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Cable Reverse Fly [Exercise Guide]

cable reverse fly

What Is A Cable Reverse Fly

Cable reverse fly is a strength exercise, primarily targeting the rear part of your shoulder muscles. The technique is pretty easy, but you need a cable machine to practice the movement. The exercise suits all fitness levels: beginners and advanced athletes can benefit from the movement. It’s important to note that the rear delts are not the strongest muscle in your body. So don’t expect to move large amounts of weight in this exercise. Read on to know more about the proper form, muscles worked, and the benefits. 

What Muscles Does Cable Reverse Fly Work

The cable reverse fly is a workout focusing on your upper back and shoulders, especially the posterior deltoids.

Besides that, it works the following muscles:

  • triceps
  • rhomboids
  • infraspinatus muscle
  • scapular muscles

How to Perform Cable Reverse Fly

Step 1. Get ready

The first thing to do is to get the cable set right. The correct position of the pulleys is higher than the chest level. Remember that the plane of motion should be horizontal. Consider your height to choose the pulley position right.

Step 2. Grab the handles

Get the right handle in your left hand and the left one in your right hand. Get yourself centered between two ropes. Keep your hands in a close grip. Take a step back to create resistance.

Step 3. Make a fly move

Retract the shoulders and ensure you keep them down. Put the arms out to the sides, keeping a slight bend in your elbows. Feel the tension in the rear delts.

Step 4. Return to the starting position

Bring your hands back together in a controlled motion.

Advantages Of A Cable Reverse Fly

Constant Tension

Thanks to the use of a cable machine, muscles are constantly under stress. The machine will not let you relax even in the bottom part of the movement. It means the targeted muscles will be loaded to the maximum.

Maximum Isolation

The exercise isolates rear delts and allows an athlete to pump them. If your aim is to make the back of your shoulders bigger and stronger, this movement is for you. Strengthening these muscles is essential for those who want to correct bad posture, establish an upright stance, and enhance the overall balance.

Minimal Chance For Mistake

The movement’s technique is pretty simple and suits even beginners. The cable machine helps you achieve proper form in the easiest way. The main thing needed is to set the pulleys to the right height. 

Prep For more Complex Workouts

You may prepare yourself for more difficult compound exercises like deadlifts, bench presses, and inverted rows by doing reverse flys, which are an effective isolation exercise. One more pleasant bonus is functional fitness improvement.

5 Cable Reverse Fly Alternatives

1. Rear Delt Row

The rear delt row does a good job isolating the posterior deltoids. It is beneficial for your posture, shoulder strength, and overall health.

How to do rear delt row:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean so that your body is parallel to the ground. Keep your elbows slightly bent.
  • Make a very little bend in the elbows of both arms. After that, raise the weights until they are level with your shoulders and hold that position for a few seconds.
  • Bring your hands gently back down to the beginning position.

2. Face Pull

Face pull is a great workout for back hypertrophy and shoulder health. It primarily hits rhomboids and rear delts. One more crucial benefit of this exercise is opening up your posture.

How to do face pulls:

  • Ensure that your pulley is at chest height. Grab the rope on your handle machine and set one foot back.
  • Your shoulders should be down and relaxed while you’re standing.
  • Pull the rope towards your face. Your elbows should never be lower than the height of your wrists.
  • Return to the starting position.

3. Band Pull-Apart

There’s a reason this exercise is so well regarded: it’s both effective and easy on the joints. Also, the band pull-apart is known for its pain-relief effect on the shoulders. It has a simple technique and doesn’t require expensive equipment. All you need to practice is your desire and resistance band.

How to do band pull-apart:

  • The band should be held in front of you. Shoulder-width distance between your hands is ideal.
  • Grab the band with both hands, using an overhand grip.
  • Pull the resistance band apart as far as possible, keeping your chest up and your core firm. Pinch your shoulder blades together.
  • Use a small band if you feel that your arms are not ready for the full extension.
  • After bringing the band to your chest, return to your starting posture.

4. Reverse Peck Deck

A reverse peck deck is a strength exercise, which implies using a peck deck machine. Rear deltoids are the major focus of this exercise.

How to do reverse peck deck:

  • Lean against the padding with your hands on the farthest back position of the grips.
  • Your hands and shoulders should be aligned with the handles as you sit. If something is wrong, check the height of your seat.
  • Grab the handles and push them back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together strongly to ensure that your back deltoids are fully stimulated.
  • Go back to the starting position.

5. Wide Grip Bend Over Row

This is one of the best free weights exercises for working the middle back, biceps, forearms, lats, lower back, and shoulders.

How to do wide grip bend over row:

  • Stand over the barbell with your knees slightly bent.
  • Grab the barbell a bit wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Pick up the barbell carefully, keeping the shoulders up and maintaining a natural arch in the lower back.
  • Pull the bar up to the stomach area.
  • Stretch down under control.


Cable reverse fly is one of the most effective exercises, focusing on the rear delts. But if you do it with proper form, you can also work triceps, rhomboids, and scapular muscles. Using a cable machine makes the technique easier for everyone. Athletes value this movement for constant tension, maximum muscle isolation, and overall performance improvement. There are many alternatives for those who prefer to use kettlebells, dumbbells, a barbell, or resistance bands.