Working the stubborn rear deltoid muscle (back of your shoulder)

For many who lift weights, they know how hard it can be to build up the rear delt.  The posterior shoulder is notoriously difficult to build for a variety of reasons.  One reason in particular is that lifters often neglect to work the rear delt directly.  Military press, lateral raises, and clean and presses are great, but we need something that will put direct stress on the rear delt.  Aside from looking full and even, a well developed rear delt will help keep balanced shoulders and resist injuries to the shoulder and rotator cuff. 

Try these exercises below to really target the rear delt:

Bent over Lateral Raise

While using dumbells, bend at the waist and maintain a slight bend in the needs.  Keep feet shoulder width apart.  Keep palms facing each other.  Use your upper back for strength as you raise the dumbells as far back as you can.  Use a semicircular motion.  Hold for a second to maximize contraction, then repeat.

Reverse Flys

Very similar to bent over lateral raises, this exercise has you laying on your chest on an inclined bench.  This move will isolate the rear delt more, causing more stress to be placed on the targeted muscle.  You will have to use less weight to do this exercise with proper form.


Use a cable machine to perform this exercise.  Pull the handles of the rope towards your face and seperate as you approach.  Keep your elbows high as demonstrated above.  An overhand or underhand grip would work fine on this exercise.  Squeeze your shoulders blades together and hold for a second, while keeping your chest held high, to maximize contraction.

Do these exercises during your shoulder days to really work the rear delt.  Use these for about 1-2 weeks then alternate to other rear delt moves.


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