We’ve traveled the fitness world to bring you these back and shoulder exercises. Whatever your current fitness level, add a little extra strength and stability to your workout.

You’ll find your posterior deltoid muscles (your rear delts) behind you, running from the top of each arm to the base of each shoulder blade. Along with your traps, rhomboids, and retractors, they keep your shoulders held back and your posture sexy.

You want that sexy posture? Well like Britney said, you better work! We’ve rounded up the best back-and-shoulder workouts to build into your regular exercise routine.

The 11 best rear delt workouts are:

  1. Barbell bent-over rows
  2. Bodyweight stability ball cobras
  3. Dumbbell Arnold presses
  4. Dumbbell reverse flys
  5. Incline dumbbell Y raises
  6. Incline rear delt dumbbell rows
  7. Inverted rows
  8. Reverse pec deck flys
  9. Rope (or resistance band) face pulls
  10. Seated rear dumbbell lateral raises
  11. Y-T-I dumbbell raises

First, these rows won’t only do wonders for your rear delts. They’ll also boost strength and stability throughout your whole body.

You’ll need:

  • A loaded barbell

To do barbell bent-over rows:

  1. With your hands shoulder width apart, grip the bar with your palms facing towards you (an overhand grip).
  2. Bend your knees and tilt your torso forwards.
  3. Your back should be kept straight, ideally parallel to the ground.
  4. Steadily lift the barbell up to your sternum.
  5. Hold for a moment.
  6. Steadily lower the barbell back to the ground.
  7. Repeat 6 to 12 times.

This gentle introductory stretch develops your delts while also keeping them flexible and supple. A solid warmup.

You’ll need:

  • A stability ball
  • Two dumbbells (optional)

To do bodyweight stability ball cobras:

  1. Get onto your stability ball, facing down.
  2. Stick your legs out behind you to hold your weight on your toes. Keep your face down, towards the floor.
  3. Extend your arms forward. If you’re doing this on hard mode, grip a dumbbell in each hand. If not, keep your palms facing the floor.
  4. Bring your arms out to your sides then behind you with your thumbs pointing up.
  5. As your arms lift, allow your chest to raise up as well. Your head should be facing forwards once you reach the full stretch.
  6. Hold for a moment, then steadily return to the starting position.
  7. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

Get to the choppah! This classic rear delt exercise is named after none other than the Terminator himself. Now that’s an endorsement!

You’ll need:

  • Two dumbbells

To do dumbbell Arnold presses:

  1. Begin with a dumbbell in each hand and feet at hip width.
  2. Curl the weights inward until they’re pressed against you at shoulder level, with your palms facing inwards.
  3. Keep your spine aligned and engage your core.
  4. Lift the weights as you rotate your arms until your palms are facing forwards as your arms fully extend upwards.
  5. Hold for a moment.
  6. Repeat for 8-12 reps

Starships are meant to fly, and so are dumbbells if you want to develop your rear delts. Here’s another simple exercise to activate these often-neglected muscles.

You’ll need:

  • Two dumbbells

To do dumbbell reverse flys:

  1. Start with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend forwards, hinging from the waist by keeping your hips pushed back.
  3. Once your torso is parallel with the floor, let your hands lower to the floor, still gripping your dumbbells with palms facing inwards.
  4. Engage your core and maintain a flat back.
  5. Raise your arms out sideways to shoulder level.
  6. Slightly bend your elbows as you reach the full stretch.
  7. Hold for a moment then steadily return to the starting position.
  8. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

These rear delt exercises also activate your forearms and chest. A versatile addition to your regular workout schedule.

You’ll need:

  • Bench raised to 45 degrees
  • Two dumbbells

To do incline dumbbell Y raises:

  1. Lie with your stomach pressed into the bench.
  2. Stick your feet out backwards to take your weight on your toes.
  3. Align your hands beneath your shoulders, gripping your weights with palms facing inwards.
  4. Lift the weights and raise your arms up into a “Y” shape.
  5. As you reach full extension, engage your core and pull your shoulder blades forward.
  6. Hold for a moment, then steadily return to the starting position.
  7. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Pro tip: Beginners are better off doing Y raises without dumbells. Once you increase your stamina, you can always add some weights into the mix.

