To be able to lift, push, and pull without injuring your shoulders, you must have powerful shoulders. It is necessary to train multiple muscles from various angles to build shoulder strength.
In your daily workout, rear delt exercises should be dominant. Examples include lifting your arms in front of you and pressing activities such as the bench press, which both need the anterior deltoid to function properly.
However, it is equally vital to do back and shoulder workout to strengthen the middle and posterior deltoids. Bringing your arm backwards when walking or pulling the cord of a lawnmower are examples of middle deltoid movements.
We have compiled a list of the best rear delt exercises that you need to implement in your deltoid exercises.
Most Effective Delt Exercises
Single-arm bent-over row
This motion is best performed on days when you are working on your shoulders and lower back muscles. This multi-joint activity, which can help you increase posterior deltoid strength, should be performed towards the end of your back day.
Equipment Needed For This Rear Delt Workout: Dumbbells and a bench are required for this activity.
Target Muscles: Several muscles including the rear deltoids, the back, the biceps, and the transverse abdominals
- Placing your left knee and left hand on the bench will help to stabilise you. Maintain the straightness of your left elbow.
- Extend your right leg slightly beyond you, keeping your foot firmly planted on the floor as a point of stability. Maintain a flat back and a neutral spinal column.
- Hold a medium-to-heavy dumbbell in your right hand, with your arm stretching down to the floor below the dumbbell.
- Make a 90-degree bend in your right elbow, bringing it up and back until your upper arm is about in line with your lower chest.
- At the very peak of the exercise, squeeze your shoulder blades together tightly.
- Lower the weight slowly and deliberately.
- For 10–12 repetitions on one side, switch to the other arm before repeating the process. Work your way up to three sets.
Tip: During the exercise, try to maintain your trunk steady and avoid rotating your spine. If you are unable to maintain your trunk steady, either reduce the weight or stop the session and rest for a few minutes before continuing.
Standing Bent-over Lateral Raise
When performing a long-arm lateral movement, begin with a smaller weight to avoid injury. As your strength increases, you may go to a larger weight. It is possible to injure yourself when you begin a manoeuvre like this with a large weight. But don’t be concerned; lifting smaller weights will still be a safe technique to increase your strength.
Equipment Required For Posterior Delt Exercises: A pair of light to medium dumbbells
Target Muscles: posterior deltoids, middle deltoids, rhomboids, and middle trapezius
- Holding a pair of dumbbells with your hands facing each other is a good way to start.
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, gently bending your knees, and bending forward at the hips while maintaining a straight back. Weights should be held together below your chest, with your elbows relaxed and the weights close together.
- As if you were spreading your wings, raise your arms up and out to the sides until they’re parallel to the floor.
- At the apex of the exercise, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Lifting the weights back to the starting position should be done slowly and carefully.
- The weights should be light enough that you can do 10–12 repetitions with them. Work your way up to 2–3 sets.
Tip: During the workout, make an effort to maintain your head in line with your trunk.
Cable Machine High Pull With Ropes
Using this technique to vary your shoulder workout is a wonderful method to keep things interesting, but it does need the use of some gym equipment. It is possible to effectively target your deltoids in a way that they are not accustomed to by altering the angles of your muscle training. This will aid you in your efforts to acquire strength.
Equipment Required For Anterior Deltoid Exercises: A cable machine with a double-handed rope attachment
Target Muscles: The back and middle deltoids, the trapezius, and the rhomboids.
- Face the cable machine, with your feet hip-width apart and your back to it.
- Adjust the cable attachment to a height that is about chest height, and then connect the rope handle to the cable attachment.
- Take a step back so that your arms are stretching out in front of you and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- You should be drawing the ropes toward you, pushing them apart as you go. Your elbows should be kept up high to target those deltoids more effectively.
- To return to the beginning posture, slowly and deliberately stretch your elbows out to the side.
- The weight should be light enough that you can do 10–12 repetitions with it. Work your way up to 2–3 sets.
Tip For These Deltoid Workouts:
- Keeping your elbows bent 45–90 degrees away from your sides while drawing the rope apart and toward your chest is a good technique.
- If you suffer pain or stiffness while your elbows are 90 degrees away from your sides (parallel to your shoulders), drop them to a position that is comfortable for you to avoid further discomfort.
- Maintain your head up and your gaze straight ahead, and keep your body tall so that you don’t arch your back while you’re walking.
- A resistance band may also be used to complete this exercise, which should be placed in front of your body.
Rear Deltoid Machine
At your local gym, you may find equipment that is specifically designed to target the posterior deltoid muscles, making these side delt exercises quite simple to safely and effectively isolate specific muscles in a demanding manner.
Equipment Required For Rear Delt Workouts: Rear deltoid machine
Target Muscles: Back deltoids, middle trapezius, and rhomboids.
- Place your feet on the pad and sit on the machine. You’ll seem to be sitting on it backwards, but for the sake of this exercise, you’re perfectly positioned. Raising or lowering the seat height so that the handlebars in front of you are level with your shoulders is a good idea.
- Holding the handles in either a palms-down or palms-facing-each-other position, push your arms back, maintaining them as straight or slightly bent as possible.
- Try to clench your shoulder blades together as if they were a pair of elevator doors.
- Keep your hands in this position for 2 seconds, then return to the beginning position with your hands in front of your body. This should be done gently and with control.
- Perform 10–12 reps.
Tip For These Rear Delt Exercises:
- If you’re looking for a way to save money, consider donating to a good cause.
- Keep your chest pressed on the pad and avoid arching your back too much.
