Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
What’s a surefire way to thin your waist without dieting? Broaden your shoulders, of course! The wider your shoulders are, the smaller your waist appears and the more symmetrical your physique.
To accomplish this, turn your focus to your lateral deltoids, the outermost shoulder muscles that give your arms their sexy curve and shape. Work them first in your routine to make them a priority using this program, then follow up with front and rear delt work (two to three moves apiece) to round out your training.
Related:Build Bolder Shoulders
Use a fairly heavy weight for each move and do everything with strict form for best results. Another option: do this routine as a superset at the end of another bodypart workout, for instance, legs or back, to give your shoulders a little extra work and encourage growth. Do one set of each move with no rest in between, rest one minute, then repeat twice more.
Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Sitting for this move helps you avoid the use of momentum.
Setup: Sit on a bench and hold a set of dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing inward. Draw your shoulder blades together and relax your traps.
Move: Raise your arms straight up to the sides, leading the move with your elbows and keeping your arms nearly straight. When you reach shoulder level, pause and hold for a second before lowering slowly to the start.
Tip: At the top, turn your thumbs down as if pouring a pitcher of water to add an element of difficulty.
One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise
Cables offer resistance in both the eccentric and concentric contractions, giving you double the work per rep.
Setup: Attach a D-handle to the lower cable pulley and stand sideways to the machine. Hold the handle with your outside hand in front of your thigh with your palm facing inward. Bend your elbow slightly and place your non-working hand on your hip.
Move: Raise your arm up and out to the side, leading with your elbow until you reach shoulder height. Pause, then slowly lower to the start, resisting the pull of the weight stack on the return.
Tip: Use a lighter weight for this move to ensure proper form while protecting your shoulder joint.
Leaning One-Arm Lateral Raise
This angled posture creates a longer lever arm and enables your lateral delt to work through a different range of motion than normal.
Setup: Stand close to a heavy machine (such as a cable station) and grasp it with one hand. Holding a dumbbell in your opposite hand, lean away from the machine so your body is at an angle to the floor and your arm hangs straight down from your shoulder, perpendicular to the ground.
Move: Slowly raise the dumbbell up and to the side as you would with a regular lateral raise, and stopping when your arm is parallel to the floor. Lower to the start and repeat right away. Do all reps on one side before switching.
Tip: It’s helpful to wedge your feet in close to the machine to help support your bodyweight and provide stability.