Head-supported reverse dumbbell fly exercise
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Head-supported reverse dumbbell fly

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Posterior Deltoid
  • Synergists: Lateral Deltoid, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Rhomboids
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Raise a bench to hip height.
  2. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and stand behind the bench.
  3. Flex your hips and rest your forehead on the edge of the bench. Your back should be straight, your torso should be horizontal, and your arms should be hanging straight down in front of you, with your palms facing inward (neutral or hammer grip).


  1. Keeping your elbows slightly flexed, exhale as you raise both arms out to the sides until your elbows are level with your shoulders. At the top of the movement, your pinky finger should be higher than your other fingers.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your back straight.
  • Do not swing the dumbbells upward and do not allow them to drop downward. Keep the movement under full control.
  • Keep your body still. Only your arms should move.
  • Keep your head in contact with the bench. The whole point of resting your head on the edge of a bench is to make sure that your body stays still and doesn’t sway up and down. In other words, it prevents you from cheating.
  • To target your posterior deltoids during the head-supported reverse dumbbell fly, keep your torso horizontal. The more upright your torso is, the more emphasis you will place on your lateral deltoids instead of on your posterior deltoids.
  • To avoid the involvement of your latissimus dorsi, keep your upper arms perpendicular to your torso.
  • The head-supported reverse dumbbell fly is also known as the head-supported bent-over dumbbell lateral raise, the head-supported dumbbell rear delt fly, and the head-supported dumbbell rear lateral raise.
  • See also the reverse dumbbell fly and the one-arm reverse dumbbell fly.

Head-supported reverse dumbbell fly video

In this demonstration of the head-supported reverse dumbbell fly, the instructor’s torso isn’t kept horizontal enough. Still, the video gives you a good idea of how to perform the exercise.


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