How To Do A Rear Delt Fly With Dumbbells?

There are many rear delt fly variations that you can do using different gym equipment. This article explains in detail the steps that you take to do the exercise using dumbbells. In addition to that, it also gives a list of muscles that get worked by the exercises. More so, there are alternative exercises that you can do in place of the rear delt exercise. Some exercise discussed below include rear delt cable fly, bent over face pull and other variations and alternatives.

Rear Delt Fly Vs Lateral Raise

The two exercises are good at strengthening the upper back muscles. But they work those muscles differently. For instance, the rear delt-fly primarily works the posterior deltoids muscles. Then the lateral raise primarily works the anterior deltoids. Rear Delt Fly - Lateral Raise

Rear Delt Fly Muscles Worked

The rear delt primarily works the rear deltoids muscles. In addition to that, it also works the traps, rhomboids, teres minor, infraspinatus. It is good for strengthening the upper back muscles.

Rear delt – the rear delt is back muscles located on the back of your shoulders. It is also known as the posterior deltoids. The muscles are important for keeping the shoulders stable. Therefore, when you do the rear delt-fly, you make it stronger to lower shoulder injuries.

Traps – The traps are also located on the upper back of your body. The muscles are located in between your shoulder blades; stretching from your neck doing to the middle back. It is ideally good for moving your shoulders and arms.

Rhomboids – these are also located on your upper back. The muscles work in stabilising the shoulders.

Rear Delt Fly Machine

Rear Delt Fly - Rear Delt Fly MachineThe rear delt fly machine exercise primarily works the shoulder muscles particularly the posterior deltoids. Other muscles that you work when using the machine to do the rear delt-fly include the trapezius. To do the exercise, you need a rear delt machine or a Pac-Dec machine. Follow the instructions below to do the exercise.

  1. Start by adjusting the seat and make sure that when you are seated the chest is against the pad. Make sure that the handles are at your shoulder height.
  2. Sit down facing the machine and grasp the handles with your hands.
  3. Pull the handles backwards to bring the shoulder blades together. Pause for 2 seconds.
  4. Return the hands to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the movement as much as you can.

Rear Delt Fly Cable

The rear delt-fly cable primarily works the rear delt muscles. This exercise is also known as the cable rear delt-fly.  The exercise strengthens the upper body muscles such as erector spinae and rhomboids. More so, the exercise improves posture. It makes your shoulders stay in good shape by minimising the development of hunch. Follow the instructions below to do the exercise;

  1. Choose the weight that you are comfortable to work with and set the cables. Make sure that the pulleys of the machine are above your head.
  2. Then grasp the handles and make sure that the right hand is holding the cable from the left-hand then the left hand is holding the cable from the right hand.
  3. Stand in the middle of the cable machine and take a step back to create tension in your arms. Your arms should be in front of you.
  4. Pull your arms backwards until you feel the shoulder blades get pinched. Make sure you exhale before returning the arms to the starting position.
  5. Then bring the hands back in front of your body or to the starting position. Inhale before puling the arms backwards.
  6. Repeat as much as you can.

Rear Delt Fly Bench

Doing a delt fly on a bench is quite challenging. The exercise targets your shoulders and back muscles. You can do the exercise on a flat bench or on an inclined bench. If you do the exercise on an inclined bench, it will be called the incline rear delt-fly.  Follow the steps below to do the exercise;

  1. Start by lying on the bench facing down.
  2. Grab a pair of dumbbells with your arms hanging towards the floor.
  3. Bend your elbows a bit and then bring the weight up until your arms are parallel to the ground. Pinch your shoulders at the top of the movement.
  4. Lower your weight to the starting position.
  5. Repeat as much as you can.

Rear Delt Fly Alternative

There are alternative exercises that you can do in place of the rear-delt fly workout. The exercises must be working the same muscles such as the posterior delts, traps, rhomboids and many other upper back muscles. Below are the exercises that you can do as a substitute to the rear del- fly.

