Chest Exercises

How to Add Muscle With Kettlebell Flyes

Sub in kettlebells for flyes for more muscle recruitment and an added challenge.

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Man Performing Kettlebell Flye
Per Bernal

Dumbbell flyes isolate the pecs better than a bench press, which recruits the triceps and shoulders. While you’ve most likely done this exercise with dumbbells, cables, and machines, we’re going to bet that you haven’t tried using kettlebells for chest flyes, even though you should.

Because a kettlebell’s center of mass hangs low, it pulls your hands to the ground more aggressively than a dumbbell, whose weight is aligned with your hand. A KB is also a less stable tool—it moves as you lift, forcing your muscles to work harder to stabilize the weight and lift it back up. In turn, you can recruit more muscle fibers in your chest.

How to do it

  1. Lie back on a bench with a kettlebell in each hand. Use a weight that’s slightly lighter than what you’re used to, because it will feel heavier as you go through the motion.
  2. Keep your wrists straight, with a slight bend in your elbows, and lower the weights as far as you feel comfortable doing but not past your torso.
  3. Squeeze your chest and lift your arms back up, as if you’re hugging a tree, until the kettlebells are close to touching.

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