Rear Delt Fly Machine: The Amazing Guide to Strong Shoulders

The rear delt fly machine, also known as the reverse pec, is a well-known machine found in numerous commercial gyms. It is employed by powerlifters, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts to build strength and size in the upper back.

If you’re a person who trains at home, travels often, or has to go to an exercise facility that doesn’t have an opposite pec deck, you can still enjoy the results we desire from this workout by using alternatives that are very like it and yield the similar (or better) outcomes.

The Rear Delt Fly Machine

The rear delt fly machine, often referred to in the form of the reverse fly, is a machine for a gym that builds the strength of your rear deltoids.

This machine will teach new weightlifters to use their rear delts in the most secure possible way.

Learning to use the rear delt fly machine will dramatically improve your shoulder training routine!

The Rear Delt Fly Machine: Working Muscles

The Rear Delt Fly Machine Working Muscles

Primary Muscle Group

You may have realized the rear delt fly machine is primarily used to work the delts in your rear.

The deltoid muscle is divided into three major fibers: anterior-posterior and lateral deltoid. The posterior deltoids experience the most strain in this workout.

Secondary Muscle Group

The rear delt fly machine will also engage your traps, rhomboids, and the other muscles of your back.

The Rear Delt Fly Machine: Benefits

The Rear Delt Fly Machine Benefits

#1 Stronger Shoulders

The rear delt fly machine strengthens the muscles in your shoulders by strengthening the posterior deltoids. While it’s an optional exercise, this machine could enhance your performance when performing compound exercises, such as an overhead press, the barbell bench press, and the deadlift.

The shoulders of strong people play an important role in a range of exercises. You should properly exercise them!

#2 Reduced Risk Of Injury

Compared to free weight workouts like the reverse fly bent over and the rear delt fly machine offers greater stability.

There is less strain on your spine, and your core muscles don’t need to be working as difficult to stabilize your body. Also, you don’t have to be concerned about the direction of your hands since the machine is limiting the range of motion you can use.

This means that you will be able to focus on training your rear delts without the higher possibility of injuries. This is ideal for those new to the sport or has an earlier history of shoulder problems.

#3 Posture Changed

The long hours of sitting in chairs and weak muscles could cause you to hunch over and rotate your shoulders over time. Luckily, the rear delt fly is one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen it!

If you are suffering from back pain and feel slouched, then the rear delt fly machine could strengthen your delts in the rear to alleviate this problem.

The Rear Delt Fly Machine: Instructions


To complete the exercise, you require the rear delt fly machine in the rear.


  • You should sit on the pad in front of the rear delt fly machine. Place your feet on the floor. The chest must be placed upwards against the chest pad, and your spine should remain straight.
  • Hold the outside horizontal handles and place your palms downwards. Arms should be bent slightly.


  1. Engage your rear deltoids to pull the handles back until they are aligned with your shoulders.
  2. Squeeze your rear delts with a lot of force in this position, then slowly return to the original position.
  3. Repeat!


The goal is to complete three sets of 10-12 repetitions of the rear delt fly machine. Don’t try to raise a heavy weight during this exercise. Instead, do each rep with care and use a lighter weight to increase your gains.

The Rear Delt Fly Machine: Mistakes

The Rear Delt Fly Machine Mistakes

#1 Gripping The Handles To Tightly

Many weightlifters are instructed to keep the grip with a firm hold when they exercise. While this is generally the case, it may be detrimental.

When it comes to the fly machine with rear delt tightening the grip on the handles can cause some users to depend on traps to return the handles.

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Instead, grasp the handles with a light hand and make sure you only use your rear delts to complete the rear delt fly.

#2 Struggling Upwards

Another typical error made by the rear delt fly machine is shrugging your shoulders to the side. This is a common mistake when people try to take the weight more than they can manage.

They are then made to shrug and use their traps to pull the handles back. Although there’s nothing wrong with working out those traps actually the rear delt flies!

For the best results from your rear delts, reduce the weight and concentrate on the shoulders being lower and back during the movement.

#3 Routing The Motion

Finally, far too many people hurry to the rear delt fly machine. While a violent movement might be beneficial for certain exercises, using the machine to deploy your rear needs to be done in a slow, controlled, controlled way.

The speed you are rushing through lowers tension in your deltoids at the rear and decreases your gains!

The Rear Delt Fly Machine: Variations

#1 1-Arm Rear Delt Fly Machine

It is also possible to perform 1- an arm rear delt fly unilaterally. Instead of using two handles, use only one handle, and train only one arm at once.

The 1-arm rear delt fly is an excellent method to correct the muscle imbalances in your shoulders.

#2 Rear Delt Fly Alternating Hold

The variation that alternates hold of the rear delt fly machine can assist in strengthening and stabilizing your posterior deltoids.

Begin by tightening your right rear delt, bringing it back. Maintain your handle at this position, and then repeat the same movement to the left.

