Whether we’re trying to build broader and attractive-looking shoulders, we must focus on rear delt to achieve that.
Because most of the time, when we’re doing pressing movements like bench press or overhead shoulder press, they all target and build up the front and lateral head, but they don’t do much for the posterior head. (1)
That’s why most of the time, the rear delts are ignored, which leads to shoulders rolled forward position and bad posture.
So, In this article, I’m going to give you the nine best rear delt exercises to fix your postural problems and build up fully developed 3D-looking shoulders.
9 Effective Rear Delt Exercises of All Time
Rear Delt Exercises with Dumbbells
Here’re the top three posterior deltoid exercises you can perform with dumbbells only.
1. Long Angle Dumbbell Row
One of my favorite and most effective posterior deltoid exercises is the long-angle dumbbell row. Let’s learn how to perform this exercise correctly.
- First, set up a flat bench and grab a lighter dumbbell.
- Place one knee and one hand that’s the same side onto the bench while keeping your other foot on the floor and your other arm hanging straight with the dumbbell.
- Keep your chest out, maintain a neutral arc in your back, and then open your shoulder and pull the dumbbell up.
- Then, slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position and repeat for reps. Then switch to the other arm.
- Make sure you’re fully engaging your posterior deltoid throughout this movement.
Equipment needed: A bench and a dumbbell
Muscles worked: Posterior deltoid, rhomboids, and lats.
2. Seated Bent-Over Lateral Raises
The next rear delt exercise we have is seated bent-over lateral raises.
However, this exercise can be done in a standing position, but seated helps you perform it in a more controlled motion and with heavier weights.
And it’s also better than the standing position because it will support you with the thighs and knees to avoid future lower back injuries.
- Take a seat on the bench and grab the dumbbells with your hands in a neutral position.
- Fold your upper body over your thighs so that your upper body is slightly higher than the parallel position.
- Then, leading with your elbows, perform a reverse fly by raising the dumbbells out to your sides in an arch-like motion.
- Once your dumbbells are raised at your sides, slowly lower them back down to the starting position and repeat for reps.
Equipment needed: A bench and a pair of light dumbbells.
Muscles worked: Posterior and lateral deltoids.
3. Incline Dumbbell High Row
Incline high row with dumbbells is one of the most influential and easy exercises because, in this movement, your whole body rested on the bench, and you’re just moving your arms.
If you have lower back pain or injuries, you can use this movement to train your posterior deltoids and upper back as well.
- Set up a bench on an incline position, grab a pair of dumbbells, and lay on a prone position flat down on the bench.
- Hold both dumbbells in a pronated position with your arms hanging straight down off the sides of the bench.
- Then pull the dumbbells with your elbows (rather than your hands) towards your chest.
- Then, stretch your arms back down to the starting position and repeat desired reps.
- And, of course, your rear delts should be fully engaged during this up and down movement.
- Remember, you should open your elbows to your sides like you are doing face pulls with dumbbells.
Equipment needed: An incline bench and a pair of dumbbells.
Muscles worked: Posterior deltoid, upper back, and biceps.
Rear Delt Exercises Cable and Barbell
Here are the six best rear delt exercises that you can perform with a cable machine and barbell.
4. Barbell High Row
The high barbell row is quite similar to regular rows, but we’ll target the posterior deltoid with a little bit of modification.
Make sure you pick a barbell with less weight than you usually use while doing regular barbell rows.
- First, load a barbell with lighter weights.
- Then slightly bend your knees and lower your upper body until it goes parallel or slightly above at about 45-60 degree angle.
- Keep your chest up and spine at a neutral position.
- Grab the barbell with a wider than shoulder-width grip and row by pulling the barbell towards your chest rather than the belly button.
- Contract posterior deltoid at the top.
- Then slowly lower the bar down to the starting position. Repeat.
Equipment needed: A lightweight barbell
Muscles worked: Posterior deltoid, biceps, rhomboids, and lats.
