Your rear delts can be an absolute powerhouse of a muscle when you train them in the right way. They can give you some real upper body strength for specific movements if you train them well, and they can support you throughout a load of different exercises where you can be using them in without even realising! But, of course, it can be difficult to decide which exercises you need to do to get the best out of them. So, with all of this in mind, we’ve picked 5 of the best rear delt exercises that you can add into your workouts! (and there’s a video at the bottom, too!).


Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

  1. Face Pull
  2. Reverse Cable Fly
  3. Rear Delts Bent Row
  4. Dumbbell Reverse Fly
  5. Single Arm Bent Row

1. Face Pull

The first exercise on the list is the face pull. It uses a lot of the same motions as a row does, but because of the location of your arms at the time and the way that you are going to be moving the weight, you really hit your rear delts.

With a rope attached to the cable and weight of your preference around head height, directly in front of you, then you are ready to start. Pull the weight toward you while keeping your elbows parallel to the floor. This will make sure that you are moving your arms outwards as you move the weight and ensure the contraction is coming from your rear delts.

2. Reverse Cable Fly

man doing rear delt exercise the Reverse Cable Fly

This needs you to be between two cables, but it’s one of the best rear delts exercises that you could possibly do, and we couldn’t leave it out. Cable exercises are always great because of the intense contractions they offer and the unique motion range too.

When you have good control of the cables and your arms in front of you, slightly wider than your shoulders, contract your rear delts and force your elbows backwards and outwards. This will give you a massive contraction and force your rear delts to move harder than a lot of other exercises could ask for.

3. Rear Delts Bent Row

Because of the shared type of motion, there was bound to be some sort of crossover between the exercises at some point. Rows are a great pulling motion, and that’s what your rear delts need to grow and strengthen.

For this exercise, grab a barbell with a wider than shoulder grip. Bend your knees slightly and arch your back so that you are in a reasonably stable and natural position. Don’t bend too much. When you’re good to go, flare your elbows as you pull the weight up to you and slowly release. It should look like a backwards chest press.

4. Dumbbell Reverse Fly

man on a weight bench doing rear delt exercise the Dumbbell Reverse Fly

The reverse fly is probably the most famous rear deltoid builder we’ve been through. It’s a great exercise without much risk if you get your technique right, so it’s definitely worth being here. You get good activation from simple movement and minimal equipment, so it’s ideal for any setting.

You need to be using an incline bench and dumbbells for the best results here. When you’re comfortable and ready to go with your arms and the weight hanging in front of you, move your elbows outwards to engage your rear delts and move the weight. The slower you bring back down, the more you’ll see the benefit, so don’t go too heavy!

5. Single Arm Bent Row

Potentially saving the best ’til last is the single-arm bent row. It’s easy to get wrong, but as long as you really concentrate on moving outwards, you’ll hit your rear delts. You can also add a twist to your movement for an even more intense exercise but go at your own pace.

As you bend over, you need to perform a bent row, but where you are lifting upwards, not backwards like in a standard row. This is one of the most intense contractions that you can get and will give you huge progress.

These are all awesome rear delt exercises, so just pick and choose which of them work best for you. Make sure you train your front and side delts too to prevent underdevelopment and keep yourself safe in your training, and you’re good to go.


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.