15 Best Dumbbell Rear Delt Exercises (With Workout Routine)

Many of us want to build bigger shoulders (deltoid) to gain a V-shape body and a stronger upper back so we can lift more heavy weights during our next gym workout.

Some need to build a stronger rear delt to improve posture and reduce pain, and all that can be achieved with a pair of dumbbells.

Dumbbell rear delt exercises help you effectively target and isolate the rear deltoid muscles. This can make your shoulders stronger, more stable, and more powerful. It can also help you do exercises like overhead presses, bench presses, and deadlifts to make your shoulders bigger and stronger.

Let’s discuss the following topic to gain further knowledge.

  • Rear Delt Anatomy
  • Best dumbbell rear delt exercises
  • Tips for proper form and technique
  • Workout routines.

15 Best Rear Delt Dumbbell Exercises For Mass & Strength

These exercises are focused on the rear deltoids (small muscles of the delt), so use a weight that challenges the muscle without compromising proper form.

Here are the 15 best rear delt you can do with the dumbbells at home or anywhere you like.

1. Bent Over Rear Delt Dumbbell Fly

Bent over standing rear dumbbell flys are a fantastic exercise for targeting the deltoids and improving overall upper body strength and stability.

The bent-over position also provides a greater range of motion, which ensures a more effective rear delt workout.

  • As you bend forward, you increase the stretch on the rear deltoids during the lifting phase.
  • This also allows for a deeper contraction during the lowering phase.
Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

How To Do It

  • Grab dumbbells and stand with feet hip-width apart.
  • Bend your knees and lean forward at the hips. Keep your back straight and your head up.
  • Let the dumbbells hang straight down with arms relaxed.
  • Exhale and fly the dumbbells up and back.
  • Hold for a second, then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

2. Seated Dumbbell Rear Fly

It is a highly effective exercise for targeting the rear deltoids and upper back muscles. You can easily perform these exercises on a bench or chair with one or both arms.

Consistent practice can help improve your posture, increase shoulder stability and mobility, and create a more defined, toned upper body.

Seated Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

How To Do It

  1. Place a stand bench or chair on a uniform surface and sit on it with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing inward.
  3. Lean forward and let the dumbbells hang at arm’s length below your shoulders.
  4. Next, take a deep breath and lift the dumbbells to your sides.
  5. Pause at the top for 2–3 counts, then slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.


  • Your arms should be parallel to your shoulders.
  • Keep strict form to isolate the rear delts.
  • Keep your core engaged to avoid strain on your lower back.

3. Incline Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

The incline bench adds a little twist to the classic rear delt fly. You need to adjust a bench with an incline (30–45 degrees) to a comfortable angle.

Incline Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

How To Do It

  1. Set up an incline bench at a 45-degree angle and grab a pair of dumbbells.
  2. Lie flat on the bench with your chest pressed against the pad.
  3. Hold the dumbbells so that they hang straight down from your shoulders.
  4. Slowly lift the dumbbells up and out to the sides of your body.
  5. Then, slowly lower the dumbbell back up to the starting position.


  • Do not lift backward or forward.
  • Set a bench at about 30–45 degrees inclined.
  • Keep form strict to isolate the rear delts.

4. Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Rows

The seated rear delt row is an effective rowing exercise variation that targets the upper back and shoulder muscles, including the rhomboids and the trapezius muscles.

Sitting on a bench eliminates leg assistance and allows for a more isolated movement.

This exercise involves horizontal shoulder abduction and pulling the elbows behind the body.

Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Rows

How To Do It

  1. Sit on the edge of a bench or a chair with your feet flat, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip, and let your arms hang straight in front of you.
  3. Bend forward at your hips, keeping your back flat and your core engaged.
  4. With your elbows slightly bent, lift the dumbbells up and out to the sides until your upper arms are parallel to the ground.
  5. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
  6. Lower the dumbbells back.


  • Keep your chest lifted, and avoid rounding your back.
  • Make sure to use a weight that challenges you without compromising your form

5. Single Arm Dumbbell Rear Delt Row

The one-arm rear deltoid row exercise is simple and effective. It targets your lats and rear deltoids.

This exercise is similar to a basic one-arm dumbbell row for the lats, except with some important modifications.

However, I prefer the one-arm dumbbell variation. It allows you to support your lower back, and each arm works independently.

Single Arm Dumbbell Rear Delt Row

How To Do It

  1. Start by placing your right foot on the floor with your left knee resting upon a bench.
  2. Keeping your body weight supported by your left arm.
  3. While keeping your back flat, pick up a dumbbell in your right hand.
  4. Begin by leading up with your elbow, bringing your arm up close to your chest, and squeezing with your rear delt muscles.
  5. Once you reach the top of the exercise, stop and hold for a count, then return to the starting position.
  6. Switch sides and repeat.

6. Lying Dumbbell Rear Delt Row

The lying dumbbell rear delt row targets the rear deltoid, upper back, and trapezius muscles. Stabilizing your torso on the bench helps prevent cheating or swinging the weights.

