Bent-over dumbbell rear delt row

The bent-over dumbbell rear delt row is a popular upper-body exercise that targets the muscles on the backside of the shoulder joint, specifically the medial and rear heads of the deltoid. Since pressing movements build the front and (to a lesser degree) side deltoid heads, this move is often done to promote balanced shoulder development. It is usually performed for high reps, such as 10-15 reps per set or more, as part of a shoulder or upper-body workout.


  1. Promotes aesthetically and functionally balanced shoulders
  2. Can use heavier weights than rear delt flies
  3. Recruits postural and stabilizer muscles important for shoulder stability

Bent-over dumbbell rear delt row Images


Bent-over dumbbell rear delt row Instructions

Bent-over dumbbell rear delt row muscle diagram
  1. Begin in a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand. With the knees slightly bent, flex at the hip to lean forward. Ensure that your back is straight and stays that way for the duration of the exercise. Allow your arms to hang perpendicular to the floor, with the wrists pronated and the elbows pointed to your sides. This will be your starting position.
  2. Initiate the movement by flexing the elbows and transversely extending the shoulder, rowing the dumbbells toward your torso. Your shoulders should stay retracted, squeezing your scapulae together throughout the movement. The upper arms should be perpendicular to your torso.
  3. Continue the row until the elbows are inside of 90 degrees, contracting your shoulders as you pause at the top.
  4. Return to the starting position, taking care to maintain both shoulder and spinal positioning. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.