Cable flyes, like all chest flyes, are an isolation exercise that works the chest muscles almost exclusively. The cables can provide resistance to the chest muscles more evenly throughout the entire movement of this exercise.
Cable flyes can be performed in the flat, incline, or decline positions. Flat cable flyes work the entire chest muscle group while incline flyes shift the focus to the upper chest and decline flyes shift the stress focus to the lower chest. The movement will be approximately the same with each variation. This exercise can be performed either lying on a bench centered between the two cables or standing.
Cable flyes can be performed by placing either an incline, flat, or decline bench between the two cables. Place a single-handed connection on each of the cables using the hook on the end of the cable; then set the proper amount of weight. Place the pulleys that hold each cable in the lowest position. Take hold of each of the cables and lie down on your bench with the arms extended.
While using a bench may allow slightly more intensity to be put on the chest, this exercise can also be performed in a standing position. Stand between the two cables with one in each hand and take a couple steps forward so that your hands can stretch behind your back. Take a firm stance with one leg firmly in front of the other.
To work the upper chest (similar to the incline bench), place the pulleys in the bottom position so that your arms can travel from a lower to a higher position, which works the upper chest. For the flat variation, place the pulley at approximately chest height and move your arms directly in front of you. To work the lower chest (similar to the decline variation), begin with the pulleys in a high position so that your arms travel from a higher to a lower position.
Begin with the arms fully extended and in a stretched position. Exhale and slowly bring your hands forward until the knuckles meet in the center. Pause and allow the inner chest muscles to squeeze for a moment. Then, slowly let the weight bring your hands back to the starting position. Allow the chest muscles to stretch before continuing on to the next repetition.
Tips From the Trainer
The cable flyes are a great exercise to shred and add definition to your chest muscles. For an increased range of motion, allow your hands to slightly cross at the peak of the contraction. Alternate your left and right hand being on top to prevent one side from being trained differently than the other.