Any exercises you guys are a fan of the work the lateral delt besides lateral raises or ways to tweek lateral raises to make them harder. I'm having a lot of trouble building my lateral delt.
I strongly caution against behind the neck barbell presses for a few reasons:
1. Many people do not have the ROM to bring the bar behind the neck without incuring some spinal flexion
2. And perhaps most important, the nature of a behind the neck presses place the shoulder joint at high risk for impingement of the RC muscles. The shoulder abduction + external rotation is a perfect recipe to impinge the supraspinus tendon and biceps tendon, resulting in tendonitis and eventually leading to weakening and even tears. And when that happens, how are you going to make your middle delts larger?
Answer, perform dumbbell presses at full ROM. Keep your elbows pointing in front of you at the bottom of the ROM, and let them gradually move out as the ROM is finished. Finish with your forearms equal to your ears (many cannot fully flex the shoulder when seated upright..a sign of a tight posterior shoulder capsule). Keep your shoulder blades squeezed together and down the entire movement (yes, this will reduce the amount of weight you can use).
As an alternative to behind-the-neck presses there's always DB W-presses. Let's you get your arms/elbows back as far as comfortable without worrying about the shoulder issues in BTN pressing (which I agree with, I think they're a recipe for injury)
Wide grip upright rows.
If youre still 205 like your profile says....gain 20 lbs. thats why your side delts are small. you are too damn tall to weigh 205! Can you standing overhead press your bodyweight? NO? Then you don't need special exercises. You need to add muscle and get significantly stronger on exercises that will further muscle growth. You probably wont add 60 lbs to your lateral raise this year but if you work on it you might on your OHP. And you AND your side delts will probably look alot more like you want them to.
edit: small caveat....if that's your contest or low single digit bf weight, you may ignore everything I said
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To comment in the behind the neck military press. Again to each is own but I cannot perform this exercise with out causing pain in my shoulder. I also tore my labrum and have fraying in both rotator cuffs from rugby. My point is just be careful doing these and listen to your body ( Rosie that's not directed at you, I know you know what your doing and well in tune with your body).
I have been doing a over head type fly that has really helped the development of my delts. I also love plate raises with slow controlled form holding at the top for a few sec then slowly lower back down.