The Shoulder King

Steve Kuclo makes a strong set of delts even stronger.



KUCLO’S COMMENTARY “I use a neutral, thumbs-up grip on this exercise, and I lift my arms up at around a 45-degree angle with my torso—so it’s sort of a cross between a standard lateral raise and a front raise. I don’t like to do much front delt work, since I’m already hitting that area with chest presses and shoulder presses, so this is about all the isolation I give it. If I do too much front delt work, I’m afraid it will overtake my chest. In a physique- based sport, you always have to be thinking about proportion. “Don’t go too heavy on this exercise. You should be using a little more than half of what you’d use for standing lateral raises. A lot of people go too heavy and don’t feel it enough.”


KUCLO’S COMMENTARY “I always try to keep my traps out of this exercise. To do this, reach out to the sides as you lift the weights up— reach out instead of back. I feel like this technique gets those rear delts to fire better. Another key for making sure the rear delts are working is turning the palms so they face behind you, not down toward the floor. When the palms are down, you tend to turn it into more of a rowing movement where you’re pulling with the elbows; this ends up hitting more of the upper back and upper traps than the rear delts. The key to this exercise is finding that sweet spot where the rear delts are taking on the brunt of the work, so try different paths of motion to find what targets that area best.” 


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