Deltoid is not the most glamorous muscle, it is certainly not the most well-known but it played the main role in many of the most iconic movie moments of our generation, and the generations that came before us!

I`m sure that there are some of you who know where the deltoid muscle is and what is its function, so if you want the skip that section of the article and go straight to the movie moments you can CLICK HERE

And those of you who are interested in learning more about the anatomy of the deltoid, keep on reading, we will be covering it next.

Deltoid Muscle Anatomy and Location

Deltoid muscle is a big, thick, triangularly shaped muscle which coves the shoulder joint 1. The interesting thing about this muscle is that it has three origins, which form three bands of muscle:

  • Anterior – arises from the lateral third of the clavicle
  • Lateral – arises from the acromion (bony prominence at the top of the shoulder blade) and
  • Posterior – attaches along the whole length of the inferior lip of the scapular spine. Scapular spine is a bony prominence which divides the back surface of the shoulder blade into two unequal portions.

As we move down, along the deltoid, these tendons merge (giving it that triangular shape) and insert into the deltoid prominence on humerus.

Image 1: Deltoid muscle – posterior and medial muscle bands

 Deltoid Muscle Functions

Unique structure of the deltoid muscle and arrangement of its muscle fibers allows it a whole range of functions:

  • Flection of the arm – anterior muscle fibers, assisted by the pectoralis muscle (large muscle in the chest) draws the arm forward
  • Arm abduction – raising the arm from the side. The muscle is especially active when the arm is raised above the shoulder level
  • Extension of the arm – drawing the arm backward

10 Iconic Movie Moments Deltoid Muscle Played A Key Role In

And now, the moment we`ve all been waiting for – its time for our list!

10. The Crane Kick!


The Karate Kid (1984.) Director – John G. Avildsen: Probably not the best martial art combat scene you will ever see in your life, but the guy was injured, we got to give him that! But seriously, this is the movie most of us grew up with… and got into Karate in the first place.

The only depressing thing about this movie is that the actor who played Daniel (the karate kid) is now 53 years old! Take your time, let it sink in ūüôā

As for the crane kick, I`m not sure how effective would it be in a real life situation but I am sure he is using his deltoids quite a bit to keep those arm up.

9. Wicked Dance Moves


Saturday Night Fever (1977.) Director – John Badham¬†: Easily one of the most iconic dancing scenes of the century(as far as we are concerned)! Connie, played by Fran Drescher, “accompanies” young Tony Manero, played by John Travolta, to the dance floor; and after some harsh words Tony decides to take matters into his own hands and show us his bad ass dancing moves… Seeing this, the crowd steps aside and the rest is history!

In all fairness, there is a lot of dancing going on and Travolta is working a lot of his muscles. But we captured that iconic moment in the image above: left hand is resting on his hips while the right one is high up in the air, working his deltoid to the max!

In case you`ve forgotten this scene, here is a little video (from where the screenshot was taken) to freshen up your memory (in the first few seconds the video is blank for some reason, just so you don`t think it`s broken):


8. That`s A Lot Of Steps


Rocky I (1976) Director – Sylvester Stallone: You didn`t think we forgot¬†Mr Rocky Balboa, did you? As for the scene you see above, it is one of the most inspirational scenes from the entire series, showing young fighter Rocky preparing for his first big match. Sylvester is running up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum – a popular tourist attraction ever since this scene was taken, all these years ago. The scene wouldn`t have been complete without the dramatic music playing in the background; it is the song called “Gonna Fly Now” composed by Bill Conti.

As you can see, deltoid muscles are hard at work again, helping Rocky raise his hands above his head in triumph!

7. Circle Of Life


The Lion King (1994) Directors РRob Minkoff and Roger Allers: The main character in this scene is Rafiki, a baboon who serves as the royal adviser, and performs a ceremony over the future king Simba 2. The ceremony culminates when Rafiki takes prince Simba into his arms, carries him out to the edge of the Pride Rock and raises him up so other animals can see him.

And, even though Rafiki is a baboon, we can still see heavy deltoid usage in this scene, along with some pectoralis muscle aid.

6. “Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner”


Dirty Dancing (1987.) Director – Emile Ardolino: You all know the scene – to everyone`s surprise Johnny Castle, played by Patrick Swayze, return to perform the final dance of the season. He walks up to the table where Baby was sitting and declares, now, famous line “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”

He then takes her by the hand and leads her on-stage. The song “(I`ve Had) The Time Of My Life” starts and they begin their dance performance, which ends which Baby doing the lift for the first time.

According to the poll of 1000 Brits carried out by QVC, one of the most popular UK`s shopping channels, this lift was voted the best movie dance moment of all time 3!

5. The Freedom Speech


Braveheart (1995) Director – Mel Gibson: I must have watched this move couple dozen times but whenever this scene appears I get chills. Obviously, this is not the scene from the actual speech, this scene came immediately after it, just before the Battle of Stirling.

As you can see, William raised his arm, commanding his men when to pick up the spears they`ve prepared for the English cavalry. Fate of thousands depended on William`s right deltoid muscle!

4. “Are You Not Entertained”


Gladiator (2008) Director – Ridley Scott: Famous words spoken by “Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius…” played by Russell Crowe.

The beginning of the scene shows Proximo advises Maximus how to win the crowd over, telling him that the crowd does not want a butcher, they want someone who will entertain them. Maximus, of course, ignores his advice and kills 6 gladiators he was up against in approximately 60 seconds.

Then proclaims the famous words “Are you not entertained?!” while raising his arms to the side of his body and showing off his deltoids.

3. Bullets Can`t Hurt Me


The Matrix (1999) Directors – Andy and Lana Wachowski: A powerful moment from the Matrix trilogy… Trinity kisses Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, and brings him back to life; at that moment he achieved enlightenment, realizes he is The One and stops the bullets the¬†Agents fired at him.

You can see him extending his arm forward and raising it up, a combined effort of muscles of the arm including deltoid and pectoralis muscle.

2. A Scene From One Of My Favorite Movies:



Titanic (1997.) Director – James Cameron: This is one of, if not, the most romantic scene in the entire movie. Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, takes Rose (Kate Winslet) to the railings of the ship with her eyes closed, grabs her hands and extends them outward. When Rose opened her eyes, she says one of the most famous line of the movie “I`m flying!”

Ironically, the earlier scene where Jack was on the railings, with his good friend Fabrizio, proclaiming he is “The king of the world,” was named one of the scenes with the worst quote of all times…

1. “You Shall Not Passsssss”


The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001) Director – Peter Jackson: Gandalf simply had to be number one, period! He is the most bad-ass wizard out there, forget Harry Potter.

The scene we are talking about takes place on the Bridge of the Kazad-dum, where our heroes come across a demon called Balrog. And since they were in a hurry and the demon seemed like a lot of work, Gandalf decided to take down the bridge, hopefully, with Balrog on it. And the plan worked, well sort of… the demon did fell through, but so did our beloved Gandalf.

Before “blowing up” the bridge, you saw Gandalf raising his sword and his staff, pumping his deltoids!

Suggest Your Own Movie Scene

We are aware that we probably don`t share the same taste in movies or “iconic movie scenes,” so feel free to give us your recommendations by commenting below. We would love to hear your opinion.

And, of course, if you found the article interesting, share it with your friends on social media, we would love to hear their opinions as well.

Last updated: May 11, 2015 at 13:57 pm


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