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Seated Rear Delt Fly: Don’t Make this Rookie Mistake

Seated Rear Delt Flies aren’t as useful as you may want to believe. A seated rear delt fly has tons of flaws due to the nature of the movement itself.

Hey, I know you don’t believe me right now but let me explain and break this down.

I’ll give real and beneficial exercises if you actually want to grow your rear delt and help make a seated rear delt fly have more impact on your workouts.

This here is what we call a Rear Delt Fly. As you might be thinking, it looks quite awkward.

Muscles Worked in a Seated Rear Delt Fly

Our rear deltoids are located on the back of our shoulders right next to our traps. To work the rear deltoid requires external rotation or external arm movements.

However, in a seated rear delt fly, you might actually feel more activation in your traps and other parts of your back due to the movement of this exercise. When you lift the weight up as shown in the video, you begin to squeeze your shoulder blades together which is called scapula retraction.

In scapula retraction the primary muscles worked are our trapezius and rhomboids [S], which is another muscle located in the upper back.

Due to scapula retraction during a rear delt fly, it makes for a poor exercise to target the rear delts.

To properly target the rear delt we must avoid scapula retraction and externally rotate our arms as far outward and back as we possibly can. This will ensure proper targeting of the rear delts in the correct movement.

Therefore, during a seated rear delt fly, you should use lighter weight and focus on coming as far outward with the dumbbells as you possibly can. Avoid shoulder blade retraction and go slow and controlled on the downward portion of the lift.

Trust me, rear delts are painful. You will definitely feel way more if you follow those rules and really begin to focus on the rear delts.

Furthermore, being in a bent over seated position is a setup for lack of control and higher chances of scapula retraction.

Because of this, other excises may possibly have more value for the rear deltoids.

4 More Exercises for the Rear Delt

These Exercises are much better to avoid scapula retraction and to further focus on targeting just the rear delts.

1. Cable Rear Delt Fly

This demonstration is exactly what you want to go for. With little to no scapula retraction and far extension outward and back you are perfectly targeting the rear delts.

To be honest, You will feel this and it will be painful but extremely beneficial nonetheless.

In addition, use lighter weight and control it as a final reminder.

2. Cable Rear Delt Rope Pull

Using this exercise will effectively target the rear delts.

It’s important to remember to avoid bringing your shoulder blades together.

My biggest tip for this exercise is try to separate the two ends of the rope as far as possible. Doing this will allow for better external rotation.

3. Dumbbell Incline T Raise

Use the demonstrated video as the correct path and form for dumbbell incline T Raises.

During this exercise, it’s important to go as far outward and back as you can.

Notably, you should use lighter weight and control the weight at the top portion of the lift.

4. Machine Seated Rear Delt Fly

If you have this machine at the gym you go to, use it.

It is a great way really focus on hitting just the rear delts and a great overall movement for beginners. What’s more is it allows for less ab control and better stabilization across the exercise.

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