Dumbell Flyes have a different purpose than the chest presses doÖ The bench press and other presses are basic exercises that build mass in the chest, triceps, and surrounding areas. Flyes, on the other hand, are an isolation exercise which place more direct stress almost exclusively on the chest muscles. Flyes are used to shred the chest muscles and develop a ripped, lean look throughout the chest region.

Like the presses, flyes can be done in the incline and decline variations. Use the incline variation to rip up the upper pectoral muscles and the decline to shed the lower pectorals into a well-sculpted mass of muscle.


Getting into position for flyes is similar in process to the flat, incline, and decline dumbbell bench presses. See our dumbbell bench press page for a complete explanation if needed. Getting into position is relatively simple though, simply lie back onto the bench and bring the weights up to your shoulder level. Then, extend your arms so that the weights are now directly above your chest and your palms facing inward.


Once your hands are in position and your elbows are slightly bent, slowly exhale and bring the weights out to each side or your body. Stop with a slow, even motion and allow your chest muscles to feel the stretch at the bottom of the motion. That slight stretch will help to shred the muscles, but be careful to only go as low as comfortably possible. Exhale and squeeze your chest muscles as you slowly bring the weights back to their starting positions.

Tips From the Trainer

This is a great exercise to feel the burn in your chest muscles and get a good stretch at the bottom point. Be careful not to go too far or too fast if your body is not ready for it. This could cause your muscles to tear, especially if you havenít warmed up properly.

Because this exercise is usually done with lighter weight than the dumbbell bench presses, performing this exercise without a spotter presents far less danger. Having a spotter present, however, is always recommended and is great for getting in those last few reps that you canít quite get on your own.

A great variation to this exercise is to do it with stiff arms. This variation simply involves straightening out the elbows for a stricter form. This works the chest muscles in a slightly different way and changes up the exercise for a minor variation to your chest routine.

Flyes Starting position

Pec Flyes Ending position

Pec Flyes Get a good stretch at the bottom

Incline Flyes Upper chest: incline flyes

Incline Flyes Lower chest: decline flyes

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