How To Do & Muscles Worked

dumbbell fly

The fly exercise is a horizontal push exercise that primarily targets the chest. They’re worked in a lengthened position so you’ll feel a good chest stretch at the bottom of the movement.

  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Challenging

Which Muscles Are Worked?

Diagram of primary and secondary muscles worked from Dumbbell fly

Primary Muscles

Chest Triceps

Secondary Muscles


Exercise Type

Dumbbell icon

How to do dumbbell fly Properly

Step by Step Guide

Begin lying down on your back on a bench with the legs bent and feet planted firmly on the ground. (Note: If your feet don’t touch the ground, place a plate underneath each foot).

Hold dumbbells in your hands near your chest with a neutral grip (palms facing each other). Your shoulder blades should be down and back, squeezing together the entire time.

Press the dumbbells up toward the ceiling as you straighten both arms while keeping the palms facing each other. The dumbbells can be touching at the top. This is the start position.

Lower the dumbbells out to the side in a “T” away from each other. Keep lowering them down toward the ground until you feel a stretch in the chest.

Then, raise the dumbbells back up toward each other to the start position.

Repeat for the desired repetitions.

Common Mistakes

A common mistake is not using a large enough range of motion. Instead, focus on lowering the dumbbells down as far as you can to get a deep stretch in the chest muscles before raising them back up toward the ceiling. This way you get stronger within that lengthened range, too.


Animation of how to do Dumbbell fly