8 Best Dumbbell Rear Delt Exercises you must know

Published by Roshan S Pillai on

Dumbbell rear delt exercises

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‘Rear delts’, one of the weakest and the most overlooked muscles out there. Many people usually skip rear delt exercises simply because either they think it’s not necessary to train them or they don’t know about various ways to hit these real delts

Most people who are sedentary or who have a 9 to 5 sitting jobs will end up having rounded shoulders. One of the reasons behind this is a weak real delt muscles. If you train your rear delts regularly, then the problem of a rounded shoulder will go away.

So here, in this article, I will share some of the best and unique dumbbell exercises to train your rear delts as it is important to train muscles with different angles and variations. These exercises will strengthen your rear delts and will give you that round and perfect shoulders. So without wasting any time, let’s s begin!

Dumbbell Rear Delt Exercises

1. Seated Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

This is one of the common and most effective exercises for your rear delts. You can find most people doing this movement to train their posterior deltoids because the angle and body positioning is perfect to hit those shoulders of your back.

There was one study conducted by ACE which shows that seated rear lateral raise hits the rear delts the most out of many other exercises.

How to do

1 Sit on the edge of the bench and bend down while keeping your back flat.

2. Pick both the dumbbells and keep your neck straight.

3. Move the dumbbells up to the side with a slight bend in the elbow. You should feel the tension on the rear delts at the top.

4. Pause at the top when your arms are parallel to the ground.

5. Return back to the starting position and repeat the movement.

You don’t have to go heavy on this exercise. Swinging the weights will not give you the results. You should feel the muscles throughout the range of motion.

2. Dumbbell W Raises

If your rear delts are underdeveloped or weak, then this exercise is great to increase the strength of your back shoulders. You just need to remember the sign of ‘W’ here!

How to do

1. Stand at both feet at about shoulder width apart. Pick both the dumbbells and stand straight.

2. Now bend down by moving your hips back while keeping your back straight. Pause when your chest is facing the floor.

3. From this position move the dumbbells up with each end of your dumbbells facing the ceiling.

4. Breath out on the way up and squeeze the back muscles. Come down to the starting position while breathing in.

Each end of the dumbbell should face the ceiling to effectively hit the rear delts. You can also do this exercise without dumbbell by always keeping your thumps up while moving your arms.

3. Dumbbell Rear Delt Rows

This exercise will strengthen your rear delts and will give you that wide look from the back. You can ho heavy on this but make sure that you can feel the tension on your posterior deltoids.

How to do

1. Hold two dumbbells and stand on the ground. Now bend down by taking your hips back and keeping your back flat.

2. Lift the dumbbells up by bending the elbows. Your wrist should be under the elbow such that you are forming a T shape.

3. Stop at the top when your arms are parallel to the ground and then bring the dumbbells back to the starting position.

The difference between rear delt rows and dumbbell raises is that your elbows will be bent and will be at a 90° angle when you are rowing. And in dumbbell raises your elbows should be just slightly bent.

4. Incline Rear Delt Flys

This is another great way of using the dumbbells to train your rear delts. For this, you will need an incline bench and a pair of dumbbells. Add this into your workout routine and enjoy the benefits.

How to do

1. Pick two dumbbells and lay down on an incline bench with your chest on the bench. Your feet should be placed on the ground for balance.

2. Start by raising the dumbbells to the sides while maintaining a slight bend at the elbow.

3. Pause at the top when your hands are parallel to the ground. Fully squeeze your posterior delts at the end.

4. Hold the top position for 1 second and gradually return to the starting position.

You don’t have to use heavy dumbbells for this exercise. Don’t raise your back or shrug during the movement. If your form starts to mess up, immediately reduce the load.

5. One-arm Supinated Dumbbell Rows

Another great exercise for your rear delts. The best part of this exercise is the supinated grip because it will force your back shoulders to activate more and that’s what we want here!

How to do

1. Bend down and hold the barbell with one hand which is placed on a rack. You can also do this on a dumbbell rack or a bench.

2. Keep your back flat and both legs away from each other for balance.

3. Pick a dumbbell and then start moving it up with your hands facing at the front. Your elbow should go out at about 45° angle to hit the rear delts.

4. Squeeze your rear delts at the top and then return back to the starting position.

It’s very important to maintain an underhand grip to maximally activate your rear delts. So always remember this and correct yourself whenever you go wrong.

Also at the beginning, you should start with the lighter weights and then gradually increase the weights according to your strength.

6. Supinated-grip Rear Delt Flys

Another impactful exercise for your rear delts! This will burn out your rear delts and will add some extra inches to your shoulders. Do this with proper mind and muscle connection to get the most out of this exercise.

How to do

1. Lay down on an incline bench while holding the dumbbells with each hand.

2. Keep your arms straight down and your foot should be placed on the ground to provide stability.

3. Now raise the dumbbells to the sides while maintaining a 60° angle. Your palm should face down as you move your arms up.

4. Pause at the top and squeeze your rear delts at the end. Your elbow should be bent slightly.

5. Return back to the starting position and then repeat the movement.

Don’t use heavy dumbbells for this exercise. You will not be able to fully focus on the muscle you are trying to hit with heavyweights. So choose moderately heavy dumbbells during this workout.

7. 45-degree Incline Row

This 45-degree incline dumbbell row will give you that round and fuller look to your shoulders. This is the second-best exercise to train your posterior deltoids (rear delts) as per the ACE shoulder study.

This is also a great exercise to train your mid delts

How to do

1. Grab two dumbbells and place your chest on the bench which is set up at a 45-degree angle.

2. Start pulling the dumbbells up by flexing the elbow and bring the dumbbells up towards the chest. Both dumbbells should be away from each other.

3. Pause at the top for a second and then return back to the starting position.

To be at the safer side, if you feel any pain in the shoulder joint during the movement, then discontinue the exercise.

Also, don’t go heavy on this. Choose appropriate weight according to your strength and experience. The most important part is to contract and feel that burn on the right muscle rather than moving the weights up and down.

8. Dumbbell Upright Row

This is a perfect exercise for those who feel uncomfortable when performing upright rows with the bar. Many of you might feel pain in the shoulders after performing the barbell upright row.

But if you do the same movement with dumbbells, then you will have less chance of getting injured. This is because you can move the weights further away as you move up or can change the angle of your wrist throughout the movement.

This will make the exercise much safer and effective. Also, it’s a great exercise to train your rear delts.

How to do

1. Pick two dumbbells and stand at a shoulder-width stance. Keep your body straight and cheat up.

2. Start moving the dumbbells up by flexing your elbows and stop when the dumbbells reach to the shoulder level.

3. Hold the top position for a second and squeeze your shoulders. Then gradually return to the starting position.

You should not use too heavy dumbbells because it can very easily injure your shoulders. Always start with slow movement and then gradually increase the speed.

Final Words

So these were some amazing rear delt exercises with dumbbells. All these amazing exercises will help you to increase the strength and size of your rear delts. You can add any of them to your shoulder workout and can start getting results.

Also, don’t forget to train your front and lateral deltoids during your shoulder workout because each head should be given equal importance.

If you found this article helpful, then please share it with your friends and family. Also if you want me to make an article on any other related topics, then please share it with me in the comment section below.


Roshan S Pillai

Roshan Pillai is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer with more than 6 years of experience in lifting weights and guiding people to get fit. He is the owner and editor of fitnessproworkout.com, and has worked as a fitness coach in gyms and is passionate about fitness and helping people to get in shape.

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