Rear Delts

Hey guys,

I need help developing my rear delts to get that round shoulder look. My front delts are fine, but the rear delts are lagging. There was a time when I ignored them by not doing behing the neck presses and stuff but I’ve been working them regularly for the past few monthjs but I still feel it has not caught up yet. Any tips? Thanks.


you could use the pec dec in reverse to hit them. some pec dec machines are built to handle this reversal maneuver. you will partially hit them if you do seated/low pulley rows or t-bar rows, but if you want to isolate them you can do what i do. i sit on the end of a flat bench and lean way over until my chest is against my quads and just do a flye movement. keep your chest against your quads throughout the movement. if you over extend at the peak (like a swan dive) you can get a really good burn out of it. hope this helps. kevo

This WILL work: standing, bent over, dumbbell rows. Use 1-1/3 repetitions at a 3111 tempo (that’s 3 seconds down, 1 pause, 1 up, 1 pause, repeat). Remember not to use your back. You want your body at a 90 degree angle, bent at the waist, using light dumbbells (I use 10-12#s) and make sure to squeeze the rear delts at the top of the movement. And the extra 1/3 rep on every rep is the key to the effectivness.

who told you behind the neck presses work the rear delts? they work the front, then some spill over to the side but very little if any rear delt. they are also NOT good for your rotator cuff so be carefull!! try seated pully rows w/ a grip a little wider than shoulder width (paralel grip if your gym has one thats a little wider than shoulder width) and pull to the upper pec/neck. peace

On your pressing and pulling, do you have a disproportionate amount of work on your vertical as opposed to your horizontal? What is your routine/split/rep scheme?

Heavy, gut wrenching, deadlifts. Probably the most result producing and most ignored of all excercises, They will add size and strength to your entire anterior body. Calves, hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors, traps and rear delts. They are definitely worth the effort.

Big rear delts = snatches. Simple as that. Snatch, any kind.

Any horizontal or vertical pulling movement will use your rear delts. Cycle through them all and place them earlier in your routine. Also, before you do any pulling exercises thoroughly stretch your pecs and ant. delts. Continue to stretch them between sets. This will help to “relax” them so that your primary movers can get a stronger contraction through a greater range. If the exercise has the word “press” in it, it won’t use your rear delt as a mover. Good Luck.

Once again, the “side raise” comes thru! Since I’ve been doing these, I have to do nothing else, except what I normally do for front/side delts, and back. Take 2 dumbells, palms toward sides, and just raise the bells up as far as you can under your armpits. It works mainly rear/side delts, especially traps and rhomboids, a little of stretched pecs, biceps, and even triceps as you lower the bells. I finally have an upper back, rear shoulder, and traps that I can feel!

PaulB and Greg are absolutely correct. It’s the big compound movements that work the posterior chain that will develop your rear delts. When using proper form (scapula back and down) you will know the next day your rear delts and upper back received some serious work.

Try a few sets of kneeling one arm cable rear raises after (or possibly even before) back workout. Works for sure.

best for rear delts are reverse cable pullbacks. You can do the reverse peck deck machine or use the low cable pulleys keeping your arms straight. Make sure to keep a slow negative and pause in the pull back position.

Honestly, I can’t believe what I’m hearing. All these cable inverted pullback lateral raises… Foo-foo crap. Work up to a bodyweight snatch (or 2xbodyweight DL) for reps, and tell me if your “rear delts” aren’t strong and big. Christ, even heavy, STRICT, overhead presses would do it. Or cleans with heavy weight.


I have developed great rear delts and have never snatched in my life. These are the two exercises I perform: reverse pec dec, and a modified cable row where your arms are parallel to your shoulders instead of perpendicular to them (you should be standing for this exercise and have the cable adjusted to shoulder height).

I also do the deadlift, the yates row, and the dumbbell row, which work the posterior delts to one degree or another.

you guys are right, pretty much any pulling excercise will work your posterior delts.

PULL-UPS, Chin-ups and cleans