T Nation

Rear Delt Development


I feel like my options for developing my rear delts (in which I can tell that I have a clear imbalance with the fronts) are limited to bent over reverse flyes (standing or seated), high cable flyes, or face pulls. While all of these are great exercises, I was curious about what intensity/rep schemes you guys have found effective to improve your Rear Delts.


burn them out with mega high reps. I'm talking as high as 30 reps a set.

Stole that from John Meadows and it totally works. Also, if you have a shoulder day, train your rear delts first.


I like hitting a set of 20 band pull aparts in between sets of everything else on my upper body days. Great way to build up some volume.


1-arm elbow out rows, 3-4x8-12, powerful positive and a slow-ish negative. Focus on keeping the elbow in line with the shoulder, or even slightly more forwards.

And 1-arm standing reverse cable flyes, 2-3x10-15, touching the working muscle with the fingers of the non-working hand and shortening the ROM to eliminate the first portion where there's least resistance.

Basically this ^ (no, that's not me, hardy har har), but i'd set the pulley a notch or two lower, so it's actually level with the shoulders, and the dude's left hand would be feeling the right rear delt working (tough to find, but get it in place before the set starts). You'd only "lower" the weight until the right hand is about even with your face. Sounds more complicated than it actually is.

Yep. Never a bad idea.

Also never a bad idea. Band pull-aparts are one of the few things that almost don't count as "training", but at the same time, can have a big impact in the long run. I have a simple bungee cord I keep around the house to knock out some whenever.


High rep band pullaparts couple of times a week are Jesus.


Face Pulls 2x a week. You will feel your rear delts deep in the stretch position. Contract hard on the positive. Try to pull the rope apart with the elbows.You don't have necessarily have to pull to your face. I personally pull to my neck level. I don't care for rep ranges. Work in a range that allows you to feel and exhaust your rear delts primarily. It could be 20-30 or 10-12 depending on how you're feeling on different days.


If really are a priority just work them second/early on back day


And if you want to utilize high intensity to develop rear delts, go for Snatch grip High pull. It got me terrific cosmetic results in rear delts and traps, SGHP's a real beast.


I built some solid rear delts from doing at the end of each workout reverse flies for some time.Then I switched to pull aparts between the first 4-5 warm ups on bench days and the other days some high rep pull aparts all done with bands


Focus on mind muscle connection as rear delts can be tuff to Hit directly. Good advise given not much I can add. But I will say focus on getting a full flex at top of movement. Slow eccentric movement. quick but controlled concentric movements. Its a small muscle so I believe in burning it out going for the pump.Not heavy lift for rear delts. High reps. And yes, beginning of shoulder workout works best for me 2-3 times a week.


Rear delts are likely my strongest body part. To get there I did rear delts twice a week for a year. On pull days I did a superset of two rear delt exercises. On the first I did rear delt raises (standing) supersetted with a wide grip seated row. On the second pull day I did a superset of facepulls and band pull aparts. All for at least 15 reps. 3 sets each pull day. Make sure to “feel” the muscle at all time. It’s fairly ambitious but it’ll get some serious results