Chest Flys

Chest flys are an excellent way for men to build stronger chests and for women to add more definition to their upper body. There are several ways that chest flys can be done:

Downward Cable Chest Flys

This type of cable chest fly is done by standing in the middle of a crossover machine. Before you move to the middle of the machine to begin, make sure you choose the amount of weight you want to use. If you're just getting started, three sets of 8 reps is ideal for this exercise. You want a weight that allows you to complete every rep during the first two sets, but prevents you from finishing all 8 reps during the last set. If you're able to use good form and complete all 8 reps of the last set, it means it's time to increase the amount of weight you're using. Once you select the right amount of weight, move to the middle of the machine and grip each of the handles. You want to begin the exercise with your arms fully extended in the air. While keeping them straight, pull the cables down and in front of your body. When your knuckles come together, stop for just a second to ensure you don't use any momentum on the way back up. Then let the cables return to their starting position, but don't go so far that the weights are set back down on the machine's stacks.

Upward Cable Chest Flys

This chest fly variation can be done while standing, lying on a flat bench or sitting back on a bench that's at a 45 degree angle. The main link between all three options is that the cable handles begin at the bottom of the machine instead of the top. With the standing and sitting back on a bench options, you will pull the cables up and in front of your body. With the lying on a flat bench option, you will pull the cables up and over your body. For the first two variations, you will want to start by grabbing the cables and holding your arms so they're positioned straight towards the ground. Then bring the cables up in a sweeping motion. Make sure you're focused on using your chest to drive this motion. Once the cables meet in front of your body, pause and then let them back down. For the lying on a flat bench variation, you want to begin with the cables at a level that's even with your shoulders. Bring the cables up over your body, and pause when they meet in the air above your body. Then bring them down to their original starting position.

Dumbbell Chest Flys

Dumbbell chest flys are performed in the same way as lying upward cable chest flys. The main difference is you have to get used to balancing the dumbbells as you raise and lower them. As with lying upward cable flys, it's important to avoid lowering the dumbbells any farther than shoulder level. Going any lower will put unnecessary strain on your shoulders.




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Chest Flys