Dumbbell Flyes for Chest Workout

Dumbbell flyes, whether executed on a flat bench or on stability ball is a chest exercise that works the whole pectoral muscle, with particular focus on the external part.

The anterior deltoids are also used as secondary muscle, but that's not enough to consider this a compound exercise because it involves only one joint (shoulder), as you have to keep your elbows locked.

Dumbbell Flyes Details



EQUIPMENT: Flat Bench, Dumbbells

TYPE: Isolation


The primary muscle that is worked is the external part of chest muscles.

Dumbbell flyes is an isolation exercise but it still works the anterior deltoids as a secondary muscle.

Dumbbell Flyes


INITIAL POSITION: Lie on a flat bench holding two dumbbells with arms extended above your head and palms facing each other. Dumbbells can touch each other. Slightly bend your elbows.

MOVEMENT: Slowly open your arms keeping the same angle between arms and forearms, and lower the weights till the point of maximum extension of the pectorals. Then bring the dumbbells together to the initial position, describing an arc.

BREATHING: Inhale when you lower the weights, exhale when you close your arms together.

TIPS and ERRORS: Don't arch your back, it may help to keep your feet on the edge of the bench. Maintain the same angle between arms and forearms. Don't open your arms too much to avoid stretching your pectorals more than needed.


Many fellows at the gym feel like they're using light weights, so they move up and then perform the movement wrongly.

If you do this exercise with weights that are too heavy for you it's almost impossible to lock your elbows. In that case it comes natural to bend your elbows when you lower the weights otherwise you can't stop the movement.

There is no advantage in doing that.

Just use the weights that allow you to perform the movement correctly.


You can obtain the same result if you execute this exercise lying on a stability ball instead of a bench.

In that case make sure that only your shoulders make contact with the ball, avoiding contact with your back. Move forward if that happens.

Stability ball requires you to balance, therefore you feel the burn in your legs (quads) and your abs, because you need to keep your core tight.

Stability Ball Dumbbell Flyes


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