Incline Dumbbell Fly: How To, Tips, Benefits

The incline dumbbell chest fly is a variation of the dumbbell chest fly, used to isolate the chest muscles. Isolated movements are typically used by bodybuilders, to build a better, more well-rounded physique, more muscle and increased strength.

What Are Incline Dumbbell Flys

The incline dumbbell chest fly is a great accessory movement, to build more muscle and strength assisting in bigger lifts such as the barbell bench press. The incline dumbbell chest fly also activates secondary muscles groups such as your shoulders and triceps. The incline provides more emphases on the upper chest and provides variety for your chest day split.

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 incline dumbbell fly variations include 

Incline Dumbbell Fly Benefits

Bench or fly variations positioned at an incline 30-40 degrees will stimulate the upper chest as well as the anterior deltoids more so than the flat bench press, which stimulates all segments of the pectoralis major. EMG studies have shown that incline dumbbell fly stimulates the upper pecs better than other chest exercise variations and also activates greater bicep stimulation [R].

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

How To Incline 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 back on the incline bench, keeping the weights close to your chest, with your feet firmly placed into the ground.
  3. Push the dumbbells away from your body and press them above you.
  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.

Incline 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 of the dumbbells with a 4 second descent. Slightly pause and contract your chest muscles 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 in a linear progression.
  6. Incline 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, such as the traditional chest fly or decline chest fly.
  7. When you plan to increase the weight, 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.

Incline Dumbbell Fly: Takeaway

Incline dumbbell fly is an effective and dynamic strength exercise that can support bigger gains in muscle and strength, and add a bigger load to compound movements like your bench press. Adding accessory movements to your training program can help optimize your athletic performance and level up your training.

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