How The Cable Reverse Fly Will Enhance Your Shoulder Routine

cable reverse fly

Add to your shoulder routine with the cable reverse fly.

Adding to our massive physique requires the right exercises and the cable reverse fly can beef up our shoulders to only add to that physique. With the right approach to shoulder workouts, you can work on building boulders to give your upper half a large and full aesthetic. Working our shoulders can be challenging though, for these joints tend to be vulnerable, thus forcing us to take proper care of our bodies and technique so we see those gains we want most.

What strong shoulders will do are provide stable points of connection between your arms and trunk, allowing for optimal movement for any lifting or sport specific need. They will also work for balance, stability, strength, and of course, add to your shredded aesthetic by providing that full look in your upper half.

Let’s take a look at the cable reverse fly and see just what makes this exercise so great. From what it is, to what muscles are worked, to the many benefits, and how to perform it, you will have a complete guide here to begin this exercise and perform it as best you can.

shoulder mobility

What Is The Cable Reverse Fly?

The cable reverse fly, also known as a few other names, is a great exercise to boost shoulder growth and development by really targeting your rear delts, as well as other muscles. With variations to perform, this is a versatile exercise and one definitely worth trying for its ability to add real tension and its simplicity to perform. While it is important to maintain good form, that is true with all exercises so don’t let the look of this one fool you into thinking you can’t do it.

Muscles Worked

For this exercise, the main muscle group worked is your rear deltoid. However, as a great exercise overall, this will work your entire shoulder including the lateral deltoid and front deltoid, offering a great way to see more fullness. As a result of the movement, your rhomboids and erector spinae will feel slight work done as well.

shoulder mobility

Benefits Of The Cable Reverse Fly

The benefits of the cable reverse fly may seem obvious but it is an important exercise to put into your routine for what it can do for you. As an athlete looking to boost all areas of your training and performance, it is important to feel like your exercises are working for you and providing gains.

Benefits of the cable reverse fly include:

  • Bigger, stronger, shoulders: With the added time under tension, this will build more muscle adding to bigger, more stronger shoulders for movement and sport specific needs.
  • Better posture: Working on technique and building muscle around those postural joints will only work to enhance your posture (1).
  • More shoulder protection: Building up more muscle around those vulnerable joints offers better protection and can work to alleviate unwanted pain while reducing injury (2).
  • More full physique: With the increase in size, you will be more defined and allow for that more full physique to take affect.
  • Good variations: Either with a cable or not, there are good variations for this exercise that you will absolutely want to try.

How To Perform This

Here are the steps for performing the cable reverse fly:

  1. Stand with your feet around shoulder width apart. The pulley will be just above your head while you stand in the middle of the machine.
  2. Grabbing each handle, you will start with your arms crossed with the handles just in front of your face. Each hand will grab the opposite handle.
  3. When ready, brace your core and pull on the handles, giving your shoulder blades a slight squeeze.
  4. With a slight bend in the arms, slowly return to the starting position and keep your core engaged to really maintain solid form.
  5. Repeat for your desired number of reps.

resistance bands

Potential Variations

We wanted to share a couple of variations so you can target your shoulders differently while also giving you a variation that doesn’t require cables.

  • Lying Cable Reverse Fly (or Reverse Fly On Bench)

Lying down will help with poor posture and improve balance. This is done the same way as a normal cable reverse fly only lying on a bench.

  • Rear Delt Fly with Resistance Bands

For those unable to find cables, or who don’t have access to them, this can be done with resistance bands and will still provide time under tension while working your shoulders in a constructive and engaging way (3).

Best Equipment To Help The Cable Reverse Fly

In order to properly perform this workout, knowing of and having the right equipment will be exactly what you need to succeed. While this exercise uses cables, you may need a gym for the cable reverse fly.

However, for those who have the space, looking into a complete home gym can be something great for it will provide you with all the necessary equipment and allow you to work out from the comfort of your own home. For the variation above, looking into a quality pair of resistance bands can also assist you greatly.

Wrap Up

The cable reverse fly is one of those exercises you absolutely want to put into your shoulder routine. We all want an upper body that others will envy and looking to those exercises that can help us achieve this is a great start so we see all those desired gains come to life.

Our shoulders work to connect our arms and trunk while providing for only the best in terms of movement so neglecting this would be a terrible disservice. Check out the above lists for the best equipment and give this exercise a try. You won’t be disappointed by those boulder shoulders and your soon-to-be massive physique.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Lee, D.; et al. (2017). “Changes in rounded shoulder posture and forward head posture according to exercise methods”. (source)
  2. Greenfield, B.; et al. (1995). “Posture in Patients With Shoulder Overuse Injuries and Healthy Individuals”. (source)
  3. Lopes, J.; et al. (2019). “Effects of training with elastic resistance versus conventional resistance on muscular strength: A systematic review and meta-analysis”. (source)
Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.