Bent Arm Lateral Raise

Rear Delt Fly - Bent Arm Lateral RaiseThis exercise is good for working the shoulders just like the rear delt-fly exercise. In addition to that, it also works the traps. Follow the instructions below to do the exercise.

  1. While holding a pair of dumbbells in your hands; stand with your feet close to each other.
  2. Then bend the elbows to form a 90-degree angle. Keep your arms by your sides with palms facing inwards.
  3. Raise your arms until they reach the shoulder height.
  4. Return them to the starting position.
  5. Repeat as much as you can.

Standing Rope Face Pull

The standing rope face pull is good for strengthening your shoulder muscles. Primarily the exercise works your rear deltoids muscles. In addition to that, it also works the traps and rhomboids. To do the exercise follow the instructions below;

  1. Start by setting the pulley at your face level.
  2. Then grasp the ends of the rope and keep your thumbs pointing down.
  3. Keep your arms fully stretched in front of you. That is your starting position.
  4. Pull your arms backwards until you feel your shoulder blades pinch in.
  5. Return your arms to the starting position.
  6. Repeat as much as you can.

Bent Over Face Pull

This is another strength exercise that targets your shoulder muscles. It works the posterior deltoids of your shoulders. Having stronger shoulders keeps your body in good posture and it also lowers the shoulder injuries. Follow the instructions below to do the exercise;

  1. Stand with your feet at hip-width distance apart.
  2. Bend your waist until your torso is parallel to the ground.
  3. Grasps kettlebell with both your hands.
  4. Bring the kettlebell up by driving your elbows backwards. Pause when you feel your shoulder blades pinching.
  5. Return the dumbbell towards the floor.
  6. Repeat.

Rear Delt Fly Band

The rear delt fly band exercise primarily targets the posterior delts. In addition to that, it also works the trapezius and the lateral delts. To do the exercise, follow the steps below;

  1. Stand with your feet on top of the resistance band. Make sure that the band has handled. You can stand with your feet close to each other or at shoulder-width apart.
  2. Then bend at your waist and make sure that the right hand is holding onto the band handle coming from the left foot, and the left hand is holding a handle coming from the right foot.  The band must form an ‘X’ in front of you.
  3. Bend your knees a bit.
  4. Then raise the band handles up until your arms are fully stretched and parallel to the ground. Pause for 2 seconds at the top of the movement.
  5. Return your hands to the starting position.

Seated Rear Delt Fly

Rear Delt Fly - Seated Rear Delt FlyThis is another upper body exercise that chisel your shoulder muscles. It strengthens the rear deltoids. To do the exercise follow the steps below;

  1. Sit down on the edge of the bench.
  2. Bend at your waist to lean forward and grasp the dumbbells with your hands.
  3. Keep your body leaning forward through the exercises.
  4. Then raise the dumbbells until your arms are parallel to the ground.
  5. Reverse the movement to bring your arms down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat to meet the number of your desired sets and reps.

Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

Using the dumbbells to do the rear-delt fly gives your muscles a challenge. It strengthens your shoulder muscles as well as your arms. To do the rear-delt fly workout follow the instructions below;

  1. While holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet at hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your waist until your torso is parallel to the ground. Make sure that your back is flat and your hands are facing each other.
  3. Raise your arm sideways until they are parallel to the ground. Squeeze your shoulders at the top of the movement and keep your spine in a neutral position.
  4. Return your hands to the starting position.
  5. Repeat to perform the number of your preferable sets and reps.

Final Thought

The rear delt fly is a strength exercise that works the rear deltoids muscles. However, you must make sure that you do it properly to hit the rear deltoids muscles. Failure to do the exercise properly can make it difficult to target the posterior deltoids. There are many variations of this exercise but the form is similar.

But they are all done in a similar form. They involve pulling the arms backwards to pinch your shoulders. Some variations include seated rear-delt fly, dumbbell rear delt, bench rear delt and many others.

Which rear-delt fly workout do you prefer and why? Share your experiences below.


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