Dumbbell Flies - Chest Muscles

Dumbbell Flies - Chest Muscles

Learn how to do flat bench dumbbell flies. All you need for this exercise is a flat bench and 2 dumbbells. This exercise trains the chest muscles and is usually done after the barbell bench press. Find more exercises for your chest workout at weight training and bodybuilding.


  • Sit down on a flat bench with 2 dumbbells in your hands. Rest your dumbbells on your thighs. Then lie down with your dumbbells close to your abs and extend your arms over your shoulders (dumbbells parallel). Your feet should be flat on the floor and your head, your back and your bottom have to stay on the bench. Keep your shoulders low and close to the bench during the entire exercise. Never elevate your shoulders.
  • Open your arms like wings, inhale and keep your elbows still. Move slowly and concentrated and stop when your hands are at shoulder height. Slow down the motion before you stop and don't create momentum. Don't bounce. When viewed from the side, your hands and your elbows should to move in a vertical layer with the shoulders. Also keep the dumbbells parallel during the whole exercise. Don't twist the weights like if you were doing dumbbell bench press.
  • Then close your arms again and exhale. The up motion can be a bit faster than the down motion. Make sure you keep your elbows still and don't elevate your shoulders. The point where your chest muscles stop working is when your hands are right over your shoulders (vertical line from shoulder to wrist). You can either stop there or close your arms even further, so that the dumbbells touch each-other (isometric chest contraction).


  • Do between 10 and 15 repetitions. Dumbbell flies are not designed for heavy weights and low reps. (low reps = few repetitions)
  • Do your flat bench dumbbell flies after the flat bench barbell bench press and incline flies after incline bench press.
  • To keep you back flat on the bench, you can also lift legs (see barbell bench press instruction).