You can build a beautiful set of deltoids using nothing but dumbbells. In fact, deltoids thrive on dumbbells alone.
You Need A Mirror For This One
The clothing is important on this exercise because it helps if you can see the deltoids in action so you know when you are doing it correctly. That's why you should do this exercise without a shirt or at least with a tank top while standing in front of a mirror.
This is important ... because you need to see the rear deltoids flex in the mirror at the top of the movement. Seeing the movement in the mirror is the key to getting the correct form. Okay let's walk through it.
Stand facing the mirror, grasp the dumbbells with the little finger side of the hand pressed hard against the inside plate of the dumbbell.
Raise the dumbbells out to the side just high enough to see the rear deltoids flex in the mirror without flexing the traps. If you flex the traps by lifting the shoulders rather than lifting the elbows you are going to build traps.
Once the traps get stronger than the deltoids you can kiss a great set of delts goodbye because the traps will insist on doing all the work.
Once this happens ... they start to bully everything and the deltoids just set back and let them do it.
The best way to keep the traps from getting into the action is to cheat just a little at the top of the exercise. I hope some of this makes sense to you so I'm going to keep at it.
Let's go through it again. Stand facing the mirror. Bend over slightly at the waist. Hold one dumbbell over the other with the thumbs ends of the dumbbells facing the mirror.
The following is a "two dip" process. Before you start to raise the dumbbells, "dip" a little with the upper body to give your self a slight assist to help start raising the dumbbells. Right at the top of the movement ... dip the upper body again to keep the traps out of the picture.
You should see the rear deltoids flex in the mirror. The dumbbells should go no higher than the shoulders.
It helps if you think of the dumbbells handles as full of water and right at the top of the exercise you just dump a little water out of the handle.
Again, you need to be able to see the rear deltoids flex while watching them in the mirror. Be careful you don't lift the shoulders. Just lift the arms. This is a very effective exercise for building side deltoids ... if you do it right.
Use plenty of chalk on your hands. You want a very firm grip on the dumbbells because the key to using more weight on this exercise is the power you can transfer from the forearms to the deltoids.
If you just swing the dumbbells like pendulums you won't get near the benefit. You have to control the dumbbell all the way up and all the way down.
If you do it just right, all the stress is transferred directly to the side deltoid head which packs meat on the shoulders.