Incline Dumbbell Flys
Primary Muscle Group: Pectorals
Secondary Muscle Group: Shoulders
Equipment Needed: Incline Weight Bench, Dumbbells
The Benefits of Incline Dumbbell Flys
Incline dumbbell flys are an upper body isolation exercise targeting the upper chest and is typically used to develop the upper chest. It will require less weight than an incline press, which makes it a great hypertrophy exercise with high reps.
Isolation exercises, such as the incline 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.
The incline angle used during the incline dumbbell fly provides a unique challenge to the exercise and also emphasizes the upper chest.
This exercise is best used on upper hypertrophy days and/or chest workouts in more traditional bodybuilding splits. The incline dumbbell flys is an upper body isolation exercise targeting the upper chest and is typically used with aesthetic goals in mind. It will require less weight than an incline press, which makes it a great hypertrophy exercise with high reps.
Some key benefits of doing the Incline Dumbbell flys are;
Adds size and strength to the pecs. Also works the anterior deltoids, biceps, and triceps. 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 Incline 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 Incline 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 an incline 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
Use a slight incline such as 30 degrees. Extremes are never the best option.
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 Incline Dumbbell Flys exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Machine Fly’s
1. Firstly, adjust the seat height so that the bottom of the handles are about level with your chest when you're sitting on the machine.
2. Select the weight you want to use on the stack.
3. Sit on the machine, grasp the handles and/or place your forearms on the padding. Take the weight off the stack slightly. This is the starting position for the exercise.
4. Keeping your body fixed, slowly bring the forearm pads or handles together. Don't let them touch.
5. Squeeze the chest muscles for a 1-3 seconds and then slowly lower back to the starting position.
How To Do An Incline Barbell Bench Press
1. Lie flat on an incline bench and set your hands just outside of shoulder width.
2. Set your shoulder blades by pinching them together and driving them into the bench.
3. Take a deep breath and allow your spotter to help you with the lift off in order to maintain tightness through your upper back.
4. Let the weight settle and ensure your upper back remains tight after lift off.
5. Inhale and allow the bar to descend slowly by unlocking the elbows.
6. Lower the bar in a straight line to the base of the sternum (breastbone) and touch the chest.
7. Push the bar back up in a straight line by pressing yourself into the bench, driving your feet into the floor for leg drive, and extending the elbows.
8. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.