How To Perform the Dumbbell Fly Exercise

Try out this exercise to isolate and work all three sections of your chest

A man performing dumbbell flies on a bench
JGI/Tom Grill / Getty Images

Are you looking for a good exercise that can work your outer, mid and lower sections of your chest through isolation? Here's the perfect solution: Dumbbell Flys This is a good exercise to isolate the outer, mid and lower sections of the chest. Secondary muscles involved in this movement are the front delts.

Equipment Required

  • Adjustable bench
  • Dumbbells

How to Lift

  1. Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell ​in each hand on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other.
  2. By using your thighs to help you get the dumbbells up, clean the dumbbells one arm at a time so that you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width. This will be your starting position.
  3. With a slight bend ​in your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, lower your arms out at both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Keep in mind that throughout the movement, the arms should remain stationary; the movement should only occur at the shoulder joint.
  4. Return your arms back to the starting position as you breathe out. Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
  5. Hold for a second at the starting position and repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.


  1. For a variety of purposes, you may want to also try a variation of this exercise in which the palms face forward instead of facing each other.
  2. Another variation of this exercise is to perform it on an incline bench or with the cable machine.