Cable Reverse Fly: A Complete Guide to perform

cable reverse fly

A fantastic isolation pull exercise for the posterior or rear deltoid muscle is the standing cable reverse fly. The supporting muscle groups throughout the exercise are the lateral or side deltoid, middle and lower trapezius, rhomboids (middle back), infraspinatus, and teres minor (rotator cuff).

As we know that having strong rear delts can help us to perform many exercises with proper shoulder stability and perfection with good posture.

People performed cable reverse fly with a variety of hand attachments and variations. A learner will put up a pulley, though, and hold the handle attachment by crossing their arms across their bodies. The pulleys are positioned at around head level, and the left arm grips the right handle, and the right arm grips the left handle. We will bring the arm back while maintaining a tiny bend in the elbow.

Benefits of Cable reverse fly

The back is one of the most popular areas to train for most lifters. It permits the use of heavyweight to develop a large, thick back. There are many other great reasons you should be doing it. The main advantages of doing the cable rear delt fly are listed below.

cable reverse fly benefits

Develop strength in the scapula muscle and entire shoulder

You observed that the cable reverse fly strengthens a wide range of muscles, including the rotator cuff muscles, as well as the scapular muscles, in addition to training the rear delt above. This is crucial because injuries frequently result from weak rotator cuffs and poor scapular control.

Cable reverse fly strengthens the shoulder, which is something you don’t want to get injured. So it also prevents shoulder injuries and improves shoulder functioning.

Improves Posture

The Cable reverse fly allows you in working with a variety of muscle groups that instant effect on your posture. Develop symmetry with the shoulder to avoid a “forward sloping” look.

The best approach to achieving good posture is by performing numerous posterior pulling exercises. While rows are great for getting in a lot of the heavy lifting, adopting an exercise that allows for high-volume exercise. It is a great way to balance out the amount of work that is put on the body throughout movements.

Include a lot of cable reverse fly in your program if you have poor posture. One strategy is to perform this exercise as a warm-up or mobility exercise as opposed to a “strength” activity. By this, we imply that you perform a lot of reps while using very little weight during each session.

Develop Your Posterior Delt

The shoulders need to be trained. Having well-defined delts might make you look much better. The three heads of the shoulder have radically diverse functions, which most people overlook. The majority of people work their shoulders by performing exercises like upright rows, shoulder presses, and lateral raises, cable reverse fly. There is absolutely nothing wrong with those because they are excellent shoulder exercises that you should be performing.

However, the majority of your shoulder exercises simply target the front and side anterior deltoids (side). The posterior delt, or back delt, is what shoulder exercises neglect to target. To be fair, practically every pulling exercise trains the posterior delts heavily. The muscle is typically overlooked when it comes to isolating it, though. You should exercise this head of the deltoid by including the cable reverse fly. Additionally, it can simply jostle your brain and remind you that you have posterior delts.

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Muscles that cable reverse fly targets

The cable reverse fly plays an important role when it comes to performing with a proper form. As we know that it is an isolation movement so it trains a group of muscles and another lot of muscles than just the deltoids. So there few other muscles that also play a significant role mentioned below.

cable reverse fly targeting muscles

Trapezius Muscle (Traps)

In the middle of the back are the trapezius muscles, sometimes known as the “traps.” The traps are divided into three parts.

Upper Traps: This muscle runs virtually shoulder to shoulder along the top of the upper back. It starts from the base of your head to the top of your neck.

The middle traps, which connect the spine to the scapula, are about as wide as your complete shoulder joint.

The greatest part is the lower traps. It begins off as it starts from the middle traps and flows down to the back. And comes to an end around halfway down the back.

Although each muscle has a somewhat different role and scapular retraction and control is their main objective. This is essential because nearly every posterior motion, including the cable reverse fly, depends on scapular retraction for both maximal effect and injury prevention.


When we usually discuss pulling motions, the triceps are typically not considered. However, the triceps are important. The arms must be held out in front of you while doing the workout. The elbow will desire to flex to release tension since the hands must have resistance. The triceps must contract to maintain an isometric contraction because you don’t want that to happen. When completing cable reverse fly, you’ll find out quickly whether you have weak triceps.

Infraspinatus and Supraspinatus

Two little muscles, the infraspinatus, and supraspinatus make up half of the rotator cuff muscles. Despite their small size, they are crucial for supporting the shoulder capsule and helping in arm abduction. Additionally supporting the scapula, rotator cuff, and shoulder are these two little muscles.

Rear Deltoids (Posterior Deltoids)

The rear deltoid is a key mover in this exercise, as suggested by the exercise’s name. Three heads make up the shoulder muscle or deltoid. These three heads must move the arm in a variety of directions because these joints are the most flexible.

The rear deltoid, which is located on the back of the body, is the muscle that performs “pulling” motions. It frequently collaborates with other back muscles. As seen during the cable reverse fly, shoulder horizontal abduction is one of its primary movements.

Teres Major and Minor

From the humerus to the scapula the teres major and teres minor both run. Even their small size, they are crucial in stabilizing the arm and pulling it back. Additionally, by preventing the humeral head from moving higher as the arm is abducted, these muscles help in guiding the posterior deltoid’s movement. Additionally, it collaborates with the posterior deltoid to help with abduction.