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Even though pull-ups are a very effective exercise movement, the majority of people lack the upper body strength to complete one without assistance. While doing this exercise, you will be working not just your posterior deltoids but also your lats, trapezius, and biceps.
Equipment Required For These Front Delt Workout: Pullup machine.
Target Muscles: Latissimus dorsi, deltoids, middle and lower trapezius, and biceps.
Steps For These Front Delt Exercises:
- Make necessary adjustments to the weight reduction on the machine’s side. Decide on the appropriate quantity and set it.
- Climb onto the knee pad and push it down until it is low enough for you to rest both knees on it comfortably. Your knees should be hip-width apart when you sit down.
- The outside handles should be held over your head, with your hands facing away from the centre.
- Make a lowering motion with your arms and return to the beginning position.
- Pull your body up until your chin is level with or above the handles on either side of the handles.
- Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly lower yourself to the ground with precision. Maintain your shoulder blades’ engagement at all times. They should be pushed both back and down on the table.
- Start with 6–8 repetitions and work your way up to 10–12 repetitions.
Pro Tips For These Rear Delt Workouts:
- Begin with a weight that is light enough to make the exercise challenging while still allowing you to complete the movement successfully and with good form at the same time.
- If you can finish any repetitions without the aid (while maintaining proper form), you may begin without the support and graduate to utilising it when you are unable to accomplish any more reps without the assistance.
Side-lying External Rotation
It is the goal of this exercise to emphasise the external rotation motion that the rear deltoid muscle does. As well, it works on some of the muscles in the rotator cuff (infraspinatus and teres minor).
Equipment Required For These Best Rear Delt Exercises: A towel and a dumbbell.
Target Muscles: The rear deltoid, the rotator cuff, the middle trapezius, and the rhomboids
- Lie down on your side with a light dumbbell in your hand.
- Lie your upper arm on your side and bend one of your elbows 90 degrees to the side. You may use a towel roll to support your wide shoulders by placing it between your upper arm and your body.
- Adjust the position of your arm on your torso to the greatest extent possible without allowing your upper arm to wander away from your body. For 1–2 seconds, hold the position, and then gently lower it back to the beginning position. Perform 10–12 repetitions.
Pro Tips For These Rear Delt Exercises:
- Maintain your upper arm’s resting position against your body and allow it to revolve like a door hinge.
- Maintain your body’s stability and avoid rotating your torso backwards. Instead of trying to acquire greater mobility from your torso, work with the range of motion that is already accessible in your shoulders.
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Best Ways To Get The Best Out Of Rear Delt Exercises
Do Rear Delts After Back Training
One of those things that top-level bodybuilders are aware of, but that less-experienced bodybuilders are not aware of since they are typically focused on segmenting exercises only by body component.
Several back movements, notably rows, actively engage the rear delts, much as chest training engages the front delts and tricep muscles, back training stimulates the bicep muscles, and certain shoulder exercises target the top traps while other back exercises work the lower traps and middle traps.
Make a mental note of how you do reverse flyes on a pec deck machine. Lie down on your back; this action is very similar to how you would do bent-over rows or T-bar rows supported against a bench. They did an excellent job on the middle traps, rhomboids, and rear delts.
That’s why it’s critical to remember that many exercises, particularly multijoint exercises, are ineffective for isolating and strengthening specific muscle groups. Exercises that involve several joints stimulate several secondary, assisting muscles. Many rowing actions, for example, engage the rear delts in this way.
On back day, your rear delts are already receiving a good workout, so keep it up. So why not include one or two specific rear-delt movements after your back workout to round off the session and complete the task? This strategy is already being used by several elite bodybuilders.
Performing back and shoulders exercises on consecutive days at the gym mean you’re most likely not allowing your rear delts enough time to recover between sessions. You’ll want to keep those training days at least 48 hours apart from one another.
Perform Rear Delts Twice
Throughout your training split, you may also increase the intensity of your rear-delt exercises (but not the intensity of your overall shoulder sessions). Because the rear delt isn’t a very huge head, this strategy may be effective as long as you include adequate rest days and avoid training the back and shoulders on consecutive days.
A better method would be to vary the rear-delt exercises you do in each of your workouts, rather than repeating the same ones over and over again. In addition to exercise selection and equipment, you may add diversity to your workouts by varying rep ranges, using intensity-boosting tactics, increasing the volume of your workouts, and taking breaks.
To get the best results, experiment with a variety of factors to ensure that the rear delts are worked in a variety of ways.
Prioritize Rear Delt Exercises
The delt head that you focus on initially, while your energy levels are at their maximum, is the one that will improve the most quickly over time. Nonetheless, since that exercise performs a far better job of growing the front and middle delts (depending on whether you drop the bar in front of or behind your head), you must hit your rear delts soon after to bring them back into alignment.
The rear delts may be worked as a single-joint isolation exercise before exercising the middle and front delts, as an example. After you’ve completed your presses, the rear delts will take precedence over the other single-joint motions in your routine.
Alternatives include using a pre-exhaust technique and performing a single-joint rear delt motion before the multijoint pressing action before the multijoint pressing move. You may lose strength on your presses, but you will have more than enough power to target those rear delts right after.
It is crucial to maintain a locked elbow with a very minimal bend throughout the range of motion while doing single-joint straight-arm rises that target the deltoids. Many lifters extend their elbows when they push the grips away from their bodies during actions like standing cable reverse flyes, but this changes the technique into a triceps workout instead.
Exert yourself by securing a little bend in your elbows and keeping it there for many minutes. If you’re still having problems, try doing the action on the pec deck machine, which will help to properly secure your elbows in the proper position.