Cable Rear Delt Fly: Benefits and How to Do It Correctly

The group of muscles that form your shoulders comprises three major muscles. Most people emphasize the upper and mid deltoids; however, the rear deltoids are not considered. It is essential to work the three muscles for a balanced development of muscles, improved performance, and more appealing shoulders.

The article I’m writing about will concentrate on exercises that target the posterior region of the deltoids. I’ll also provide an example exercise and some tips to take away to strengthen this muscle!

Your rear deltoids play a large role in maintaining your posture. Their primary functions are to help pull your arms backward and aid in the rotation of your laterals. The cable rear delt fly help in the correction of round shoulders.

What Is The Cable Rear Delt Fly?

Cable rear delt fly can be described as an isolation move that helps train the posterior muscles. Is it possible to get confused since the isolation movement “isolates” the muscle, isn’t it? The majority of confusion is from the word “simple,” The better word to use might refer to “single-joint workout.”

The joint where the cable rear delt fly cable movement is in the shoulder. This occurs when the arms are lowered back while spreading in an enormous hug. Have you ever watched an untangled Cable chest flying? Similar to the same thing, but reversed, you pull backward instead of forward.

Various hand-held attachments could be utilized during this exercise. The basic motion is to have the trainee put up a pulley and grasp the attachment to the handle by crossing their arm across their body. The left-arm grabs the right hand and vice versa, while the pulley is placed at the head level. With an incline on the arm, the student will pull back the arm like they’re about to hug an individual (I would like to think they are familiar with them) an enormous hug.

The more detailed directions will be provided in the following paragraphs. However, this is just to provide you with a general understanding of the movements. Understanding this will help you understand how muscles are trained and how they’re trained. From a biomechanical standpoint, this movement is known in the field of horizontal abduction. So each muscle associated with horizontal abduction is likely to be working.

The Cable Rear Delt Fly: Working Muscles

The Cable Rear Delt Fly Working Muscles

The delts in the rear are a major factor in the cable rear delt fly (the movement is named for the deltoids, and I’d like to believe that’s the case!). However, as I’ve briefly stated several times, even though it is often described as an “isolation” move, the cable rear delt fly trains many more muscles than only the deltoids. Actually, several muscles play a significant part, not just in the role of “stabilizers.” These are the muscles that are used for your cable rear delt fly.

Rear Deltoids (Posterior Deltoids)

The cable rear delt fly suggests that the rear deltoid muscle is the main mover in this exercise. Its shoulder muscles (deltoids) comprise three heads. They are required since the shoulder joint functions as called the “ball-and-socket” joint. They are among the most flexible joints, which means these three heads are required to manipulate the arm in different directions.

Its posterior deltoid is located on the posterior part of the body. It’s the one responsible for “pulling” actions and frequently collaborates with the back muscles. One of the most important exercises it’s accountable for is the horizontal abduction of the shoulder, which can be seen in an exercise called the rear fly.

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Trapezius (Traps)

the trapezius or “traps” are an impressive group of muscles located in the back’s middle. There are three “sections” which comprise the traps.

Upper Traps- – This portion of the muscle is located along the top of the upper part of the back. It extends nearly shoulders to shoulders. It also runs from the neck until the top of your skull.

Middle Traps

Middle Traps are roughly as wide as the entire shoulder joint and extend from your spine to the scapula.

Lower Traps

Lower Traps are the biggest section. It begins at the middle traps and then gradually tapers when it gets to the back. It ends about midway through the front.

Each part has a slightly different purpose, but its main function is to control scapular retraction. This is vital since nearly every rearward movement, including the cable rear delt fly, requires scapular retraction to achieve maximum effectiveness and minimize injuries. It also works in conjunction to aid shoulder abduction.

Infraspinatus & Supraspinatus

The supraspinatus and infraspinatus are two muscles that makeup half of the rotator cuff muscles. They aren’t huge, but they play a crucial part in strengthening shoulder muscles and aiding in the abduction of the arm. These two muscles help support the scapula, rotator cuff, and shoulder.


The Rhomboidsare divided into major rhomboids as well as minor rhomboids. If you’re wondering why the muscle is known as “rhomboids,” this is because the minor rhomboid is situated above (above) the main rhomboid, making a rhomboid-shaped muscle. They are located below the trapezius muscle and connect the scapula with the spine. They work in a like way as traps, which retract the scapula and also help stabilize the scapula.

