Best Rear Delt Exercises


Best Rear Delt Exercises

Although most pulling movements, such as rows and pull-ups, are done indirectly to the rear delt, isolation training for the rear can increase quality muscle mass, shoulder function, and press performance for both beginner lifters and more experienced athletes.

You can train your rear delts by using wide grip rowing movements with elbows bent and upright and pulling apart dumbbells, cables and bands to train them.

This article will cover the best exercises for rear delts that you can do using dumbbells, cables or bands. Each one will be explained, and we’ll give you some suggestions on integrating them into your training program.

How do you build your rear delts?

To build your rear deltoids, it is important to look at your exercise program. This will allow you to determine how much they are indirectly trained from other movements.

For stability and strength, exercises like pull-ups, pulldowns and bent-over rows (like cleans and snatches) depend on the rear deltoid.

You can add rear deltoid training to your existing program by doing 8-12 additional sets of work per week. This will help see if it makes a difference and doesn’t impact your other performance.

Start by doing 3-4 total sets of work that target the rear delts each workout (3-4 days per week). This can help you add volume and not increase soreness from hard training or stress from heavy compound lifts.

Do Rear Delt Exercises with Dumbbells

Here is a comprehensive list of exercises that target the rear delts using dumbbells. Many movements target the rear delts or train them, but these four (4) exercises are the best.

Bent-Over Dumbbell Fly Reverse

You can either lie down on an incline bench or bend over to perform the bent-over dumbbell reverse flye. Your goal is to keep your body parallel to the ground or slightly bent upwards to ensure that gravity is pulling the weights downwards strong.

A chest-supported reverse fly is a great choice because it reduces body swing and momentum and does not allow the lifter to change their angle to make it easier. (The more upright you are, both for the movement and the target of the rear delts),

This article will focus on how to perform the reverse bent dumbbell flye (self-supported).


Instead of lifting weights in a straight line, think about making an arcing movement pattern. It will be more difficult to keep your elbows straighter, and you won’t be able to use as much weight. So, be okay with lighter dumbbells and slower reps to feel the rear delts.

Face Pull for Bent Over Dumbbells

The bent-over dumbbell flip is very similar to the reverse fly. This exercise will require you to bend your elbows as you lift the weights while keeping your elbows straight.

Instead of keeping your elbows straight or tucked into the body while you row the weights, bend your elbows and keep them outwards. This allows you to lift heavier loads but isolates your rear delts. This exercise is great for strengthening and training the rear delts.


Instead of pulling on your chest and tucking your elbows, flaring your elbows and pulling weights towards your face will help you target your rear delts rather than your lats.

Dumbbell Row Upright

Standing dumbbells and upright rows can be used to build traps and rear delts. This exercise can be very effective with moderate to light weights and control.

This exercise is similar to a standing face pull. Your elbows are pulled straight up, and your elbows stay flared as you lift weights past your face. It would be best if you did not lift more than your chin’s weight.


If you’re using too much weight, this can make it difficult. Slow and controlled repetitions of the upright row are recommended. You may have to lift a lot more weight than you realize. Controlling the lowering phase is important as it has the greatest effect on muscle hypertrophy (controlling both the eccentric phase and the time under tension).

Thumbs down, Dumbbell Lateral Raise

The thumbs-down dumbbell-lateral raise targets the rear delt. The thumbs should be turned downwards (pronounced) to expose the rear delt. This makes the regular lateral lift a hybrid lateral and reverse fly.

This is a great way to overload your rear delts with heavy loads. Although the rear delt can grow well with lighter loads, training them with heavier to moderate loads (8-12 reps) with good form and control to maximize muscle growth is sometimes beneficial.


Focus on raising your pinkies with straight arms (or slightly bent). You can feel your rear delt if you don’t feel it. Lift the weights higher and straighten the arm more. This will help you speed down both concentric and eccentric phases.

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