Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise: How To Do It Perfectly

The Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise is a good exercise especially to those who want to target their posterior deltoids. It is a medium difficulty type of exercise meaning a majority of people can withstand it. Even for those still, without enough endurance can adapt to it within a matter of weeks. This post is purposely meant to teach you how to effectively and appropriately do the Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise type of a workout for maximum benefits.


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A Step By Step Guide On How To Perform The Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

Just like in the case with other forms of exercises, it is also common to find people ineffectively doing this workout with others excessively doing it. Such people end up with very poor results. Everything has to be done in order and it ought to be done. Below is a step by step guide you can follow to realize maximum benefits.


Starting Position

  1. Start off by sitting on a flat bench, towards the edge with your feet together on the ground and couple of dumbbells of different weight in front of the bench. Let these dumbbells look forward. Maximum strength is gained when your feet are placed together. Though you may want to get better balancing with your feet apart, such a posture will really jeopardize your workout and ultimate results. You would therefore rather use the lightest dumbbells possible but have your feet together. What is the fuss all about anyway, soon you will be graduating to heavier and heavier dumbbells.
  2. When sited, bend forward at the waist region to assume the position where your upper back is in a parallel line with the floor whereas your chest meets the knees. Push your body so low that if it were possible, it would rest on your thighs.
  3. Take two dumbbells of equal weights, one on each hand and hold them behind your calves. These pieces of equipment should face forward and in this position, you are sure of gaining the most out of the workouts. You then need to do deep inhalation followed by exhalation after which you lift the dumbbells by slightly bending your hands. Bending your hands raises the dumbbells straight up in a perpendicular line with the floor as your hands will still be remaining on the same perpendicular line. This is your starting position

Executing the Action (Movement)

  1. Upon assuming the starting position, the weights are lifted straight to the user’s sides until their two hands are in a parallel line with the floor. This is the best exercise for strength development of the shoulder muscles.
  2. Ensure the two arms are in a parallel line with each other. Don’t raise your arms while bringing them back as opposed to your side. Also, ensure that you avoid swinging the torso.
  3. When your arms get to the parallel line with the floor, keep the elbows slightly bent, then hold & together squeeze the shoulder blades and then pause for two counts.
  4. After contraction for two counts or rather a second, slowly return the weights to the starting position.
  5. Different amount of repetitions has been designed for different levels and different workouts. For faster results, ensure you repeat the process as stipulated in your workout plans. If you don’t haven’t any program from a physical trainer, always strive to complete three sets of 10-12 reps for four continuous days every week.

The Do’s And The Don’ts

  • Your chest should touch your thighs or come the closest possible to the thighs
  • Your legs should be together, forward and bent at the knee joint
  • The dumbbells should be held with the palms facing each other with the thumb facing inward. This has an improvement to the rear deltoid isolation
  • Don’t let the weights come in contact at any single point as you workout
  • To avoid straining, let your elbows be bent at about 10 degrees all through the exercise
  • Don’t raise the torso as you raise the weights. Instead, let the body be still
  • Allow only your rear delts to raise the weight but not your body. You must therefore not swing your body at any point
  • Let your elbow lead during raising and not your hands

The target muscles (rear delt) are extremely small muscles hence aren’t dependent on heavy weights for results to be seen.

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Why You Should Do Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

  1. The workout keeps rotator cuff issues away. Rotator cuff is a very frequent shoulder injury in many
  2. The posterior deltoids are developed and strengthened thus leading to a sturdy upper back
  3. Those working out end up producing more power during other workout variants within the workout plans. Bench presses and squats, for instance, will be done with more poweriv. It helps keep the body in a balanced position and form with the rest of the body

All in all, all those who are seriously in the search for that workout that will help give the shoulders better strength, stability, balance and definition must always use other exercises just to supplement the Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise. In other words, this should be your primary workout for shoulder definition.

Workout Variations

  • You can either use a neutral grip or the pronated (thumb facing inwards) grip
  • You can also opt to do it while standing while bending at 90 degrees with the torso parallel to the floor. This is however not the best position especially when you will be lifting heavy dumbbells as it strains the lower back quite a lot.

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Muscles Involved

The workout targets the shoulder/deltoid muscles with the middle and posterior deltoids being specifically targeted. In a nutshell, the muscles below are targeted in the workout.

  • Primary Targeted Muscle: Trapezius (upper back together with the neck) and the rear deltoid
  • Secondary Targeted Muscles: rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, middle deltoid, teres major & minor, lower back muscles along the vertebral column, the infraspinatus and the triceps
  • Antagonistic Muscles: Front deltoid, biceps, and the pectoralis major


The Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise workout is categorized under the isolation exercise class. This is because the workout has been isolated to target on the shoulder muscles and joint as only the joint on the shoulder is mobilized. It is done the same way the standing bent-over lateral raise with the only difference being that you do it while seated and the dumbbells aren’t laterally lifted but are instead lifted on the rear side.

The main benefits of this variant that makes it to be recommended over the standing variant is the fact that better balance is attained whereas lower back isn’t as strained as is the case with the standing variant. Aim to do at least three sets of ten to twelve reps to get the maximum benefits out of it.

Kelly Joyner

Hi, I'm Kelly, I'm very glad you took a few minutes of your time to check out my blog. RegularityFitness is a blog about the best fitness exercises, weight loss methods, diet, muscle building. That will help you get a good shape and healthy.

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