Master the rear delt cable fly (cable reverse fly) and 5 different variations of
this exercise to grow your rear deltoids and improve your physique even if you
train at home.
I’m Psymon H., the 52-year-old warhorse, making his name from improving physiques and growing natural muscle with minimal equipment.
In this article, you'll master the Rear Delt Cable Fly aka - the cable reverse fly. You'll also walk away with an additional five different variations. First, we'll tackle the High Cable Rear Delt fly, a great alternative to the reverse pec-deck fly. If you train at home and don’t own a cable pulley system, no problem, we’ll substitute the High Cable Rear Delt Fly with Bands so you can still give your rear deltoids the work they need.
We'll also tackle our cable and band work from a bent-over position to demolish the rear deltoids from a different angle.
Cables aren’t the only tool you’ll need to improve your posterior deltoids, but they are worth adding to your exercise arsenal and have great variants that will go a long way towards growing 3D delts, improving posture, and enhancing shoulder stability. After reading this article, you can also check out these rear delt fly variations.
We all know how easy it can be to overlook the rear deltoids and put more effort into muscle groups we can see while we train, such as the side delts, biceps, and chest. The problem with this approach is that a physique can look shallow and incomplete when the rear delts become an afterthought.
To avoid the curse of weak rear delts, let’s get started.
The high cable reverse fly is the cable equivalent of the Reverse Pec-dec and dumbbell rear delt fly, and
an exercise that can be performed at home with a cheap cable pulley system.
What makes it a great exercise movement is smooth and even stress it places on
the rear deltoids.
an exercise that can be done in a cross bi-arm fashion using a crossover
machine or a single-arm.
can also use a palm down or supinated grip. While both grips are very effective
at helping to target the rear delts, some may feel that the pronated grip puts
their shoulders in a much stronger position. For this tutorial,
we'll use a palm-down grip.
One cable Pulley System and one rope attachment (optional)
Set your cable in the overhead position and attach a rope handle. You can also
just use the cable instead of the rope attachment. If this is your first time
using this exercise, always start with a lightweight and get used to the movement
before adding additional weight.
1: Stand side onto the cable and grab the rope attachment with your outside
hand using a palm facing down grip. Your arm should be straight out in front of
you and level with your shoulders.
2: Retract your shoulder blades by bringing them back and down. Keep your chest
high and your core tight.
3: Slowly fly the cable out to the side without moving or rotating your torso
and hold briefly before returning the cable to the start position.
you haven’t got cables to hand and you’ve done your fair share of the dumbbell
rear delt fly, what do you do next? You hit your rear deltoids with resistance
bands. Whatever you may have thought about bands in the past, it's time to get
with the program and add them to your exercise toolbox.
bands offer a unique tension on the muscle. The ascending tension you get from
a set of High Cable Rear Delt Fly with Bands means you are procuring maximum
tension on the rear deltoid at the top of the movement.
rollover effect is you become stronger in the end range of motion on other rear
delt exercises such as the Rear Delt dumbbell Fly and the High Cable Rear Delt
Fly (cable reverse fly).
Needed: 2 light resistance bands and a power rack or two upright anchors.
Setup: Loop a resistance
band at shoulder height on the left and right posts of the rack. If you are
using two upright anchors, make sure they are a little wider than
in front of the rack and place the left band in the right hand. Do the same
with the right band in the left hand.
your wrist so that the thumbs are on top and step back until you feel the
tension in both bands and your arms are straight in front of you at shoulder
1: Lift your chest and tense your core. Retract your shoulder blades by pulling
2: Fly the bands out to the side until your hands are in line with your
3: Tense your rear deltoids before slowly returning your arms to the start
position in front of you.
should try out various grips to see which one you enjoy the most.
upgrade on the traditional High Cable Rear Delt Fly with Band and an exercise
that will beat up the rear deltoids from the ascending tension of the bands
plus the gravity that the dumbbells bring.
me; you don't need very much weight with the band/bell High Cable Reverse Fly, so take care not to put the weight before
the form on this exercise.
Needed: Items Needed: 2 light resistance bands, a power rack or two
upright anchors, and one pair of dumbbells.
