How to perform the dumbbell fly

Bodybuilder dumbbell fly

How to: Dumbbell Fly

The dumbbell fly is another staple exercise that you should definitely be including on your chest days. Arnold Schwarzenegger, seven-time Mr. Olympia winner who had one of the most impressive chests ever, stated that the flat-bench dumbbell fly is the single most effective exercise he ever did for his chest. It’s a simple motion that if done properly can seriously bolster your gains.

Target Muscle

Main: Sternal (Upper) Pectoralis Major

Synergists: Clavicular (Upper) Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, Biceps Brachii (Short Head)


Steps to doing the dumbbell fly

  1. Choose a pair of dumbbells that you feel comfortable doing this exercise with. (If first time start light and work your way up until you find a weight you can do for 12 reps)
  2. To start off you want to sit down on a flat bench and rest your dumbells on your thighs.
  3. Next, you want to roll and lay flat on the bench bringing the dumbbells into the starting position over the lower part of your chest with straight arms.
  4. Bend your arms at the elbows slightly and begin to lower your arms in a controlled fashion while inhaling.
  5. Pause at the bottom for a second and then squeeze the chest and bring those arms back up to the starting position while exhaling.
  6. Perform this action for 3-4 sets with a rep range of 8-12.


Looking for more exercises for the gym? Check out our workouts page.


VIDEO: How to do the dumbbell fly