There are two types of rhomboids: major and minor. The reason this muscle is referred to as a “rhomboid” is that the minor rhomboid sits superior (above) to the major rhomboid, and the two together create a rhomboid-shaped muscle. They join the scapula to the spine and are located below the trapezius muscle. They work very similarly to the traps to retract the scapula and give support to the scapula.

Instruction to perform Cable Reverse Fly

Holding two D-handles with a neutral grip and spaced shoulder-width apart, stand between two pulley stations. To get your torso as parallel to the ground as you can without sacrificing the alignment of your trunk, push your hips back while maintaining a straight line from your knees to your ankles. At all times, your trunk needs to be in a neutral position.

Your arms will “sweep” across your body as you start the pulling part of the exercise and end up on the opposite side. Plan which arm will go above and which under when your arms are crossed in front of you before you begin to pull. You can switch up the patterns for every rep.

You want to pull back as much as you can during the movement, ideally with some mild hyperextension if it’s possible. Consider trying to touch your hands behind your back as a great way to feel this movement. Things won’t work out this way, but it’s a great idea to get the squeeze you want. And give a good squeeze to your muscle and then return in a controlled manner do not forget to maintain a muscle-mind connection.

During the exercise, your arms will remain in the same posture. Simply a tiny bend of the elbow. To keep your wrists still as well as your arms, you will use an isometric hold. The resistance will try to flex your wrist as you pull.

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Different Variations of Cable reverse fly

Cable reverse fly is one of the best back exercises on its own. To acquire muscle activation, you can do several versions of the exercise. These cable reverse fly modifications can feel like brand-new movements.

Cable reverse fly variations

Supinated Grip (overhead grip)

The use of a supinated or overhand grip is one of the more popular forms. The most common way to do this is to simply grip the cable straight, without the use of a handle. The hand will hit the delts somewhat differently as it rotates because the humerus will also rotate. Remember that most athletes feel a little bit stronger when performing this variation, thus you might use extra weight. If you used these first, dropped the load, and then used the neutral grip, you could even make a compound set.

Low cable reverse fly

The pulley system is simply lowered in the alternative variation. Everything remains the same, save for the fact that your hands will now cross your body and begin lower on your body, usually around the waist. The next step is to raise your arms. This resembles performing a significant lateral shoulder lift. Your upper back will become more active as you pull yourself up. As this is quite similar to a lateral lift, you will also hit your medial deltoids.

High cable reverse fly

The cable will be pulled in at a more downward angle if it is placed high. To be clear, the classic variation’s setup and format are precisely the same. The difference is that as your hands cross your body, they will descend from their higher starting position, which is often just over your head. Next, you will pull downward with your hands until you are normally at waist level. You almost appear to be making the letter “X” with your hands.

Your lower back and lats will be pounded harder as a result. If you watch the movement, it resembles pull-ups a little bit.

Unilateral cable reverse fly

With the unilateral cable reverse fly, you only need to use your hand. Any of the variations can use for this. You only use one hand, otherwise, everything is the same. Utilizing a unilateral exercise can increase core and stabilizer muscle activation. This is due to the core’s requirement to counteract the body’s propensity to rotate by working in an anti-rotational manner. Research suggests that anti-rotation training for the core is better than other core training methods, particularly when it comes to injury prevention.

Bent-over cable reverse fly

The first variation with a different setup is the bent-over cable reverse fly. You often do this motion while hunching over and using one hand.

The pulley will be in its lowest position for this version. The wire will then run in front of you while you stand there looking across. After then, bend over and grab the handle with the arm that is not touching the cable. Do your best as lower as you can. You should be squatting down in this position, crossing your far arm over your chest. For this, you can use any handle or grip you like.

Cable reverse fly alternatives

If someone is facing a problem in performing this exercise so here are several modifications that will still train the same muscles mentioned below.

Face Pulls

Face Pulls

You can use the cable machine for face pulls, a fantastic exercise for your rear delts. The traps, teres major, teres minor, and rhomboids are all effectively activates, which helps to increase scapula stability and strength.

The reverse pec deck machine, which you can use for back cable reverse fly, is another option.

Dumbbell reverse fly

Dumbbell reverse fly

Rear dumbbell flyes resemble cable reverse fly is almost perfect. Since you’ll be using dumbbells, the setup will be different. Similar to the bent-over cable reverse fly, you must bend over when using dumbbells so that your torso is nearly parallel to the ground. Next, you perform the cable reverse fly exercise with a dumbbell. Any grip may use, and the movement may be carried out bilaterally or unilaterally.

Setting up a bench with a small inclination is an additional choice. This is incredibly efficient since the bench supports your body weight and enables you to push harder against it.

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Reverse Butterfly

reverse butterfly

To start, you should adjust your seat so that your shoulders are at the same height as the exercise machine’s wrists. Put your chest against the machine seat while sitting on the backrest of the chair.

Your legs are on either side of the seat with your feet resting on the ground.

Each of your hands should place on the designated wrists. The wrists are in a pronated hold while the arms are nearly straight. Reach your starting posture after spreading your arms as far back as you can.

Always keep your back straight, and move with quality. Your pectoral muscles need to contract as much as possible during the workout.


The cable reverse fly is an excellent workout because it is known for a strong mind-muscle connection while using a light load. Additionally, it also allows you to exercise several muscles with a single joint and trains the posterior muscles in an actually functional way.