Flat Dumbbell Flys
Primary Muscle Group: Pectorals
Secondary Muscle Group: Shoulders
Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, Weight Bench
The Benefits of Flat Dumbbell Flys
Flat dumbbell flys are an upper body isolation exercise targeting the pectorals and is used by bodybuilders to develop the chest muscles. It will require less weight than the standard dumbbell press, which makes it a great hypertrophy exercise with high reps.
Isolation exercises, like dumbbell fly, are primarily used by lifters with aesthetic based goals. They can be used by lifters with strength based goals, however, the exercise itself will have limited carry over into increasing maximum strength. #by using the flat bench you mainly target the mid to lower section of the pectoral muscles.
This exercise is best used on chest hypertrophy days and/or chest workouts in more traditional bodybuilding splits, such as chest and triceps.
Some key benefits of doing the Flat Dumbbell Flys are;
Adds size and strength to the pecs.
Also works the anterior deltoids & biceps.
Core and lower body engagement to maintain stability on the bench.
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Workout Plans With Coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Flat Dumbbell Flys
If not done correctly the dumbbell fly can cause muscle strains or tears. These injuries are usually the result of lowering your arms too far. This results in your elbows being lower than your shoulders. That's most commonly causing the lead up to tearing your muscle and ligaments in around your chest and shoulders. It can really cause serious and painful, long-lasting damage.
How To Do Flat Dumbbell Flys
1. Pick up the dumbbells off the floor using a neutral grip (palms facing in). Position the ends of the dumbbells in your hip crease, and sit down on a flat bench.
2. To get into position, lay back and keep the weights close to your chest. Once you are in position, take a deep breath, then press the dumbbells to lockout at the top.
3. Slightly retract your shoulder blades, unlock your elbows, and slowly lower the dumbbells laterally while maintaining the angle at your elbow.
4. Once the dumbbells reach chest level, reverse the movement by squeezing your pecs together and bringing the dumbbells back to their starting position.
5. Without allowing the dumbbells to touch, start the next repetition, and continue until the set is completed.
For Perfect Technique
Imagine you’re trying to hug a tree while you complete the exercise.
Don’t squeeze the dumbbell handles excessively tight as this can over recruit the forearms and biceps thereby reducing activation of the pecs.
Avoid touching or banging the dumbbells together at the top of each repetition in order to keep constant tension on the intended muscle groups.
Always keep a slight bend in the elbows and never lower the weight to the point where you get any sort of pain and pressure at the front of the shoulder joint.
If you’re feeling pain within the shoulder joint itself (specifically at the front), ensure your shoulder blades are slightly retracted and try to keep the shoulder girdle “packed”.
Keep your feet flat on the floor, focus solely on keeping your elbows bent and activating your pecs.
Ensure you maintain some tension in your abs and don’t allow your lower back to excessive arch.
Once you have mastered the Flat Dumbbell Flys exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Cable Cross Overs
1. Set the handles at both ends of the pulleys at the highest level.
2. Stand in the centre of the machine with feet shoulder-width apart & bend your torso forwards slightly, keeping your spine neutral and back straight, and bend your elbows slightly as well, with your wrists facing the floor.
3. Keeping your core engaged, pull both handles down and across your body. Squeeze your chest muscles in this fully contracted position (the handles don’t have to be touching).
4. Slowly reverse to the start position, keeping the bend in your elbows throughout.
How To Do Machine Chest Press
1. Sit comfortably on the machine with your feet placed firmly on the floor about shoulder-width apart. If your machine has an adjustable seat height, ensure that the setting allows your arms to push at a horizontal position to the ground when your arms are fully extended.
2. Grasp the handles with a full grip and maintain a neutral wrist position with your wrists in line with your forearms.
3. Push the bars outward to full extension but without locking out the elbow, exhaling as you press out. Keep your head steady against the upright pad and your neck still. You should feel significant resistance during the pressing motion.
4. Pause briefly at full extension, then allow the bars to return toward your chest and inhale during the negative part of the rep.