Cable Rear Delt Fly – Learn Proper Form, Muscles Used, Benefits

Cable Rear Delt Fly

The reverse cable fly, also known as the cable rear delt fly, is a strengthening and definition exercise for the deltoid muscles. It’s one of the best back and posterior deltoid isolation workouts.
This workout uses a variety of upper body muscles to target your posterior (back) deltoids.

Simply, mastering the cable rear delt fly will significantly improve your shoulder workout regimen.

A powerful back with strong rear delts is one of the most impressive attributes on a lifter, if not the most impressive, depending on who you ask. There’s a reasonable explanation for this. A large, defined back emanates dominance and looks extremely scary. While the chest has two pecs, the back has a number of muscles that emphasize their importance. Deadlifts, back rows, and pull-ups are all good exercises. All of these routines are great for moving heavy weights and building maximal strength and size. To get your muscles to pop, start with the cable rear delt fly described above.

The cable rear delt fly is a muscle isolation exercise that allows you to concentrate on a specific muscle group. To get the most out of this exercise, you must first understand what it does and how to properly perform it. In this article, we’ll go over it as well as a few modifications, but first, let’s go over rear delt anatomy.

Rear Delt Muscle Anatomy

The rear delts are one of three sets of muscular fibers in the deltoids, the other two being the front and lateral delts.

Your rear delts, which originate from the spine of your shoulder blade, partially cover the infraspinatus and teres minor, two rotator cuff muscles.

The outside of your upper arm is where your rear deltoid enters, allowing it to extend (= draw your arm back in a row) and externally rotate your shoulder.

It works with your lats in shoulder extension, and it works with your infraspinatus and teres minor in external shoulder rotation.

The top portions of your posterior delts also abduct your arm.

How To Do The Cable Rear Delt Fly 

  • To get the proper height, adjust the weight and pulleys. Because the pulleys should be above your head, you should be able to see them.
  • Grab the left pulley with your right hand and the right pulley with your left hand, crossing them in front of you. This is where your trip will begin.
  • Begin by moving your arms back and forth while maintaining a straight posture.
  • Before returning the handles to their beginning locations, pause for a little period at the end of the move.

Also read: How To Perform Heel Raises And The Top 6 Reasons To Do Them

Cable Rear Delt Fly Muscles Worked

The rear delts obviously play a large role in the rear delt fly. While the cable rear delt fly is sometimes referred to as an “isolation” exercise, it actually engages many more muscles than just the deltoids. A lot of muscles, in fact, play a significant role in the body, and not just as “stabilizers.” Below is a list of the muscles that are used in the cable rear delt fly.

Rear Delts (Posterior Deltoids)

As the name implies, the rear deltoid is a significant mover in this exercise. The shoulder muscle is divided into three heads (deltoids). These heads are essential because the shoulder joint is a “ball-and-socket” joint. These three heads must move the arm in a variety of directions because they are the most flexible joints.

The rear deltoid is a muscle that sits on the back of the body and is responsible for “pulling” actions. It commonly works in tandem with other back muscles. One of the important actions it governs is shoulder horizontal abduction, as shown during the rear fly.

Traps (Trapezius Muscle)

The trapezius, sometimes known as the “traps,” is a group of powerful muscles in the center of the back. There are three sections to the traps.

Upper Traps– This muscle spans the top of the upper back, almost shoulder to shoulder. It also encompasses the area between the base of your skull and the top of your neck.
The middle traps run from the spine to the scapula and are nearly the same width as your entire shoulder joint.
Lower Traps– This is the most important part of the game. Starting from the center traps, it begins to taper off as it goes down the back. Around halfway down the back, it finally comes to an end.
The essential function of each portion, which varies substantially, is scapular retraction and control. For maximum impact AND injury prevention, scapular retraction is essential for almost every posterior motion, including the rear delt fly. As a result, it has a synergistic effect on shoulder abduction.

Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus

The infraspinatus and supraspinatus are two little muscles that make up half of the rotator cuff muscles. Despite their small size, they play a crucial role in strengthening the shoulder capsule and assisting with arm abduction. These two little muscles support the scapula, rotator cuff, and shoulder.