Now, you can hold your left handle, allow the right hand to return to the original position, and then pull the right handle back. Repeat this reverse fly hold pattern!

The Rear Delt Fly Machine: Alternatives

If you’ve enjoyed the fly machine with the rear delt fly machine, then check out these alternative exercises for the rear delt to boost your upper body fitness:

#1 Seated Rear Lateral Raises

If you can’t do the reverse deck fly, then this workout is ideal for you. All you require is an exercise ball, and that’s all you need. You can accomplish this at home and improve your back delts. The posterior deltoid muscles are usually underdeveloped and become weaker over time. Therefore, don’t skimp on the exercises for your rear delt when you do your shoulder exercises.

A lateral raise in the rear that is seated is among the most effective methods to work on the delts at the rear. According to the ACE study, the exercise is ranked as No. one in terms of maximal rear delt activation contrasted with another shoulder exercise. You could say it’s the most efficient alternative for reverse flying.


Two light pairs of dumbbells, sit on a bench while keeping your knees at 90 degrees.

Then bend forward with your back straight. Hold the dumbbells by the side, which is the starting point.

Begin to lift the dumbbells by bending the elbow. Lift the dumbbells to the sides, around the height of your shoulders.

Press your rear delta until you reach the top, and then raise your arms back to their beginning position.

Recommended Reps: 12-15

It is also possible to go heavy in this workout, but be sure you’re not swaying too much. Focus on the rear of your delts as you lift your arms. Concentration can be more significant than repeated repetitions.

#2 Barbell Rear Delt Row

Rows can be a good method to strengthen not only the lats but also the rear delts as well! Just remember that when you’re working your lats, your elbows must be in. The barbell should be touching your abdominals in the upper part of your body. In contrast, for the rear delts, it is recommended to pull the bar toward your lower chest.

This exercise is designed to target the rear delts. It is a great compound exercise. You could quickly replace the reverse pec deck flys by using this exercise.


  1. Lift the barbell, then stand straight on the floor. Both hands must be at a distance of shoulder width.
  2. Now, bend your hips back, not turn your lower back, and keep your chest upright with your back facing downwards.
  3. Lift the barbell, then move it toward your lower chest to appear like the shape of a T.
  4. Then return to the beginning point and then repeat the move.

Recommended Reps: 12-15

If you’re a beginner, do not use the weights with heavy loads as they can hurt the shoulder joints and cause severe issues. It is always best to begin the workout by warming up using light weights before getting into your main exercise set.

#3 Dumbbell W Raises

If you are suffering from postural issues then this exercise is ideally suitable for you. It can help you strengthen those muscles that are a result of working for too long at a desk or other work. This exercise will target your rhomboids and rear delts as well as the mid and lower traps, which are vital muscles that ensure your shoulders are in a more secure posture.

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This is one of the best options, not just because it targets your rear delts, but because it helps strengthen the mid traps as well as other scapular muscles, which keep your scapula steady. This is why you should definitely consider this exercise in addition to the reverse pec fly flies.


  1. Install an incline bench with 60 degrees. Select two dumbbells and lie down on the bench with your back down. Pick light dumbbells for this workout.
  2. Move your hands forward, keeping the elbows placed under shoulders at 90deg angles. From there, lift the dumbbells upwards with your fingers facing up. Form a W.
  3. Breathe out as you go up, and squeeze the back shoulder muscles. Bring yourself back to the starting position while breathing in.

Recommended Reps: 15-20

Don’t use heavy dumbbells for this exercise since it’s not designed for that use. Heavy weights can be used for compound movements, but not during these corrective exercises.

Pro Tip

Let’s discuss my top advice on this particular exercise. One of the best ways to create the most tension for the entire upper back muscle and improve posture is to hold the position in the upper part for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. If you aren’t able to hold this long, try it with no dumbbells. Then, you can add dumbbells, and move up from there.

#4 Landmine Rear Delt Row

This exercise is a single movement that allows you to focus on each aid separately. If one aid is less strong than the other, you can perform this exercise to restore equilibrium.

Landmine setups are a fantastic method to do different exercises. You only need the right barbell. Try this technique and get the perfect workout for those back delts.


  1. Set up a barbell on the edge of the wall. and sit next to it, as demonstrated in the film.
  2. Bend down, taking your hips in the back and holding at the very end of a barbell with one hand. Your hips should point back while your shoulders should point raised. This is your initial position.
  3. Begin lifting the barbell by shifting your elbows sideways instead of keeping it in since this will let you activate more rear delts.

Recommended Reps: 12-15

This workout will challenge your back delts since the posture permits you to use the rear muscles. If you’ve never completed this exercise before, begin with lighter weights.

After that, you’ll be able to increase your weights when your strength increases. You should definitely consider this to your arsenal as an alternative against the reverse-deck fly.

#5 1-Arm Supinated Dumbbell Rows

Another excellent move is to strengthen the posterior deltoids. The greatest benefit of this workout can be the supinated grasp that permits external rotation, that is another purpose of the rear delta. It is impossible to practice your rear delta-like this with a pec deck. This is why you should do it to build your rear deltas.