It may be a good option for those looking to vary their routine or reduce strain on their lower back.

Lying Dumbbell Rear Delt Row

How To Do It

  1. Lie on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand extended out in front of you.
  2. Slowly pull the dumbbells up until your elbows are just above your shoulders.
  3. Once you reach the final position, hold for a count and squeeze your muscles.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.

7. Side-Lying Rear Delt Fly

The side-lying rear delt fly is a great unilateral exercise to target rear delt muscles. Instead of lying on the floor, you can lie on a bench.

You can achieve a greater range of motion by lying on your side.

Side-Lying Rear Fly

How To Do It

  1. Lie on the floor on your right side.
  2. Grasp the dumbbell with your left hand using a neutral grip (palm facing downward).
  3. Keep your elbow fixed and your body still, and exhale as you raise the dumbbell from the floor until it is almost vertical.
  4. Inhale as you reverse the movement and lower the dumbbell towards the starting position.
  5. Stop before the dumbbell touches the floor. Complete 8-10 reps.
  6. Repeat the exercise on the opposite side with your right arm.


  • Do not allow the dumbbell to touch the floor.
  • Keep the abs braced, and don’t arch the back at the movement’s top.
  • Allow the arms to move freely, but don’t lock out the elbows.
Know More: Rear Delt Fly: Muscles Worked, Benefits, Variations

8. Head-Supported Bent Over Reverse Dumbbell Fly

During it, keep your torso horizontal to target your posterior deltoids.

The more upright your torso is, the more emphasis you will place on your lateral deltoids instead of your posterior deltoids.

Head-supported Bent Over Reverse Dumbbell Fly

How To Do It

  1. Raise a bench to hip height and hold a dumbbell in each hand, bend at the hips, and rest your forehead on the edge of the bench.
  2. Your back should be straight, your arms should hang in front of you, and your palms should face inward (neutral grip).
  3. Keep your elbows slightly bent and lift both arms to the sides until the dumbbells are the same height as your shoulders.
  4. Hold for a count of two and lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.


  • Do not swing the dumbbells upward. Keep your back straight and your body still.
  • Keep your body still. Only your arms should move.

9. One Arm Dumbbell Bent Over Reverse Fly

One arm dumbbell bent over reverse fly is a strength exercise that works your traps and deltoids.

When done correctly, it is a great basic move that effectively targets the neck, shoulders, upper back, and upper body area.

One Arm Dumbbell Bent Over Reverse Fly

How To Do It

  1. Hold a dumbbell in one hand and bend at the hips and knees.
  2. For stability, grasp something stable with your free hand.
  3. Your back should be straight, and the arm with the dumbbell should hang straight down in front of you, with your palm facing inward (neutral grip).
  4. Lift the dumbbell straight out to the side until it’s level with your shoulders.
  5. Hold for a count of two and then lower the dumbbells back.


  • Practice good form with a lightweight. Keep strict form to isolate the rear delts.
  • Do not swing the dumbbells upward. Keep your back straight and your body still.
  • Your arms should be parallel to your shoulders.

10. Dumbbell Upright Row

The dumbbell upright row is a compound exercise that builds stronger and bigger traps and rear deltoids (Shoulder). It’s really simple to perform.

The upright row is a great exercise for beginners but also very effective for more advanced weight-lifters.

You should learn proper form and lifting technique to strengthen the back of the shoulder.

Dumbbell Upright Row

How To Do It

  1. Hold the dumbbells at arm’s length down by your thighs with your palms facing towards you.
  2. Your grip should be just less than shoulder width.
  3. Lift the dumbbell, get it as close as possible to the chest height using your arms, and elevate your shoulders to squeeze your trapezius muscles.
  4. Now, slowly lower the dumbbell under controlled motion until it returns to its starting position.


  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.
  • Don’t allow your back to arch as you pull the weight up; don’t allow excess weight to dictate your body mechanics.
  • Do not allow the weight to move away from the body. Instead, keep it close to the body throughout the exercise.

11. Bent Over Dumbbell Face Pull

If you can’t get a cable machine, you can do face pulls with dumbbells instead.

Face pulls are an effective exercise to target the rear delts since they require pulling the dumbbell towards the face with arms extended to the sides, causing the elbows to move behind the body.

Dumbbell Bent Over Face Pull

How To Do It

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip.
  2. Hinge forward at the waist until your torso is parallel to the floor.
  3. Keep your knees slightly bent and brace your abs to maintain stability.
  4. Pull the dumbbells towards your face, leading with your elbows, and then squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
  5. Then, reverse the movement.

12. Incline Dumbbell Y-Raise

The Incline Dumbbell Y Raise is a great and easy shoulder stability exercise that targets the rear delt, rotator cuff muscles and your traps. The exercise enhances upper body strength and posture.

Y raises are commonly performed on an incline bench but can be modified to suit your needs and performed in various ways: standing, on the floor, flat or incline bench, or even swish ball.

