Do Chin Ups Work Rear Delts? [Make bigger shoulder]

The rear deltoid is an often neglected muscle that we work on. But the truth is the opposite, it is an important muscle that should be worked. Not just because it's a part of the shoulder muscles. But to build balance, and flexibility, and speed up our muscle hypertrophy.

a man doing chin-ups outdoors to work out his rear delts

Chin-ups don't primarily work out the rear deltoid muscle. Pulling your body up and down in chin up gives constant stress to the rear delt muscle. Which can strengthen it and even increase a little in size. Where if you want more defined and muscular delts then adding isolation exercises will be the best.

In the below article, you will learn How does the chin-up benefit your rear delts? Should you do chin-ups to target the rear delts? The top 3 exercises to isolate the rear delts and what to do if you feel sore after back workouts.

So keep reading, have explicit knowledge and make it work for you.

How does chin-up benefit your rear delts?

Chin-ups and pull-ups are the two best pulling movements in the world. Though we are talking about chin-ups here so you should learn at least, "how it helps".

Chin-ups target multiple muscle groups in our body, especially our arms and back. Along with that, other muscles like our traps, rear delts,  abs, and core also get great stress from it.

Pulling the body weight with our palms facing us greatly activates the rear deltoid muscles, though it isn't the primary mover. But doing chin-ups regularly makes the muscle strong and defined. You can do chin-ups with your back days. Also if you want they can be done with bodyweight exercises too.

A strong rear deltoid means a strong shoulder which can help you a lot in regular activities. Such as taking a book from the shelf and lifting heavy weights in your work. These are some of the common benefits.

Also, it can help you in upper body sports like running, swimming, baseball, and even in weight lifting. Pulling and pushing movements also increase our core strength and relieve back pain. So overall doing chin-ups is definitely worth the time.

Related Post: Do chin-ups work out your abs?

Should you do chin-ups to target your deltoids?

Because of compound exercise chin-ups targets multiple muscles in our body. And the rear delts are one of them. So what if you do chin to target your rear delts. Will it be a good idea?

Your rear delt work as a secondary muscle in chin-ups. So doing it to work out your deltoids won't be a good idea. Yes, it can benefit your rear delts but for the proper work, stress, and concentration you should do isolation exercises. Below isolation exercises are best to work out the rear deltoid muscle.

But nothing to neglect the chin-up exercise. Adding compound exercises like this in your back day can speed up your muscle hypertrophy. Because they are targeting your lats and arm as well as your back muscles. So why should you skip them?

If you are a beginner you can do 2 sets of 5 chin-ups throughout the day. Where if you are a regular exerciser then doing it for 3 sets of 10-15 reps will be a good start for you.

Also, dont forget to have 05-minute warm-ups before chin-ups. Cz you are going to work out some complex muscles like the shoulder and lats.

Related Post: Do chin-ups build muscles? [Learn the truth]

Top 03 dumbbell exercises to work out your posterior deltoids

There are many exercises to work out your shoulder. But the truth is "not all exercise target the posterior deltoids" a.k.a rear delts. Below I will share with you the top 03 exercises that focus mainly on the rear delt muscle and give great pressure (along with some other muscles).

1. Incline Dumbbell High Row

a man doing incline dumbbell high rows at the gym
Image courtesy: Youtube/Chase Rolfs

The Incline dumbbell high rows are one of the best compound exercises to work out the back of your shoulders (rear delts). It also works on muscles like the forearms, biceps, and triceps. You need just a pair of dumbbells and an incline bench (that almost every gym in the US provides).

Correct Form

  • Set up a bench at an incline angle and hold the dumbbells
  • Lay on a prone position flat on the bench
  • Hold the dumbbells at the pronated position
  • Make sure your arms are hanging straight down off the side of the bench
  • Now row the dumbbells back focusing on pulling with your elbows
  • Open your elbows up to your sides like you are doing a face pull with dumbbells
  • Once you row them all the way up lower them back down
  • Now repeat for reps

Pro Tips

This row will be wider than regular rows. So make sure your dumbbells will come up higher towards your chest rather than your belly button to maximize the benefits. If you are beginner start first with lower reps and light weight dumbbells.


Related Post: Do chin-ups work out your traps?

2. Long Angle Dumbbell Row

Sportswoman doing one-arm dumbbell rows at the gym
Image Courtesy: Youtube/Alexandra Wilson

The long arm dumbbell rows are a difficult exercise that isolates the rear delt muscle. The rear delts get constant stress from the move as well as some other muscles like the triceps and forearms.

Correct Form

  • Set up a flat bench and grab a lighter dumbells
  • Place one knee and a hand on the same side as that knee on the bench
  • Keep your other foot on the floor and your other arms hanging straight down with the dumbbell in your hand
  • Make sure your chest is out to maintain a neutral arch to your back
  • Now row the dumbbell up towards the ceiling and back down slowly
  • Now repeat for reps

Pro Tips

The long angle dumbbell rows is different than regular dumbbell rows. So instead of rowing straight back follow an arch like path to aim row the dumbbell more towards your hips. If you are beginner start with lower reps.


 Read more: Do diamond push-ups make you stronger?

3. Weighted Skydiver Row

The weighted skydiver dumbbell rows are also an effective move to work your posterior delts with other shoulder muscles and triceps. You can do this exercise with a flat or an incline bench. Though it is done by a good range of motion so having the right form is key.

Correct Form

  • Place the dumbbells on the ground to the side of the bench
  • Lay flat on the bench in a prone position
  • Now raise both dumbbells out to your sides with your elbows slightly bent in a reverse fly-like motion, as you raise your chest and head up off the bench
  • Hold the position and squeeze for a second before lowering back down
  • Now going back and forth for reps

Pro Tips

Make sure that you are using a lighter weight dumbbells because you need to rows with a good range of motion. Where heavy weight can improper the form or make you to cheat. If you are beginner then start with lower reps.

What if your rear deltoid is sore from back workouts?

Muscle soreness is not a big deal when you are talking about weight training, muscle hypertrophy, and gym-going. There are many reasons for a muscle to get sore. Some of the common reasons are bad form, over-training, and starting first with heavier weight.

So what does it mean if your posterior deltoids get sore from back workouts and how can you relieve that?

Your rear delts get sore from a back workout means probably you did exercises with the wrong form or don't give time to your muscle to fully recover. As recommended by experts, if your muscles get sore then take rest, sleep and eat better. It will be ok.

For further problems, talk with your doctor and take essential medical help.

Take care of your health, do exercises with the right form, and give yourself time to properly recover. You will always get a good result ✌✌.

Anna Rose

Anna Marie Rose is an Exercise Enthusiast and Fitness Writer. She helps people achieve their Fitness Goals with her knowledge and real-life working experience. When she is not working, you can find her doing Martial Arts in her yard.

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