Using the same 45-degree workout bench, you can adapt your workout to also target your spine and back muscles. A solid stability builder.

You’ll need:

  • Bench raised to 45 degrees
  • Two dumbbells

To do incline rear delt dumbbell rows:

  1. Lie facing forward on the bench, neck, and head resting above its back.
  2. Support your weight on your toes by stretching your legs out behind you.
  3. Grip the dumbbells in each hand, rest them on the floor with palms facing towards your feet.
  4. Lift the dumbbells up until your elbows raise above your shoulders.
  5. Engage your shoulder and back muscles as you reach full stretch.
  6. Hold for a moment then steadily return to start.
  7. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

A delt-friendly spin on the pullup, it’s important to focus on perfect form here for maximum activation.

You’ll need:

  • A bar racked at waist height

To do inverted rows:

  1. Start out lying on your back beneath the racked bar.
  2. Reach up and grip the bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width. Use an overhand grip with your palms facing away from your body
  3. Let yourself hang from the bar. Your hands should be aligned above your shoulders and your feet at hip-width.
  4. Pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar. Your body should be kept aligned from your toes to the crown of your head.
  5. Hold for a moment, then steadily lower yourself.
  6. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

Here’s a back-and-shoulders workout you can use to really push yourself. Your rear delts, and your upper back in general, will thank you later.

You’ll need:

  • A pec deck resistance machine

To do reverse pec deck flys:

  1. Get on the machine. Your stomach should be touching the pad.
  2. Keep your arms parallel with the floor as you grip the handles.
  3. Focus on engaging your back muscles and squeezing your shoulder blades together as you push the handles inwards.
  4. Hold for a moment before steadily returning to the start position.
  5. Repeat 15 to 20 times.

Whether you use a cable machine or a resistance band for this rear delt exercise, make sure your ‘rope’ is anchored at about head height. You should pull towards your face, not downwards or upwards, to activate the right areas.

You’ll need:

  • A resistance band or a cable machine

To do rope face pulls:

  1. Grip your cable overhand. Your hands should be about six inches apart.
  2. Take a step backward until you feel the cable tensing.
  3. Align your back straight and keep your elbows raised. Then pull the band towards your nose.
  4. Steadily return to start position.
  5. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Sitting down puts this move’s focus on your rear delts, for even better toning and strengthening. It also activates the muscles around your ribs.

You’ll need:

  • Two dumbbells
  • A chair or seat

To do seated rear dumbbell lateral raises:

  1. Sit with your feet apart. Let the weights hang by your legs.
  2. Tilt your torso forwards til your chest touches your knees.
  3. Lift the dumbbells outwards to your sides. Your palms should face inwards with your chest and knees always in contact.
  4. Hold for a moment with your arms at full extension.
  5. Steadily return to start.
  6. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.

Combining weights with the stability ball makes for a solid intermediate challenge. An outstanding inclusion in any posture-focused workout.

You’ll need:

  • Two dumbbells
  • A stability ball

To do Y-T-I dumbbell raises:

  1. Facing down on your stability ball, grip a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other.
  2. Steady yourself by taking your weight onto your toes.
  3. With your body aligned, lift the dumbbells until your arms make a Y-shape at 45 degrees.
  4. Hold for a moment, then lower the weights back to the floor.
  5. Lift the dumbbells again, this time out to your sides to form a T-shape with palms facing down.
  6. Hold for a moment, then lower the weights back to the floor.
  7. Lift the dumbbells up so your arms make an I-shape ahead of you, palms facing each other.
  8. Hold for a moment, then lower the weights back to the floor.
  9. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Properly working out your back and shoulders nets you a bunch of day-to-day health benefits. The rear delts contribute enormously to shoulder flexion. This makes everyday movements like picking stuff up easier.

Strengthening your delts is also a good way to guard against injury. A lot of workout routines fail to activate the back muscles, don’t make that same mistake. A balanced approach to exercise will net you long-term benefits that keep paying off.