Dumbbell flyes are one of my favorite chest exercises of all time because they focus on the chest and help immensely in putting on mass. The goal of this page is to explain how to do dumbbell flyes and provide the proper techniques for performing them safely. As with all exercises, proper form is a must.
Dumbbell Flyes Video
This is a simple and short video that does a good job explaining how to perform dumbbell flyes:
Dumbbell Flyes Technique
1. Grab a pair of dumbbells that you can comfortably handle.
2. Sit down on a flat bench and rest the dumbbells on your thighs. Hold the dumbbells so that your palms are facing inward towards each other.
3. Lean back on the bench with the dumbbells in your hands close to your chest. Get your back flat against the bench and your feet flat against the floor.
4. Extend your arms towards the ceiling with both palms facing each other. Stop just short of locking your arms out. Your arms should form a 90 degree angle with your body and the dumbbells should be square above your chest. This is the starting point.
5. Slowly lower the weights outwards as if you were drawing an arc in the air. Keep your elbows slightly bent and continue this motion until your elbows dip to about the same level as the bench.
6. Slowly bring the weights back up and together by tracing the same imaginary arc in the air. Concentrate on squeezing the pecs to bring the weights back together.
7. Squeeze the pecs at the top of the repetition and then repeat steps 4-7 for the desired number of repetitions.
Dumbbell Flyes Tips
Listen to your body at all times. Dumbbell flyes can cause shoulder and elbow injuries if performed incorrectly or with too much weight. If you feel any pinching or painful sensations, stop immediately. It is better to take a short break than it is to cause a long term injury.
Make sure to keep your elbows slightly bent at all times. Once you set up in the starting position with your elbows slightly bent, there should be no more motion in your arms. The only joints that should move during the exercise are the shoulders.
Dumbbell Flye Variations
The dumbbell fly can be performed on incline and decline benches. These dumbbell fly variations are intended to hit different parts of the chest. Incline dumbbell flyes hit the upper portion of the chest and decline dumbbell flyes hit the lower portion of the chest.