Dumbbell Flyes are an excellent way to isolate the muscles of the pectoralis major and the anterior, or front aspect, of the deltoid. Flyes at all angles are helpful in improving the structural balance of the shoulder. They should be used in place of pressing when the other muscles of the pressing chain – triceps, serratus anterior, corachobrachialis – are already strong.
Flyes contribute to improvement in the force you generate in arm swing in running, sprinting, and speed skating. They are indispensible in explosive starts off the blocks in track; powerful movement out of two, three, or even four point stances in sports like football; and in keeping forward momentum going under conditions of lower body fatigue. They also contribute significantly to the power of the forehand in tennis.
Set up a bench at a 45° angle. A 45° angle on a bench is one that makes the bench look like a square when you pass four imaginary lines around it. If you do not know how to set up an incline bench, click on our 60° Incline DB Press article to review this concept in a new window. After you are finished there, you can continue reading this article.
Grab two dumbbells and place them on your thighs with your palms facing each other. While lying back on the bench, use a knee-up action to get the weights up to the starting position at chest level. Hold the dumbbells with a pronated grip (palms away), with arms extended perpendicular to the floor, elbows bent approximately 5°.
As you inhale, lower the dumbbells outward and backward in a reverse arc until you feel a stretch in your pectoral muscles.
Exhale and reverse the range of motion in a bear hug movement to return the weights to the top. Be sure to maintain the elbow position throughout the duration of the movement.
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