What Is a Reverse Fly?


The reverse fly is a resistance exercise that targets the muscles of the upper back and shoulders, primarily the posterior deltoids, rhomboids and middle and lower trapezius. To perform the move, stand and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees and lean forward from the hips so your back is almost parallel to the floor. Your arms hang down, perpendicular to the ground. Complete the reverse fly by pulling your arms as far up and out away from your torso as you can while keeping a soft bend in the elbows. As you squeeze the shoulder blades together, your back muscles get a workout.

Variations and Proper Execution

  • The reverse fly may also be performed using a resistance band or a weight-training machine. You can also do one-armed reverse flyes or perform them from a seated position. When using dumbbells, you must make your back nearly horizontal to the floor -- positioning the torso at a 45-degree angle with the floor is not enough to target the rear deltoids of the shoulders.

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