Barbell rear delt row exercise
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Barbell rear delt row

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Posterior Deltoid
  • Synergists: Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Lateral Deltoid, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Rhomboids, Brachialis, Brachioradialis
  • Dynamic stabilizer: Biceps Brachii
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Stand holding a barbell with a wide overhand (pronated) grip.
  2. Flex your hips and knees until your torso is horizontal, and allow the barbell to hang straight down.


  1. Keeping your elbows perpendicular to your torso, exhale as you pull the barbell up toward your chest.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you lower the barbell back to starting position in a controlled manner.
  4. Repeat the barbell rear delt row for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • To target the posterior deltoids, your elbows must be kept perpendicular to your torso. This allows horizontal shoulder extension, the movement pattern in which the posterior deltoid is the primary mover. Learn more about horizontal pulling exercises in which you keep your elbows perpendicular to your torso.
  • Keep your torso horizontal and still; only your arms should move. This prevents cheating and keeps the focus on the target and synergistic muscles.
  • If your lower back becomes rounded, bend your knees more. Prioritize good form as this reduces the risk of lower back injury.
  • To target your posterior deltoids, you can also look into the bent-over barbell reverse raise, the weighted inverted rear delt row, the cable rear delt row, and the standing cable rear delt row with rope.

Barbell rear delt row video


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