How To Do The Incline Rear Delt Raise Properly

If you are looking to strengthen your deltoids then it’s about time you learnt about the incline rear delt raise.

This movement particularly targets your shoulder muscles using an inclined position which makes them work hard as the primary movers of all the motions.

For this exercise, you need an incline bench and two dumbbells.

Follow these steps to do it correctly:

  • Sit on an incline bench that is angled at around 30 degrees, with your chest and stomach pressed against the incline.
  • In each hand, grab a dumbbell and let your arms hang by the sides of the bench, with your palms facing each other (aka neutral grip).
  • Position your legs in such a way that they are shoulder-width apart and plant your feet firmly on the floor, with your heels off the ground. Your chin should be just above the bench.
  • Brace your core.
  • Relax your elbows, and then raise the dumbbells upward and away from your sides in a wide arc, until you bring them slightly above your shoulders.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together for a full second or two, before you slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE INCLINE REAR DELT RAISE WORK?

In this exercise, your posterior deltoid extends your shoulder to the rear and rotates it outward. This way, you get to strengthen and build your shoulders.

This movement also works your rhomboid muscles and your middle trapezius muscles which also help with enhancing your posture.

Other secondary muscles recruited by the incline rear delt raise are the latissimus dorsi, lower back muscles, teres major and minor, and the triceps.

The biceps, front deltoids and pectoralis major are also engaged as the antagonists.

INCLINE REAR DELT RAISE BENEFITS

STRONGER SHOULDERS

By making you raise and lower the dumbbells from an inclined position, the incline rear delt raise strengthens and build muscle mass in your posterior deltoid.

You will find strong shoulders particularly useful in pulling and pressing exercises, which help develop upper body strength.

AESTHETICS

Who doesn’t like nice, rounded shoulders? No one, that’s who.

Most people believe you can achieve rounded shoulders by working only the front and side delts, but they couldn’t be more wrong.

You need a bigger rear delt for that rounded shoulder, so ignore the posterior delt at your own risk.

POSTURE

Shoulders play a big role in developing proper posture.

When you transform your shoulder posture from hunched-over form to a rounded, steady form , your overall posture will likely get better too.

Good posture in turn protects your lower back and spine from unnecessary pressure which could lead to injury.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE INCLINE REAR DELT RAISE

BAND REAR DELT FLY

This is a great alternative for working your rear deltoids if you are unable to do the incline rear delt raise.

The band rear delt fly uses a resistance band to isolate and strengthen your posterior deltoid.

Steps:

  • Stand upright with your feet together and a band looped under your feet.
  • Hold the other side of the resistance band in a crossover fashion.
  • Hinge at your hips so that you come down to a position where your upper body is at a 45 degree angle with the ground.
  • Holding the band with a neutral grip, extend your arms sideways till you get to shoulder height.
  • Lower to get back to the starting position.
  • Repeat as many times as you desire.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 reps each.

Take care not to lift your torso as your perform this exercise. The only part that should be moving is your shoulder joint.

SINGLE ARM BAND PULL APART

The single-arm band pull apart allows you to train each shoulder muscle independently through a wide range of motion, which makes it a great isolation exercise.

It specifically targets your medial and rear deltoids.

Steps:

  • Begin by taking a wide stance with a resistance band in your hands in front of you, at about shoulder level.
  • Position your hands in such a way that they are shoulder-width apart.
  • Using your right hand, stretch out the band by moving your right arm out to the right side.
  • Go only as far as the band can stretch, before slowly reversing to get to the starting position.
  • Repeat these steps on the other side

INCLINE REAR DELT RAISE MISTAKES TO AVOID

NOT ENGAGING YOUR CORE

If you do not tighten your core, you might end up hyperextending your back.

Also, tightening your core will keep your spine and back stable as you raise the dumbbells away from your body.

RAISING THE WEIGHTS TOO FAR UP

Raise the dumbbells only as high as the rear deltoid will allow.

Going too far with the weights, for example behind your back, would not be wrong per se, but it shifts the focus of the exercise from your deltoids to your upper back muscles.

MOVING THE WEIGHTS DOWN AND BACK

Since you are targeting the posterior deltoids with this exercise, you should move the dumbbells upward and away from your sides instead of downward (towards your hips).

This will help keep the focus on your posterior deltoid.

USING THE ARMS

For you to work your rear delt properly, make sure you generate the movement from your shoulders and not your arms.

RAISING YOUR CHEST

If you raise your chest off the bench, you will unknowingly be using your bodyweight to lift the weight instead of the target muscles.

Keep your chest pressed to the incline bench the entire time.

EXTENDING YOUR ELBOWS

You should keep your elbows slightly bent during the incline rear delt raise, but at no point should they be moving.

If you find them bending or straightening at any point, then you are using your triceps for the movement instead of your rear deltoid.

 WINDING UP

The incline rear delt raise guarantees you stronger, more rounded shoulders which will not only have an aesthetic effect but are also useful in pressing and pulling exercises.

But of course, you have to maintain proper form and stay consistent if you want to see the results you desire.

All the best!