Incline Dumbbell Y-Raise

How To Do It

  1. Set an incline bench to a 45-degree angle and grab a pair of dumbbells.
  2. Lie face down on the bench with your chest and stomach resting on the bench.
  3. Let your arms hang straight down towards the floor with your palms facing each other.
  4. Raise your arms up and out to form a “Y” shape with your body.
  5. You should pause briefly at the top of the movement and then lower your arms back down towards the starting position.


  1. Raise arms up in a slow, controlled manner.
  2. Do not put too much weight on your deltoids, as it is very easy to injure them.
  3. Start with a light or no weight, gradually increasing as you get stronger.

13. Incline Dumbbell T Raise

The dumbbell incline T-raise exercise focuses on the lateral delt and posterior delt.

It is commonly used in rehabilitation to enhance range of motion and increase strength in the entire shoulder complex.

This exercise uses light to medium weights to isolate the posterior shoulder muscles, strengthen the rotator cuff, and improve both stability and flexibility.

Incline Dumbbell T Raise

How To Do It

  1. Adjust an incline bench to a 45-degree angle and lie face down with your chest against the bench.
  2. Grab dumbbells with an underhand grip, letting them hang directly under your shoulders.
  3. Keep your arms straight and slowly raise the dumbbells up and out to the side until they reach shoulder height.
  4. Pause for a second and then slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.


  • Keep your chest firmly against the bench throughout the exercise.
  • Engage your shoulder blades by squeezing them together as you lift the dumbbells.
  • Breathe in as you lower the dumbbells, and exhale as you lift them.

14. Dumbbell Rear Delt Pull

Want wider, impressive deltoids? Try the dumbbell delt pull (also known as the armpit row or monkey row) in your shoulder routine.

This exercise involves lifting dumbbells along your torso to target the outer portion of your shoulders.

It’s a unique variation that can keep your shoulder training interesting.

Dumbbell Rear Delt Pull

How To Do It

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Hold a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip, allowing them to hang at your sides.
  3. Engage your shoulders and squeeze your rear delts, then lift the dumbbells straight up by bending your elbows until the weights are positioned above your hips.
  4. Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.


  • You should warm up your shoulders before doing this exercise.

15. Dumbbell Bent Over Row

If you want to strengthen the upper back and rear delts, bent-over dumbbell rows are the exercise for you.

This exercise targets the upper back muscles, including the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and trapezius muscles.

Bent Over Dumbbell Row

How To Do It

  1. Stand with a narrow stance and a dumbbell with a neutral grip in each hand.
  2. Bend your torso forward at an angle of 45 degrees to the floor with your knees slightly bent.
  3. Now, use the back and raise the dumbbell until it touches the abdominal region and not the chest region, as it reduces back muscle contraction.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbell. Keep movement always under control without letting gravity take you down faster.

Dumbbell Rear Delt Workout Routine

Here are some tips for adding this exercise to your workouts:

1. Add the Optimum No. of Sets And Reps

A good starting point is to perform 3–4 sets of 8–12 reps.

However, you can adjust the number of sets and reps according to your fitness level and goals.

2. During Workout Splits.

You can perform rear delt exercises as part of an upper body or during a push-pull leg Workout Split.

3. Frequency

You can do rear delt exercises once or twice a week.

However, allowing your muscles to recover between workouts is important to maximize results.

I. During Shoulder Workout

1Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press3-48-12
2Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise3-410-15
3Rear Delt Fly310-12
4Front Plate Raise312-15
5Upright Row310-12

II. During Pull Workout Split

2Bent Over Barbell Rows3-48-10
3Single Arm Dumbbell Rear Delt Row310-12
4Bicep Curls (with dumbbells or barbell)312-15
5Hammer Curls310-12
6Dumbbell Shrug312-15

III. During Upper Body Workout

1Bench Press (with barbell or dumbbells)3-48-10
2Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press3-48-12
3Incline Dumbbell Y-Raise3-410-12
4Lat Pulldowns (with machine or bar)3-410-12
5Cable Tricep Pushdowns312-15
6Bicep Curls (with dumbbells or barbell)312-15


Can I do dumbbell rear delt exercises every day?

It is not recommended to do dumbbell rear delt exercises every day.

Take at least 48 hours off between rear delt workouts to allow your muscles time to rest and recover.

Can I do dumbbell rear delt exercises without a bench?

Yes, many dumbbell rear delt exercises can be performed without a bench, such as bent-over flies, seated rear flies, and face pulls.

Are rear delts considered shoulders or back?

Rear delts, or rear deltoids, are a muscle group located in the shoulder area.

While they are technically part of the shoulder, they are often trained with back exercises due to their proximity to the upper back muscles.

How many rear delt exercises should I do?

To build and strengthen the muscle group, you should include 2-3 rear delt exercises in your weekly workout routine.

It is important to allow for adequate rest and recovery between workouts.

Also, increasing the intensity over time can help keep the muscle group challenged and help it grow.

7 Best Dumbbell Rear Delt Exercises


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