Rear delts sore after chest workout. Some people experience discomfort in their rear deltoids (and other muscles) after a chest workout.
This seems to occur more frequently in those who bench press or do lots of pushups.
Fortunately, there are several effective ways to get rid of pesky soreness. Just perform any of the following exercises, and you should be feeling better by tomorrow.
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Rear delts sore after chest workout: 9 Best Remedy
1. Bent-Over Rear Delt Raises
This is by far the best exercise to get rid of rear deltoid soreness after a chest workout. It also is more effective at increasing full range shoulder (especially the rear) mobility and strength than regular hanging bent-over raises performed in front of a mirror.
Using an EZ-curl bar or other straight bar attached to a low cable pulley. Perform as many reps of rear delt raise as possible without using momentum to get through the reps. Perform 2-3 sets until you feel your shoulders loosening up.
Maintain good posture during this exercise. Keep the back flat, head up, and your butt squeezed. This means that only the arms should swing and move during this exercise; there shouldn’t be any rocking or other motion occurring at the torso.
Stay away from bent-over raises performed in front of a mirror. Because they cause you to break posture too much (making it easier to cheat and use momentum through the movement). They don’t seem to be as effective. They have no therapeutic value when compared to rear delt raises.
Although this exercise will loosen up your shoulders, it will not loosen up your chest if you feel tightness in that area (such as after a heavy bench press workout). So if you feel tightness in your chest after a chest workout, try the following as well.
2. External Rotations
Simply grab a dumbbell (or two) and hold it at arm’s length to the side of your body with your arms bent 90 degrees in front of you (as demonstrated). From there, perform gentle external rotations for 30-60 seconds.
This is a great exercise to loosen up tight shoulders and chest muscles (benching, pushups, etc.). Plus it’s easy to do anywhere – no special equipment necessary! So try these two exercises together for the best results.
Also, if you have a hard time getting fully into the hang position of these raises, try using a little bit of assistance from your lower arms and hands. It isn’t necessary, and it will leave you with less stress on the shoulders than if you fully used your own body weight to get into position.
This one is pretty self-explanatory (and almost too easy!). To really make sure that you’re getting rid of all soreness, put an ice pack over the tight muscles for a few minutes after each workout.
Just be careful not to apply too much ice or keep it there too long, as this may cause more damage than good in some cases. And be sure not to let the skin become discolored from the cold either!
4. Stretching (maybe?)
Although I haven’t been able to find any research supporting this yet. Many people claim that stretching helps loosen up tight muscle groups. Especially the chest (which tends to get extremely tight from lots of benching and pushups).
So if you have access to a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or other tool designed for stretching, try rolling out the muscles around your shoulders and chest. Do not roll directly on top of bones or joints; only the surrounding muscles.
5. Deload Week
Sometimes all it takes is a little rest to clear up some muscle soreness! If there’s no other reason to take a week off, do so just because your rear delts are sore after a workout.
Remember that achieving results requires hard work, but they don’t require sacrifice! You should always be careful not to over-train, and you should always cut back if the initial workouts hurt too much. Remember, this isn’t a competition!
Plus, I’ve found that taking rest days can help with progress because it gives your body time to make new muscle cells faster than if you were working out all the time. And as I told an emailer once – “if no one ever took any rest days, then humans would still be hunting and gathering their food.”
6. Eat Some Protein
Not only does eating protein help your muscles recover quicker from workouts. But it also helps to repair connective tissue tears that may occur during workouts.
So make sure you eat some form of protein after each workout or at least 3-4 times a day, especially after any intense sessions.
7. Happy Baby Pose
This is one of my favorite recovery poses to do as it stretches the shoulders, chest, and back simultaneously. You can also use this pose (or variations of it) during your warm-ups before your workout actually starts!
To perform this stretch, you start in a seated position with legs out in front of you. And hands behind you on the floor. From there, keep your arms straight and begin to lean forward towards the ground (keeping your butt on the bench or chair).
Then slowly work yourself forward until you feel a deep stretch in both places; making sure to breathe nice and deeply during all reps! Do not rush it, and do not go too far as this may cause unwanted shoulder pain, especially in the case of a rotator cuff injury.
8. Foam Rolling & Lacrosse Ball
Suppose you don’t have access to a foam roller or lacrosse ball. In that case, I feel for you because they are probably two of the most versatile tools anyone could ever own.
Due to their design, both can be used for more than just stretching and foam rolling is probably my favorite post-workout recovery tool. So if you’re looking for some cheaper alternatives, then here’s what worked best for me:
A tennis ball works great in place of a lacrosse ball (and it’s even better if someone else has already beat it up, so there are lots of little nooks and crannies for knots to get stuck in).
Just be careful not to squeeze too hard, or you may end up with a black eye. That being said, it’s important to really dig into those shoulder blades!
A larger ball such as a volleyball can work wonders for your upper back muscles (but if they’re super tight, you might need a tennis ball too).
You should also try using these balls on other body parts that hurt after workouts, such as the chest and legs. Other friends of mine have recommended using these balls both inside and outside of the gym. Just make sure it’s not on top of anything expensive or breakable!
9. Side Lying External Rotation Stretch
This stretch is particularly good for relieving pain in the front of your shoulders and upper arms. In some cases, it’s also great for relieving tightness behind the shoulder blade as well.
It can be more difficult to execute than other stretches because it requires you to hold tension. While simultaneously moving a limb away from your body without losing your form.
Try not to overstretch; only go about as far (or a little further) than what feels good! You can do this stretch with both arms simultaneously or with one arm at a time – whatever works best for you!
The Bottom Line
The 9 remedies for rear delts soreness mentioned in this article are just a few of the many ways to fix your problem. However, regardless of what you do or don’t try from this list, you must take care of yourself and follow doctor orders before doing anything else.
If any of these solutions work out for you, please let me know! I want to hear about all your successes to continue to share valuable information with our readership on their behalf.
Do you have Rear Delts sore? What did you find helped relieve your pain most effectively? Let us know how the article has been helpful in the comments section below!