Rear Delt Fly Muscles Worked

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


Question: Which Muscles are Worked During Rear Delt Fly Exercises?

Answer: Rear delt fly exercises primarily target the posterior deltoid muscles, which are located in the back of the shoulders.

These exercises also engage the muscles of the upper back, including the rhomboids and trapezius, as well as the rotator cuff muscles.


If you're looking to target your rear deltoid muscles during your workout, rear delt fly exercises are a great option.

By understanding which muscles are worked during this exercise, you can ensure you're maximizing your workout and achieving your fitness goals. 

When you're looking to strengthen your rear delts, the rear delt fly exercise can help. There are different variations to choose from.

Try the single arm dumbbell reverse fly, the Bent over dumbbell reverse fly, or the High cable rear delt fly. Alternatively, you can also try band pull-aparts to build your delts.

What are rear delt fly exercises?

Rear delt fly exercises are a type of strength training exercise that specifically target the rear deltoid muscles, which are located on the back of the shoulders.

These exercises typically involve using dumbbells or resistance bands to perform a pulling motion, with the focus on squeezing the shoulder blades together and engaging the rear delts.

By incorporating rear delt fly exercises into your workout routine, you can strengthen and tone these muscles, improving your overall shoulder strength and posture.

What muscles are targeted during rear delt fly exercises?

Rear delt fly exercises primarily target the rear deltoid muscles, also known as the posterior deltoids.

These muscles are located on the back of the shoulders and are responsible for shoulder extension, horizontal abduction, and external rotation.

In addition to the rear delts, other muscles that are activated during rear delt fly exercises include the trapezius, rhomboids, and rotator cuff muscles.

These exercises also engage the muscles of the upper back, helping to improve overall shoulder stability and posture.

How can rear delt fly exercises be beneficial for your workout?

Rear delt fly exercises can be highly beneficial for your workout in multiple ways.

Firstly, they specifically target and strengthen the rear deltoid muscles, helping to improve the overall balance and symmetry of your shoulder muscles.

This can enhance your posture and reduce the risk of shoulder injuries.

Additionally, rear delt fly exercises also engage the trapezius, rhomboids, and rotator cuff muscles, which contribute to improved shoulder stability and strength.

By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you can enhance your upper body strength and aesthetics, as well as improve your overall shoulder function. 

Bent over dumbbell reverse fly

The bent over reverse fly is an exercise for the rear deltoids and the shoulder, and it is an excellent way to build muscle in those areas.

However, the correct form and posture are important to avoid injury. When performing the exercise, your elbows should be bent slightly, and your eyes should be forward to avoid excessive strain on your neck.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knnes slightly bent and bend your torso over your knees. 

With the dummbells in your hands and held to the center of your chest. Then spread your arms out but still maintaining a slight bend in the elbow. Control the movement back to the start position. 

Ensure that you are not 'bouncing' the movement and you are squeezing the shoulder blades together.

Another alternative for the Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly is to use an incline bench.

The incline bench can be hinged at 45 degrees, so that you can perform the exercise while leaning against it.

The incline angle helps you keep your back straight and your core tight. If you have a shoulder injury, consult your trainer.

This variation of the exercise is great for the back. It focuses on the rhomboid muscles in the upper back. These muscles help balance the strength of your shoulder and protect it from injury.

Single arm dumbbell reverse fly

One arm dumbbell reverse fly is a great strength-training exercise that targets the traps and deltoids.

It is also a good exercise for the upper body and neck. You must be able to hold the dumbbell in a neutral grip and control the lowering motion. Repeat the exercise for a set of three or four sets.

The single arm dumbbell reverse fly targets the rotator cuff, rhomboids, and rear deltoid, three of the four muscles in the shoulder.

They help maintain posture and stability while moving, and are important for athletic performance and day-to-day function. The workout also helps strengthen the infraspinatus, a muscle that forms the glenohumeral joint.

A good form is essential when performing this workout, so make sure to use the correct technique.

Ensure that your shoulders are slightly above your chest when performing the exercise, and your shoulder blades retract as you lower the weight. Then, slowly lower the dumbbells back down to your starting position. If you're new to this workout, it's best to start out with light weights.

military muscle testosterone booster banner

High cable rear delt fly

The cable rear delt fly is a strength-training exercise that helps the shoulders. It is also a great warm-up and mobility exercise.

A cable rear delt fly can be performed standing up or on a machine. If you're using a cable machine, make sure you hold a D-shaped handle that is attached to the machine at shoulder height.

Start by standing on the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your elbows slightly. Repeat the motion as many times as you can.

For the cable rear delt fly, stand with your arms extended with your shoulders slightly bent.

You can also hold a dumbbell or two in front of you, and hold them in front of you. You should also maintain a neutral head position.

Once you're standing, slowly raise the weights to your shoulder blades, allowing your elbows to extend and retract as you lift them. Then, slowly return to your starting position. 

The cable rear delt fly is one of the best exercises for the rear delts. It works multiple muscles in the upper back, including the trapezius, erector spinae, and rhomboids.

Performing a cable rear delt fly is a great way to maximize the effectiveness of compound exercises.

Band pull-aparts

Band pull-aparts are an excellent way to strengthen the rear delts. They're easy to perform in the comfort of your home and can also improve posture.

Grab the band with an overhand or shoulder-width grip and then raise your arms up and down. Ensure that you maintain tension on the band, and then return to the starting position.

Band pull-aparts target the upper back muscles, including the trapezius and rear delts.

Another key to developing the rear delt fly muscles is training the triceps. They play a crucial role in pulling movements, and they must fire at the right time to hold an isometric contraction.

Therefore, weak triceps can negatively affect the rear delt fly. In addition to the triceps, the forearm extensors also play a significant role in this movement.

