercises for Anterior Deltoid Muscles

The anterior deltoid muscle originates from the lateral side of the clavicle bone and inserts into the deltoid tuberosity of the humerus bone.(1,2)

It lies over the front third of the shoulder area. This muscle helps with movements of daily functions such as flexion, abduction and internal rotation i.e. they help in movements such as turning shoulders inwards and also for raising arms and bringing arms in front of the body.(3) A weak anterior deltoid muscle can hinder with the daily activities to a great extent. The fact that the anterior deltoid muscles have a lot of daily functions to do also put it at risk of getting injured and thus an exercise regime must be followed to keep this muscle in a healthier state.

Exercises for anterior deltoid helps in strengthening and building the upper body.

Importance of Anterior Deltoid Muscles

It is important to do the exercises designed for strengthening the anterior deltoid muscles the right way. If not done properly it can cause tearing of the muscles leading to trauma and injury. It is advised to do warm up before the exercise and cool down towards the end of exercise regime.

This can be done by doing some stretching exercises before the main exercise. A simple way to stretch is described below:

  • Stand next to a wall with arms against the wall.
  • Turn away from the arm with a slight bent in the elbow until a stretch is felt in front of the shoulder.
  • Repeat on the other side.

5 Effective Exercises for Anterior Deltoid Muscles

The anterior deltoid exercises include:(4)

Dumbbell Presses or Arnold Presses to Strengthen Anterior Deltoid:

Steps involved:

  • With back kept straight, sit or stand up and grasp the dumbbells
  • For heavy weight, it is advised to knee the weight into position
  • Make sure that the elbows are pointed forward
  • Now with palms facing inward bring the weight towards the chest
  • Now rotate the weights at about 180 degree at the wrist while pressing the weight vertically such that the weights are fully suspended and in line with the shoulder blades. The palms are now facing outward.
  • Make sure to exhale throughout the above movement
  • With elbows in front of chest lower weights back to neutral position. Inhale during this step.
  • Repeat the steps again.

Cable Front Arm Raises for Anterior Deltoid Muscles:

Steps involved:

  • Begin this exercise by setting the pulley pin to lowest setting available
  • Attach the straight-bar or the single-hand bar to the cable machine
  • Face the weight stack directly
  • Grip on the attachment with a pronated grip while standing straight up. Make sure the knees are bent slightly with the feet shoulder distance apart
  • Raise the attachments up to eye level with a mild bent in the elbow. Inhale during this step.
  • Now lower the attachment while exhaling
  • Repeat the steps. In case of single hand bar repeat steps with the other hand.

Dumbbell Raises or Front Arm Raises to Build Anterior Deltoid:

Steps involved:

  • Start the exercise by standing straight up with feet shoulder distance apart.
  • Grip on the dumbbells with a pronated grip. Make sure the dumbbells are in line with the shoulders.
  • Raise one arm horizontally while exhaling out.
  • Lower the arm to starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat the steps for other hand.

Barbell Military Press to Strengthen Anterior Deltoid Muscles:

Steps involved:

  • Begin the exercise by sitting or standing with back straight. Grasp the barbell. Ensure the palms are facing forward.
  • Press the weight vertically and extend the arms completely while exhaling
  • Now lower the weights till it reaches the collarbone while inhaling
  • Repeat the steps as desired

Dumbbell Military Presses to Develop Anterior Deltoid Muscles:

Steps involved:

  • Start the exercise by sitting or standing straight up. Grip on the dumbbells. When in seated position rest the weight on the knees.
  • It is advised to knee the weight into position if heavy weights are used.
  • Lift the weight up to shoulder level while facing palms forward.
  • Press the weights vertically until arms are extended and in line with the shoulders. Exhale during this step.
  • Lower the weights and return back to neutral position while inhaling
  • Repeat the steps


Working out the anterior deltoid muscles helps in building up the upper body. There are a few exercises that help in strengthening these muscles. However, it is advised to consult an expert before doing these exercises. Overuse of anterior deltoid muscles (during exercises) can cause muscle injury. It is very important to follow the steps closely and accurately to avoid any trauma or injury. It is also very important to do some stretching exercises to prep up the muscles. Anterior deltoid muscles help in normal functional movements and therefor it is very important to ensure that utmost care is taken not to injure these muscles.


Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 7, 2021

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