Setup: Loop a resistance
band at shoulder height on both posts. If you're using two upright anchors, set
them wider than shoulder-width apart.
in front of the rack and place the left band in the right hand along with the
dumbbell. Do the same for the left hand.
safety and a quick-release method, make sure that you don't wrap the bands
around the dumbbells or your palms, but instead, hold them independent of each
other in your hand in case you have to release them quickly.
your wrist so that the thumbs are on top and the dumbbells are in a hammer
position. Step back until you feel the tension in both bands and your arms are
straight in front of you at shoulder height.
Lift your chest and tense your core. Retract your shoulder blades by pulling
Fly the bands/dumbbells out to the side until your hands are in line with your
Tense your rear deltoids before slowly returning your arms to the start
position in front of you.
you get used to the movement, you can throw extra stress on the posterior
deltoid head by turning your wrist into a supinated grip as you reach the top
of the movement.
injury by not yanking the band and dumbbell out to the side. Instead, take your
time to fly them smoothly out to the side under control.
can adjust the angle of both these rear delt flies by sitting on an incline
bench set up at a 60-75-degree angle in place of standing. I would encourage
you to try all variations and regularly implement the ones you like in your
rear delt workouts.
never enough to perform the same rear delt fly on every workout. Part of
growing your Rear Deltoids and taking them from 1D to 3D Delts is using
different exercises to challenge and stimulate growth in the area.
Single-Arm Incline High Cable Rear Delt Fly offers you another Rear Delt Cable Reverse Fly option that will have you remembering what you did long after the workout
has been completed.
Needed: High cable, an Incline Bench, and one rope attachment.
Set your bench at a 60-degree angle and place it side onto the cable.
Sit side onto the cable and grab the rope with the hand furthest away from the
Start with your arm straight, using a pronated grip set at about a 45-degree
angle in front of you.
Retract your scapula by pulling down on your shoulder blades.
Slowly raise out to the side until your hand finishes level with your shoulder.
Briefly hold this position before returning to the start position in front of
you. Take care not to yank the cable but use a smooth fly motion.
Cable Rear Delt Fly variation can also be done using a band.
you can do both arms at once if you have the setup, I like to do one arm at a
time to get the best from this cable reverse fly. I also enjoy doing this exercise
without a handle as I feel more stress on the rear delt, but you can attach a
handle and try it both ways before choosing which style you prefer.
Low cable pulley system.
Set-Up: Set your cable in
a low position.
Stand side onto the cable with feet hip-width apart. Grab the cable with the
arm furthest away from the station using a pronated grip.
Hinge over at the hips and slightly bend your knees. Maintain a flat back
throughout the movement.
Rest your free hand on your knee and start with the working arm in front of
your body. Lead with the pinky finger and have a slight bend at the elbow. Fly
the cable out to the side so that it stays in line with your shoulder.
Pause briefly at the top of the movement when your elbow is level or just above
the shoulder. Return to the starting position.
must bring the elbow up and behind the line of your back to fully contract the
rear deltoid. Make this the main focus of every repetition.
Try not to jerk the weight up but instead use a smooth motion to fly to the top
of the movement.
2: Start with a light
to moderate weight and practice using good form while maintaining control of
the weight and cable at all times.
3: Try not to use
momentum to shift the weight because you could end up using more upper back
muscles instead of the rear deltoid.
4: Maintain a slight
bend at the elbows so as not to place unwanted stress and strain on the area.
the above cable reverse fly exercises provide stern work for the posterior deltoids,
variety is most definitely the spice of life.
we know, the rear delts extend and hyperextend the shoulder backward, pulling
it behind your Back. The Incline Dumbbell Rocket takes full advantage of this
motion and puts stress on the Rear Deltoids. The art of this movement is to
practice pulling back with the muscle instead of aimlessly swinging the
dumbbells behind you, thus creating momentum.
Makes The Rear Delt Cable Reverse Fly Such an Important Exercise?
rows, dumbbell rows, and seated rows are horizontal pulling exercises that
mainly train the action of shoulder extension.
it comes to overall strength and function, exercises such as the High Cable
Rear Delt Fly and the Bent Over Cable Reverse Delt Fly levels up the playing
field by strengthening horizontal shoulder abduction. This makes the exercise
an important addition to any rear deltoid workout and overall strength.
I alluded to earlier, the Rear Delt Cable Fly is only part of going from
paperback deltoids to stunning 3D Delts. If you’re putting together a rear delt
plan of attack, you will need some different variations of the rear delt
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