The rear delt muscle is relatively small, and it's often overshadowed by other muscles in the upper back.

However, due to the law of first tension, the rear delt will be recruited when the other muscles in the upper back are overloaded. You can train it by tweaking the form and ensuring that the elbows are straight.

Cable rear delt fly

The cable rear delt fly is a great exercise that targets the posterior deltoid. This exercise requires that you lie on your back and pull the cables to the sides while keeping your arms perpendicular to your trunk. This will reduce the chance of incorporating the lats into the exercise.

The cable rear delt fly is an excellent exercise for working the posterior deltoids because of the light load it requires.

You should perform it once a week for four sets. Make sure to feel the rear delt fibers work during each rep. This is a great exercise to combine with other exercises to build your posterior delts.

This exercise also works the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades. It is especially effective at building a strong, slender back and posture.

The cables help to isolate the posterior muscles of the shoulder, as well as the upper back and traps. The core muscles are also engaged, which stabilizes and supports the upper body.

When training the rear delts, it's important to remember that they are sensitive to exercise volume.

The rear delts respond best to exercises in the 10-20 rep range. They also respond well to heavier exercises.

Try to focus on doing half of your workouts in the heavier rep range and half in the lighter rep range. This will increase your chances of a successful training split.

Cable lateral raise

A cable lateral raise is an effective way to strengthen the rear delt fly muscles. You should be able to feel the tension in the muscles in your shoulder blades throughout the range of motion.

There are several variations of the cable lateral raise, which can be performed with one or both arms.

When performing cable lateral raises, use a cable stacked closer to the pulleys to maximize the tension on the rear delt fly muscles.

You should start with a low weight and gradually increase the weight until you are able to perform the exercise. It is also important to have a proper posture, as the exercise requires a strict form.

The best way to perform cable lateral raise is by starting with a weight that you can control for two to three sets of eight to twelve repetitions

Tips for proper form and technique during rear delt fly exercises

Proper form and technique are crucial when performing rear delt fly exercises to ensure maximum effectiveness and minimize the risk of injury. Here are some tips to help you maintain proper form:

1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees.

2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing inwards and your arms extended in front of you.

3. Keep your back straight and engage your core muscles.

4. Slowly raise your arms out to the sides, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do so.

5. Pause for a moment at the top of the movement, making sure to keep your shoulders down and away from your ears.

6. Slowly lower your arms back to the starting position, maintaining control throughout the movement.

7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Remember to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the resistance as you become more comfortable with the exercise.

It's also important to listen to your body and stop if you experience any pain or discomfort. Consulting with a fitness professional can also help ensure proper form and technique.

Variations and modifications of rear delt fly exercises for different fitness levels

Rear delt fly exercises can be modified and varied to accommodate different fitness levels and goals. Here are some simple variations you can try:

1. Resistance Band Rear Delt Fly: Instead of using dumbbells, you can use a resistance band to perform the exercise. This can provide a different level of resistance and challenge for your muscles.

2. Bent-Over Rear Delt Fly: Instead of standing, you can perform the exercise while bent over at the waist. This targets the rear deltoids even more intensely.

3. Seated Rear Delt Fly: If standing is uncomfortable or not feasible for you, you can perform the exercise while seated on a bench or chair. This still targets the rear deltoids effectively.

4. Single-Arm Rear Delt Fly: Instead of using both arms simultaneously, you can perform the exercise one arm at a time. This can help improve muscle imbalances and provide a different challenge.

Remember to always maintain proper form and technique, regardless of the variation you choose. It's also important to gradually increase the intensity and resistance as you become stronger and more comfortable with the exercise.

Consulting with a fitness professional can help you determine the best variations and modifications for your specific needs and goals.

Want to increase strength and size?

Military Muscle is able to stimulate muscle protein synthesis to help increase strength and size while simultaneously decreasing bloating, water retention, increasing sex drive, and improving sleep quality.

Trustpilot gives our product four stars out of five rating, and customers have reported significant results after taking it regularly.

Military Muscle has been developed through years of extensive research and testing by sports nutritionsists and military physical training instructors with the goal of improving muscle recovery, so you, the user can get back to training as soon as possible, and smash those goals.

It contains legal botanicals that have demosntrated to reverse the natural decline in testosterone levels with age, helping you preserve peak performance as long as possible.

Military Muscle contains ingredients like velvet bean extract, stinging nettle root extract, zinc, boron, vitamin K2 and mucuna pruriens to support hormone balance and prevent conversion of testosterone to estrogens. They can also support thyroid gland health while decreasing stress levels that could hinder production.

Testosterone levels can also have an effect on mood, and low levels can contribute to memory loss and reduced concentration.

Rear Delt Fly Muscles Worked Conclusion

The rear delt fly can be performed on virtually any gym machine, including chest and back (or pec deck) machines.

The movement requires users to sweep their arms forward across their chest before lifting them away in an arching motion - this works many muscles at once but focuses particularly on targeting rear deltoids.

Additionally it trains trapezius and rhomboids found in upper back muscles effectively while helping improve poor posture and shoulder instability commonly found when spending too much time slouched at desks.

To achieve optimal performance when performing this exercise, it is imperative that the triceps engage.

When an arm is pulled away from the body, its natural tendency is to flex in order to relieve tension.

Engaging these triceps helps strengthen them further while improving overall shoulder strength which may help avoid injuries due to weak or imbalanced shoulders.

Doing a dumbbell rear delt fly as part of your workout will strengthen all of the major muscle groups involved and make the movement more challenging, leading to faster progress and greater gains overall - an excellent option for anyone looking to add size and definition to their shoulders!

 military muscle testosterone booster banner

Show All

Blog posts

Show All