Major Muscles and Actions Involved
In the reverse fly the muscles of the shoulder joint that are involved are the middle and posterior deltoid, the infraspinatus, and the teres minor. They are involved in horizontal extension (abduction) in which your arms are brought from a position in front of your body (hanging down vertically with the trunk horizontal) up and to your sides until they are in line with your shoulders and above (beyond) the level of your back. In the shoulder girdle the rhomboid and the middle fibers of the trapezius are involved in scapula adduction. In this action the scapulae move from the sides of the chest to a position close to the spine.
Shoulder joint horizontal abduction and scapula adduction always take place when your arm is pulled to the rear in a horizontal plane (in relation to the body). This is the plane that is perpendicular to the long axis of the body. The muscles and actions are used in the sports of rowing (sculls), gymnastics (iron cross on the rings), tennis, racquetball, and badminton (shoulder high backhand), baseball batting in the left shoulder of a right-handed batter, and archery (the pull back). At times, wrestlers use this action when trying to keep their shoulders off the mat when they are pinned down. Note that many of these uses also apply to the seated row.
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