How to do a Dumbbell Fly

Authored by Fitbod

About Dumbbell Fly

Sets Logged
6,224,619
Popularity Rank
9th
Difficulty
Beginner
Chest Strength
98 mSCORE 3rd
Equipment Required
Primary Muscles
Secondary Muscles
None

Instructions: How To

Dumbbell Fly’s are one of the most common isolation chest exercises, and for good. It primarily targets the muscles in the chest, but also recruits the shoulders for stability. The use of dumbbells ensures that you’re targeting each side of the body independently, and prevents compensating for any weaknesses between sides. In addition the isolated nature of this exercise is a great way to fatigue your chest, and focus on building both muscle mass and increasing strength in your chest.

  1. Lie your back onto a bench while squeezing your shoulder blades together and placing your heels firmly on the ground underneath your knees.
  2. The bench should be in contact with your head, shoulders, and butt at all times.
  3. Position the dumbbells so that they are over your shoulders, palms facing inward, and your elbows are slightly bent.
  4. Keeping your core braced by breathing into your stomach and flexing the abdominal muscles, laterally lower the dumbbells in a wide arc to the sides while keeping your elbows slightly bent.
  5. Once the dumbbells have been lowered to the same height as your chest, exhale to return the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

  • High Resistance

    Extending your arms away from your body increases the tension placed on your joint’s and muscles. Keep the resistance for this exercise fairly light, and focus on moving slowly, and controlling the movement before you add more resistance.

  • Pausing at the Top

    While your arms are extended up above your chest, there is very little tension on the muscles. Try to minimize the amount of time you’re allowing your muscles to rest at the top of the movement. You can slow down your reps as you extend your arms to either side, or consider trying a cable or banded variation of this exercise.

Sets & Reps: How many to do

Use this calculator to see Fitbod's possible first recommendations for you. This would be your starting line, based on more than 4.5 billion logged sets from 1.1 million users.

  • beginner
    8
    reps
    17.5
    lbs
    1 Rep Max
    22.5
    lbs
  • intermediate
    8
    reps
    22.5
    lbs
    30
    lbs
  • advanced
    8
    reps
    25
    lbs
    30
    lbs

Enter your stats to calculate your Sets & Reps