3 Rear Delt Exercises To Stack On Mass
When it comes to training shoulders the vast majority of guys enthusiastically smash their military press, lat raises and front raises before calling it a day.
They hit their anterior and lateral deltoids with these exercises…
But what about their rear delts?
When training shoulders most guys neglect their rear deltoids!
It’s the old ‘out of side, out of mind’ mentality.
Little do they know in order to build beastly shoulders you NEED to hit your rear deltoids,
Not only will you fail to get that round ‘cannonball’ look without hitting your rear delts, you’ll likely also run into issues with dominant anterior deltoids (which results in hunching forward and issues training chest without your anterior deltoids taking over!).
Hit the following 3 exercises on shoulder day, back day or if you’re encountering issues with them lagging behind then hit it twice a week!
Over time you’ll find your shoulders appear to ‘pop’ a lot better and your posture will likely be improved too!
1. Reverse Pec Deck Rear Delt Fly
The pec deck utilizes an arcing movement to maintain tension on the rear delts.
Required: Pec Deck Machine
Reverse Pec Deck Fly Form
Sit on the pec deck fly machine with your stomach against the pad.
Grasp the pec deck handles ensuring your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
Push the handles back together as you contract your back and squeeze your shoulder blades.
Hold this contraction for 1 second.
Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Reverse Pec Deck Fly Variations
Unilateral Reverse Pec Deck Fly
Instead of contracting with two handles at a time you will push one handle while holding the other handle of the pec deck in a static hold, maintaining tension on that side of your deltoid between repetitions.
This is a fantastic core exercise and is often used for overcoming a lagging side/correcting dominance.
You’ll find when flying one side at a time your core will need to be engaged the whole time to maintain your position on the machine.
2. Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly
The dumbbell rear delt fly is my go-to exercise for smashing the rear delts.
Start light and ensure your form is under control before upping the weight.
Required: Dumbbells & Flat Bench
Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly Form
Sit on the end of a flat bench with your legs together and a dumbbell in each hand (behind your legs)
With your palms facing each other keep your back straight as you bend your waist in order to get down into position with your torso as parallel to the floor as possible
While maintaining this position with your torso bend your elbows slightly while contracting your shoulder blades to lift the dumbbell up until parallel to the floor
Hold this contracted position for 1 second
Slowly lower the dumbbells until they’re behind your legs once again while still maintaining the slight bend in your elbow
Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly Variations
Bent Over Rear Delt Fly
Instead of sitting on the edge of a flat bench perform the rear delt fly standing up while bent over, this variation increases core activation.
Be wary of form while performing the standing rear delt fly as jerking and momentum often comes into play through the knees.
3. Cable Rear Delt Fly
The cable rear delt fly is a fantastic exercise that keeps constant tension on the rear delts for the duration of your set.
Required: Cable Machine + Handle Attachments
Cable Rear Delt Fly Form
Flex at the hips to bend over in front of your cable machine before grasping the left handle in your right handle and the right handle in your left hand (your arms will be crossing over).
With your palms facing each other keep your back straight as you bend your waist in order to get down into position with your torso as parallel to the floor as possible.
While maintaining this position with your torso bend your elbows slightly while contracting your shoulder blades to lift the handles up until parallel to the floor.
Hold this contracted position for 1 second.
Slowly lower the cable handles until they’re in front of your legs once again while still maintaining the slight bend in your elbow
My #1 Tip When Performing Your Rear Delt Exercises…
Regardless of which rear delt exercises you’re performing it’s just not possible to go heavy while getting any benefit out of the exercise.
As we’re bent over for the majority of rear delt fly variations this results in a jerking motion to complete the last quarter of the rep, as such you’re missing out on the contraction.
No contraction and less time under tension for your rear deltoid is the exact opposite of what we’re gunning for here.
By all means hit your military press and side lat raises in a low rep range with heavy weight, but as you finish off your shoulder workout with your rear delt exercises opt to drop the weight and work in a slightly higher rep range (8-12).