Rear delt exercises

rear delt exercises

Rear delt exercises

Your rear delts are arguably the most under-appreciated muscle group in your entire body. If you neglect them, your posture will suffer, and your shoulders will look droopy and sad. So here are three rear delt exercises that will tone up this critical muscle group and improve your posture and physique.

What Are the Rear Delts

The rear delts are the muscles on the back of your shoulder. They’re responsible for moving your arm backward and helping to stabilize your shoulder joint.

10 Best Rear Delt Exercises for Mass

No matter what your goal is, strong rear delt will help you achieve it. So whether you’re looking to build muscle or improve your posture, these 10 exercises will complete the job.

Barbell Row

The barbell row targets the back muscles, the biceps, forearms, and core. The barbell row can be performed with a wide or narrow grip and an overhand or underhand grip.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

This is a great exercise for targeting the rear delts. Start by holding a dumbbell in one hand and placing the other hand on a bench for support. Next, bend your knees and keep your back straight, keeping your elbow close to your body. Next, lower the dumbbell and repeat for 8-10 reps before switching sides.


One of the best exercises for your rear delts is the pull-up. So, here’s how to do it. First, grab a pull-up bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with your palms facing away from you.

Lift your feet, and you’re hanging with your arms straight. You can also cross your feet over each other.

Pull your body up without swinging your feet or knees until your chin is above the bar.

When your chin has passed the bar, lower yourself under control to the starting position in a reverse motion. Lower yourself until your arms are straightened, and feel a deep stretch in your lats.


One of the best exercises for working your rear delts is the chin-up. This exercise strengthens your back and biceps and works your rear delts hard.

Lat Pulldown

The lat pulldown is one of the best exercises for targeting the rear delts. Sit at a lat pulldown machine and grasp the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Pull the bar down to your chest, then slowly return to the starting position. Keep your shoulders down and back throughout the movement, and don’t swing your body or use momentum to lift the weight.

Seated Cable Row

This is also a great exercise for targeting the rear delts and can be done with a cable machine at the gym. Sit straight and pull the handle back, keeping your elbows close to your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement and slowly return to the starting position.

Barbell Rear Delt Row

  1. Start by placing a barbell in a rack at about shoulder height. 
  2. Grasp the barbell with your hands about shoulder-width apart and pull it off the rack. 
  3. Step back with the barbell and position your feet so they’re about hip-width apart. 
  4. Bend your knees and hips, so your torso is at about a 45-degree angle to the floor, keeping your back straight. 
  5. Let the barbell hang before you, then row it up to your chest, leading with your elbows. 
  6. Pause at the movement’s top, then lower the barbell to the starting position under control.

Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raise

  1. Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your thighs.
  2. Keeping your elbows and shoulders stationary, raise the dumbbells to the side until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
  3. Exhale as you raise the weights and pause at the top of the movement for a count of two.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, inhaling as you go.
  5. Repeat for 12–15 reps.
  6. To make this exercise more challenging, try doing it with one arm at a time or using an unstable surface like a BOSU ball or balance disc.
  7. As always, listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort

Machine Reverse Fly

 You will need to set the weight and handle height to be comfortable. Start by sitting with your back against the pad and grabbing the handles. Slowly lift your arms to the side, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows until your hands are level with your shoulders. Return to the start point and repeat.

Face Pull

A face pull is also a great exercise for targeting the rear delts, often neglected in traditional workouts. To do a face pull, start by attaching a rope to a high pulley. Then, grip the rope with your palms facing each other and pull it down so that your hands end up at eye level. From here, simply reverse the motion and return to the starting position. Make sure to keep your core engaged throughout the entire movement and resist the temptation to arch your back.

Rear Delt Training Tips

  1. First, find an appropriate weight. You should be able to complete 12-15 reps with good form before hitting muscle failure. 
  2. Start sitting on a bench with the weight in your hands. 
  3. Raise your arms to shoulder level and then back down again. 
  4. Keep your elbows close to your body and resist the temptation to swing the weights. 
  5. For best results, do 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps. 
  6. You can also do this exercise is standing up or using a cable machine. 
  7. Remember to focus on quality over quantity – it’s better to do fewer reps with good form than to sacrifice form for more reps.

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