Rear delts are one of the most overlooked muscles out there. Many people try to ignore this muscle during their workout and because of this, they end up with rounded shoulders. So to improve your posture and to avoid injuries during heavy lifts, it is important to strengthen your posterior (rear) deltoids.
We all might know about different barbell exercises to train the chest or back. But what about rear delts?
Today, in this article, you will know some awesome barbell exercises which will increase the strength and size of your rear delts. You will find some unique exercises which you must try out.
Barbell Exercises For Rear Delts
1. Bradford Press
Many of you might not be familiar with this exercise but it’s a very good way to target your shoulders. As you take your hands back during these exercises, it forces your rear delts to get activated more into the picture.
You don’t need to add heavy plates on the bar, instead focus on contracting the muscle and feel that nice burn in your delts, especially the rear delts.
How to do
- Grab the barbell with both hands placed slightly wider than the shoulders.
- Keep the barbell close to your shoulders and hold that position.
- Now start pressing the barbell up and take it towards the back of your head. You don’t need completely extend your elbows as you move the barbell.
- Slowly move the barbell up and then take it back towards the front part of your shoulder and then repeat the movement.
Always remember to keep your elbows pointing down rather than facing backward. This will keep the tension on your rear delts and will prevent you from getting injured.
2. Behind The Neck Press
This is another best way to strengthen your rear delts. Behind the necks helps to get that external rotation which is a great way to activate your posterior delts.
Snatch grip makes it more difficult so it’s not recommended for beginners or people with less shoulder mobility.
How to do
- Grab the bar such that both hands are wider than the shoulders width. Keep the bar on your traps just like squats and step back from the rack.
- Both feet should be at shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight and shoulders back before moving the weights up.
- Start pushing the bar up while contracting your shoulders and fully extend your elbows at the top.
- Return back to the starting position and the repeat the movement
Here, you should choose a weight which you can handle without any pain or discomfort. If you feel pain, then you should avoid it because most people lack shoulder mobility due to which, it becomes difficult to perform these movements.
3. Behind the back Barbell Raises
As the video suggests, it’s one of the most effective ways to train your rear delts. You will love this exercise because it directly brings rear delts into action. So if you are not able to effectively activate those rear delts, then this exercise is for you.
How to do
- Place one barbell on the ground and stand in front of it. Now slowly bend down and pick the barbell up from the ground.
- Now start bending forward while moving your hips back and keeping your back straight. This will be your starting position.
- Start moving the barbell up and stop when your hands are parallel to the ground.
- pause at the top and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat the movement without bending your back.
You can do the same exercise with an underhand grip. You just have to follow the same steps mentioned above. The only difference would be that your grip is underhand (supinated).
This is another great variation to target your rear delts. So try the underhand version too.
4. Landmine Rear Delt Row
Landmine set-up is a great way to perform different exercises and you just need a barbell for it. Try this move and you will get that perfect burn on those rear delts.
How to do
- Place a barbell at the corner of the wall and stand next to the barbell as shown in the video.
- Now bend down by taking your hips back and grab at the end part of a barbell from one hand. Your hips should be back and your chest should be up. This will be your starting position.
- . Start lifting the barbell by moving your elbows to the side rather than keeping it in as this will allow you to engage more rear delts.
- Squeeze your rear delts at the top and then return to the starting position.
This exercise will effectively challenge your rear delts as the positioning itself allows you to engage more rear delts. If you haven’t done this exercise before then start with light weights. Afterwards, you can increase the weights as your strength improves.
5. Barbell Rear Delt Row
Rows are an effective way to train not only the lats but also the rear delts. You just need to remember that when you are targeting your lats, your elbows should be in and the barbell should touch your abdominals at the top whereas, for rear delts, you should bring the bar towards your lower chest.
How to do
- Hold the barbell and stand straight on the ground. Your both hand should be placed at shoulder-width apart.
- Now bend down by taking your hips back without rounding your lower back and keep your chest up while facing down.
- Lift the barbell and take it towards your lower chest such that it looks like a T shape.
- Return to the starting position and then repeat the movement.
If you are a beginner then don’t use heavy weights because it can injure your shoulders and back. Its always better to start the exercise with some warm up set with light weights before jumping on to the main set.
6. Incline Barbell Rear delt Row
This is another awesome exercise to build the thickness of your rear delts. It will help you to increase the strength of your rear delts which is important for the overall health of your shoulders. You can also do this with dumbbells but here, we are focused on barbell exercises!
How to do
- Lay down on an incline bench with your chest on the bench. Hold a barbell with both hands placed wider than the shoulder width.
- By keeping your back straight and neck neutral, start lifting the barbell towards your chest.
- Reach the top and squeeze your rear delts. Make sure to breathe out as you lift the barbell.
- Return to the starting position while breathing in and repeat the movement with proper form and technique.
Here, you should focus on quality reps instead of quantity. This means that each rep you perform should be done by actively engaging and feeling your rear delts rather than just trying to finish the exercise with so many reps without feeling those muscles.
7. Barbell Upright Row
Upright rows are one of the old school exercises to train your rear delts. You can find so many bodybuilders doing this exercise in the gym and the reason behind this is that it hits your rear delts in a very effective way.
You can also build the strength of your posterior deltoids by performing this exercise regularly with proper form and technique mentioned below
How to do
- Lift the barbell from the floor with your back flat and then stand straight. Both of your hands should be slightly under the shoulders.
- Now start lifting the barbell while keeping it closer to the body and reach the top where the bar reaches the chest level.
- Pause at the top and then gradually return to the starting position.
This exercise is very effective to strengthen your rear delts, however, if you have any shoulder injury or weak rotator cuffs or if you are a beginner, then avoid this exercise because you can injure your shoulder joints. Instead of a barbell, you can choose dumbbells which are a much safer alternative.
So these were some great effective barbell exercises for your rear delts. You can include any of these exercises in your shoulder workout. Also, don’t ignore to train your rear delts as it can ruin your posture by making your shoulders falling forward. It is very important to have a good posture when you perform any kind of exercise to avoid injuries.
So strengthening your rear delts not only allow you to improve your posture but also will help you to lift more weights without any injuries. And using a barbell will make your rear delts strong.
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- 12 best dumbbell exercises for shoulders you must know
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 has worked as a personal trainer in gyms and is the owner and editor of fitnessproworkout.com. He is passionate about fitness and helping people to get in shape.