The dumbbell fly is an isolation chest exercise and it’s a great movement in addition to chest press variations which are used for mass building purposes. Now, the flye isn’t a beginner’s exercise as you must be careful to use proper form to prevent injury to the shoulder joint.
So, it’s recommended to train with light to moderate weights to prevent injury and effectively stimulate the pectoralis major. You can also use cables or machines to perform a flye but you won’t develop your stabilizer muscles to the same extent as with free weights.
But, regardless, doing any form of a flye will benefit you greatly and it’s recommended to include it in your chest routine.
In This Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: Sternal (Upper) Pectoralis Major
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Equipment: Dumbbells
- Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate
- Sit on the end of a bench while holding two dumbbells on your thighs.
- Then, kick both dumbbells back while lying down flat on the bench. Plant your feet flat on the floor and keep your chest up.
- Now, press the dumbbells in the air so that your arms are straight and your palms are facing each other.
- Then, bend your elbows so your arms are at a 90-degree angle and slowly lower your arms down until you feel a slight stretch in your chest. Inhale during this portion of the exercise.
- Contract your chest muscles and raise the dumbbells back up until they are almost touching. Squeeze your glutes during this step. Exhale during this portion of the exercise.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips:
- You can also perform the flye on a machine or by using cables.
- Do not overstretch your pecs during the negative portion of the exercise as this can cause shoulder impingement issues. Only go down low enough to feel a slight stretch.
- Use lighter to moderate resistance loads for optimal safety as this protects the shoulder joints from being in a potentially vulnerable position.
- The dumbbell fly works the pectoralis major primarily, and the triceps secondarily.