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Incline Dumbbell Flyes - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Single-Joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Chest
Secondary Muscles Worked: Shoulders

Incline Dumbbell Flyes can work the shoulders as well as the chest. This exercise can be beneficial working and defining the upper chest and front deltoid area to ensure a fuller rounded shaped with clearer separation of the two muscles. This exercise can also be performed with a barbell but dumbbells provide a better range of motion.

Incline Dumbbell Flyes - Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Position yourself on an incline bench, where your head is higher than your hips, with your feet on the ground, your sacrum, head and shoulder blades in firm contact with the bench whilst maintaining your lower spine’s natural curve.
  • Hold the dumbbells with your arms straight above you, with the dumbbells parallel to each other.
  • Bring down the weights to your sides side in a wide curve, feeling the stretch in the pecs and pause. At this low point, ensure that the palms are still facing each other.
  • Ensure that a bend in the arms is maintained as you perform the movement to reduce the stress on the elbows.
  • Raise your arms back up along the same wide arc, as if you are hugging the trunk of a big old tree, rather than pressing the weights to the top.
  • Contract and flex the pectorals at the peak of the movement after you bring the weights back up to the starting position.
  • Complete the intended amount of repetitions.
  • The eccentric (down-phase) should be twice as long as the concentric (up-phase)

Incline Dumbbell Flyes - Tips & Safety

  • Maintain control and the ‘tree-hugging’ line of movement of the weights.
  • Squeeze the pecs at the top of the movement without using momentum to lift the weight.
  • If you are new to this exercise or lack strength, ensure you have a spotter to prevent dropping the weights on the down phase which can place excess strain on your rotator cuff muscles.
  • Maintain a slight bend in your elbows to reduce stress placed on your elbow joint.

Incline Dumbbell Flyes - Alternatives

  • Try varying the angle of the bench for different emphasis on the shoulders and chest. The higher the bench is, the greater the emphasis on the upper chest and shoulders.
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