T Nation

Best Rear Delt/Upper Back Exercise

Upright rows with an ez bar hits the mid traps and upperback area i’ve noticed as well. My favorites though are face pulls, and t bar rows.

[quote]Big Aristotle wrote:
Standing behind the neck BB press, only bringing the bar down to ear level and stopping slightly before lockout.

Been doing these for about 9 months now and my rear delts have EXPLODED.

Decent bit of core work involved too.[/quote]

Don’t want to sound like a smart ass but technically, I thought those (press of any sort) were only supposed to work the anterior (and a little bit of lateral) delt, while risking injury more than the usual press?

Anyway, I do rear delt row, rear delt raise (sometimes), lat pulldowns (not specific but worth something) and a standing front raise with a locked arm taken overhead. The latter exercise was once prescribed as a general upper back builder in a T-Nation article on more obscure but effective exercises. Don’t know if there’s a name or if it hits rear delts very well but I feel it around there.

Heavy rack pulls really hit my upper back region a ton. Pull-ups also are great for upper back development.

[quote]Alffi wrote:
Big Aristotle wrote:
Standing behind the neck BB press, only bringing the bar down to ear level and stopping slightly before lockout.

Been doing these for about 9 months now and my rear delts have EXPLODED.

Decent bit of core work involved too.

Don’t want to sound like a smart ass but technically, I thought those (press of any sort) were only supposed to work the anterior (and a little bit of lateral) delt, while risking injury more than the usual press?

[/quote]

No worries. You posed a legit question.

It’s my understanding that behind the neck movements increase the risk of injury if the range of motion is not limited: If you bring the bar down to your neck, as far down as it can go, it will eventually take a toll on the health and function of your shoulders.

However, in my experience, limiting the range of motion to ear level appears to nullify this problem. Like I said, I’ve been utilizing this lift for more than 8 months now and have had no pain in my shoulders that is out of the ordinary or that should raise any red flags. Even on the days where I pyramid up to heavy sets of 5, I’ve never experienced anything other than the normal DOMS.

Regarding the specific portions of the shoulder being worked: I feel that this motion places the majority of the workload on rear delt and lateral delt. When I warm up with a set of 15-20, I get a massive pump in my rear delts and lateral delts. Additionally, the increased DOMS felt in my rear and lateral delts points me to this conclusion.

I think that when your torso is upright and you move the barbell to a position that is two inches behind your head, your anterior delt is somewhat taken out of the movement. Just sitting in my computer chair and putting my right hand in the path of movement and placing my left hand on my shoulder, I can feel the rear delt contracting much more so than the anterior delt.

When I was on vacation in July 08, I went to some gym to get a session in. There was this guy that that had some of the most developed shoulders I had ever seen in person. Full cannonballs. Anyways, while i was there, he did about 6-8 sets of standing behind the neck BB press. I asked him why he chose that motion, as I had never seen it done in a gym before, and he pretty much said it was directly responsible for the level of his rear delt development, which was substantial. Needless to say I stole that sumbitch, and since then my shoulders as a whole have become much fuller and rounder.

I’m just doing regular 5x5 DB rows right now, once I get to my new gym with 160lb DB’s I’ll start some high rep stuff and see how that all goes.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Kroc Rows (duh).
[/quote]

Ive been doing dumbell rows for a while now with good success, but whats the difference between a regular dumbell row and “kroc row”

[quote]heavysession wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Kroc Rows (duh).

Ive been doing dumbell rows for a while now with good success, but whats the difference between a regular dumbell row and “kroc row”[/quote]

A few hundred pounds I’d say…go watch him on youtube and see for yourself

[quote]heavysession wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Kroc Rows (duh).

Ive been doing dumbell rows for a while now with good success, but whats the difference between a regular dumbell row and “kroc row”[/quote]

Scapular retraction being half the row, for one.

[quote]grinder001 wrote:
heavysession wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Kroc Rows (duh).

Ive been doing dumbell rows for a while now with good success, but whats the difference between a regular dumbell row and “kroc row”

A few hundred pounds I’d say…go watch him on youtube and see for yourself[/quote]

That as well.

Alright sweet i can tell now, cant wait to toss some new heavyshit around

I like working the upper back with an emphasis on the rhomboids (upper middle back), using a high pull machine rows. I do 3 pulse reps, targeting the first 1/2 of the rep, going very explosively both on the concentric and eccentric portions. This gives a mean stretch to the rhomboids, without over tiring the biceps. Then I complete a full rep, focusing on scapular retraction. No other exercise method can I get such a good pump, nor can I get as sore from. I generally do 2-3 sets going to failure and looking for a pump, after DB rows and Chest Supported Rows which are done in a ramping fashion.

**edit when I said rhomboids, I also should have mentioned that it effectively targets lower traps as well