11 Best Rear Delt Exercises for Strength and improve your Posture

Well-defined shoulders are a sign of a commanding physique, but building them requires more effort than you just think. If you want fully-developed shoulders then you need to make rear delt exercises a regular part of your workout (training).

you need a strong shoulder to be able to pull, push and lift without injury. The rear delt is responsible for all the pushing and pulling movement that your upper body makes on a daily basis, that means throwing a medicine ball or opening a heavy door, or anything that you push or pull. They are the key for helping you to maintain proper posture and avoid injuries.  

Building your shoulder strength requires working different muscles from different angles. Your front deltoid muscles tend to be somewhat dominant in a lot of exercise moves, but strengthening your middle and rear deltoids is important too.

These all muscles work together to keep your shoulder strong, but rear deltoids can be difficult to target.

So, let’s look at 11 best rear delt exercises that will improve your rear deltoids strength, posture and overall stronger shoulder.

Rear Deltoid Function

Your deltoids muscles, which look like a large triangle which was placed over your shoulder, and that are divided into three different parts.

  • The anterior deltoid (at the front of your body)
  • The intermediate deltoid (runs over the top of your shoulder joint)
  • The rear or posterior (this muscle acts as part of back muscle and placed at back of your shoulder)

The posterior fibers assist the back muscles to extend the shoulder and rear delts, help to maintain proper posture, and help to prevent back pain and shoulder dislocation.

How to Strengthen Your Rear Delts

The rear delt muscles are technically located in your shoulders, you can train them on back day or shoulder day. If you want to keep the whole area strong, then you definitely do these exercises that target the rotator cuff muscles.

It’s also important to incorporate the lat muscles or triceps, because they also work synergistically with the rear delts. Try some compound lifts that target your back and chest like push-ups, these types of exercises will simultaneously target the rear delts.

11 Best Rear Delt Exercises for Size and Strength

Here we are listed 11 best rear delt exercises, these exercises isolate and target very effectively to your rear delt. Read the article till the end to know the correct instructions of the exercises.

01. Standing Bent Over Lateral Raises

The standing bent over lateral raises work your shoulder muscles and your triceps. Especially, target your posterior deltoid, shoulder girdle and middle deltoid. To perform this exercise, you just need a pair of light weight dumbbells.

When you’re doing a long arms lateral exercise, you should start with lighter weight because a lighter weight provides a safe way to build strength. And you can work with heavier weight as you get stronger and if you’re starting a movement with heavier weight can lead you up for injury.

How to perform:

  • Hold the dumbbell in each hand, keeping your palms facing each other.
  • Stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart, bend forward at the waist and soften the knees and elbows, dumbbells should be together in line with your chest.
  • Raise your arms out and up (like spreading your wings) until they are parallel to the floor, make sure to move only at shoulder.
  • Squeeze your upper-back muscles at the top of the move and hold for a second.
  • In a controlled motion, slowly lower back to the starting position.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 10 to 14 reps.

02. Wide Grip Inverted Row

Wide Grip Inverted Row

The wide grip inverted row is an instrumental exercise that you will easily target your rear delt. This exercise works all of your pull muscles, your back, traps, rear deltoid and biceps. Also, improve your grip strength and scapular retraction.

You can start this exercise only with your body weight, you can also add load in the form of plates if necessary.

How to perform:

  • Set up the smith machine bar your waist height, that should be high enough for you to hang from beneath without touching your back to the ground.
  • Start by laying on the floor, face-up with the barbell directly above your chest.
  • Grab the barbell and grip it with both hands wider than shoulder-width, your feet should be straight out and your heels touching the ground.
  • Then, pull yourself up until your sternum almost touches the bar, make sure to keep a straight line from head to ankles.
  • Slowly, lower your body back to the starting position until your arms are extended.

03. Single Arm Bent Over Row

Single Arm Bent Over Row

This exercise will help you to gain rear deltoid strength. Try to add this exercise in your back and shoulder workout routine, finish your back day with this multi-joint movement.

This exercise targets your posterior deltoids, biceps, transverse abdominals and back. You just need a dumbbell and a bench to perform this movement.

How to perform:

  • Keep your right knee and right hand on the bench.
  • Extend your left leg slightly behind you on the ground for support.
  • Hold the dumbbell in your left hand, with your arm extended towards the ground.
  • Pull the dumbbell up towards your ribcage.
  • Hold the position for a second at the top of the movement.
  • Slowly, lower the weight back to the starting position with control motion.
  • Alternate the hands left and right for each set.
  • Repeat 2 sets each hand for 10 to 14 reps.

04. Rear Deltoid Machine

Rear Deltoid Machine

Rear deltoid machine designed to work the rear delt muscles and this will make it easy to activate those muscles in a challenging way safely. This machine strengthens your shoulder muscles by developing your posterior deltoids, and improves your posture.

Rear deltoid machine targets your rear delts and traps.        

How to perform:

  • Sit comfortably on the machine facing the pad, and adjust the seat height so the handles are your shoulder level.
  • Hold the handles with your hands, press your arms back while keeping your arms straight.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Then, slowly return back to the starting position with your hands In Front of you, do this exercise with control and slowly.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

05. Band Face Pull

The band face pull is effective rear delt and upper body exercise. This exercise activates the rear delt and upper back, making it an excellent warm up before an upper body training session.

