3 Best Rear Delt Exercises for Men

Apr 25, 2022

Man doing rear delt exercise.

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Do your arm days involve lots of pushing and pressing? Maybe you’d rather hit the bench press than the rowing machine. If so, you’re probably overworking your chest and front deltoids, which include your anterior and lateral delts. Eventually, this imbalance can contribute to a hunched-forward appearance and shoulder pain or injury. 

That’s why it’s important to include rear delt exercises in your arm day routine. These moves help improve your posture and build a strong upper back so you look wider and more muscular from every angle. 

1. Wide Grip Inverted Row 

The wide grip inverted row is one of the simplest and most effective rear delt exercises. It targets arms more than the traditional pullup! Yet, you’ll rarely see fellow gymgoers performing it. Why? Maybe it’s because the move doesn’t look as tough as pushups or pumping iron. Even so, it’s a great one to add to your routine, and you’ll soon have the shoulders to prove it.  

To perform this exercise, rack a barbell at or slightly below waist height. Begin by lying face up with the barbell directly above your chest and your heels together. Reach up and grab the bar with both hands. Then, pull yourself up until your sternum almost touches the metal. Your elbows should be level with your chest and bent 90 degrees at the top of the movement. Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat for three sets of 12 rows. 

2. Rear Lateral Raises

Another great way to target your posterior delts is with rear lateral raises. Sometimes called the bent-over lateral raise, this exercise builds muscle strength in your upper back and shoulders. Start with light weights and focus on form before working up to big, heavy dumbbells. 

Begin by standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other. Keep a slight bend in your knees as you hinge at the hips and bend over so your back is at a 45-degree angle. Then, squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise your arms up and out so they’re parallel to the floor. Hold for a beat before slowly lowering back to the starting position. Complete two to three sets of 10 to 12 reps. 

3. Face Pulls 

If you have access to a cable pulley machine, try doing a few face pulls to really target your rear delts. This move also works your traps and upper back muscles so you have a stronger base for a power bench press. 

Position the puller system slightly above your head and attach the rope with two handholds. Grasp one handle in each hand with your palms facing toward one another and step back until your arms are fully extended. Lean back slightly and roll your shoulders back to ensure good posture. Then, pull the ropes toward your forehead, letting your elbows flare out to the sides. Squeeze your shoulder blades at the top of the movement before slowly returning to the starting position. 

Building Boulder Shoulders

Are you ready to pump up your shoulders and go full Hulk mode? Add these exercises to your arm day routine and bulk up in weeks. You don’t have to be a pro to give them a go, but you’ll certainly look like one if you stay consistent and are committed to seeing results.

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Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. Jack is an avid enthusiast for keeping up with personal health and enjoying nature. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche, and has written extensively on topics of fitness, exploring the outdoors and men's interests. His writings have been featured in SportsEd TV, Love Inc., and Offroad Xtreme among many more publications.