The posterior deltoid is the muscle that connects your shoulder blade to your arm.
This muscle helps you rotate and raise your arms, as well as stabilize them during overhead movements such as throwing a ball or doing push-ups.
A strong posterior deltoid can help prevent injuries by stabilizing your shoulder joint and keeping it in the right position.
That’s why we’ve created this blog post to teach you how to build stronger posterior deltoids.
Even though you can’t see them in the mirror, they are important and deserve attention.
Why are your rear delts important?
Let’s dive right in.
What does the rear deltoid do?
The posterior deltoids are the muscle fibers that run along the back of your shoulders.
They function with the scapula retractors, rhomboids, and traps to pull your shoulders back.
This is important to reduce your shoulders from hunching forward and helps improve your posture.
Benefits of Rear Delt Exercises
Targeting your rear deltoids in your workout has several benefits such as building stength, muscle mass, and improving bone density in your shoulders.
Let’s explore a few other advantages of rear delt training below:
Exercises for rear delts improve posture.
Most of our adult lives are spent sitting at a desk staring at a screen which takes a toll on our posture. By strengthening your rear delts, your shoulders will tighten your upper back and help fix your posture.
You will build stronger shoulders.
Stronger rear delts improve the overall power of your shoulders to give you more stability when performing compound lifts and bodyweight exercises.
Reduce the risk of a shoulder injury.
Targeting your rear delts in workouts will reduce your risk of injuring the front side of the shoulders, which are most prone to injury. Also, most rear delt exercises are done with lighter weights and better form which helps prevent injuries when using too heavy of weights.
Developed rear deltoids improve your aesthetic.
Targeting rear delts help fill out your clothes more and improve your posture giving you a look of confidence.
How to Work Out Your Rear Deltoids
With proper diet and supplementation, using an effective workout that hits your rear delts enough and allows them recover will make them grow like you wouldn’t believe!
Target Rear Delts After Back Training When Doing Rows
If you’re like most lifters, your upper back is getting stronger and more muscular while your rear delts are doing nothing.
It’s very common to see athletes with well-developed front shoulders who have a skinny upper back – especially if they do lots of rows for their back training.
The posterior (or rear) deltoids help give the shoulders width and shape so it’s important to train them as part of any program that includes heavy rowing variations.
Many back exercises such as rows engage the rear delts much like bench presses engage the front shoulder muscles.
You should directly target your rear delts with an exercise or two at the end of your back workouts since they’re already being engaged during the workout.
If you also target your rear delts on your shoulder or push days, make sure there are at least 48 hours of rest between your push/shoulder day and your back day.
Like any other muscle, they need to rest.
Train Rear Delts Twice Within Your Workout Split
You should be able to target them twice within your workout routine.
Just make sure there are at least 48 hours between hitting them and don’t train them consecutively on back and shoulder days and you should be good!
Doing this will allow you to target your rear delts with different exercises and equipment.
You can even alter the rep ranges, the number of sets, rest periods, etc to make sure they’re targeted multiple ways.
Prioritize Rear Delts As the Second Exercise In Your Routine on Shoulder Day
When working out, the first muscle you target in the routine will improve the fastest as your energy levels will be the highest.
If you do a shoulder-specific day, you can still open with shoulder press, but do a rear delt exercise immediately after.
Shoulder presses target mostly the front of your shoulders, so you need to target your rear delts while you’re still pretty fresh.
You can do a rear delt single-joint exercise right after shoulder press to give them some priority.
Another strategy you can mix in at times is to pre-exhaust your rear delts by starting your shoulder routine with them before hitting shoulder press.
You will be a little tired, but it will be guaranteed that you’re hitting the rear delts as hard as possible!
Choose the Best Rear Delt Exercises and Use Challenging Weight
Single-joint exercises aren’t the best exercises to build muscle mass, but you can choose the best options to build your rear delts.
You also need to pick the right rep range.
Single-joint exercises should not be done with too heavy of weight because you can risk putting unnecessary pressure on the joint involved.
Choose a weight where you can do between 8-10 reps per set.
