Bent-over barbell reverse raise exercise

Bent-over barbell reverse raise

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Posterior Deltoid
  • Synergists: Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Lower (Sternal) Pectoralis Major, Triceps Brachii (long head only)
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Stand with a loaded barbell behind your feet, on the floor.
  2. Squat and pick up the barbell so that you are holding it behind your back.
  3. Flex your hips and knees until either your torso is horizontal or you feel a mild stretch in your hamstrings. The barbell should be resting on your calves.


  1. Keeping your back and neck neutral and your arms straight, exhale as you raise the barbell upward as far as you can.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly lower the barbell toward the starting position, stopping before the barbell touches your calves.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your body still. Only your arms should move.
  • Do not raise the bar beyond feeling a mild stretch in your shoulders.
  • The bent-over barbell reverse raise is a rare exercise but very effective at activating the posterior deltoid. The synergists (latissimus dorsi, teres major, sternal pectoralis major, and the long head of your triceps brachii) are involved in the movement only up to the point of where your upper arms are directly by your side. Beyond this point (shoulder hyperextension), only your posterior deltoid is involved to a significant degree, with your triceps brachii acting as an important stabilizer.
  • Also known as the bent-over behind-the-back barbell reverse raise and the bent-over behind-the-back rear delt raise.
  • For other exercises targeting the posterior deltoid, try the barbell rear delt row, the lying one-arm reverse dumbbell fly, the cable rear drive, and the supine cable reverse fly.

Bent-over barbell reverse raise video


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