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Favourite Rear Delt Methods


Ok so most of us know that rear delts are awesome.

I have noticed that mine respond best to methods that give me a pump. The bigger the pump in my rear delts the more growth I see over the next few weeks. I thought it would be a good idea to make a thread where we list our favourite methods for getting rear delts to grow. Mine basically all focus on getting a massive pump.

My favourites are:
*Face pulls (10-20 reps) supersetted with band pull aparts (AMRAP)

*Prone rear delt raises (20 reps) superstted with prone trap raises (10 reps)

*The reverse pec deck but alternating one arm at a time keeping the other arm in the contracted position - high reps

*rear delt raises (20 reps) supersetted with band pull aparts (AMRAP)

So what are your favourites?


one arm elbow-out kettlebell row with 1 second squeeze at top.


While I always attributed a lot of my natural rear delts to years of heavy BB rowing, these two movements helped a lot in terms of really focusing on bringing the area into its own.

-Rear Laterals done prone on an incline bench, with a focus on the midrange ROM and thumbs pointed down

-Barbell High Pulls done laying prone in an incline bench (I always did these for lower traps, but they were great when my rear delts were already toasty following the rear laterls)



I'll second the vote for 1-arm elbow-out rows (not specifically with a kettlbell). Not leaning fully over 90 degrees, but standing behind an incline bench while bracing the non-working forearm on the headrest.

Also, 1-arm standing reverse cable flyes while touching the working muscle with the non-working hand. The improved mind-muscle connection from the touch training is crucial. I'll bend my working arm and try to flex the delt to kinda zone in on the rear delt specifically, get my fingertips in place so I'm like "ok, there it is", and then start reps.

I kinda hate to say it, but I never quite felt Meadows-style destroyer sets - heavy short ROM dropsets - in the rear delts. I've tried them a bunch of times under different circumstances, last exercise of the day, first exercise of the day, right after a pre-exhaust, different hand positions, etc. Never really clicked. Plenty of people do love them though, so I'd consider myself an outlier.


I'm the same in that I need to do loads of pump stuff.

This is what I do, every time. Nothing else seems to work. I don't feel face pulls in my rear delts at all.


JMs rear delt destoyer

High rep rear delt laterals

face pulls focusing on pulling with elbows and pulling them apart and pull to chest.


that's interesting...


Smith machine Haney rows (aka upright rows behind the back). Take a fairly wide grip. One you've lifted the bar, move your feet back under it--ie, if you dropped the bar, it would hit your Achilles tendons--and lean forward at the ankles (NOT the waist; keep the body straight and the chest up). This opens up a little space between the bar and your backside. You should feel like you would fall forward if you let go of the bar. (The ability to lean is the reason this exercise must be done on the Smith machine.) Raise your elbows as high as you can; they will travel both up and out. Lower the bar only halfway or so (keeps tension on the rear delts). Keep the weight light and pump out a lot of reps.


A shocker I always liked was on the pec dec rear delt flyes:

Drop set of 30/25/20/15 reps

Rest a few minutes

Heavier drop set of 15/10/5.

All reps full ROM.


This is one of those lifts that really makes me miss my commercial gym. I used to do these often and rear delts were a strong point as a result


I really struggle to get a decent set of pull aparts in after the rear delt raises. Normally always <10 reps. Fresh I can do 50+ reps. Do you find the same? I dont really mind as it gets the job done but still, I always feel like a bit of a fool struggling to do a band pull apart.


I have found the same... never really felt it in my rear delts and never got pumped. Tried it with a pump once as well and still didn't really feel it. Partials in the end range movement however... those I felt.

I also find that I get a lot more out of an exercise when touching the muscle. I have never tried it with rear delts but I use it a lot for lateral delts. Will try out rear delts soon thanks for that.


Can you expand a bit on this please? Having a hard time picturing a high pull done prone on a bench.


my gym's got about a million bands so its quite easy to get a suitable one. What I do is after each set of RDRs I grab a band holding both halves of the loop, hit about 20ish reps, then straight away drop half the loop so there's half as much resistance as before, and crank out another 10-15 reps or so.

I could probably get close to 80 reps with the band I use if I were to try it fresh.

Should also point out that my ROM is quite short on the pull aparts, only doing the ROM I feel really targets my rear delts. It's probably more accurate to call the pull aparts a pull apart partial or something.


I couldn't find any videos, but try and picture laying prone on an incline bench, brasping a BB with a wider than shoulder width grip. It's not an front raise, and it's not an upright row, but something inbetween where you get a good squeeze at the top in your lower traps, and unavoidably your posterior delts.



My favorite rear delt isolation exercise are cable archer pulls, can be used with resistance bands too!


(to the mods: I'm not endorsing/advertising this website/channel, just for educational purposes)


@Stu and Yogi
Thanks for the replies. It's a bit clearer now.


report back if you try that weird row thing Stu does. I'm having trouble picturing it too


Lol, I'm sorry! I honestly thought I would have had it on some old training videos, but I can't seem to find it, and with my arm in a sling ATM, your chances of a personal demo aren't looking too good.



Is that you had shoulder surgery again?

I'm imagining like a wide grip upright row lying on an incline bench