5. Face Pulls
This is one of my favorite exercises for training the rear delts and fixing any postural problems. How to correctly perform this masterpiece? Let’s learn.
- Begin with setting the pully all the way up above your shoulders, then attach the triceps rope and grab it with each hand with your thumb facing towards you.
- Take a step back to eliminate that slack, then pull the cable back towards your face.
- While doing this, keep your hands above your elbows and concentrate on rotating your shoulders back as you pull back your hands.
- After you bring the center of the rope towards your face, return the rope to the starting position. Repeat desired reps.
- Make sure your rear delts are fully engaged during this whole movement.
Equipment needed: A cable machine with attached double handle rope.
Muscles worked: Posterior and medial deltoid, biceps, and upper back.
6. Reverse Pec Deck Flye
Another very effective fly movement is reverse pec deck flye. It will help you to get stronger and promotes your other fly movements as well.
- Start by adjusting the seat and setting it at the right height so that your shoulders are about even with the handles.
- Then take a seat facing forward and slide in so that your chest is touching the pad.
- From there, grab the horizontal handles, but if there’s only one handle, you can grab those instead.
- Then with your elbows locked in a slightly bent position, perform reverse fly by bringing your arms back in an arch-like sweeping motion and contract your rear delts.
- Then slowly bring your hands back together to the starting position. Repeat.
Equipment needed: A fly machine
Muscles worked: Posterior deltoid and upper back.
7. Kneeling Cable Lat Pull Down
Kneeling cable lat pulldown is another excellent exercise that provides an insane amount of contraction to your posterior deltoid.
However, you might think that this exercise is mainly for lats, but not actually. With a little bit of modification, your rear delts will be fire.
- Begin with grabbing two cables that are set high up on the cable cross.
- Bend your knees and place them on the ground, and keep your body straight.
- Then pull both cables down with your elbow, aiming to bring them about even with your shoulders.
- Then stretch your arms back up over your head to the starting position. Repeat.
- Make sure you’re contracting your shoulders the whole time.
Equipment needed: A cable machine with double handles or a resistance band.
Muscles worked: Posterior deltoid, lats, and rhomboids.
8. Bent Over Cable Reverse Fly
Most people do bent-over reverse fly with dumbbells, but we’ll perform it with cables instead of dumbbells, which will provide a new unique challenge to our posterior deltoid.
- Begin with lowering the pullies to the bottom of the cable cross and stand about a foot behind them.
- Then bent over until your upper body is almost parallel to the ground or slightly above.
- Cross your arms over to grab the left cable with your right hand and the right cable with the left hand.
- Staying that position, lock your elbows in a slightly bent position and open your arms out and up and raise the cables out to your sides.
- Then, lower back down until your hands are fully crossed over. Repeat desired reps.
Equipment needed: Two cable machines
Muscles worked: Posterior and lateral deltoids.
9. Assisted Pullups
The last but not least rear delt exercise we have is assisted/supported pull-ups.
As we all know, the pull-up is an excellent exercise for our back, but when we add some support, it will become more engaging for our posterior deltoid.
- Stand in front of a pullup bar and grab the bar with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Place your knees on the seat to support you, or you can use a resistance band.
- Lift your body as high as you can while engaging your posterior deltoid.
- Then, slowly lower your body back down to the starting position and repeat for reps.
Equipment needed: An assisted pullup bar or a resistance band with bar.
Muscles worked: Posterior deltoid, lats, rhomboids, and biceps.
Okay, now you’ve got the nine some of the most effective rear delt exercises to smash your posterior deltoid. So, include these movements to your shoulder workout to get attractive 3D-looking shoulders fast.
Remember, when we’re trying to build muscle, we must ensure that we’re taking proper diet and adequate rest, which are as crucial as training.
If you have any questions regarding any workouts, feel free to ask in the comment section below. I will be glad to help you! 😉