Chest strength is an integral part of upper body weight training – and the chest fly is a huge part of that.
Take a look at some of the ways this classic workout can help you give your upper body a boost!
A Weightlifting Staple
The chest fly’s history is tied to that of the dumbbell, as the weights are a piece of equipment that’s necessary for the regular chest fly.
It’s thought that the dumbbell’s most basic form came from the Ancient Greek long jump. Though historians aren’t completely clear on the timeline of the transition to modern dumbbells, the name “dumbbell” or “dumb bell” came about in 1711, after the poet Joseph Addison wrote about exercising using one of these “dumb bells.”
Where the Chest Fly Comes In
The chest fly uses dumbbells to work on the pectoralis major muscles. In fact, the exercise is even sometimes referred to simply as the “pectoral fly” or “pec fly” for this reason.
Of course, while it’s typically and historically done with a dumbbell, there are multiple ways that the chest fly can be done. This exercise simply needs a weight or resistance in order to get the desired effect, which means that kettlebells or cable machines can also be used.
Getting Ready to Work the Pecs
To prepare, simply:
- Determine the amount of weight you’d like to use for your exercise. If you’re using a cable machine, adjust the weight accordingly before getting started.
- Position yourself with your back on the weight bench.
Performing Powerful Chest Flys
If you’re ready to begin:
- Lie back on the bench with your feet on the floor. Hold the dumbbells straight over your chest.
- Slowly open your arms out wide to the side. Make sure your elbows are slightly bent to prevent them from locking.
- Squeeze your chest, bringing the weights back together at their original position.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the desired number of repetitions.
A Solid Pushup Alternative
Not only will your pectoralis major muscles be engaged during the workout, but your deltoids, biceps, wrist flexors, and triceps can also get in on the action.
On top of that, performing chest flys can help contribute to your overall upper body strength, allowing you to move forward towards any lifting or exercise goals you may have.
Other Ways to Do the Chest Fly
Of course, there are ways to change up the chest fly.
- Consider performing a unilateral chest fly. Lower only one arm at a time, and can provide more of a focused approach to each side of the body.
- If you don’t have a weight bench or are looking for another approach, try the standing fly. This exercise involves the same motions as the classic fly, but while you’re standing rather than lying down.
The Upper Body Support and Stability Exercise
Keeping your chest and upper arm muscles in tip-top shape is a great way to put your best foot – or arm – forward when it comes to lifting. Whether you’re a beginner or someone more experienced, incorporating this exercise into your routine can seriously impact your overall strength!