Make sure you’re challenging yourself by taking each set to the point where you can’t complete more reps than the set requires with your form breaking down.
Do A Second Real-Delt Exercise Later In Your Workout
You can do more than one rear delt exercise within your routine.
Doing a second rear deltoid isolation movement towards the end of your training session is not only acceptable but it’s also highly effective.
This second exercise will help you achieve the look of thicker, rounder shoulders.
Doing a rear delt fly on an incline bench or seated reverse pec deck machine are great options to try at this point in your workout.
They allow you to focus more tension on these muscles with less stress being put on your rotator cuff.
Hitting your rear delts at multiple angles and using different exercises will produce more growth!
Add Variety to Your Rear Delt Routine
If you only use one or two rear delt exercises in your routine, it is important to add variety.
Varying the rear delt isolation exercises you use can help target your delt muscles in different ways so they never get stale!
If you want to switch things up, consider the variations on the bent-over lateral raise:
- Use dumbbells while in a bent-over position
- Seated flat on a bench
- Keeping your head pressed to a bench to reduce momentum
- Use an incline bench at about 60 degrees
- Unilaterally using one arm
- Try face pulls on the cable machine with a rope
If you avert to change and favorite specific exercises, you can vary them by changing the angle you hit them at.
Vary Up Your Routine with Different Techniques
- Forced Reps. Choose a weight where you require a spotter to help you maintain form to finish up the last few reps or power through a sticking point for some serious growth. These are best done on the pec deck machine.
- Use Dropsets. You can lower the weight after completing a set using dumbbells, machines, or cables and resume the set to a second point of muscle failure.
- Eccentric Reps. Focus on the eccentric portion (lengthening of the muscle) of the exercise to serious rear delt growth.
- Tempo Reps. Try choosing different tempo schemes to change up the time under tension of your reps and sets.
- Supersets. Do two different rear delt focused exercises consecutively without any rest.
Best Rear Delt Workout Exercises
Rear delt lifts include using a mix of dumbbells, barbell, cables, and machines to give them the stimulation they deserve.
Rear Delt Exercises with Dumbbells Include:
- Dumbbell High Row
- Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise
- Incline Bench Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise
- Head-Supported Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise
- Seated Bent-Over Lateral Raise
- Lying Dumbbell Rear Delt High Row
Rear Delt Exercises with a Barbell Include:
- Barbell High Row
- Lying Barbell Rear Delt High Row
Rear Delt Exercises with Cables Include:
- Cable High Row
- Face Pulls with Rope
- Standing Cable Reverse Fly
- One-Arm Bent-Over Cable Lateral Raise
- Rear Delt Cable Crossover
Rear Delt Exercises with Machines Include:
- Machine High Row
- Reverse Peck Deck Machine
Do you need to train rear delts?
As the primary horizontal abduction of the shoulder, rear delts are also important in assisting in external rotation and extension of the humerus. The rear delt plays a large role as a stabilizer for the shoulder making it very important to train.
How do you grow your rear deltoids?
- Train on back days after heavy rows
- Hit your rear delts twice during your workout split
- Focus on rear delts on shoulder day
- Use a great compound exercise with challenging weight
- Do two different rear delt exercises within the same workout
- Use different rear delt movements such as cables, barbells, or dumbbells
- Use advanced techniques such as forced reps, dropsets, and supersets
Are rear delts hard to grow?
If your rear delts are underdeveloped, it is most likely because you’re using too much weight to activate the muscle and allowing other muscles to take over and complete the movement. They aren’t an easy muscle to directly hit and because of that, you need to make sure you’re using the proper weight to hit them and not going too heavy.
How many sets should I do for rear delts?
You should be able to hit rear delts directly with six sets of reps per week to build them up. Posterior deltoids recover quickly, and training them only once per week won’t lead to consistent gains after the beginning state.
In conclusion, rear delts are a very important muscle you need to build up to have a healthy, muscular physique.
In this post, we talked about how to grow rear deltoids and what exercises will help get them big.
All of these techniques were used by top bodybuilders so if they work well then that means it can work for you too!
Share this article with your friend that neglects their rear delts so that they know how to fix their mistake!