Workout Tips

Flye High With This Pec-Building Approach

The chest flye is an underrated assistance exercise that shouldn't be overlooked.

Pec flyes have been a staple in bodybuilding training for as long as I’ve been lifting. Sadly, they’ve taken the backseat to other more “intelligent” training methods due to recent surges of information, prioritizing some lifts and simultaneously discrediting old school movements. There are reasons pec flyes deserve your attention, however – if you’re looking for a chest that busts out of your shirt.

Why Flye?

Chest flyes follow the natural movement of pec muscles the most, compared to flat, incline, or decline press methods. Though the latter moves allow you to lift more weight, the fly motion continues the fibrous pattern of the muscles, and can amplify gains when added to the above movements.

SEE ALSO: Chest Training: Build Bigger Upper Pecs>>

A Look at your Chest

The pec muscles originate on the sternum and travel outwards to the upper arm. Their function is to internally rotate and horizontally adduct the upper arm (humerus). Using a barbell bench press variation can indeed tap into both of these capacities, but especially when it comes to the first function, the upper arm is stuck in one position the entire time since the hands are anchored to one spot on the barbell the entire set. Having free hands for chest flyes allows for wrist and elbow “play” room,  making for a much more suitable environment to tap into every last fiber of the chest, and creating a major pump in the process. To add to this, the triceps are no longer a major synergist to the movement. That means more isolation.

The Technique

Position a bench to its lowest incline level, or keep it flat and lie face up. With a pair of dumbbells, start the movement with outstretched arms above the chest, palms facing in. Pull your shoulder blades back, and with a very slight bend in the elbows (if your arms are at a 90 degree angle, that’s way too much bend), move the weights away from one another until the arms are parallel with the ground and in line with the body. Don’t change your elbow position – keep it locked in that slightly bent state.  Briefly pause at the bottom of the rep, and then squeeze your chest to return to the start position. Keep the arms long.

SEE ALSO: The 3 Most Common Chest Flye Mistakes>>

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