How to Train Your Rear Deltoid?

Today I would like to teach you how to train your Rear Deltoid.  Let ’s look at the position of the rear shoulder first, which also called posterior deltoid.  Rear Deltoid training is often being ignored.  Today we will discuss in detail on rear deltoid training.


Activation of Rear Deltoid

Firstly, before doing any back deltoid movements, we should feel that the position of the rear shoulder is working.  You can do this with me.  Move your hands backwards and try your best to feel the working of rear shoulder.  Try adjusting the height of your hands in order to find the angle that works best for you.  You can feel the maximum force on the rear shoulder.

  • If both hands get closer to the body, the back muscles will work harder while the rear shoulders will work less.
  • If the angle is large, almost 80-90 degrees, you will feel more force in the middle shoulder.

So a suitable angle is about 30-45 degrees,  everyone may be slightly different.  This is the angle that is best for your shoulders training.  Remember this angle, because this will be our standard angle for Wide-Grip Row.


Training Exercises

Rear shoulder movements are mainly divided into two types.

  • The first type is about Wide-Grip Row which is a pull-back action.   And the angle is the best angle we have just mentioned.  Wide-Grip Row is a multi-joint exercises (compound) that can be done a bit more.
  • Another type is about Reverse Fly or Rear Delt Cable Crossover.  Reverse Fly and Rear Delt Cable Crossover are single-joint movements (isolation), so you can do it lighter.

Today we will briefly introduce a few exercises for your reference.


Dumbbell Single Hand Wide-Grip Row

The type of Wide-Grip Row, first, Dumbbell Single Hand Wide-Grip Row.  The normal Dumbbell Single Wide-Grip Row is using ‘narrow hands’, which means our hands are close to our body.  With more force of the back muscles.  Wide hands means to widen your elbows a bit to the angle we just said.  The main point of this action is to hold a bit when you pull it up.  And feel the tightness of the rear shoulder, then slowly lower it.  Remember when we stop, we have to feel the force of rear shoulder.  If you feel your side shoulders are working hard,  while no feeling on the working of your rear shoulders, you should adjust your angle.

  • Of course, I believe that from any angle, your side shoulders will feel a little bit.  Because this movement also involves a little bit participation of side shoulders.
  • But if the angle is too large, the side shoulders will be the dominant one.  The rear shoulders will become a minority, which is not the effect we want. Similarly, if you just feel the back muscles working, but can’t feel much on the rear shoulders, you need to adjust the angle.


The point is to hold for a second and feel the working of rear shoulder.  You may feel tired later in your training.  If you feel ache, then you are doing it right.


If we have cables, resistance bands or some machines, we can also do a Wide-Grip Row.  Whether it is done with one hand or both hands, as long as the angle is suitable for the training plus a pause while doing it and let it go slowly, then, these are good rear shoulder movements.


Wide Grip Australian Pull up

If you don’t have any equipment or dumbbells at all,  You can use the lower crossbar in the park for Wide Grip Australian Pull up.  Of course, this action may be difficult to adjust the angle that suits you best due to the fixed height of the crossbar.  But it’s okay, as long as you feel the involvement of the rear shoulder when you do it,  Then I think it’s also a very good training.  If you are able at doing it, one-sided movement is actually more effective.  Because it is easier to feel the force of the rear shoulder with one-sided movement.


Reverse Fly

Another type of action is Reverse Fly or Rear Delt Cable Crossover.  Their biggest difference from Wide-Grip Row is that the hands are bended down for one and hands are straight for another one.  Because it belongs to a single-joint movement.  So you should feel the more force on your rear shoulders.  No matter it is Reverse Fly or Rear Delt Cable Crossover, Remember to straighten your waist and bend down when doing it.  The angle of the bent body and the position of the hands both affect the movement.  For example, if you bend down at 45 degrees, you will feel more on the side shoulders  than the rear shoulders.  So it should be close to horizontal level, with both hands slightly bent backwards.   When lifting dumbbells, slowly raise it horizontally to both sides.  Try to resist the gravity when you go down.


It’s a little bit different with dumbbells and resistance bands or cables.  Especially if you do it with dumbbells,  there is a common mistake which is using momentum to rush up, and forget to put it down slowly.  As a result, the training effect of the action is reduced.  Remember we have to go up and down slowly, we don’t need a lot of weight.  It ’s easier to master if you make it with cables.  Just find the right angle when you do it.


Training Scheduling

Shoulders should be trained at least once a week.  If your rear shoulders is weak, you may need to exercise two or three times for one week.  Having at least two to three moves at a time.  Train with the movements that have just mentioned.  Of course, my teaching may not cover  each action in the most detailed way.  Also, other actions that are not specifically mentioned in the video, like how to adjust the angle so that we can train both side shoulders and rear shoulders to make your shoulders look stronger.  These advanced movements will not be mentioned here.

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