How to Perfect Incline Dumbbell Fly for Chest | Proper form, benefits, mistakes and Alternatives

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dumbbell fly

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According to the workout warriors and weight room experts if you want to build a strong and big chest is to hit the bench. They are not wrong but keep in mind barbell bench press or even with any other pressing variation you choose for chest focused bench workouts are not enough. To bring more focus to the inner chest and round out your pecs, you must grab some incline dumbbell fly.

What is incline Dumbbell Fly?

incline Dumbbell fly for chest is the exercise that targets your pectoral or chest muscles. It works to separate the chest muscles, contracting and stretching them while restraining the shoulders. This motion is sometimes compared with “hugging the tree”.

Unlike a press where the flexing and bending of elbows occurs, flyes exercise keeps the angle of the elbow relatively consistently. Dumbbell flyes for the chest are usually performed for moderate to high reps like 8 to 15 reps per set or more than this, as a part of the chest or upper body focused workout.

incline Dumbbell Fly Benefits

  • The main focus of dumbbell flyes workout is to target your chest, it also hits the muscles of back, arms and shoulder that are used in stabilizing the weight while performing the exercise.
  • Dumbbell flyes is used for the chest muscles, larger pectoralis major and smaller pectoralis minor that when are fully developed will give you the chest separation look that most people strive for.
  • Having the stronger chest is important for the building of physique. It also helps out with daily activities and improve your sporting performance.

How to Perform a Dumbbell fly for Chest?

dumbbell fly
Dumbbell fly

If you are a beginner then start this exercise with a light dumbbell weight of almost 3 to 5 pounds and if you are strong enough for the upper body exercises then use almost 8 to 10 pounds. By building a stronger body you may increase your weight.

If you are interested to perform the chest dumbbell flyes traditionally then you need to access the flat bench. Here I will tell you how you can perform this exercise.

  • First of all, lie flat on the flat incline bench then place your feet firmly on the floor. While this you must keep your head and back pressed into the bench.
  • Ask the spotter to give u the one set of dumbbells or 2 dumbbells, or you may pick them from the floor and hold one in each hand.
  • Now, lift the arms up above the head so that they may extend but no try to lock them. There should be slight bending in your elbows and your palms and dumbbell should face each other.
  • Inhale and slowly lower down the dumbbell in an arc motion till they reach in line with the chest. Your arms will be extending to sides but not locked out, do not try to lower your arms than your shoulders.
  • After this, exhale and slowly press the dumbbells up in the same arc motion
  • Perform 3 set of 8 to 15 reps.


What are dumbbell flys good for?

Dumbbell flyes give the shoulders, chest, and triceps a great workout. It has unique advantage of targeting your chest muscles’ ability to move toward the center of the body, a motion called abduction.

What muscles do a dumbbell fly work?

Dumbbell flyes will work both of your chest muscles, the larger pectoralis major and the smaller pectoralis minor which gives you the ‘chest separation’ look that most people strive for when they are fully developed.

Incline dumbbell Fly Common Mistakes

Locking your arms:

Keeping your arms locked will shift the focus of the force on the elbow instead of the chest increasing the chances of injury. You have to keep your elbows bent throughout the whole range of motion. Do not fully straighten your arms.


Follow the path of the press and do not drop your elbows far below the bench. It can cause injury and reduce the effectiveness of work. Keep your elbows in line with your torso while lying on the bench.

Picking the right weight:

This is an important point as this variation comes with a little different form. You can not use the same weight you are using for the traditional bench press. Find the appropriate weight for yourself with which you can do 10-12 reps easily.

 Incline Dumbbell Fly Variations

Gym ball dumbbell flye

This variation is performed on a gym ball rather than on a bench. This can be a little hard as you are supporting your back and shoulders on an unstable surface. Hence, you should pick a lighter weight than normal. Performing this variation can improve your balance.

Incline dumbbell fly

Use this variation to target your upper chest with the dumbbell fly. You can use an incline dumbbell fly by using bench set at about 30˚ or you can also use the gym ball for this variation.

Incline Dumbbell Fly

How to Perform Incline Dumbbell Fly

  1. Set an adjustable bench to a 45-degree angle.
  2. Grab two dumbbells and place your head and back firmly on the bench.
  3. Plant your feet firmly on the floor. Bend your elbows slightly and raise your arms above your pectoral muscles.
  4. Ensure your palms are facing one another and the dumbbells are at least six inches apart. This is your starting position.
  5. Exhale as you lower the dumbbells to your sides.
  6. Your arms should be perpendicular to your torso at full extension.
  7. Pause for a second or two before returning to the starting position.
  8. Repeat to the desired number of repetitions.


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