Many people don't realize that the shoulder has 3 heads; the front, the side, and the rear.
Typically, when someone tells you what they do for their shoulder workout, it includes a variety of presses–and that's about it.
Military press, standing overhead barbell press, seated dumbbell shoulder press, Arnold presses; these are all exercises that guys typically do to try and build up a solid set of shoulders.
The issue with this is that the majority of exercises performed typically only hit 1 of 3 heads of the shoulder muscle.
If you want 3D delts, you need to train all 3 heads of the shoulder. Instead of doing the same pressing movements that only hit one aspect of the shoulder, you need to switch things up to hit them from all angles.
The key to getting eye-catching cannonball delts is to flush tons of blood into the front delt, tons of blood into the side delt, and then tons of blood into the rear delts.
You need to make sure that you're getting a great pump in your entire shoulder during your workout. Otherwise, you'll be neglecting other parts of your shoulder muscle which will result in a lackluster and imbalanced delt muscle.
While there are a variety of great exercises that hit each head of the shoulder, here are some of the best for each part of the shoulder muscle.
- For front delts: Seated shoulder presses.
- For side delts: Standing dumbbell lateral raises.
- And for rear delts: Bent over dumbbell reverse flyes.
Each of these movements are typically easier to gain strength and go heavier on than other exercises that would target the same head of the delt.
It is also easy for you to feel the exercise very well in the target muscle. This is an important aspect when performing any exercise. When you feel the exact spot you are trying to train getting worked, it gives you that much more incentive to go all out.
If you can't feel the exercise targeting the area you are trying to work, then you are either using poor form, too much/too little weight, or need to pick a different exercise.
Not every individual will respond to the same exercises that others respond well to. It's a trial and error process.
Your ultimate goal should be to find the exercises that you can perform with perfect form, where you can feel the target muscle strongly, and that give you the best pump in that target muscle.