T Nation

Getting Rear/Front Delts Proportional

Hey guys,
I need some help. My rear delts are literally a quarter of the size of front delts, this is partially from bench pressing I think, but also because my shoulder routine sucks. With compound exercises like the push press and upright wide grip rows, I can easily hit the side and front delts as hard as I need to, to stimulate growth, but I can never get anything to really make my rear delts grow,

I’ve tried doing bent over wide grip rows to my chest, but I feel that waaaay more in my traps and rhomboids than anywhere else, the only exercise I can do to actually stimulate them in any way are bent over side raises, and they just don’t hold their own against a push press or upright row.

any suggestions?

post pictures

So you’re not really doing any direct rear delt work and you wonder why your rear delts are lagging behind? Is that really what you’re asking?

Why would you expect complete shoulder development if you aren’t training the shoulders that way?

I’ve never really done much real delt work, but always stressed wide grip BB rows.

S

When doing any rear delt exercise keep your shoulder blades pinched together the whole time.
You have to use less weight but it stops you traps and rhomboids from creating most of the effort.
Also pause at the top of each rep when they are fully contracted.

I found this most effective in doing bend over cable laterals.
I’d still recomend that you do some big compound exercises like bent over wide grip rows to the chest without worrying about this technique aswell.

Do you do enough back exercises? how many back exercises do you do compared to chest/shoulder exercises? How’s you posture? Are your shoulders rolled forward a bit? If they are then that might be why your front delts look so much bigger than your rear delts. Post a picture.

priority principle, after presses begin w/ rear delts and end with front delts. if you’ve normally done three sets rear, bump it to five sets.

typical shoulders: 1/2 warm up sets presses 3-5 working sets, rear 5-7 working sets, medial 3-5 sets, front 3 sets. prioritize based on necessity.

I hit my rear delts with either reverse dumbell flyes or some reverse pec-dec. I always get a good burn in my rear delt.

snatch grip high pulls

If you’re having problems with feeling your rear delt exercises, then find variations of the ones that do, and use those. For example, if you do feel a bent over lateral raise, then try similar movements, like band pull aparts, scare crows, incline rear delt raises, etc.

Also, if you are trying to correct an imbalance, you need to shift the PRIORITY to your rear delts. You can do this by hitting them sooner in your workout, rather than at the end. Also, for smaller muscle groups, you can probably hit them with a greater frequency.

I have been hitting my rear delts on both of my upper body days as well as on my squat day to build them up for the bar to sit on them for squatting.

If you’re going to do this, try using different rep ranges on each day. I do them DC style (one triple drop set), higher volume (5 sets of 8-12) and heavy weight (5*5), and find they are recovering fine and actually growing. These are just a few examples to throw out there.

Keep in mind that the front delt will always be larger then the rear delt, you need to balance the strength of each.

Here are a few exercises and tips as I have a similar problem, thats one of my lagging parts too.

Deadlift

reverse pec deck with strict form

bent over lateral raises with lighter weight and strict form

reverse cable cross over. (I prefer to grab the cables at the rubber ball part, or where you attach the other pieces of equipment. Use the right arm to grab the left stack and left arm to grab the right stack. If your holding it right your arms should make an x in front of your face. With strict form pull the arms back making an X appear with the cables. If you keep pulling back the x from the cables should hit you in the forehead. Make sure you use mainly delts to move this instead of the back. I’d suggest using lighter weight)

Wide Grip BBell rows as Stu said.

Try these and see if that doesn’t help. I also like to train them first in my ‘raise’ series on shoulder day. I also wont be afraid to hit a few sets of reverse pec deck on my non shoulder days as I can crank out 2-3sets of 15 reps in a couple minutes at the end of my workout.

Good luck

DG

face pulls, and DB clean and press

Heavy deads/rack pulls (not with rounded shoulders, the bb variant),
very wide-grip rows,
wide-hammer-grip rows to the chest(need to have the right attachment, those kick ass!),
rows where you grab the plates instead of the bb (awkward, will have to use much less weight than regular rows, but worth it)…

T-bar rows can do something here, too, but imo the above are way better.

Bent-Over laterals with 25-40 pound db’s aren’t going to mysteriously make your rear delts one of your strong points…

Face pulls are so-so… More of a rehab/prehab thing imo, though you can use way more weight on these compared to bent-over laterals.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Heavy deads/rack pulls (not with rounded shoulders, the bb variant),
very wide-grip rows,
wide-hammer-grip rows to the chest(need to have the right attachment, those kick ass!),
rows where you grab the plates instead of the bb (awkward, will have to use much less weight than regular rows, but worth it)…

T-bar rows can do something here, too, but imo the above are way better.

Bent-Over laterals with 25-40 pound db’s aren’t going to mysteriously make your rear delts one of your strong points…

Face pulls are so-so… More of a rehab/prehab thing imo, though you can use way more weight on these compared to bent-over laterals.
[/quote]

The only time I have ever liked face pulls is before training as a pre-fatigue or warm up, or at the end. I don’t get much out of them compared to the other exercisesa mentioned.

DG

My problem was not having tight form, sure I could use the 40lbers but I was chucking em up in the air. Incorporate direct rear delt work and maintain proper form.

I have tiny rear delts too; but I feel that the incline rev. flye really has helped me get from none-existent to tiny haha.

not “tiny” but…i never think they are big enough.

as 3white lights said; increasing the size of them is good for squatting. you can see mine wrap around the bar finally…“it’s nice”

yes, stupid Borat quote…big whoop…wanna fight about it?

Reverse pec dec/bent over db laterals/db laterals lying face down on an incline bench, and do them first in the workout.