Rear Delts—Two Great Shoulder Exercises to Fire 'Em Up
When it comes to shoulder exercises, pressing often reigns supreme in our workouts. Think traditional bodyweight exercises like pushups and dips, which are great for building front delt muscle definition and strength, no doubt.
But when it comes to building strong, aesthetically pleasing, and injury-proof shoulders, it’s important not to skip out on your rear delts.
Failure to train this part of the shoulder can lead to shoulder restriction, unbalanced strength, and even poor posture. If you’re looking to gain unrestricted, full upper-body strength and range of motion, you must balance all of that pressing with a variety of pulling exercises to strengthen your upper back and shoulders.
Whether you are a seasoned gym buff or simply crunching away at the computer in your daily 9 to 5, it’s important to keep your rear delts in check. Here are two exercise that will do the trick.
Exercise #1: The Hinge Row
Most conventional exercises involve internal rotation at the shoulder. Yes, even most pulling exercises. In order to keep your rotator cuffs balanced, you will need to train your shoulders through external rotation as well.
The hinge row is an effective way to hit those rear delts. This uncommon movement places a unique stimulus on your upper back and shoulders. By purposefully exposing your shoulders to what many consider to be a “vulnerable” or an unnatural position, you will be better prepared for anything that life throws at you.
Watch the Hinge Row demo below, and then we’ll show you how to set it up.
Hinge rows are essential for rear delt development and gymnastic pulling strength. Get started with the GB Foundation Series to learn more!
Because this movement can get tricky, we are actually going to set up from the finished position so that you can better understand the full movement.
Begin by hanging up a set of rings so that they are adjusted to roughly waist height. Sit down on the floor with your hips directly underneath the rings. Your back should be vertical as you grab the hanging rings with your arms held out to the sides in a double-biceps pose. Your elbows should be bent at 90-degrees.
This is the finished position, but instead of sitting, your hips will be elevated off the ground.
Straighten your arms while, at the same time, lifting your hips so that your body forms a horizontal line with the ground. From here, you hinge at the hips as you pull your arms out to the sides — remember to hit your double biceps pose at the top. Keep your back straight the entire time and squeeze your shoulder blades toward each other before lowering back down. Repeat for 5-10 reps.
Exercise #2: The Bulgarian Row
The second exercise we are going to look at is the Bulgarian Row. This upper body gymnastic movement emphasizes your upper back and rear delts. A real treat for your shoulders, this move is a must have in your weekly workout routine.
Let’s give them a go! All you’ll need is a set of rings and a place to hang them on.
Hang your rings up overhead so that they can be adjusted to roughly chest height. This will vary from person to person, depending on your height. Then get under the rings and elevate your feet on a workout bench or box. Keeping your feet on the floor will also work just fine.
Lift your hips to form a straight and tight line with your body. Then get ready to execute your row.
From your set up position, you’ll want to initiate your pulling motion by driving your elbows back towards the floor, making sure to keep your elbows in line with your shoulders (forming a right angle at the elbows).
Pause at the top and then slowly lower down to the starting position to complete the rep. Repeat for 5-10 reps. Your rear delts should be burning.
For stronger, healthier, more durable shoulders you can’t forget the muscles deep within the shoulder. Keep your rotator cuff and rear delts happy and get a hearty dose of GymnasticBodies Foundation Training for resilient, injury-free shoulders.