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4 Killer Rear Delt Exercises For Stronger Shoulders

Everyone loves a nice pair of shoulders. If you have a well-built chest, your front deltoid muscles are pretty good, but you also have to work on your rear deltoids to make sure that the top of your arm doesn’t look deflated and weak in comparison. This imbalance will affect all of your lifts that include your weaker delts, so you want to correct it as soon as possible.

The rear deltoid is the rounded muscle in the shape of a triangle at the top of your arm, where your shoulder connects with your arm. While it’s often called the ‘shoulder muscle’, it shouldn’t be confused and is not interchangeable with your trapezoids or your upper back. Your delts are made up of three bands of muscle fiber, comprising three main parts of the shoulder – anterior, posterior and medial. The anterior is on the front of your arm and goes into the chest, the medial is the small piece of muscle almost in the middle of your shoulder when looked at from the side and the posterior deltoids are on the back of your arm.

The anterior deltoids help your chest muscles when you want to flex your shoulders, and they also assist both your pectorals and your lateral muscles when you need to rotate your humerus. Your posterior delts help your lateral muscles when you need to extend your shoulders. Through electromyography, medicine has discovered that the delts are comprised of a minimum of seven muscle fibers, each controlled separately by your nervous system.

1. Rear Delt Fly

Practically speaking, the rear delt fly is the opposite to a chest fly. It may be performed using a fixed motion machine or with dumbbells. When using free weights, set up a bench at an inclined angle and face the headrest with your chest against it for support. Begin with the weights in front of you so that you are bringing them slowly back in a horizontal movement.

2. Rear Delt Cable Fly

Similar to the previous exercise, using cables will allow you a more natural range of movement and will also let you lift heavier weight than you would with dumbbells while taking balance out of the equation.

3. Rear Delt Raise

These may be performed from a seated or standing position. Either way, you need to begin with your chest facing the floor as much as possible. The dumbbells, in each hand, should be together with your arms extended in line with the middle of your chest. Raise your arms back, keeping them straight as in a rear fly until they are just past your back, then lower.

4. Rear Delt Row

This exercise can be performed several ways. The general aim is to begin with your arms extended straight ahead of you and pulling a weight back in a rowing motion. If you do not have access to cables or fixed motion machines, you may perform the exercise using dumbbells while straddling an inclined bench.