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Reverse Peck Deck [Exercise Guide]

What Is A Reverse Peck Deck

A reverse peck deck is a strength exercise, which implies using a peck deck machine. The move is called so because it’s opposite to the peck deck. Instead of spreading your scapulae apart, you bring them closer together. An athlete sits facing the machine and pushes the handles back. 

The movement primarily works rear delts and upper back muscles, which are relatively small. That’s why athletes usually pick a modest weight and do many reps. The move belongs to the intermediate fitness level. Read on to know about muscles worked, the exercise’s benefits, proper form, etc.

What Muscles Does Reverse Peck Deck Work

The primary muscle group that reverses peck deck exercise works is rear deltoids. It’s an oblong-shaped muscle located in the shoulder’s back. The scapula’s outer spine is where it begins. Unlike the other two deltoid heads, this one descends and twists around to feed into the insertion site on the upper arm. The fibers go from the traps to the upper arm, crossing each other along the way.

Reverse peck decks work the following muscle groups:

  • rear delts
  • rhomboids
  • trapezius

How To Perform Reverse Peck Deck

Step 1. Set up the machine

Place the grips at their furthest back position and lean against the padding. Set the weight stack to a low level to go slow if it’s your first try. 

Step 2. Grab the handles

Hold the grips with both hands. You should sit high enough to align your shoulders with the handles and your hands. Ensure you keep your elbows and arms straight and extended. The correct posture implies high shoulders and your hands in front of the chest.

Step 3. Push back

Push the handles back with your hands facing up to acquire the entire range of motion. To guarantee that your rear deltoids are thoroughly activated, squeeze your shoulder blades together tightly.

Step 4. Return to the starting position

Reduce the tension and go back to the start.

Tossing one’s head and the chest is the most typical blunder. As you go through the repetitions, you may begin to feel fatigued and wonder whether you should push through more. Always focus on the proper form instead of aiming for more reps. If you feel you begin to help yourself with NOT TARGETED muscles, it’s time to stop. 

Benefits of Reverse Peck Deck 

Maximum focus on targeted muscles

The use of the machine guarantees the athlete maximum stability during practice. Stabilizing muscles will not be included in the work. This means that targeted muscles will be isolated. So you can focus on full pumping of rear deltoids and achieving great muscle hypertrophy.

Greater load

The deltoid isolation is combined with reliable chest support. You can reverse fly with a heavier weight if you lay your chest on the pad while using it as leverage. So it opens possibilities for using large weights if you need them.

Prep for complex workouts

The reverse peck deck primarily focuses on rear delts and upper back. These areas are crucial for performing many other workouts, such as bench presses, deadlifts, etc. Regular practice of reverse peck deck can strengthen the mentioned muscles and prepare you for new athletic challenges.

Posture improvement

This exercise trains your upper back and helps to prevent round shoulder problems. Practice reverse peck deck regularly to keep your posture nice and healthy. On top of that, a well-defined upper back is eye-catching. It gives you an attractive, sportive look.

Fewer injury risks

The rear delts, the primary muscles worked during this exercise, support the rotator cuff. That’s why practicing reverse peck deck is also an essential strategy to prevent injuries to your shoulders and tendons when you are performing other exercises in your training routine.

5 Reverse Peck Deck Alternatives

1. Rear Delt Fly

Try rear delt fly if you aim to strengthen and define your deltoids. The move also contributes to your back health and perfect posture.

How to do a rear delt fly:

  • Stand up, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold your body almost parallel to the floor by pushing your hips back. Fix the body in this position and hold it during the workout
  • Bend your elbows a little bit. Lift the weights till they’re parallel to your shoulders. Pause for a second at the top of the movement
  • Come back to the starting position by lowering your hands in a controlled motion

2. Face Pull

Due to its comparable movement pattern and similarity in muscle development, the face pull is a viable alternative to the reverse pec deck.

How to do face pull:

  • Anchor a band to a rack a bit overhead, or place the cable on the machine over your head
  • Position yourself in front of the band or cable
  • Grab the band or rope connection and take a staggered step back to create tension
  • Begin with your arms extended in front of you. Draw your elbows back behind. Pull the band or rope apart with your hands while your forearms spin rearward. Keep your elbows high
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together for a few seconds before returning to the starting posture

3. Horizontal Band Pull Aparts

The horizontal band pulls aparts are effective for building back delts and traps without extra strain on your joints.

How to do horizontal band pull aparts:

  • To perform the exercise, you will need a resistance band of medium strength. Grab it using an under grip and hold your hands shoulder-width apart in front of you. Your feet should be hip-width apart, and the pelvic – slightly tucked in
  • Pull the band apart, moving your shoulders back. Keep your head, spine, and neck neutral. Return to the starting position. That’s one rep
  • You can choose the difficulty level by placing your hands closer or wider on the band at the start. A closer grip will make the exercise more challenging

4. Barbell Rear Delt Row

The rear delt row demands greater waist bending than the conventional barbell row. This places a maximum load on the shoulders.

How to do barbell rear delt row:

  • Stand up straight and hold the barbell with an overhand grip
  • Bend over, so your torso is parallel to the floor, and keep your knees bent. Maintain a natural arch in your back. Let your arms hang in front of you as you hold the bar
  • Flare your elbows out, exhale, and pull the bar up to the chest. Feel the tension in your rear delts. Hold this position for a few seconds
  • Slowly return to the starting position as you inhale

5. Bodyweight Rear Delt Fly

If you look for an exercise that activates your rear delts without any equipment, this bodyweight movement is just what the doctor ordered.

How to do bodyweight rear delt fly:

  • Lay down on your back with your arms straight to the sides. Keep your legs bent at 90-degrees with feet standing on the floor
  • Push your fists to the ground. Elbows should be locked out
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades and raise your upper back off the floor, activating rear delts. Try to raise your arms, leaving only your fists on the ground. Then, go down slowly. You want the elbow height to be at the height of the shoulder


What muscles does the reverse pec deck work?

The rear delts and upper back muscles are targeted in this workout, which aims to build their size and strength. The rear delts, rhomboids, teres major, infraspinatus, and middle traps all function together in this movement.

Is reverse pec deck good for shoulders?

The reverse peck deck provides an excellent shoulder workout. Due to the machine used during the exercise, the movement’s trajectory is fixed and stable. This fact allows focusing on targeted muscles to the maximum.

How to do reverse peck deck without the machine?

You can choose an alternative exercise to achieve pretty same results. For example, you may try reverse flys with dumbbells, face pulls, and barbell rear delt row.


Many athletes value reverse peck deck for its ability to isolate rear delts and maximally load them. Working your rear delts is critical for completing your physique and preparing your shoulders to handle larger weights in various workouts. However, this exercise has other benefits. Regular practice will improve your posture, make you stronger, and help to avoid injuries. 

The good news for those who don’t have access to a cable machine is that the exercise is variable. If you aim for bigger shoulder strength, try face pulls. Do you want to make rear delts bigger and stronger? Then rear delt fly with dumbbells suits you the best.