Don’t forget to lift your back deltas – lying on your back, lift the dumbbell sideways

Integrate heavy presses, upright rows and lateral lifting in your shoulder routine will help you get massive shoulders as all of these exercises are great exercises for your shoulders. But what about your posterior deltoids? If they remain underdeveloped, you run the risk of an imbalance in the shoulder complex and an increased risk of shoulder injuries.

The rear deltoid actually acts more like a back muscle. Its three main functions are horizontal abduction (think of lifting sideways from behind), external rotation of the upper arm, and extension of the upper arm.

Well developed posterior deltoids help keep your shoulders balanced and straight, they prevent shoulders from being rounded (which happens because the anterior deltoid overpowers the posterior deltoids in a lot of pushing movements – bench press, overhead press, etc.) prevents many shoulder injuries and problems with the rotator cuff.

Strong rear deltoids also help improve your strength on exercises such as the bench press. With a strong, well-developed upper back, you can generate a lot more strength.

One exercise that trains the rear shoulder muscles really well is the lying rear lateral lift:


– Lie with your chest on a slightly inclined bench (it should be inclined about 15-20 degrees).
– Take a dumbbell in each hand, let your arms hang down and place your hands so that they are facing each other.


With your elbows slightly bent, raise your arms sideways until your elbows are at shoulder level and your arms are almost parallel to the floor. Hold for a second and return to the starting position. Exhale on the way up (the hardest part of the movement) and inhale on the way down.


This exercise works your rear deltoids and, in part, your traps.


– Choose a light weight when doing the exercise. The exercise works best when done with light loads and higher numbers of repetitions (15-20).
– Contract the abdominal muscles as you move.


The lying position helps limit cheating and relieve pressure on your spine. When you pick up weights that are too heavy for you, your back is working instead of your back shoulders.

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