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Chest Fly

May 16, 2023 | Joel Runyon

The Chest Fly targets those hard to activate pectoral muscles for a fuller and wider chest. When performing the Chest Fly for the first time, start with lighter weights and try to not push your arms upwards from your chest. The motion should be almost as if you are hugging your arms around a wide tree.

How to do a Chest Fly

To start, grab two dumbbells of equal weight and sit on a flat weight bench. Recline onto the bench until your back is flat and pressed firmly against it.

Bring your two dumbbells to your chest with your palms facing together. Then extend them forward and up into the air so your two arms are locked out in front of you with the dumbbells pressed together. In a controlled movement, start opening your arms outwards along a circular arc.

As your arc opens wider, start to bend your elbows a little- this puts the emphasis away from your arms and more onto your chest muscles. Keep your back straight and against the weight bench throughout the motion. Continue to spread your arms outwards and downwards until they are at about the same level as the bench.

Descending lower than this will probably feel uncomfortable and can cause injury. Pause at the bottom of the movement and then using the pectoral muscles of your chest, reverse the opening motion of your arms so they follow the same circular axis in a wide hugging motion.

As the two dumbbells start to get closer together again at the top of the movement, begin to make your arms straighter at the elbows. Once the dumbbells gently touch at the top, you have completed one rep.

If performed correctly, you’ll probably find that you don’t need a lot of heavy weight to activate your muscles for this exercise.

Chest Fly Video Demonstration

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Joel Runyon

Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® and MoveWell. In addition to free fitness resources on Impossible Fitness - you can buy performance apparel and supplements on