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Pump Quiz: A Smarter Way To Build Your Delts

Delts

Everybody knows that the shoulders consist of three heads. But do you know which ones are involved in various moves? Take our Pump Quiz!

1) The Arnold press is a variation of the overhead dumbbell press, differing in that it starts with your palms facing you in front of your head rather than out to your sides. How does that affect muscle recruitment?

A) IT PUTS MORE EMPHASIS ON THE ANTERIOR HEAD.
B) IT PUTS MORE EMPHASIS ON THE MIDDLE HEAD.
C) IT PUTS MORE EMPHASIS ON THE POSTERIOR HEAD.

2) When taking the standard 10–12-inch width grip on upright rows, which delt head gets the most attention when it comes to muscular stimulation?

A) THE ANTERIOR HEAD
B) THE MIDDLE HEAD
C) THE POSTERIOR HEAD

3) If you want to build thicker upper pecs, you focus heavily on incline bench presses. Doing a lot of heavy incline work also requires strong triceps and one of the three delt heads working as secondary muscles. Which of the three delt heads is also heavily recruited in incline presses?

A) THE ANTERIOR DELT
B) THE MIDDLE DELT
C) THE POSTERIOR DELT

ANSWERS

1. With the weights in front of you and your elbows tight to your sides in the Arnold press — your elbows are away from your body in the down position with a standard overhead dumbbell press — the anterior (front) delts take up a much greater portion of the workload. In the other version, the middle delts get most of the work. The correct answer is A.

2. Here, watch the motion of your upper arms in relation to your torso: They should be going out to your sides. That’s your cue that the middle delts are hard at work, the same as when you do lateral raises, also a middle-delt movement. So the correct answer is B.

3. Presses for chest are multijoint exercises, and as such require assistance from other muscle groups (one of the reasons you can go so heavy). Both the triceps and anterior delts are instrumental in helping you do heavy presses, especially inclines. Don’t forget: If you want big pecs you can’t neglect your front delts (or triceps work). The correct answer is A.

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