Rhomboids are divided into two types: major rhomboids and minor rhomboids. The minor rhomboid is attached to the main rhomboid and forms a rhomboid-shaped muscle. They run beneath the trapezius muscle and link the scapula to the spine. They retract the scapula and stabilize the scapula in the same way that traps do.

Teres Major and Minor

The teres major and minor stretch from the humerus to the scapula. Despite their tiny size, they play a crucial role in pulling the arm back and providing support. These muscles also help the posterior deltoid guide its motion by preventing the humeral head from rising while the arm is abducted. It also works in tandem with the posterior deltoid during the abduction.


The triceps are frequently disregarded when it comes to pulling activities. The triceps, on the other hand, play a significant role. During the workout, the arms must be stretched and held while being pulled back. Because the hands require resistance, the elbow will want to flex to ease the stress. Because you don’t want this to happen, the triceps must contract to keep the contraction isometric. Whether you do rear delt flies, you’ll immediately find out if you have weak triceps.

Forearm Extensors

The forearm extensors have a similar role to the triceps, but their primary goal is to keep the wrist stable.


Works And Strengthens Rear Delts

Shoulder exercise is unquestionably important for a well-rounded physique. Having well-developed delts can substantially improve the appearance of your delts. Most people, on the other hand, neglect the fact that the three heads of the shoulder have very different functions. Exercises such as shoulder presses, later raised, and upright rows are commonly used to strengthen the shoulders. There’s nothing wrong with them; they’re great shoulder exercises to do.

However, most of your shoulder workouts will only target two heads: the anterior delt (front) and the lateral head (side). Shoulder workouts do not include the posterior delt, sometimes known as the back delt. To be fair, practically every pulling exercise includes a significant amount of posterior delt training. However, when it comes to isolating the muscle, it is often disregarded. You’ll be able to train this deltoid head if you include the cable rear delt fly. Furthermore, it may simply jog your recollection, reminding you that you have posterior delts.

Enhances Posture

Unfortunately, many people need to modify their posture. One of the best ways to do this is to use a lot of posterior pulling movements. While rows perform a lot of the hard lifting, using an exercise that allows for a lot of volumes is a fantastic method to balance out the amount of work in front of the body, both in motions and in everyday activities like writing or typing.

If you have bad posture, include a lot of cable rear delt flyes in your workout. Instead of being a “strength” exercise, this exercise can be utilized as mobility or warm-up exercise. This implies you should do it every session with a little weight and a high rep count.

Strengthens the entire shoulder complex as well as the muscles of the scapula

In addition to training the rear delt, you saw that the rear delt fly strengthens a range of muscles, including the rotator cuff and scapular muscles. Poor scapular control and weak rotator cuffs are common causes of injuries, therefore this is crucial. As the phrase goes, “strong things don’t shatter” (alternatively, “Weak things break easier”).

You don’t want to break your shoulder, but rear delt flys will strengthen it, so do them.

Cable Rear Delt Fly Variations

Bent-over Dumbbell Reverse Fly

If you prefer to work out with free weights rather than cables, grab a couple of dumbbells for this rear delt fly variation. Hinge at the waist, engage your core, and retract your shoulders to bring your arms straight out to the side.

Return to your starting point and repeat the process in a controlled manner.

Also read: Super Sets For Super Strength – Benefits And Common Mistakes

Bent-over Cable Rear Delt Fly

In a bent-over position, the cable rear delt fly can also be performed. To lift the weight, lower the pulleys, hinge at the waist so that your back is parallel to the ground, and retract your rear delts.

You should feel a similar pinch in your shoulder blades at the peak of each rep.

Take Away

Back training is a favorite of a big number of lifters. It enables you to use heavyweight, and the broad, thick back emanates power. All of the heavy liftings is beneficial, but for proper back conditioning, variety is required. Take it slowly with the heavyweights and concentrate completely on the burn.

The cable rear delt fly is an excellent workout since it employs little weight and requires a strong mind-muscle connection. It also functionally develops the posterior muscles while allowing you to train several muscles with a single joint exercise.

Cable rear delt flyes should be considered by serious lifters.


Rahul aims to cover the latest trends in the entertainment industry with his own unique perspective thrown in for a good measure. He loves dogs and reading about topics ranging from sports to science and technology. Rahul has a master's degree in exercise science and holds NSCA CSCS and CISSN certification

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