T Nation

Unilateral vs. Bilateral + Rear Delt Raise


#1

I have two questions:

  1. In which circumstances do you program/recommend a unilateral exercise, such as a Meadows Row or single-arm DB row, as opposed to a bilateral exercise (Pendlay Row or Barbell Row in this case)?

Although I can obviously go much heaving with barbell back/rowing exercises, I feel a much better contraction with unilateral rowing exercises, especially on the bottom portion.

  1. Regarding Bent Over Rear Delt Raises, what would you recommend for those who unwillingly strain their necks during the exercise?

I can’t for the life of me prevent my neck from working on this one, though the rear delts indeed do work. This also applies to a lesser extent to the front and lateral raises. Using a bench does help a bit, but I imagine that the best solution for this would be a rear delt machine (which my gym doesn’t have)?


#2

Do you have an incline bench or adjustable bench? You can do the rear delt raises (I call them reverse fly’s) face down on an inclined bench. I mostly do them on a cable machine. If you don’t have the dual cable machines or it’s too crowded to use both then you can do single-arm. I actually get better work out of the single-arm reverse fly’s because I can stabilize myself and really focus on what I’m doing.

I don’t have much of an answer for your first question other than personal preference when I’m choosing exercises.


#3

Thanks for the tips! I tried doing it on the bench and managed to isolate much better the rear delts without straining my neck indeed.