Shape asked two fitness experts to lay down how to perform the exercise with appropriate form in order to help you incorporate the dumbbell chest fly into your regimen and start reaping all of its health advantages. Dumbbell chest fly variations are also shared, allowing you to modify the exercise to suit your needs. After reading their advice and information on the benefits of the workout, you won’t ever skip chest day again.
A dumbbell chest fly, also known as a pec fly, entails reclining on the floor, holding two dumbbells over your chest, and then gradually dropping your arms to your sides. In contrast, the dumbbell chest fly is an abduction exercise that strengthens your chest by pushing free weights away from your midline, according to Ash Wang, C.S.C.S. , a certified strength and conditioning coach. As NCSF-certified personal trainer Rachel Mariotti from New York City shows below, the exercise can be done on the floor on a bench.
A. Lie faceup on the floor, knees bent at a 45-degree angle, and toes raised off the ground. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and place one on top of the other’s chest. Raise dumbbells toward the ceiling with palms facing each other by extending your arms straight above your midsection. Optional: To really engage your core, gently elevate your upper shoulders and neck off the floor.
B. Breathe in and slowly lower both arms out to the sides while allowing the shoulder blades to naturally retract. When the dumbbells are at shoulder height, pause.
C. After exhaling, pull the dumbbells back together above your chest to get back to the starting position.
THE KEY BENEFITS OF DUMBBELL CHEST FLY You’ll notice improvements in your strength, posture, and even push-ups if you incorporate the chest fly into your upper-body workout regimen. Here, experts explain it.
Maximizes chest expansion The barbell chest press, which significantly activates the pectoralis major, the largest chest muscle beneath the breast tissue, the anterior deltoid, the front head of your shoulder muscle, and the triceps brachii, the muscle on the back of your upper arm, is typically recommended for people looking to build up serious chest strength, whether it be for a powerlifting competition or a physically demanding job. However, Wang argues that the dumbbell chest fly can exercise very helpful in achieving your chest strength objectives. She emphasizes that the goal of a chest fly is chest abduction, which cannot actually be achieved with typical pressing actions. So if you want to maximize chest growth, you can consider the chest fly accessory work. In other words, the chest fly is a good complement to the bench press since it can assist build up the smaller, supporting muscles (like the biceps) and help you push past plateaus with the bench press.
ADVANCES POSTURE While it’s crucial to develop your back muscles to maintain good posture, concentrating on your chest can also prevent slouching. According to Joey Thurman , C.P.T., C.S.C.S., fitness and nutrition expert and author of 365 Health and Fitness Hacks That Could Save Your Life, the fly is wonderful since it’s a nice chest opener and teaches scapular retraction. ICYDK, scapular retraction really just refers to the capacity to press the shoulder blades together, which is a crucial action for preventing bad posture from spending all day slumped over a desk or a phone.
HELPS YOU GET GOOD AT PUSH-UPS The chest fly can assist you in achieving your goal of performing 10 push-ups in a row with perfect form, or at least a handful of them without any adjustments. Remember: Your pectoralis major and anterior deltoid, or research shows , are largely used during push-ups. According to Mariotti, practicing the chest fly regularly might result in push-ups that are of greater quality because it helps strengthen the same muscular groups.