SYMPTOMS The rear delts tend to lag behind the rest of the deltoid heads, due in part to the fact that the main exercises to target the rear delt head are single-joint moves like bent-over lateral raises. These are great for isolating the rear delt head, but they limit the amount of weight you can use. Almost all multijoint shoulder exercises—heavy shoulder presses—target the front and middle delt heads, while the rear delts don’t get much overload.
Rx The face pull is a great multijoint exercise to hit the rear delts, as well as the often-neglected middle traps. To perform it, affix a rope attachment to the cable pulley of a lat pulldown station. Grab the ends of the rope attachment using a neutral grip (palms facing each other); place one foot on the kneepad post and lean back at about 45 degrees. Pull the ropes toward your face, spreading them as you do, so they end up on the sides of your neck just above your shoulders. Your upper arms should be out to your sides with your elbows bent. Squeeze the shoulder blades together and contract your rear delts and middle traps as hard as possible, then slowly return to the start position.
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