What's up with rear delts?

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KenDowns
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What's up with rear delts?

Post by KenDowns » Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:15 pm

One of the common pieces of advice I hear here is to not ignore your rear delts, a special case of the general rule to pull as much as you push.

Since I have no rear delt exercises, I'm putting one in this cycle just to get on board.

But my actual (first) question is, how come the Big 6, squat/dead, bench/row, and press/chin don't hit these? If they are not needed for any of those exercises, why do we have them? Obviously I know what motion they create, but how come they don't come into play enough in the big 6 that we need to actually worry about them causing a balance problem with actual implications for injury in the long term?

Second question, have I surmised correctly that if it were not for bench, we might not have this need to hit the rear delts? Would they be more like calves, something that comes along for the ride but that we just don't mention much?
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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by Stephen Johnson » Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:33 pm

KenDowns wrote:But my actual (first) question is, how come the Big 6, squat/dead, bench/row, and press/chin don't hit these?
Actually, both rowing and shoulder width chinning hits the rear delts, since both involve moving the arms behind the torso. Wide grip chins move the arms to the side of the torso, so the rear delts aren't involved when you chin wide.

As with biceps, though, some lifters find their rear delts lagging if they just use compound pulling exercises.

I should hasten to add that my prior comment assumed that the lifter is attacking his back with roughly the same amount of energy that he does for his chest. If he's benching 200# and rowing 100#, his rear delt can't help but lag behind his front delt
Last edited by Stephen Johnson on Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by stuward » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:57 am

Lagging rear delts are also an indication of lagging rotator cuff muscles. Working the rear delts will help stabilize the shoulder preventing shoulder injuries. Face pulls hit the rear delts nicely along with the external rotators. It's very hard not to involve the infraspinatus and teres minor while working the rear delts.
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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by robertscott » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:42 am

from a physique point of view, bringing your rear delts up will take your shoulders to new heights. My personal favourite exercise is to do rear delt flyes lying face down on a bench set on a low incline

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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by NickAbe57 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:34 am

I'm a big believer in heavy, high volume facepulls. I do 4 sets of 15 or so between deadlifts on dl days. You'll also notice your lower traps developing with this exercise too. my upper back feels much more solid since i started doing these.

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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by teafan » Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:12 am

I love facepulls - but I tend to find I still lift quite light with them. What sort of weight are you pulling for heavy?

We have a great machine at the gym which I use to do real light, focused, rear delt work. I like doing one hand rear delt work too.

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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by commodiusvicus » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:57 am

I'm glad someone made a thread about rear delts because i was wondering about them.

In the illustration for the dumbbell rear delt row on the main site (i'd post a link but it seems i'm not authorized to do so), the hand positioning appears to be different than the hand positioning for normal dumbbell rows. Specifically, it's pronated for the rear delt rows whereas it's neutral (parallel) for the normal ones. It says nothing about hand positioning in the comments -- does it make any difference? Forgive me if that's a silly question, i'm just curious.

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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by teafan » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:20 am

This one?

http://exrx.net/WeightExercises/Deltoid ... ltRow.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Against, this one?

http://exrx.net/WeightExercises/BackGen ... erRow.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If so, changing the hand position on the first one shouldnt make much difference on the Rear Delts.

I like the fact a particular muscle gets brought up and everyone jumps on board with comments... you ALWAYS learn something out of it!

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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by commodiusvicus » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:54 am

Indeed, those are the two i meant. Thanks.

The reason i asked, by the way, is i've been doing my rows on the edge of my bed and if i use a pronated grip then the dumbbell hits the bed frame!

Edit: By the way, in response to the OP's question, the reason why i personally am doing rear delt rows in addition to regular rows is that my right scapula wings slightly, and i believe i have a somewhat protracted shoulder girdle, as well. Furthermore, i did a lot of push-ups and bench presses when i first started working out, before i even knew what a row was, and i think it's possible that in doing so i might have exacerbated my pre-existing imbalance. I don't have any pain or discomfort but in order to make sure it stays that way i've been doing a program that heavily emphasizes the traps, rhomboids, serratus anterior, rear delts, &c. to help pull my shoulders back a bit. Maybe for somebody without postural deficiences extra rear delt work is unnecessary but i'm not really qualified to say.

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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by NickAbe57 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:27 am

teafan wrote:I love facepulls - but I tend to find I still lift quite light with them. What sort of weight are you pulling for heavy?

We have a great machine at the gym which I use to do real light, focused, rear delt work. I like doing one hand rear delt work too.
I'm not sure if it would qualify 'heavy' for others, but I usually set the weight at either 120lbs, 125 or 135. At this weight, for myself, form breaks down a little, there is some torso heaving, but i dont think its any worse than when one does heavy db/kroc rows.

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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by Rik-Blades » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:53 am

teafan wrote:I love facepulls - but I tend to find I still lift quite light with them. What sort of weight are you pulling for heavy?

We have a great machine at the gym which I use to do real light, focused, rear delt work. I like doing one hand rear delt work too.
Select a weight that allows you to pause in the 'double biceps' pose part and really squeese the scaps together. If you cant, then its too heavy.



If the youtube video above is not displaying - try

http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/blo ... ace-pulls/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Edit: fixed youtube video
Last edited by Rik-Blades on Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by robertscott » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:56 am

NickAbe57 wrote:
teafan wrote:I love facepulls - but I tend to find I still lift quite light with them. What sort of weight are you pulling for heavy?

We have a great machine at the gym which I use to do real light, focused, rear delt work. I like doing one hand rear delt work too.
I'm not sure if it would qualify 'heavy' for others, but I usually set the weight at either 120lbs, 125 or 135. At this weight, for myself, form breaks down a little, there is some torso heaving, but i dont think its any worse than when one does heavy db/kroc rows.
if you're jerking the face pulls then you're missing out on all the benefit. Lower the weight.

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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by Jungledoc » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:05 pm

For those of you who have done FP a lot--What do you consider good form? I have used a rope grip (actually, I use a towel threaded through a carabiner to attach to the cable), and either pulled my hands to my ears, or to the sides of my neck, in either case slightly externally rotating my hands at the end of the movement. Is there a better way?
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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by robertscott » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:10 pm

here's King Charles demonstrating how it should be done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQS-tXL1CLg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Charles Poliquin looks old but still strong as a bull

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Re: What's up with rear delts?

Post by Rik-Blades » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:21 pm

Jungledoc wrote:For those of you who have done FP a lot--What do you consider good form? I have used a rope grip (actually, I use a towel threaded through a carabiner to attach to the cable), and either pulled my hands to my ears, or to the sides of my neck, in either case slightly externally rotating my hands at the end of the movement. Is there a better way?
I've noticed i've done it both ways to be fair, I think it has to do with the pulley hight. If the pulley is higher than face level then I pull it natually to my neck, lower and its either side of my eyes. It's just how it feels, you can tell if it hitting right or wrong after a few reps and adjust accordingly.

Personally I also use a rope and hold it the same way as Mike Robertson does in his video, as it allows the hands to get behind my face more.
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