When we talk about the bent-over delt raises we refer to a series of exercises that engage all the areas of the shoulder.
The shoulder is a large muscle that is divided into three heads namely the posterior (rear), anterior (front) and lateral (middle) heads.
There are exercises that engage the whole shoulder generally. However, the bent-over raises are a more detailed way of working out the shoulder region.
This is because they focus on each head with great specificity. That means each area gets their own exercise tailored to engage it in the most balanced manner
WHAT TO DO:
Whilst the variations of the bent-over delt raises have similar effects and movements to a certain degree, the mechanics differ. This is how the exercises for each area are done:
BENT-OVER FRONT DELT RAISE
- Grab your weights with an underhand grip so that your palms are facing you
- Start with your legs spread out to around shoulder-width
- Stand with a straightened back
- Flex your knees slightly so that they are bent
- Lower the weights so that they are right around your knee
- Raise the weights till they are right above your head and then gently lower them down to the knees
- Do this for 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions
- By doing this exercise, you engage the front delts in a detailed, balanced manner.
BENT-OVER LATERAL DELT RAISE
- Spread your legs out to about shoulder width
- Flex your knees so that you are bent down with your neck in a neutral position
- Grab the weights and ensure that your elbows are loose but not too loose
- Make scapular movements with weights in hands and squeeze to the top. Do this until your arms are almost at par with your shoulders
Do 10-12 reps keeping in mind your current levels of fitness as you decide on sets
BENT-OVER REAR DELT RAISE
The bent-over rear delt raise is a bent-over delt raise exercise that is best done using a cable. This is because cables provide consistent tension on the rear delts. To do this exercise:
- Spread your legs out to about shoulder-width
- Flex your knees and ensure that your spine is at a 45-degree angle
- Let the arm you’re working hang forward.
- Pull at the cable to its full extension
Do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps of the exercise
WHAT MUSCLES DO THE BENT-OVER DELT RAISES WORK?
When doing the bent-over delt raises that involve the front deltoids, your arms are often in front of your body.
As such, the foremost part of the shoulder is engaged. Therefore, the more reps you do with your arm in front of your body, the more the anterior parts of your shoulder are worked.
The front deltoid is often worked during any actions that involve pressing, pulling or arching movements.
Abduction movements are a huge part of bent-over delt raises. When you move your arm away from your body you engage the middle part of your shoulder heads.
The lateral deltoid is especially crucial to movements that involve shoulder flexion and internal rotation.
When you pull on something in a scapular manner, external rotation of the shoulder occurs. This is what engages the rear deltoid.
The rear deltoid provides stability as you distribute weight. It also helps with the extension of the upper arm bone.
BENT-DOWN DELT RAISES BENEFITS
1.INCREASES THE RANGE OF MOTION AND FLEXIBILITY IN THE DELTOID MUSCLES
When you extend your humerus while doing bent-over delt raises you stretch your deltoid muscles to a certain degree.
Often when you start, you can only stretch to a limited extent. However, with consistency and reps, stretching the arm away from the body and engaging the deltoids becomes second nature to you.
As you increase the difficulty of the movements you make, this also improves your flexibility. This is often shown by the fact you can now do things you couldn’t do when you started
2.IMPROVES YOUR POSTURE
Bent-over delt raises that engage the rear deltoid often also work the biggest back muscle – the trapezius muscle.
The trapezius muscle is primarily what is responsible for posture. A lot of times when you are deemed to have bad posture it’s because your trapezius muscle is weak and shriveled.
However, working the rear deltoid and by extension the trapezius strengthens and straightens your appearance. A strong trapezius muscle improves your posture and also protects your spine.
3.REDUCES YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING SHOULDER INJURIES
When you work out the shoulder muscles, you develop stronger shoulders. A lot of times shoulder injuries occur due to feeble shoulders.
As such, developing strong shoulders gives you more stability when doing anything physical. This in turn reduces your chances of getting shoulder injuries.
ALTERNATIVES TO BENT-OVER DELT RAISES
DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS
- Hold the dumbbells by your shoulders with your palms facing forwards and your elbows out to the sides and bent at a 90° angle.
- Without leaning back, extend through your elbows to press the weights above your head.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
SIDE PLANK WITH AN ARM RAISE
- Lie down on a mat and grab a light dumbbell with one arm.
- Now tilt your body and get into the side plank position, where you are resting the body weight on the elbow.
- The elbow must be in one line with the shoulders. The dumbbell will now be by your side as if you are standing with the weight.
- Now maintain the plank position, erect spine, no slouching, & slowly lift the dumbbell until the arm is straight above the ear, almost 90 degrees.
- Pause for a second and lower the weight to the side again.
MISTAKES TO AVOID
MAINTAIN A NEUTRAL SPINE
Whenever you’re doing the bent over delt raises its crucial to maintain a neutral spine. A neutral spine ensures that you don’t direct excessive strain to your spine thus causing injuries
Tightened elbows impede you from performing the full range of motion required to feel the proper effects of the bent-down delt raises.
As such, it waters down the effect of your efforts
Whatever area of the deltoids you intend to work, there are detailed bent-over delt raises that allow you to unilaterally work the deltoids.
Take your time and find out how you want to approach it i.e., what equipment you want to use or which head you want to start with.