Want to build rear deltoids? Try these six best reverse fly alternative exercises. (Image via Unsplash / Ryan Snaadt)

6 Best Reverse Fly Alternatives Exercises for Massive Deltoids

Working your rear deltoids can make your shoulders look broader. In fact, adding side raises to your routine is one of the best ways to shape the sides of your shoulders, increase their overall mass, and make them appear wider.


The rear deltoid is involved in any type of rotation, pulling or raising movement made while standing, such as with bent-over lateral raises, reverse flies, face pulls and, bent-over rear lateral raises.

If you want to beef up your rear delts, another option is the bent-over rear lateral raise. The longer lever means that it’s easier to lift heavy weights without cheating, and there’s also more tension on your muscles at the start of each rep as well.


Six Alternatives to Reverse Flys for Building Massive Deltoids

1) Reverse Cable Crossover


Reverse Cable Crossovers are a great exercise for building muscle and strength in the rear deltoids. It is also an extremely useful and efficient exercise for developing muscle and strength in the posterior deltoids.

How to do it?

  • Stand in the middle of a cable crossover machine with D-shaped handles attached to the top pulleys.
  • Hold the right handle in your left hand and the left handle in your right hand.
  • Cross your wrists, then open them out and back to make an upside-down T shape.
  • Draw your shoulders down and back as you pull your arms out and back to form a T shape. Repeat.

2) Face Pulls

Face pulls are a great exercise for building your rear deltoids, middle trapezius, and rhomboids. These muscles work together to help you maintain good posture and keep your shoulders healthy.

How to do it?

  • Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a machine.
  • Stand in front of the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent and your core engaged.
  • Grab one end of the rope in each hand, straightening your arms.
  • Then step back from the machine until there's tension on the cable.
  • Next, bend your elbows and pull your hands toward your shoulders by bending at the elbows while keeping them parallel to the floor.
  • Then straighten your arms again and repeat.

3) Wide Grip Seated Row

While wide-grip bent-over rows are an excellent deltoid exercise, they can be hard on your lower back. It may be impossible to maintain a neutral spine while doing them. For some people, a wide-grip seated row can be more comfortable on the lower back.


How to do it?

  • Place a straight bar on a low pulley row machine and grip the bar with your hands wider than your shoulders.
  • Sit upright on the machine and keep your torso straight.
  • Brace your core, shoulders down and back.
  • Bend your arms and pull the bar into your chest by leading with your elbows.
  • Extend your arms and repeat for the desired number of reps.

4) Resistance Band Pull-Apart

Band pull-aparts are a great way to strengthen your rear deltoids and improve your posture. They're also portable, so you can do them almost anywhere and at anytime. Keep a resistance band in your pocket, then do some pull-aparts whenever you have a free moment during the day.

How to do it?

  • To do the shoulder-width band pullover, start by sitting or standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold a resistance band with a shoulder-width, overhand grip and raise your arms to shoulder level.
  • Pull your shoulders down and back as you open your arms out in front of you and stretch the band across your chest.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat for reps.

5) Single-Arm Rear Delt Dumbbell Row

It's common for one side of your body to be stronger than the other. Bilateral (two-sided) exercises can mask and even exacerbate this problem. This move is unilateral (one-sided), which will make it easier to identify and correct a strength imbalance between your left and right sides.

How to do it?

  • Using one arm, hold a dumbbell so that it hangs down from your shoulder with your palm facing backward.
  • Leading with your elbow, bend your arm and pull the dumbbell straight up to your upper back.
  • Keep your back straight and your wrist straight.
  • Extend your arm and repeat for the desired number of reps before switching arms.

6) Supine Cable Reverse Flys

For some lifters, it can be difficult to keep their torso stationary while performing an exercise. This tendency can make an exercise less effective and even increase your risk of injury. Supine cable reverse flys are a great way to build core stability while pre-exhausting your chest and rear deltoids.


How to do it?

  • Get on a cable crossover machine and set the pulleys at the highest point on each side.
  • Grab the left pulley with your right hand and the right pulley with your left hand, so your arms are crossed.
  • Lie down on a bench and align your shoulders with the cable pulleys on each side.
  • Now, pull both pulleys down with your arms extended until they are even with your head.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps.

Wrapping Up

So reverse flying is ideal for developing and strengthening rear deltoids, but don’t let that discourage you. If you only perform this one exercise regularly, your rear deltoids will still see a significant increase in mass and strength. And, as any lifter knows, a stronger set of shoulders means everything else is stronger!

Edited by
Babylona Bora
See more
More from Sportskeeda