5 Best Chest Fly Exercises

The chest fly, also known as the “pec deck,” is an excellent exercise for targeting the chest muscles without having to worry about maintaining balance whether using a bench, a ball, or while standing.

Because there are so many techniques to exercise the chest (pectoralis) muscles, the chest fly machine is sometimes disregarded in the gym. For instance, you can perform chest fly using cables or dumbbells. Some of these variations let you work on other muscles that aid in stabilizing your body, such as your back and abdominals.

If you need to avoid standing due to a lower-body injury, this machine is very helpful.

How to use a chest fly machine

The chest fly machine exercises your pectoralis major, a muscle that helps you strike and draw your arms together, as well as your chest and the muscles that strengthen it. You can prevent muscular injuries by using the appropriate technique.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Choose the machine’s weight.
  • On the platform, sit down. With your feet flat on the ground, firmly press your back on the platform’s backrest.
  • Hold the machine’s handles, one in each hand. The pec deck may have a resting pad, depending on the model. Put your forearms on each pad if that applies. Keep your hands at chest level while bending your arms at a 90° angle.
  • Draw your arms towards your body while tightening your pectoral muscles and holding the pec deck handles. Pull the handles or arm pads up to your chest, hold it there for a moment, and then gradually return to the beginning position.
  • Repeat as many times as needed.

Variations of Chest fly machine

The chest fly machine and its variations can promote significant chest muscle development, increase symmetrical strength, help you sculpt an upper body that matches those higher benching statistics, and improve your hugging skills.

Here are some variations to try:

1) Dumbbell fly

A few times each week, trying doing chest dumbbell flys, a great variation of the chest fly machine, to help with shoulder retraction and to open up the chest and shoulder area.

Here’s how to do it:

  • On a level, inclined bench, lie flat on your back. On either side of the seat, plant your feet firmly on the ground. The entire entire workout, your head and back should be firmly pressed into the bench.
  • The 2 dumbbells can be handed to you by a spotter, or you can carefully take them off the ground and hold 1 in each hand.
  • Raise your arms so that they are stretched but not locked out above your head. Your hands and dumbbells must be facing each other, with a small bend at the elbow.

2) Banded dumbbell fly

Including bands in the workout causes the weight to be distributed more uniformly across the whole range of motion. It is one of the best variations of the chest fly machine.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Place a resistance band underneath the bench or on top of it while lying down.
  • With the banded loop fastened around your palms, hold either end.
  • Dumbbells should be picked up and placed on top of the bands in your hands.
  • Dumbbell fly should be done as usual.

3) Dumbbell floor fly

If you want the dumbbell fly’s benefits for chest isolation without endangering your shoulders, this variation of the chest fly machine is fantastic.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Hold dumbbells in your hands as you lay on the ground. Or, you can stand with your feet firmly planted or with straight legs.
  • In either case, keep your heels firmly planted the entire time.
  • Follow the same steps as with standard dumbbell flys.
  • Allow your upper arms to touch the ground as you get closer to the lowest position.
  • Avoid letting your elbows rest on the floor. Your wrists and forearms should be as close to the floor as is comfortable without touching it.
  • Reposition the weights so that they are at the top.

4) Single-arm dumbbell fly

Developing symmetrical strength comes naturally with dumbbell flyes. This is due to the fact that employing dumbbells ensures each arm is performing its own unique task. However, executing this motion with one arm at a time has the added benefit of preventing unintentional compensation, which makes it a great variation of the chest fly machine.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Set up like you would for a standard dumbbell fly, but use only your right hand to hold the weight.
  • To improve your balance, plant your heels firmly into the ground.
  • To prevent your body from rotating during the exercise, press your left shoulder down towards the bench.
  • Use your right arm to execute the flyes.
  • Completely, keep your left shoulder firmly on the bench and packed. Repeat while switching sides.

5) Stability ball fly

With this variant of chest fly machine, like with any exercise done on a stability ball, your core activation will increase. To ensure stability when performing your flyes, you’ll also need to engage your hips, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.

Here’s how to do it:

  • In front of a stability ball, take a seat on the ground.
  • Move upward against the stability ball while holding dumbbells in each hand until the tops of your scapulae are rested on the ball.
  • To force your hips up toward the ceiling, drive through your feet.
  • Press the dumbbells up with your hands facing inwards until you’ve found a stable stance. As usual, execute flyes.


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