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Chest Dumbbell Fly 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Strength


Chest Dumbbell Fly
Chest Dumbbell Fly

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type

Push (Bilateral)

Required Equipment


Fitness Level













The Chest Dumbbell Fly is a dynamic resistance exercise specifically designed to target the chest muscles, providing a comprehensive workout for pectoral development. Executed with dumbbells, this isolation exercise involves lying on a flat bench with weights in hand, arms extended, and performing a controlled, wide-arc motion as the arms are lowered and then raised. The primary focus is on the chest muscles, engaging the pectoralis major and minor, fostering muscle hypertrophy and definition. Additionally, the Chest Dumbbell Fly recruits secondary muscles, including the shoulders and triceps, contributing to overall upper body strength. The exercise is lauded for promoting muscle isolation and enhancing the stretch on the chest, emphasizing both concentric and eccentric movements. The versatility of dumbbells allows for customizable resistance, making the Chest Dumbbell Fly a valuable addition to chest-focused workout routines.

How to Perform

  1. Begin the Chest Dumbbell Fly by lifting the dumbbells off the floor with a neutral grip, ensuring your palms face inward. Position the dumbbell ends in your hip crease and settle onto a bench for stability.

  2. As you lie back, keep the weights close to your chest and take a deep breath. Press the dumbbells upward to the lockout position at the top, engaging the chest muscles. This initial position sets the foundation for the controlled motion of the exercise.

  3. Slightly retract your shoulder blades for stability, unlock your elbows, and commence the descent phase by gradually lowering the dumbbells laterally while maintaining the bend in your elbows. This controlled movement maximizes the stretch on the chest muscles and optimizes muscle engagement.

  4. When the dumbbells reach chest level, initiate the ascent phase by squeezing your pectoral muscles together. Bring the dumbbells back to their starting position while maintaining a slight bend in the elbows. This emphasizes both concentric and eccentric muscle contractions for a more comprehensive workout.

  5. Ensure a continuous and fluid motion by avoiding contact between the dumbbells. Without allowing them to touch, seamlessly transition into the next repetition, maintaining control and focus on the chest muscles throughout the entire set.


  1. Envision the act of hugging a tree throughout the Chest Dumbbell Fly to encourage a natural and controlled range of motion, emphasizing the chest muscles without unnecessary strain on other muscle groups.

  2. Maintain a moderate grip on the dumbbell handles, avoiding excessive squeezing. Over-recruiting the forearms and biceps due to overly tight grips can diminish the activation of the pecs. Prioritize a balanced grip to optimize muscle engagement in the targeted chest region.

  3. Prevent the dumbbells from making contact or banging together at the pinnacle of each repetition. This precaution is vital to sustain constant tension on the intended muscle groups, fostering a more effective workout for the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

  4. Retain a slight bend in the elbows throughout the exercise, avoiding full extension. Never lower the weight to the point of experiencing pain or pressure at the front of the shoulder joint. This approach safeguards the shoulders and maintains a controlled and pain-free range of motion.

  5. If there is discomfort within the shoulder joint, particularly at the front, ensure your shoulder blades are slightly retracted. Aim to keep the shoulder girdle "packed" for enhanced stability and reduced stress on the shoulder joint, promoting safer and more effective repetitions.

  6. Keep your feet firmly planted on the floor to establish a stable base. Concentrate on maintaining bent elbows, actively engaging the pecs throughout the exercise. This focus ensures that the chest muscles are the primary drivers of the movement.

  7. Sustain tension in the abdominal muscles to stabilize the core and prevent excessive arching of the lower back. This precautionary measure contributes to overall form maintenance and minimizes the risk of strain on the lower back during the Chest Dumbbell Fly.

How Not to Perform