Reverse Fly = horrible

ok, is it just me and my unimpressive shoulder mobility, or does anyone else find the Reverse Fly exercises really hard?
Especially the arms overhead one. I can just hold my arms up straight, but then attempting to push them backwards against the wall while keeping my back straight is so difficult. They just don’t want to go that way. 90 degree is difficult, 45 degree is worse, and overhead is . . . even worser :slight_smile:
I have just got some hanging rings at home, so hoping that doing some hanging from my arms will help loosen things up. Any other thoughts / tips?


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I too am physically unable to have my arms against the wall with my back straight. I can’t even do it with a massively curved back. My wife thinks it’s funny cuz she has no problem at all. Maybe it’s just the way I’m made, maybe it’s cuz I’ve had a rotator cuff injury and a type 2 a/c separation but I think it’s just how I’m built. I’m honestly not overly fussed about it nor am I going to try to work through the pain of a plan that may or may not see me improve in this one limited area.

That’s my 2 cents.

It’s a very difficult move. You need to work at improving. I have two very injured shoulders and either of the reverse fly movements is both painful and is hard. I’m working on improving flexibility and these exercises will help.

No doubt about it, they are challenging. Keeping the muscles on the back of your shoulders, upper back, and between the shoulder blades strong will help you maintain good posture and alleviate aches in your upper back and neck while riding.

It could be that this exercise is too hard an entry point for you. A simple alternative that works many of the same muscles is called “banded pull aparts” which can be performed with an old inner tube or you can purchase an inexpensive exercise band (which you can use for other exercises too). Perhaps your front-side (chest, front of shoulders) is dominating the muscles on the back so it might be a good idea to loosen them up a little before you start this session with a few “doorway stretches” or some “shoulder dislocators” (sounds worse than it is :wink: ) with the exercise band.

In my opinion, it’s not worth fighting pain to do the exercise according to the plan, but it is definitely worthwhile to substitute a different, more manageable movement for the wall fly’s.


I do not usually find them too difficult, but on occasion I find them hard.

Some suggestions:

  • Do it for less time than the workout suggests, and increase over time.
  • Allow for more recovery between exercises.
  • Focus on those exercises separately. I used to have a lot of trouble with the balance exercises. I did them more often as a distinct routine. I am much better at them now

I just finished 5 months of physical therapy for extremely painful/tight shoulders. These movements and stretching have helped me and are a part of my routine after most every ride. I also used the band exercises mentioned by Steve_Q. I didn’t use this video but it shows some of what they had me doing. Best of luck!


All of the advice above will help! I don’t have problems with the reverse flies but I do have problems with plank exercises. I have a bad back so I have to be very careful which ones I do and for how long.

I did the same as one of the posters above and concentrated on my back in a separate session to ensure I didn’t injure myself further.

I have the same issues. I do the exercises in a door frame which allows me to sink back a bit more without hurting myself. Not the most comfortable but at least allows a range of motion with stress