How to Do the Dumbbell Flye for a Complete Chest

The bench press is observed because the go-to chest workout via many lifters taking a look to construct a well-rounded set of pecs, however it has some boundaries. Most importantly, it’s no longer in truth a “chest” workout. It’s a “chest, shoulders, and triceps” workout as it’s a compound (multi-joint) motion and it lacks the power to successfully goal … Learn extra
The publish Methods to Do the Dumbbell Flye for a Whole Chest seemed first on Breaking Muscle.

The bench press is observed because the go-to chest workout via many lifters taking a look to construct a well-rounded set of pecs, however it has some boundaries. Most importantly, it’s no longer in truth a “chest” exercise. It’s a “chest, shoulders, and triceps” workout as it’s a compound (multi-joint) motion and it lacks the power to successfully goal a unmarried muscle.

That is the place isolation (single-joint) workouts can shine. The dumbbell flye is likely one of the best workouts to in reality 0 in at the chest. It emphasizes building of your pecs whilst developing much less general call for and decrease normal fatigue in different muscle tissues. Right here’s why you will have to upload this bodybuilding staple in your chest workout.

Methods to Do the Dumbbell Flye

The dumbbell flye’s vary of movement strikes the weights additional away out of your physique’s midline, which permits gravity to ship an excellent higher problem to the muscle within the eccentric (decreasing) portion of the raise.

Step 1 — Set Up At the Bench

Man on bench in gym holding dumbbells overhead
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Lie on a flat bench whilst bringing a couple of dumbbells in your chest with bent palms, tucking your elbows in your facets. Stay your ft flat at the flooring, set rather wider than your hips. Press the weights above your chest along with your arms going through each and every different. Stay your head in touch with the bench.

Moderately bend your palms. Retract your shoulder blades via pinching them in combination and deal with this place all the way through each and every rep.

Shape Tip: Prior to starting each and every rep, take one or two seconds to “reset” within the best place and make certain that your physique is correctly in position.

Step 2 — Decrease the Weights right into a Stretch

Man on bench in gym lowering dumbbells
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As a result of this can be a flye, no longer a press, stay your elbows at a constant attitude all the way through the motion. Slowly decrease the dumbbells out to the aspect till your palms are parallel with the ground and your arms are going through up.

Your elbows will have to finally end up consistent with your shoulders. Pause in short within the backside place to noticeably stretch your pecs.

Shape Tip: The ground place of the flye is the place maximum accidents happen as a result of your joints are naturally maximum susceptible because of deficient leverage. It is very important stay solid via using your ft into the bottom to extend your balance. Managing your respiring too can assist. Grasp your breath as you decrease the load, breathe out as you carry the load again up, and inhale ahead of decreasing the load once more.

Step 3 — Elevate the Weights to Complete Contraction

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Together with your abs and higher again muscle tissues engaged and your decrease physique using into the bottom, consider pulling your elbows and higher palms throughout your chest.

You should definitely stay your palms at a constant attitude. In the event that they’re bending and straightening excessively, you’re the usage of your triceps, no longer your chest, to transport the load.

Shape Tip: As you go back to the highest, consider that you’re giving any person a endure hug. This movement will assist to stay your palms and shoulders in a just right place and it is helping to totally shorten the pecs as you achieve the highest place.

Dumbbell Flye Errors to Keep away from

The dumbbell flye takes some focus to yield most advantages. This additionally manner it’s extremely essential to nail the technical element to be able to decrease the danger of accidents going on.

Lifting With Your Fingers

One of the not unusual errors is popping the dumbbell flye into the dumbbell bench press. Whilst the click may also be an efficient workout by itself, it recruits further muscle tissues on the expense of chest emphasis.

Man outdoors on flat bench lifting dumbbells
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Bending your palms will cut back general stress at the chest muscle, combating the flye from stimulating most muscle enlargement.

Keep away from It: Handle a rather bent arm all the way through all the workout. Within the backside place, your fingers will have to be prolonged away out of your shoulders, no longer close to your shoulder in a urgent place.

Loss of Steadiness

Some lifters will depart their legs totally comfy, pointed on their ft, or raised totally within the air. This de-stabilizes your physique and makes you much less efficient at acting this workout because of a loss of balance from the bottom up.

