Primary Muscle Group: Pectorals
Secondary Muscle Group: Shoulders
Equipment Needed: Chest Fly Machine
The Benefits of Machine Fly
The Machine Fly’s or "pec deck" is a great way for both beginners and those with experience to target the chest muscles without worrying about the balance required when using a bench, a ball, or when standing. It's also a really useful machine if you have a lower-body injury and need to avoid standing.
The fly machine is ideal for increasing chest strength and muscle mass by targeting the pectoralis muscles. You have two sets of pectoral muscles on each side of the front of your chest: the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. This exercise primarily benefits the pectoralis major—the larger of the two muscles that are responsible for movement at the shoulder joint. This exercise is particularly helpful if you are new to training these muscles. The chest fly is performed fully seated and supported by a back pad so it is easy to practice good posture and form while using the machine. Additionally, the seated position helps you put your full effort into the chest muscles.
Some key benefits to doing the Machine Fly’s exercise are;
Adds size and strength to the posterior deltoids.
Easy to learn and master the technique.
Helps develop bigger, more balanced, and healthier shoulders.
Great burnout movement on shoulder day.
Works the rhomboids and lower and middle traps.
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 Machine Fly
The chest fly machine, can overstretch the front of your shoulder and can cause the muscles around the rear of your shoulder to stiffen up or sometimes strain it. Doing this movement frequently can lead to shoulder impingement syndrome if you are not fully warmed up.
So before giving Machine Flys a go, here's exactly how to do them without risking pain or injury.
How To Do Machine Fly
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.
For Perfect Technique
The Machine fly is an excellent exercise for targeting the pectorals, but you need to use strict technique and focus on stretch and contraction to get the most out of it.
Don't let the stack drop during the set.
Don't touch the pads or handles in the centre, and keep your body fixed and ensure the tension Is always on your muscles.
Don't bring your torso forward as you squeeze the weight up.
Pause at the top of the exercise (pads in) for a count of 1-3, squeezing the chest for maximum intensity.
Your upper arms or elbows should be positioned parallel to the floor.
Once you have mastered the Machine Fly exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do The 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.
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.