Reverse Flyes are a great exercise to build your posterior delts (easily said, the back of your shoulder). It’s a common issue for many people who work out that the rear delts are less developed compared to the front and side delts and with resistance bands you can train your rear delts really effectively.
In the first part of this article, we will show you how to execute a reverse fly with resistance bands properly and in the second part, you find some tips for alternative ways to do reverse flyers to find the perfect variation for you.
Reverse Fly With Resistance Band
Let’s jump right into how you do the basic reverse fly with resistance bands.
Bands VS Weights & Machine
Doing your reverse fly with a resistance band gives you several advantages over doing them with a cable machine or free weights
- Follow the natural strength curve of your muscle! The resistance of a band will always increase the more you stretch it and that’s also the natural strength curve of your muscle, having the most power in the full contraction. With a cable machine, you often fatigue in the expanded part of your muscle without fully fatiguing the whole muscle.
- Versatility! With free weights you always need to get into a bent-over position which can put more stress on your lower spine or even promote bad form – resistance bands will let you stand tall and focus on the reverse fly without any additional equipment.
- Perfect Resistance! Your rear delts are not strong muscles and you can work them to fatigue pretty fast and especially with weights you will often get at a point where you won’t be able to get into full contraction. With bands you can easily adjust the resistance while you do the reverse fly and get some extra reps in.
There are also more reasons to favor resistance bands over traditional free weights or machines, like reducing the stress on your joints, getting more peak contraction, and many more. But we’re talking here about doing a reverse fly, so if you’re interested in background info about what benefits resistance bands give you in strength training and bodybuilding, check it out here.
How To Reverse Fly The Right Way
The reverse fly will bring your shoulders back and use your rear delts, basically the back of your shoulder. In the classic version of this exercise you will attach your resistance band about chest height with a door anchor.
You will normally use a quite light band here as your rear delts are not very strong muscles and can’t handle the stronger bands with sufficient reps to train them properly.
If you use tube style bands you will attach the band in the middle, with loop style bands you can attach them in a doorknob for this exercise.
Now you will get in an upright position, place your feet next to each other (or one above the other for more stability if you use a little more resistance) and step back so you have no slack in the band.
Many people now have problems using their rear delts and start using other muscles in the back, so the best tip I can give you is to think about bringing your army out instead of bringing them back – you will feel the contraction after a few reps in your real delts when you do this right.
Important Do’s & Don’ts!!!
⓵ No Slack – when you’re in the starting position of your reverse fly, there shouldn’t be any slack in the band. The band should already be stretched a little bit so you feel a force pulling you towards the band a little bit. If you have a slack here you will lose a lot of time under tension!
If you’re not possible to get the band into a full contraction with the fly without having a slack you need to use a lighter resistance band (below you find tips on how to increase the force with a lighter resistance band).
⓶ Pull Out, Not Back – as I said above, you need to focus on pulling your arms out instead of focusing on bringing them back to prevent using your rhomboids or traps with reverse flyes.
Also focus on keeping your back upright and don’t start rounding your shoulders to the front, this is an isolation exercise so you will feel your rear delts fatigue quite fast.
⓷ Clean Reps > Ego – after a few reps you will start to feel how your rear delts will fatigue with reverse flyers quite fast. If you feel that you can’t pull anymore, step a little closer to get less resistance and get some more reps in. It’s about progress, not about your ego using a stronger band. Use the lightest band if you have to work your rear delts.
Alternative Ways To Reverse Fly With Resistance Bands
With every version of an exercise, you will find people that really like it and others that don’t like it that much. If you have problems with the traditional way of doing the reverse fly as shown above (while executing it the right way), you might want to try one of the alternative ways.
No Anchor Point? If you can’t attach the band anywhere (what I doubt, you will use quite a light band), but there’s an alternative called pull apart. This uses the same motion as the reverse fly but you will hold the band in front of your head and pull it as much out as you can – this will work your rear delts as well but gives less resistance for the backwards movement. You will still feel this exercise in your rear delts.
Bent Over Reverse Fly – this is also an alternative if you don’t attach the band anywhere where you step on the band and bend over so you will get almost in a horizontal position with your back (depends on your flexibility).
Pay close attention that your back is straight, you don’t want to put extra stress on your lower back while doing this version of the reverse fly. In my opinion I’d favor the attached version and even the pull apart over this version here because the back position is not that great (even when done with a straight back) and you will focus a lot more on your stability than executing the reverse fly in clean form. But that’s my personal opinion, if you like this version it’s also right to do it that way.
Get Your Pump
If you really want to work your rear delts to the ground you can use them single-handed. The advantage here, over doing them both-handed, is, that you won’t have the shoulder blades pushing together so you can get a little greater range of motion.
Please make sure that you keep your upper body stable while doing them single-handed as you can see in the image.
Full Shoulder Workout
Simply doing reverse flyes is not a full back or shoulder workout as there are multiple muscles working there – we have here a full back and shoulder workout with different exercises that will give you the strongest pump you can ever think of – check THEM out here.