Cable Fly Basics: How To’s And Variations


That will help you Improve your squat, bench press, and deadlift technique. However, you may want to choose an alternative if you get bored or do not have access to a cable machine because your gym does not have one or you train at home. The main benefit with machines is that you don’t have to worry about maintaining the bend in your elbows since you’re locked into place. The fly puts more emphasis squarely on your pecs over supporting muscle groups. Hold the tension at the bottom of the movement and repeat the same process for reps. Allow the cable to travel to the middle of your thigh, but no further.

Maintain scapular retraction and the elbows’ slight bend. Stop the movement when a stretch on the shoulders and chest is felt. Because dumbbell flyes are a chest-focused exercise, it might come as no surprise that the primary movers are your pecs. Regardless of the angle, you’ll be pretty much targeting your whole chest. This is especially true if you have the shoulder health to move through a full stretch at the bottom of each rep.

Hold two small plates together in your hands, pressing them together close to your chest. Keep the tension by pressing them together throughout the exercise. Each chain link weighs ‘X’ amount of pounds, and that poundage is now something you’re actually lifting and managing. As you move through the eccentric part of the lift, lowering the weight to your chest, you’re lessening the load as there is more of the chain on the ground. When you press the weight up, you lift more links of the chain up, bringing that extra weight up.

As you reach full extension, protract your shoulder blades and extend even further by bringing your shoulder forward while rotating your torso in the direction of the press . Moreover, you can change where your body is in relation to the cable machine. Standing directly in the center versus out in front of the machine will also change up the dynamics. Start with a low elevation of your feet with something like a yoga block before progressing it onto something as high as a free weight bench or exercise stepper.

It is not possible to do a chest fly standing with dumbbells, as gravity turns it in to a shoulder exercise. To do a standing chest fly, it must be done with a resistance band, or weight machine or cable machine. The dumbbell chest fly can help open up your chest muscles. Chest openers may help reduce upper ab puns back pain, increase range of motion, and reduce tightness in the upper body. The dumbbell fly will push your pecs to the limit while strengthening the chest, shoulders and triceps. It also opens up your chest, helping to increase your range of motion, counteract upper back pain, and decrease tightness.

This combination ensures you’re developing the pecs, but also training the small stabilizers around the shoulder. It also helps you figure out what should be loaded over time and what should be a “finisher” to your sessions . This has a similar ‘stretching’ style to the flye, but with the extension and flexion of the shoulders.

You have the upper head and lower head of the pec major. This is why you will often hear people saying “this exercise is good for the upper chest”. You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by elevating your feet, which will help tilt your body weight more onto your hands and engage the pec muscles more. You might be surprised to see that I don’t include bench pressing movements in the list below. This is because the bench press works a lot more than just the pecs, as we discussed in our guide on the muscles worked in the bench press. A good cable crossover alternative will work the same muscles by following a similar movement pattern.

After reps, finish with a further 10 reps doing both together. Talk to your doctor before performing this move if you have a back, shoulder, or arm injury. Your doctor may recommend variations or suggest avoiding this move. Extend arms out to the sides, until your arms are extended. Start with your back flat on an incline bench, which is lowered to 30 degrees. Lie on a flat bench with your feet on the floor and your knees bent at 90-degrees.

Holding a handle in each hand, stand in the middle of the towers and step forward into a split stance. Lean forward onto your front foot, bending that knee. With a handle in each hand, stand in the middle of the towers and step forward into a split stance. Transfer your weight onto your front foot by bending the front knee. Start with your arms out wide, behind you enough to create a stretch feel through your pecs.

The more flexible you are, the further back you can set them. Grab one handle with the inside of your hand with your palm facing out. Place your spare hand against your hip for stability. Try to avoid leaning to far forward with this unilateral movement as stability may be compromised.