Muscles Worked in Dumbbell Chest Flyes
Primary muscles worked:
Secondary muscles worked:
How to Do Dumbbell Chest Flyes
- Lie on a bench, and lift a pair of dumbbells up to the starting position.
- With almost completely straight arms, lower the dumbbells out to your sides.
- When you’ve lowered the dumbbells as deep as possible, reverse the motion and return the dumbbells to the starting position.
- Repeat for reps.
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Table of Contents
Which Muscles Do the Dumbbell Chest Fly Work?
The dumbbell chest fly is an isolation exercise for your chest muscles and front deltoids.
As you lower the dumbbells in the chest fly, the load on these muscles increases as they become more stretched, which is beneficial for muscle growth.1
Benefits of the Dumbbell Chest Flyes
- Bigger and stronger pecs. The dumbbell chest fly is a great exercise for building bigger and stronger pecs.
- Accessibility. All you need to perform dumbbell chest flyes is a bench and a pair of dumbbells, making this exercise very accessible, even for home chest workouts.
- Shoulder stability. Using dumbbells will challenge your shoulders’ stabilizing musculature.
Dumbbell Chest Fly: Proper Form & Technique
Lie flat on a bench, and make sure to keep your whole feet on the ground to maintain balance. Tuck your shoulder blades and keep your chest up to create a stable position.
Keep your elbows slightly bent, and hold them in the same position during the entire movement. You want the movement to be in your shoulder joint, by contracting your chest muscles, not in the elbow. Keep both elbows and wrists in the same position during the entire movement.
Common Mistakes in the Dumbbell Chest Fly
- Adding too much weight. The dumbbell chest fly is an exercise that gets heavy fast in the bottom position, and using heavier weights than you can handle puts you at risk of injury or a breakdown in form, reducing the exercise’s effectiveness. Start with very light weights and build from there.
- Bending your arms. Keep your arms almost straight to avoid turning the chest fly into a chest press. This will require you to use light weights.
Dumbbell Chest Fly Variations
1. Standing Cable Chest Fly
Compared to the dumbbell chest fly, the resistance curve in cable flyes is more evenly distributed. This means your chest muscles get a longer time under tension in each repetition, and you can probably get a better chest pump with this exercise.
2. Standing Resistance Band Chest Fly
If you don’t have access to dumbbells or a cable machine, you can perform chest flyes with a resistance band. Attach the band at chest height and work one side at a time. The constant tension in the movement is similar to the cable version. The downside is that it’s harder to adjust the resistance with the banded version.
Workouts and Training Programs That Include the Dumbbell Chest Fly
- Advanced Bench Press Program. 3x/week. A nine-week long bench press program for the advanced lifter, who needs to do a lot of training in order to progress.
- Bodybuilding Ballet. 4–6x/week. An advanced bodybuilding program and one of the most popular programs in our app.
- Chest and Shoulder Workout Routine.
- Chest, Shoulder, and Tricep Bodybuilding Workout.
All these workouts and training programs are available in our free workout log app StrengthLog.
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