Woman in gym performing dumbbell flye
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When your physique is volatile, your muscle tissues can’t produce enough power or deal with muscular stress. This creates a deficient stimulus for enlargement.

Keep away from It: Your legs permit you to create a base of make stronger for extra total-body balance all through each and every rep. This implies that you’re going to be capable to create extra stress at the goal muscle and use rather extra weight. Keep flat-footed and power your ft into the bottom all through the rep.

Lifting Too Rapid or Too Heavy

This error is extra normally related to other people new to working towards and feature no longer but mastered flye method or those that rush via reps and use careless method.

Man in gym performing dumbbell exercise on bench
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Basic deficient shape, excessively speedy reps, or heavy weights can all result in a vital quantity of pressure on the shoulder and elbow joints. This will additionally happen when the palms are locked directly all through the workout.

Keep away from it: Retaining your elbows softly bent from begin to end. If the load is simply too heavy, your palms will instinctively bend an excessive amount of to shift the load. Taking a short lived pause within the best place can decelerate your reps and make sure your shape remains on level.

Advantages of the Dumbbell Flye

The dumbbell flye is exclusive as it lets you problem the pecs considerably in the course of the eccentric portion of each and every rep, making the muscle contract tougher in a stretched place.

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The dumbbell flye places the chest beneath a vital stretch, adopted via an intense contraction. That’s a profitable aggregate for muscle enlargement.

Difficult The Lengthened Vary

The dumbbell flye triggers muscular enlargement via emphasizing stress at the pecs within the stretched place. Taking two to 3 seconds to decrease the load will problem the muscle within the lengthened vary, which would possibly result in greater muscle protein synthesis. (1)

That is against this to workouts that are tougher within the reduced in size vary, akin to a pec-deck system or cable crossover.

Muscle tissue Labored via the Dumbbell Flye

As an isolation workout, the dumbbell flye focuses most stress on only one muscle — the chest. A number of smaller muscle tissues are recruited as effectively, however no longer as a number one mover.

Muscular man flexing chest and abs
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Some lifters de-prioritize isolation workouts just like the dumbbell flye and overfocus on multi-joint actions. That method can create lagging muscle teams that are under-trained as a result of a couple of physique portions are continuously operating with out regard to balanced building.


The pectoralis main covers all the chest. Its two heads, the sternal (mid-chest) and the clavicular (higher chest) are each recruited all through the workout. One of the vital purposes of the pecs is to adduct the higher arm — bringing the higher arm towards the physique’s centerline — which is precisely the motion carried out all through the flye.

Anterior Deltoids

The entrance muscle of the shoulder, the anterior delt, is the muscle that assists the pecs in acting the flye movement. If you are feeling your delts are being labored greater than your pecs, lower the load and concentrate on feeling the chest muscle tissues contract and stretch, whilst your shoulder stabilizes the weights. Additionally focal point on holding your arms going through up. Don’t permit your fingers to rotate all through the motion. 


Whilst your delts help your pecs, the biceps also are engaged and put beneath stress because of the rather bent arm place. The biceps paintings to deal with elbow place and stabilize your decrease arm (and the dumbbell) all through the motion.

The biceps are labored statically since you will have to no longer be curling the weight all through a dumbbell flye.

Who Will have to Do the Dumbbell Flye

The dumbbell flye is a vintage muscle-building workout. Any lifter taking a look to maximise their chest building will have to be imposing the motion into their programming. Because of the prolonged arm place and destructive leverages, the workout isn’t well-suited to move heavy weights safely.

Body Fanatics

This kind of isolation workout will help in growing muscle measurement and symmetry of the pecs. The dumbbell flye permits the pecs to paintings with minimum involvement of different muscle tissues, making it a great way to emphasise the chest.

Methods to Program the Dumbbell Flye

To prioritize muscle enlargement, the dumbbell flye will have to be programmed as a secondary workout after your primary chest urgent. It may also be used as a finisher on the finish of the exercise to fully fatigue the muscle fibers recruited all through the consultation.

Reasonable Weight, Reasonable Repetition

The use of a normal bodybuilding method of 3 to 4 units within the six to twelve rep vary will help in using up working towards quantity for the pecs, which performs a vital position in constructing muscle. (2)

Low Weight, Prime Repetition

The use of a lighter weight for two to 3 units within the 13 to twenty rep vary is a good way to follow dumbbell flye method, particularly whilst you first incorporate it into your regimen. This method will nonetheless permit an general build up in working towards quantity, encouraging muscle enlargement.

