How to Do Reverse Cable Crossover Properly

The reverse cable crossover, also known as the rear cable delt fly, is an exercise that will give your shoulders the shape and muscularity you desire.

This exercise improves deltoid muscle definition and strength. It engages many upper body muscles and works your posterior deltoids to a lesser degree. Be sure to train all sides.

Usually, people tend to emphasize the side and front deltoids and leave out the posterior delt. When you develop your rear delts well, you will gain shoulder stability and balance.

Ensure you feel the muscles working with each rep and incorporate this exercise in your shoulder workout routine to attain its maximum benefits.

Also known as Cable crossover, High pulley lateral extension, Rear deltoid cable fly

Targeted Muscles: Shoulders, Upper Back, Lower back, Traps, Rhomboids

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Exercise Type; Strength

Exercise Mechanics: Inclusion

Required Equipment: Cable machine


  • Assume a standing position with our shoulders hip-width apart.
  • Adjust the cable machine pulleys to a height just above your head.
  • Grasp the left handle and cross your left hand over your right hand to grasp the right handle with your right hand. You will begin the workout in this crossed position.
  • Make a step backward to create tension in the cables.
  • Tighten your core and squeeze your posterior deltoids to move your arms backward until you feel a pinch in your blades.
  • Move your arms back gently to the starting position. Keep only a slight arch in your arms as you do this.
  • Keep your core tight.
  • Repeat the motion until you achieve the desired sets of reps.

Pro Tips:

  • Try keeping your torso upright. Don’t lean too far back or forward.
  • Flex your arms slightly throughout the motion.
  • Do not bend your elbows or shrug your shoulders. Avoid changing the plane of your arm movement.
  • Motion path: Upper body, hips. Ensure your legs maintain a fixed position. Move your arms horizontally at a 90-degree angle from the front of your body as you spread them out to your sides.
  • Raise your hands to make a higher arc such that they are above shoulder level. The trapezius and lateral deltoid make a major contribution to the motion.


The reverse cable crossover primarily works your rear deltoids. The deltoid comprises three major fibers, the anterior, posterior, and lateral deltoids. Your posterior deltoids are the most worked.

This exercise will also work the centre region of your back, starting from the pelvis to the traps.



Many people struggle to maintain a proper posture, ranging from long sitting hours, injury, or muscle imbalances. Thankfully, reverse cable crossover is one of the workout’s ideals for posture improvement. You may be prone to slouching posture due to your work or if you have weak upper back muscles.

Reverse cable crossover will tighten your deltoid and upper back muscles and prevent you from this slouching posture. Likewise, the core muscle engagement will help you keep a straight back and activate your core for proper posture.


Reverse cable crossovers isolate your deltoid muscles at the top of each rep, strengthening your shoulder muscles. Being an accessory workout, reverse cable crossovers can improve your performance in compound exercises like lateral raises and barbell bench presses.

Ideally, Strong shoulders are important in every training. Your posterior deltoids contribute much to many exercises; therefore, train them appropriately!


If your workout goal is to improve your physical appearance, aim to make your shoulders a priority. Most lifters usually overtrain their arms and chests, leaving them unproportioned and with small shoulders.

Working on your muscle symmetry is important for aesthetic gains and improving your general body balance.


Check out these drills that have the same benefits as those of reverse cable crossovers.



  • Assume a plank posture by putting your forearms on the floor and straightening your legs behind you. Ensure your forearms make a 90-degree angle with your upper arms.
  • Tighten your core, and make sure your back is completely straight.
  • Lower your body until you are close to the ground. Pinch your shoulder blades at once as you do this.
  • Maintain the tightness in your deltoids,



  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and grip a kettlebell in each hand.
  • Slowly bend forward until your upper body is parallel with the ground.
  • Start the motion by moving your elbows behind your body while drawing in your shoulder blades.
  • Pull back the kettlebells close to your body such that your elbows are slightly past the midline.
  • Lower the kettlebells gently to resume the starting position.
  • Repeat the process until you attain the desired number of reps.


Watch out for the following mistakes. Avoid them to gain the utmost benefits out of this workout.


You may be tempted to stack a lot of weight when doing reverse cable crossovers. Remember, your delts are not your strongest body muscles. If you stack too much weight, you will end up doing partial reps.

Partial reps compromise the workout goal and put you at risk of sustaining injuries. Use light weight and follow the correct technique to ensure you are completing your reps fully. It is recommended that you move your arms back so that your hands are aligned with your shoulders as you complete each rep.


You want to maintain only a slight elbow bend throughout the workout session. When you bend your elbows fully, you will shift the tension in your biceps. Therefore, your biceps will complete the rep. We do not disregard biceps training but remember that training the biceps is not the workout goal.

Maintain your elbows slightly straight to focus on your posterior deltoids.


When you pull the cable handles downwards or set the pulley far too low, you will recruit your lats during the reverse crossover. This can qualify as a reverse cable crossover variation but does not put the utmost tension on the posterior delts.

Ensure you keep your arms slightly higher than your shoulders. This will focus the tension on your rear deltoids and work them to the maximum.


Reverse cable crossovers work your posterior deltoids- your rear muscle shoulders and gain you the three-dimensional shoulder look.

Concentrate and work on your technique instead of lifting very heavy loads. With the right method, you will attain the maximum benefits of this exercise.

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