Top 5 Rear Delt Bodyweight Exercises

Hitting posterior delt using your bodyweight is challenging. Unfortunately, there are only a few exercises you can do to build the back of your shoulder at home without weights.

Having sturdy rear delts improve shoulder strength and mobility as well as reduces the risk of shoulder impingement which is often caused by strength imbalance between deltoid muscles.

Let’s see how you can do rear delt bodyweight exercises to develop your rear delt muscles at home.

1. Bodyweight Rear Delt Fly

The bodyweight lying reverse fly is also known as lying T raises. It strengthens the rear delt, rhomboids, and upper traps and helps improve shoulder mobility and overall posture.

This exercise is also helpful for rebuilding strength in the shoulder and upper back muscles, particularly for those who are recovering from injuries or unable to lift weights.

How to do it: Lie prone on the floor with your face down and arms straight out to your sides, and palms facing forward. Raise your arms off the floor as high as possible. Squeezing your muscles, Hold your arms in that position for a moment and then lower it to the start and repeat. You’ll feel the contraction in your posterior delt.

Suggested reps and sets: 12-15 x 3

2. Towel Face Pull

The towel is one of the popular home workout equipment that helps build the entire muscle group, including the posterior deltoid. For example, towel pull targets the rear delt and trap and helps improve strength and mobility.

How to do it:

  1. Take a pair of towels and place one end at the top of the door.
  2. Grab the other ends firmly with a neutral grip and step back until your arms are straight in front of you. Stand with your feet shoulder to hip-width apart.
  3. Keep your back straight and core engaged. That’s the start.
  4. Pull yourself forward until your elbows are bent, and posterior delt and traps are fully contracted.
  5. Pause for a moment, and then extend your arms to get back to the start.

Suggested reps and sets: 10-12 x 3

3. Bodyweight Rear Delt Raise

Bodyweight rear delt raise is another way to bolster the back of your shoulder without weights or resistance bands. It involves lying on your back and retracting your arms by pushing your hands into the floor so the muscles around your upper back can activate effectively.

It is not as effective as traditional weighted rear delt exercises but can be helpful if you want to learn how to use your body weight to strengthen various muscle groups.

How to do it:

  1. Start with lying on the floor with your face up, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keep your arms straight out to your sides, slightly above your shoulder level.
  3. Close your fist and hold your hands on the floor with palms facing forward. That’s your starting position.
  4. Press into the floor through your fist and lift your head and shoulder off the floor.
  5. Squeezing the back of your shoulder and upper trap, pause for a moment and then return to the start.
  6. Make sure you put your entire focus on contracting your rear delts during the movement.

Recommended reps and sets: 8-12 x 3

4. Standing Rear Delt Retraction on the Wall

The standing shoulder retraction is one of the effective bodyweight exercises for rear delts. It stimulates your posterior delts by using your bodyweight only.

It is a closed kinetic chain exercise, meaning it requires you to keep your arms fixed on the wall and retract your shoulder blades by moving your torso.

How to do it:

  1. Stand against the wall with your back resting on it.
  2. Keep your feet together and arms out to your sides (below your shoulder level) with your fist close and palms pointing down.
  3. Slightly move your feet forward, and make sure your arms are aligned with your shoulders. That’s the start.
  4. Pushing your fist into the floor, extend your hips forward as far as possible but make sure your shoulder stays on the wall.
  5. Pause for a moment and return to the initial position.
  6. Focus on contracting on your rear delt during the movement.

Recommended reps and sets: 8-12 x 3

5. Bodyweight Torso Pull

Bodyweight torso pull is another way to hit the rear delt muscle to some extent. It may not look effective until you try it.

Doing eight to ten reps of this exercise may fire up your delts and helps improve shoulder mobility.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keep your arms straight out to your sides (slightly below your shoulder level) with your palms on the floor,
  3. Push your hands onto the floor and lift your back as high as possible simultaneously, so you can feel the contraction in your trapezius and rear deltoid.
  4. Hold for a moment at the top and then return to the start. This will be your one rep.

Recommended reps and sets: Aim for three sets of ten reps.

The Takeaway

The rear deltoid is a tiny small muscle located at the back of the shoulder. It helps stabilize your shoulder joint and works with other delts and arms to carry out various kinds of movements, such as pulling, pushing, and lifting.

Having sturdy rear delts is important for overall shoulder health. However, when it comes to working out your posterior delts without weights, you have limited options.

There are only a few exercises you can do to build the back of your shoulder at home, such as lying reverse fly, towel face pull, bodyweight rear delt raise, rear delt wall retraction, and torso pull.

You can incorporate these workouts into your workout routine to build up strong rear delts and improve the shoulder strength asymmetric.

You can also hit the posterior delt with the following exercises:

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Murshid Akram
I'm a certified personal trainer, fitness blogger, and nature lover. I always learn more about exercise science and human anatomy so that I can provide the best information possible. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.