Teres Major And Minor

The teres minor and minor are located from the humerus to the scapula. Though they’re small, they play a crucial part in pulling back the upper arm and giving stability. They also assist in guiding the actions of the anterior deltoid stopping the humeral head from moving upwards as you abduct your arm. They also work in conjunction in conjunction with the posterior deltoid abduction.


It is not often you think of the triceps muscles when discussing pulling motions. But the triceps have an important role. In the exercise, the arms have to be held and extended as they are pulled back. Because the hands will be subject to resistance, the elbow is likely to need to flex to alleviate the pressure. This is not something you want to happen, so your triceps muscles must be working to maintain the isometric contract. If you’re struggling with your triceps muscles, you’ll be able to find the most effective cable rear delt flies that perform quickly.

Forearm Expanders

The forearm extensors operate similarly to the triceps. However, their function is to maintain the wrist in good shape.

The Cable Rear Delt Fly: Benefits

The Cable Rear Delt Fly Benefits

#1 Improved Posture

It could be due to the long hours we sit in or muscle imbalances, or an injury. We all are struggling to keep a healthy posture. Fortunately, the cable rear delt fly is among the most effective exercises for improving posture. If you’re weak in your upper back and shoulders muscles, they could be inclined to round or “hunch” around.

A deltoid cable back is designed to strengthen your upper back muscles to prevent rounding from happening. Additionally, the additional core muscle activation from this exercise will assist you in maintaining an active and straight back. Core to ensure the correct posture.

#2 Stronger Shoulders

Cable rear delt fly helps isolate your deltoids in every repetition, thus strengthening the shoulder muscles. Although the cable rear delt fly is an added exercise, it will improve your performance when performing compound exercises, such as an overhead press, the barbell bench press, and the lateral raise.

In reality, strong shoulders are crucial in any aspect of your training. Your rear delts play an important part in a variety of exercises. It is important to exercise them to the max!

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#3 Improved Aesthetics

If you’re exercising to improve your appearance, it is best to focus on your shoulders. Many bodybuilders and lifters tend to put too much stress on their chests and arms, which results in significantly smaller shoulders.

The development of muscle symmetry is essential not just for its aesthetics but also because it’s also safer to encourage the body’s balance.

The Cable Rear Delt Cable Fly: Instructions


To complete this task, you’ll require a cable machine with handles.


  • Assume a standing position, with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Set the pulleys of the cable machine at the level just above your head.
  • Take the left handle using your right hand. Then, grab the right handle using the left side of your hand. Your arms will begin in this cross-legged position.
  • Position yourself in the center of the device, and move backward to build tension within the cables.


  1. With a firm core, tighten your back (posterior) deltoid muscles to move your arms back to feel a pinching sensation in your shoulders.
  2. Slowly bring your arms back to their start posture. You must maintain only the slightest bend in your arms throughout this motion.
  3. Maintain your tightness in your core, and repeat!


It is recommended to do 3- 4 sets with 10-12 repetitions of the cable rear delt fly. As you gain confidence with the technique, it is possible to switch the set and rep intervals to test yourself.

The Cable Rear Delt Fly: Mistakes

The Cable Rear Delt Fly Mistakes

#1 Bending The Elbows

In the cable rear delt fly, you should try to keep a slightly bent elbow. If you bend your elbows, your biceps assume the responsibility of completing the exercise. While a bicep workout is not detrimental, the goal is to strengthen your rear deltoids.

Keep your elbows straight so that you can focus on your back delts.

#2 Completing Partially Reps

While doing the cable rear delt fly, It can be tempting to add loads of weight. But, the delts in the rear aren’t our body’s most powerful muscles. If you are using excessive weight, you’ll only be able to complete only some repetitions.

This reduces the benefit of the exercise and also could result in injury. Instead, choose to use lighter weights and perform full repetitions. Ideally, raise your arms back to ensure that your hands are aligned with your shoulders at the end of every repetition.

#3 Do Not Bring Your Arms Too Low

If you place the pulley too low or pull the handles upwards and pull them downwards, you’ll activate your lats in your reverse fly. While this can be a beneficial variant of the exercise, it doesn’t enhance the tension in the delts in the rear.

