Do not neglect your rear deltoids; here are the top exercises for this important muscle.

Anyone can perform these exercises for the rear (posterior) deltoid.

Standing dumbbell bent lateral raise
• Feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, you bend over about 30 degrees at the hips (don’t round back).
• Dumbbell in each hand (palms are facing each other in start position), bring your arms up so that upper arms go past parallel to floor, arms almost straight. Lower with control.

Seated dumbbell bent lateral raise
• Sitting at edge of a bench, lean forward, arms hanging, dumbbell in each hand.
• Raise arms to your sides (almost straight) upper arms going past parallel. Lower with control.

Standing cable bent lateral raise
• Grab handles so that your forearms form an X, overlapping each other.
• Bend over slightly at the hips, then pull handles (“un-X” your forearms) so each is above shoulder level, your arms almost straight. Return to start position with control.

More Great Exercises for the Rear Deltoids

TRX (suspension system) reverse flye
• With anchor point above your head level, grab handles (don’t “X” the forearms)
• Perform a reverse flye to full extension. Return with control.

Tension band reverse flye
• Loop band around stable anchor about chest high. Repeat as above.

Reverse flye machine
• If machine allows for it, position your hands so that palms face the floor. Keep your chest close to support pad. Disengaging the chest from support pad will subtract isolation from the rear deltoids.
• Keep an arch in your lower back. Do the reverse flye, keeping arms almost straight. If you must significantly bend arms to complete the motion, the weight is too heavy! Return with control.

Incline reverse flye
• Lie stomach-down on a bench that’s at 30-45 degree angle, your arms hanging straight, dumbbell in each hand.
• Perform a reverse flye (or lateral raise), keeping your arms nearly straight. Return to the start position with control.

Remember, too much of a bend in your arms, in any of these rear deltoid exercises, means that the resistance is too heavy. For added intensity to the posterior deltoid muscles, you can hold the apex of the movement for two seconds, and/or employ supersets and/or drop-sets. The rear deltoids should never be neglected.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.