Fly Exercise for Biceps

Flyes help train your biceps function, but won't get you big guns.
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Working your biceps can help you develop big upper arms and hone the ability to extend the elbow and twist the arm. Dumbbell and barbell curls are classic exercises used to target this muscle, which extends from the elbow to the shoulder at the front of the upper arm. Chest flyes are designed to target the pectoral muscles of the chest, but do involve the biceps as stabilizers and may be included as part of a split routine in which you focus on the chest and biceps on the same day.

Dumbbell Flyes

To do the dumbbell flyes, lie on your back on a flat or inclined weight bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your elbows so the weights are above your chest, and point your slightly bent elbows out to the sides of the room. Open your arms in an arc, maintaining the slight bend in the elbows, until your elbows are parallel to the edge of the bench and you feel your chest stretch. Return the weights to nearly touching with a hugging action. During the exercise, your biceps work isometrically to maintain the slight bend in the elbows, but do not make any significant movement.

Cable Flyes

Flyes are usually done with dumbbells, but they can also be done with a dual cable machine. After you have positioned the pulleys of the cable machine to the top of the shaft, grab a handle in each hand. Stand so the handles are to your sides and bend over slightly at the hips. Pull the handles in so they are just below your shoulders and bend the elbows slightly. Maintain the bend in the elbows as you hug the cable attachments together. The elbows point toward the ceiling at the top of the movement and to the sides as you lower the handles to almost touch. Open your arms in an arc to complete one repetition. Just as in the dumbbell fly, the biceps work to keep the elbow position constant.


Although flyes are focused on the chest muscles, they do help you improve bicep function. Carrying heavy objects -- such as grocery bags, boxes or small children -- requires stabilization with a flexed elbow. Training your biceps as stabilizers also helps you with other exercises in the gym, including pullups, rows and triceps dips.


A training split means you work certain muscle groups on different days. You can design a split in any number of ways, one of which is to "split" the upper body so that on Mondays, for example, you work back, triceps and shoulders, and Wednesdays you work chest and biceps. Flyes are an ideal exercise to work on your chest and bicep day as they involve both muscle groups. During such a workout, you could also include dumbbell or barbell curls, the barbell bench press and the peck dec machine.

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