This exercise improves your general shoulder health, movement patterns and increases scapular stability and shoulder strength. You can add this exercise to an upper body workout, and specifically shoulder or back workout.

How to perform:

  • Tie a band of moderate resistance to a Fixed pillar or squat rack pole.
  • Hold the band with both hands, palms facing each other.
  • Use a split or square stance, pull the band directly towards your face while keeping your elbows slightly above your shoulder level.
  • Hold the position for second at the end of the movement.
  • Then return back to the starting position with controlled motion.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 10 to 14 reps.

06. Assisted Pull Ups

Assisted Pull Ups

Pull ups are very effective exercises, but most people don’t have the stamina or upper body strength to perform at least one without a little help. This exercise works your back, your shoulder, rear deltoids and biceps.

Assisted pull ups also improve your overall body strength and fitness level, improve your grip strength and physical and mental health.

How to perform:

  • Adjust the weight deduction of the machine and choose the correct amount of weight and set.
  • Keep your knees on the kneepad and knees should be hip-width apart.
  • Hold the outer handles using an overhand grip, that is slightly wider than your shoulder. make sure your arms are fully extended.
  • Left your body up until your chin is above the handles.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds when you reach your maximum. Then, lower yourself down to the starting position with control.
  • Try to focus on keeping your shoulder blades engaged.
  • Repeat 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps.

07. Cable Machine High Pull with Ropes

Cable machine high pull with ropes is a great way to mix up your shoulder training, but it does need some gym equipment to perform this move such as cable machine with double handle rope attachment.

This exercise targets your rear deltoids and middle deltoids. Changing the angles of your muscles training can really target your deltoids and this will help to improve your strength.

How to perform:

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Adjust the cable and attachment to the chest height, then you can attach the rope handle to it.
  • Take a step back so your arms are fully extended in front of you.
  • Then pull the rope toward you, make sure your elbows should stay up to help to target your deltoids.
  • Slowly extend the arms back to the starting position.
  • Keep the weight enough to perform more reps.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

08. Seated Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

The seated dumbbell rear delt fly is one of the best exercises for targeting your rear delt, and it is easier to get into an optimal position for isolating your rear deltoids. It also reduces the amount of momentum you can through your torso.

This exercise strengthens your upper back muscles and shoulder and it requires you to maintain a neutral spine position and avoid moving your torso.

How to perform:

  • First, sit on the flat bench with your knees bent at just 90- degrees in front of you.
  • Lean forward and your chest is resting on your knees.
  • Grab dumbbells in each hand with your hands together under your legs. Palms facing each other.
  • Slightly bend your elbows and lock this position throughout the exercise.
  • Slowly raise your arms until they are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause the position for a second and then slowly return back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
  • Do 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 14 reps, take 60-90 seconds rest between the sets.

09. Dumbbell Incline Y Raise

The dumbbell incline “Y” raise is a prehabilitation exercise which helps to increase range of motion, mobility and strength throughout the upper back and shoulder. This exercise particularly targets the rear delt.

How to perform:

  • First, adjust the bench at a 45-degree incline.
  • Lie down on the bench with your knees slightly bent and heels on the floor.
  • Hold the dumbbells in each hand with an overhand grip, and your arms handing straight under your shoulder.
  • lift the dumbbell up and out, keeping your arms straight until they are fully extended (form a “Y” shape).
  • Hold the movement for a second and slowly lower the weight to the start.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

10. Rear Delt Reverse Barbell Raise

This exercise is an isolation exercise that heavily works one rear deltoid. You need an Olympic barbell to perform this exercise.

Ho to perform:

  • First, set up a bar on a rack at hand height.
  • Stand straight in front of the barbell and hold it with both hands, palms facing backwards.
  • Keep your arms straight, bend through the knees and lean forward from the hips maintaining a neutral spine.
  • You should be in the deadlift position, but the bar is behind you, rather in front of you.
  • Lift the barbell up until your rear deltoids are fully contracted.
  • The position of your body should be the same and only your arms are moving.
  • Hold the position for second at the top of the movement and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

11. Rear Delt Cable Crossover

Rear delt cable crossover is the best exercise for improving your posture and stronger shoulder. This exercise hits your rear delts hard.

How to perform:

  • First, adjust each side of the cable on the highest setting (above your head).
  • Hold the cable and cross the cables over another, holding the left cable in your right hand and right cable in your left hand.
  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Slightly bend your elbows and lock the position. That’s your starting position.
  • Now, pull the cable out wide until your arms are in a straight line across your body.
  • Hold the position for a second and return back to the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps. 


These 7 best rear delt exercises are designed to target one general muscle area. You can add these exercises while your shoulder or back workout. Remember, always pay attention to your grip during training.

Any workout routine, it’s best to check with a doctor first because they can suggest you the workout routine according to your strength and fitness level. It will be great to work with qualified trainers or fitness experts to make sure you utilize the machines to your benefit.

Hopefully, you like this article, if you have any questions and suggestions kindly put them in the comment box below. 

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