Dumbbell Fly: How To, Tips, Benefits

Dumbbell flys are a great accessory movement for your chest day split. As opposed to exercise machines, dumbbells can help improve several other components of your performance, such as balance, posture, and core stability. Although not a typical exercise movement, that is associated with performance, the dumbbell chest fly can help you build more muscle mass and increase strength.

What Are Dumbbell Flys

Typically used in traditional bodybuilding, the dumbbell chest fly is an isolation movement, used to build a well-rounded aesthetic and physique. The dumbbell fly is also a great accessory movement, to build more muscle and strength assisting in bigger lifts such as the barbell bench press, while also activating secondary muscles such as your shoulders and triceps.

Like most other exercises the dumbbell chest fly has several variations which isolate and emphasize different segments of the chest for specific training purpose and intent

Some dumbbell fly variations include 

Dumbbell Fly Benefits

Dumbbell flys have been shown to be one of the best chest exercises for overall muscle stimulation, increasing size and strength. When done correctly, the dumbbell fly can be extremely beneficial to your chest day training split. 

  • Increased Strength
  • Better Chest Definition
  • Increased Shoulder Strength
  • Better Core Stability
  • Increased Core Strength
  • Improved Muscular Balance

How To Dumbbell Fly

  1. Grab your dumbbells with a neutral grip, palms facing in. Position the dumbbells in the crest of your hips and lay back.
  2. Lie down flat on a bench, keeping the weights close to your chest, with your feet firmly placed into the ground.
  3. Press the dumbbells directly out toward the ceiling.
  4. Slightly retract your shoulder blades by pinching them together, unlocking your elbows and slowly lowering the dumbbells laterally while maintaining the angel at your elbow.
  5. Once the dumbbells are in line with your chest on each side, reverse the movement, squeezing your pecs together, until you reach the top with the dumbbells back at the starting position.

Dumbbell Fly Tips And Tricks

  1. Always focus on executing proper form. Your body works in a specific plane of motion. Focus on your breathing and taking your time, executing a full range of motion.
  2. Chest fly requires more mind/muscle activation. Consciously think about activating your pecs and contracting them at the top of the movement.
  3. Make sure you are descending the dumbbells down directly level on each side of your body.
  4. Maintain control, with a 4 second descent, slight pause and contract with a reverse motion, hold and repeat.
  5. Don’t pay attention to the weight. Everyone is different and we all have our own journey to follow. Ramp up your load and volume slowly overtime.
  6. Dumbbell chest fly should be used in your training program, but not used on every chest day training split. Exercise variability is important to increase muscle mass, strength, and core strength. Utilize different chest fly variations within your training program.
  7. When you plan to max out, make sure you have a spotter, so you can obtain one rep, with full range of motion.
  8. Maintain tension in your abs and don’t allow your lower back to excessively arch.
  9. Avoid banging the dumbbells together at the top of your lift.
  10. Always ensure a slight bend in your elbow and never lower the weight to the point where you feel joint pain, or that its further than your normal range of motion.

Dumbbell Chest Fly: Takeaway

Dumbbell chest fly can provide you with a host of benefits, for increased muscle growth, size, and improved athletic performance. This strength movement is a must have chest day variation for your training program.


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