Make sure that your arms are just a little higher than the height of your shoulders. This way, you’ll ensure that you’re working your back delts, not your back!

The Cable Rear Delt Fly: Variations

#1 Bent Over Cable Rear Delt Fly

You could also do the cable rear delt fly with the bent-over position. Instead, you should set the pulleys at the lowest point, move the hinge to your waist to ensure you’re back in line with the ground, then retract your rear delts to pull the weight up.

There should be a similar pressure on your shoulders near the beginning of every repetition.

#2 1-Arm Standing Cable Rear Delt Fly

To fix all shoulder muscular imbalances that you might be experiencing, use the cable rear delt fly unilaterally. This variation of it’s the same form, but you’re pulling only one arm at a.

Make sure your core is tight to get the most results.

#3 Bent-Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly

If you’re looking to work out with free weights, not cables, get a pair of dumbbells and perform this cable rear delt fly variant. Hold your waist in place, engage your core and pull your shoulders back to extend your arms straight towards the side.

Return to the starting point in a controlled manner and repeat!

The Cable Rear Delt Fly: Alternatives

If you liked the cable rear delt fly, then check out these shoulder exercises to boost the strength of your upper body:

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#1 Standing Rope Face Pull

Set the pulley at the highest setting and grab the rope’s balls. Maintain your arms up while pulling the handle on the opposite side of your face. There should be a noticeable tension between your shoulders.

#2 Bent-Over Kettlebell Face Pull

Make a slack at the waist, then move your body to ensure you’re back in line with the floor. Pull your back delts in while you push your elbows upwards and then slightly back, and then bring the kettlebell just under your head.

Keep your wrists and elbows in the same position. You should sense a slight pinch between your shoulders near the end of each exercise! Repeat!

#3 Plank-Ups

Take a plank posture with your arms resting on the ground and your legs extended straight behind you. Your forearms should form 90 degrees in the direction of the upper arm.

Engage your core, and ensure your back is straight.

Keep your shoulders together while you lower your shoulders until you’re close to your feet. Contract your back delts to jump into the starting point.

Keep tightness in your delts, and repeat!

How Do I Program Cable Rear Delt Fly Workout?

What’s the best way to make the exercise go in your training?

Although it might be a good fit for your shoulder days, it’s actually a pull exercise, which puts it more closely with the back movements you perform. Many people are familiar with the term “deltoid” and believe it’s a push movement.

However, the muscle of your shoulder (deltoids) is actually composed of three heads. While the two other heads function as “pushing” muscles, and the rear delt is pulling.

Be aware that this exercise works many of the other muscles in your back. Therefore, it is best to program it in conjunction with your back exercise.

But there’s a subtlety. If you’ve got a specific “shoulder day” or “shoulder and arm,” you can easily add the cable rear delt fly there.

A thing to remember is that when you look at the number of muscles and exercises that your back is doing, it is a lot more to be taken care of. Thus, moving the cabşe rear delt fly toward “shoulder day” can open the door for a different back workout.

This being said that this cable rear delt fly is almost exclusively used as an exercise move to increase muscle hypertrophy. You’ll need to choose a lower load that can be performed with a minimum of 8 reps.

However, this exercise tends to be performed with more reps, 12+. Also, take a short rest period of 1:00 to 1:30.

Furthermore, it’s an excellent exercise to finish and work to exhaustion. However, because of your weak biomechanical advantage in the exercise, the exercise will be lighter weights, so make sure you take note of your self-esteem.

Last Words

A reverse pec deck can be a great device for people looking to strengthen their upper back. However, if we do not have access to one, the best option isn’t all hope.

Actually, certain exercises are better choices for those who want to try this exercise to improve shoulder stability and overall health of the shoulder.


  • Timothy P. Carnes

    Timothy P. Carnes is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida. With over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry, Timothy is an expert in strength and conditioning, body composition, and overall health and wellness. He also holds certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and corrective exercise through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As an author at FitGAG, he shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including strength training, body composition, and overall health and wellness tips. Timothy believes that consistency and discipline are the keys to achieving fitness goals, and he strives to inspire his readers to prioritize their fitness and wellness journey. Through his articles, Timothy aims to empower his readers to take control of their health, enhance their performance, and live their best lives.

    [email protected] Carnes Timothy P.
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