Dumbbell Flye Permutations

Under are two diversifications that you’ll switch into your workout routines while you’ve mastered same old dumbbell flyes. Whilst the workouts are nonetheless very identical in nature, the delicate variations in physique positioning, vary of movement, and muscle recruitment can proceed to beef up pec building.

Dumbbell Foam Curler Flye 

Mendacity on a foam curler as an alternative of a flat bench can beef up your talent to retract your shoulder blades into the froth curler itself, for the reason that curler is extra slim than the bench, which allows the shoulder blades to transport extra freely.

For the reason that foam curler is spherical and would possibly need to transfer underneath your physique, it forces you to make use of extra keep an eye on all through the workout, which is able to assist to stay your shoulders wholesome and protected.

Incline Dumbbell Flye

The use of a bench set at an vulnerable attitude will shift the focal point of the stretch to the clavicular (higher pec) head of the chest.

Even though the variety of movement on the shoulder joint can be rather not up to the flat bench for the reason that palms transfer at a unique attitude, it’s nonetheless essential to paintings in the course of the lively vary of movement wherein you’ll deal with stress at the pecs. Decrease the load so far as imaginable with out aggressively stretching the chest and shoulders, and raise to a complete contraction.

Dumbbell Flye Possible choices

Some lifters could also be not able to accomplish dumbbell flyes, both because of mobility problems, joint ache, or different individualized components. There are a number of possible choices that can in a similar fashion reinforce and construct your chest.

Cable Crossovers

The cable crossover, or status cable flye, is identical single-joint motion development because the dumbbell flye with two main variations. First, the cable pulley device may also be adjusted to various heights and numerous arm positions can be utilized. Those slight variations permit “customization” of the motion to deal with shoulder mobility problems.

Secondly, the cable system doesn’t depend on gravity or leverage like a dumbbell flye, so it applies consistent stress to the chest all the way through each and every a part of the rep. This stress additionally lets you build up the variety of movement via crossing your fingers over each and every different within the reduced in size place, which let you to really feel the muscle operating extra, and know how to totally interact your pecs on any workout.


The “infamous” pec-deck system is a staple in any business fitness center, however common misuse has constructed its unfair recognition as a shoulder-killer. This dumbbell flye selection reduces the desire for total-body balance because of the seated and supported place.

Alternatively, this added make stronger does no longer imply you’ll overload the motion with heavy weights. The pec-deck is perfect used to complete off the chest muscle tissues upon getting already finished your number one lifts.


What will have to I do if my shoulder hurts after I carry out this workout?

Prevent acting the workout straight away. If you are feeling ache or discomfort all through a motion, don’t “soldier on” and push via ache to complete your set.

Ache won’t essentially imply you will have an damage, however it generally is a take-heed call and would possibly in truth spotlight some spaces of weak spot which might grow to be larger problems if left unaddressed. Consulting with a clinical skilled is a good suggestion.

Can I take advantage of dumbbell flyes in each and every chest exercise?

It’s essential, as it’s an efficient and direct chest-training workout. Alternatively, to stimulate general pec building and keep away from stagnation, it may be more practical to rotate diversifications of the flye incessantly. Alternate the motion each and every 8 to twelve weeks or on every occasion you are feeling you can not proceed safely progressing in weight.

Flyes for Measurement

The bench press may well be the beef and potatoes of many chest workout routines, however dumbbell flyes are an very important isolation workout whilst you’re after a extra muscular chest. The usually-overlooked isolation workout makes it more uncomplicated to crank up the pec-training quantity with centered precision.


  1. Schoenfeld, Brad MSc, CSCS The Use of Specialised Coaching Ways to Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy, Power and Conditioning Magazine: August 2011 – Quantity 33 – Factor 4 – p 60-65 doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e3182221ec2 
  2. Schoenfeld, B. J., Contreras, B., Krieger, J., Grgic, J., Delcastillo, Okay., Belliard, R., & Alto, A. (2019). Resistance Coaching Quantity Complements Muscle Hypertrophy however Now not Power in Skilled Males. Drugs and science in sports activities and workout, 51(1), 94–103.

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The publish How to Do the Dumbbell Flye for a Complete Chest seemed first on Breaking Muscle.

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