If you are an upper body freak and the reverse pec deck is your go-to exercise because it works your upper back and shoulders, you may have noticed that the reverse pec dec machine is not common. As such, this article will examine some viable reverse pec deck alternative exercises that can give you similar feels on your upper back and shoulders.
The reverse pec deck
The reverse pec deck fly is a workout you can perform on specialized equipment to work your rear deltoids, trapezius, and rhomboid muscles. Here are some alternative exercises you can perform if you can not find the necessary machine.
📖 Related Article: If you're enjoying this article you may want to also check out: Shoulder Press – Dumbbell Vs. Machine – Which Is Better?
Cable Reverse Fly
The cable reverse fly is a great reverse pec deck alternative that isolates your rear delts and moves them across their entire anatomical motion range. The movement’s diagonal direction also mimics your muscle fibers’ direction. Using cables enables you to enjoy constant tension on the muscle you are working. An advantage you enjoy with this workout is that it allows for appropriate motion direction under resistance. Furthermore, it places constant tension on your muscles.
To perform the cable reverse fly, set the pulleys to the highest setting on a double cable pulley machine. After that, pull out the pulley’s handles, then cross your arms such that you hold the cable ends in opposing hands. Shift backward until your arms are at chest level. At this point, pull your arms back diagonally while you maintain a tiny bend in your elbows. After this, return to the starting position to complete the rep. I recommend the Rogue AB-3 Adjustable Bench to help you perform the exercise.
Resistance Band Reverse Fly
This reverse pec deck alternative is suitable if you do not have a double cable pulley machine in your home gym, as it helps you still perform a version of the cable reverse fly. This works by substituting resistance bands for cables to give you a cheaper alternative with similar effects. The primary difference between both versions of the fly is that the rep is easier at the start and harder at the finish with resistance bands. This is against your muscle’s natural strength curve.
To perform the resistance band reverse fly, anchor a pair of bands about a few inches over your head, leaving about three feet between both anchor locations. After this, cross your arms to allow you to grasp the bands in opposing hands. Shift backward until your arms reach chest level. Bring your arms back diagonally from this position while keeping a tiny bend in your elbows. After this, return to the starting position to complete the rep.
Like the cable reverse fly, the resistance band reverse fly also allows for suitable motion direction under resistance. However, you only need low-cost equipment to perform it, and it offers the ability to adjust the movement angle.
Bent-Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly
The bent-over dumbbell reverse fly is a common exercise in gyms to target your rear delts. The exercise works through the horizontal plane the reverse pec deck does. However, the bent-over dumbbell reverse fly does not bring your arms down to the sides. You can increase the motion angle by diagonally pulling your arms out and down as you bring your elbows back.
To perform this alternative, you will need a pair of dumbbells. With those dumbbells in your arms, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, Bring your torso forward until it is at a 30-degree angle to the floor. Ensure that you preserve your spine’s natural curvature as you lean forward. Likewise, keep your palms facing one another as you bring your arms down in front of your body. Use your shoulder joints to lift your arms (with the dumbbells) diagonally toward the ceiling. Your arms should be aligned with your hips at the midway point of the rep. Bring back your arms to end the rep.
💡 Quick Tip: If the bent-over rows are your go-to for developing your upper back, I recommend the Hex Dumbbells to help you build those ultimate shoulders
YTWs are suitable to target the same muscles, especially If you do not have any dumbbells or resistance bands. With this exercise, you switch between three positions that individually target one of the three major muscles that the reverse pec deck engages, like the posterior deltoids, the middle traps, and the rhomboids.
To perform the exercise, lie face down and rest your chin on an exercise mat. After this, diagonally extend your arms over your head, so they come up in a ‘Y’ position. Your thumbs should also be pointing up. The next step is to squeeze your shoulder blades while raising your arms a few inches off the floor. Lower your arms to end the rep and repeat it as often as possible.
To target the second major muscle, arrange your arms to form a “T,” with your arms extending to your sides and aligned with each other. Furthermore, ensure your palms are facing the ground. After this, raise your arms a few inches as you squeeze your shoulder blades together, lower them back to complete the rep, and repeat as often as possible.
Other exercises to target your upper back and shoulders
The Shoulder press
The shoulder press is a safer option that mainly works the anterior part of your shoulder muscle (anterior deltoid). Despite this, the workout will hit your triceps, trapezius, deltoids, and pec muscles.
Quick tip: If you are recuperating from an illness or are a beginner, you can also perform the overhead press with the Plate Loaded Deltoid And Shoulder Press Machine, as machines are better in these circumstances.
The shoulder press also employs the stabilizer muscles in your shoulders, wrists, and elbows, while the motion indirectly works your abdominals as you keep a straight core throughout. Together, this helps improve your stability and balance. A benefit is that you can use a regular barbell, like the Ohio Bar – Cerakote, or the EZ curl bar, like the Rogue Curl Bar.