Top 6 Resistance Band Rear Delt Exercises

When it comes to developing strong, sculpted, and healthy shoulders, working out all three deltoids (anterior, lateral, and rear delts) is essential. We often work on anterior and lateral deltoids but forget to train the tiny rear delt muscles.

The rear delt is one of the most important muscles in your body that located on the back of your shoulder. It originates from the scapula and inserts into the humerus. It is responsible for pulling your shoulder blades together during exercises like rowing and reverse flyes.

Having sturdy rear delts provide stability to your shoulder and minimize the risk of injuries.

There are several ways you can bolster your posterior delts but strengthening them with resistance bands is the best and safest option you can do at home.

I’ve shared the various resistance band exercises for rear delts in this article that will help you improve the overall strength, definition, and mobility of your shoulder muscles.

Different Resistance Band Rear Delt Exercises

  1. Resistance Band Rear Delt Fly
  2. Resistance Band Pull Apart
  3. Resistance Band Facepull
  4. Resistance Band Rear Delt Raise
  5. Crossbody Shoulder Raise
  6. Rear Deltoid Kickback

All of these exercises target the rear delt from different angles and help develop the little but important muscles. You can also incorporate these exercises while creating a full-body resistance band workout routine.

1. Resistance Band Rear Delt Fly

Exercise LevelBeginner
AnchorNo
Target MuscleRear and Lateral Delt
Recommended Reps10 x 3

The resistance band rear delt fly is a good alternative to dumbbell reverse flyes. A study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics has suggested that doing reverse flyes with bands provide greater muscle activation than dumbbell reverse flyes because of more unstable resistance modality. So it would be a great exercise if you want to develop the posterior shoulder muscles.1 Bergquist R, Iversen VM, Mork PJ, Fimland MS. Muscle Activity in Upper-Body Single-Joint Resistance Exercises with Elastic Resistance Bands vs. Free Weights. J Hum Kinet. 2018 Mar 23;61:5-13. doi: 10.1515/hukin-2017-0137. PMID: 29599855; PMCID: PMC5873332.

How to do rear delt fly with resistance bands:

  1. Standing upright with your feet together, grab a resistance band and wrap it around your feet and lean your torso forward until your chest is parallel to the floor. Keep your arms straight below your shoulders with your palms facing each other. This is your starting position.
  2. Raise your arms out to your sides until they are parallel to the floor.
  3. Pause for a moment and lower your arms to the start.

You can also perform single-arm rear delt fly with resistance bands to focus on one side of your muscle individually and helps correct strength and muscle imbalance.

2. Resistance Band Pull Apart

Exercise LevelBeginner
AnchorNo
Target MuscleRear Delt and Upper Traps
Recommended Reps12 x 3

Pull-apart exercise is a great way to strengthen the posterior delt muscles. It is pretty easier that people of all ages can do it. A study has shown that palms down pull apart highly activated posterior delt muscles compared to the variations and help correct rounded shoulder and forward head posture.2Fukunaga T, Fedge C, Tyler T, et al. Band Pull-Apart Exercise: Effects of Movement Direction and Hand Position on Shoulder Muscle Activity. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2022;17(3):400-408. Published 2022 Apr 2. doi:10.26603/001c.33026,3Kim TW, An DI, Lee HY, Jeong HY, Kim DH, Sung YH. Effects of elastic band exercise on subjects with rounded shoulder posture and forward head postureJ Phys Ther Sci. 2016;28(6):1733-1737. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.1733

How to:

  1. Begin in an upright standing position, grab a resistance band with your hands hip-width apart and palms down.
  2. Raise your arms straight and keep them parallel to the floor in front of your chest. That’s the start.
  3. Pull the band apart until your arms are out completely out.
  4. Pause for a moment and bring your arms to the start.

3. Resistance Band Facepull

Exercise LevelBeginner
AnchorNo
Target MusclePosterior Delt and Trap
Recommended Reps12 x 3

If you want to hit your rear delts from a different angle with a resistance band, you can try banded facepull. It is an excellent upper body exercise that forges shoulders and upper back.

You can do this exercise with and without attachment, depending on which suits you the most. Both variations are good and help develop your muscles.

How to perform:

  1. Sit on the bench with your legs extended and heels on the floor, feet hip to shoulder width apart.
  2. Wrap the band around your feet, grab it with an overhand grip, and keep your arms straight. This is your starting point.
  3. Pull the band toward your face until you feel the full contraction in your posterior delt and traps.
  4. Pause for a moment and return your arms to the start.

It would also be best to perform facepull by attaching the band to the door because it allows you to pull the band from the parallel position.

4. Resistance Band Rear Delt Raise

Exercise LevelBeginner
AnchorNo
Target MuscleRear Delt & Trap
Recommended Reps12 x 3

It is one of my favorite resistance band exercises for rear delts. The rear delt raise is a great way to hit the rear shoulder and trapezius muscles. It also helps improve posture and muscle coordination.

How to seated rear delt raise with resistance band:

  1. Sit on the edge of a bench with your feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart.
  2. Wrap the band around your feet and grab the ends of it with your palms facing one another.
  3. Slightly bend forward, brace your core, and maintain a flat back. It is your starting position.
  4. Raise the bands out to your sides until your arms are in line with your shoulders.
  5. Pause for a moment and then return to the start.
  6. Maintain a flat back throughout the movement.

5. Crossbody Shoulder Raise

Exercise LevelBeginner
AnchorNo
Target MuscleRear Delt, Lateral Delt & Trap
Recommended Reps12 x 3

The crossbody shoulder raise is another way to reinforce posterior delts. It is a unilateral exercise, meaning it allows you to train your delt individually so you can work more on your inferior side and correct muscle imbalance.

How to do it:

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and wrap the band around your left foot and grab the other end in your right hand with an overhand grip. Hold your arm straight in front of your thigh. That’s the start.
  2. Keeping your elbow extended, pull the band all the way until your arm is straight, making one line of Y letter.
  3. Pause for a moment and return to the start.
  4. Repeat for the desired reps and perform an equal number of sets and reps on each side.
  5. Focus only on pulling the bands and the targeted muscles.

6. Rear Deltoid Kickback

Exercise LevelBeginner
AnchorYes
Target MuscleRear Delt & Triceps
Recommended Reps10 x 3

The rear delt kickback is not as effective as other exercises, but if you like to target your posterior shoulder muscle from a different angle, you can do this exercise. It also helps strengthen your triceps.

How to do it:

  1. Attach the band to the door at a lower point and grab the handles in each hand with your palms inward.
  2. Slightly bend at your hips and maintain a neutral spine position.
  3. With a soft bend in your elbows, pull the band behind your body until you feel the rear delt complete contraction.
  4. Pause for a moment and return to the start.

Try not to bend your elbows when you pull the band, as it can put more stress on your triceps than your delts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do resistance band exercises build rear delt?

Resistance bands are as effective as weights in building rear delt muscles. They provide a full range of motion and better grip and help you target the small posterior delt muscles efficiently. A study also suggested that doing reverse fly with elastic bands is equally effective as doing it with dumbbells (1).

How often should you train your posterior delt?

Train your rear delts at least once a week if you work out three times a week and twice if you exercise six days a week. It would be best to perform at least two exercises in your one training session. For example, you can pair the rear delt fly with a facepull and the rear delt raise with pull apart.

Should you work rear delts with the back or shoulders?

You can train your rear delts with back and shoulders both but make sure you train the large muscle first, then your tiny posterior delts, and allow 48 hours of rest between the two sessions as well.

Related Resistance Band Exercises

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