  1. Then, bend down while holding the barbell in one hand, which is then put on the rack. It is also possible to perform this exercise on the dumbbell rack or on a bench.
  2. Choose a dumbbell, and then begin moving it up using your hands facing towards the front. Your elbow should extend at a 45deg angle to strike the delts in the rear.
  3. Do rear delts squeeze at the top before returning to your starting position.

Recommended Reps: 15-18

Keeping an underhand grip to stimulate the rear delts is crucial. Remember this, and make sure you correct yourself whenever you make a mistake.

At first, it is recommended to start by using lighter weights and slowly increase your weight based on your level of strength. I’ve seen many who just move the weights without sensing and contracting the correct muscles they wish to focus on. Avoid this.

Make sure you stay to the left and concentrate on the rear delts in the exercise. Concentration and focus are essential to maximizing the benefits of this exercise.

#6 TRX Reverse Fly

TRX suspension is very useful and is a breeze to use at home. There are a variety of exercises you can complete using TRX suspension. One alternative exercise of reverse deck fly is reverse fly.

The exercise is identical to the TRX reverse fly. It also works your core muscles. It increases your body’s stability, which means you can replace your deck fly pec using TRX reverse fly.


  1. Attach a TRX to the upper corner of the hook. Hold each end of the TRX. Grab the TRX’s handles and then step back.
  2. Lean back a bit and then keep your arms straight in front. This is the starting point.
  3. Start by shifting your hands backward with an incline of the elbow.

Recommended Reps: 15 to 20

When you tilt back to your abs, they will be active to a greater extent. Therefore, if you’re an inexperienced person with weak core muscles and a weak core, you must be more upright. Slowly, you will be able to move backward and lower as you gain strength.

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#7 Side-Lying Reverse Fly

This is a different unilateral move that targets your rear delts. This exercise is an excellent alternative to the reverse fly. If you’ve been doing the regular dumbbell rear delt fly for a while. If you want to experiment with something different and challenging, this exercise is an excellent choice for you.


  1. You should lie on your back while holding a dumbbell in your hand. One hand should be beneath your head while the other is straight to the side.
  2. Start the workout by moving your arm upwards while maintaining the elbow straight. Breathe in as you move the dumbbell upwards.
  3. End the exercise when your arms are parallel to the floor. You can then slowly return your arm to its original position.
  4. Then switch to the same exercise on the opposite side.

Recommended Reps: 15-18

You don’t need to be far because it’s an isolated exercise. It is possible to go overboard on presses and rows but not this. This is an exercise for isolation that must be done with less weight and in a proper manner.

#8 Resistance Band Reverse Fly

Like the TRX suspension, we also have alternative options such as resistance bands that are easily used at home. There are numerous exercises that you can perform with it. One of them is reverse fly. This is exactly the same as reverse pec deck fly and utilizes similar muscles.


  1. Make a resistance band and lay it on top of the pillar. Keep it about a shoulder height. and Keep your arms straight.
  2. Keep your elbows bent and your arms aligned with your shoulder. This is the starting point.
  3. Begin by bringing your arms backward by bending the elbow. Make sure you keep the tension on your back delts as you move.
  4. You should stop at the point where your arms are 90 degrees and press the delts in your back. Keep the tension and slowly return your arms to their starting position.

Recommended Reps: 15-20

Be sure to exhale as the hands move back, and breathe in as you move your hands forward. Keep your neck and spine at a neutral angle when you move.

Is Rear Delt Flys Effective?

The rear delt fly machine is a great tool to shape your back. Using a dumbbell, the rear delt fly helps strengthen your upper shoulder muscles and back while focusing on stabilization throughout your spine, hips, and abdominals. The ability to perform the rear delt fly requires maintaining a healthy posture throughout the exercise.

How To Work Out Securely And Prevent Injury

If you’ve had a previous health issue, you should consult with your doctor before embarking on an exercise regimen. The correct exercise technique is vital to ensure the safety and efficacy of an exercise routine. However, you might need to adjust every exercise to achieve optimal outcomes based on your specific requirements. Choose an exercise that permits you to control your body during the exercise. When exercising, Pay close attention to your body and stop the exercise immediately if you notice discomfort or pain.

To continue to see improvement and increase your body’s strength, you must incorporate the proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your fitness regimen. The results you achieve will ultimately depend on your ability to recover fully from your exercise. Take a break between 24 and 48 hours before exercising similar muscle groups to ensure enough recovery.

Last Words

We have discussed alternatives if you don’t have the rear delt fly machine. Each of these exercises is designed to strengthen your rear delts. You could incorporate them into your routine to substitute for the reverse fly.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you cannot complete all these exercises at once. It’s enough to choose three or four exercises to do for some time. After a few weeks, you could try another exercise, and this is how you will be able to organize your exercise routine.


  • 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.

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