The Proper Way of Doing Incline Dumbbell Flyes

Incline dumbbell flyes can strengthen your chest muscles.

Incline dumbbell flyes can strengthen your chest muscles.

You won’t rise in the air when you spread your wings and perform dumbbell flyes, but you will strengthen your largest chest muscles, the pectoralis major. Doing dumbbell flyes on an incline bench -- a bench that positions your head higher than your hips -- also works your shoulders, upper arms and forearms, but only if you do them correctly.

Set your bench to the desired position, if it’s adjustable. Set it to 30 degrees for an overall pectoral workout. A steeper inclination will target your upper pecs, while a shallower incline focuses the resistance on the middle of the your chest.

Sit on the bench with your feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell above your upper chest in each hand, with your elbows flexed and your palms facing your body.

Inhale as you lower your arms to your sides, slowly. Maintain the bend in each elbow as you drop your arms.

Exhale as you raise your arms back to the starting position.

Items you will need

  • Incline bench


  • Move your arms with your shoulders; don’t change the flex in your elbows at any time.


  • Don’t lower the dumbbells below chest level. Dropping them lower forces your pectoral muscles to work harder, but the movement also risks an injury to your chest or shoulders.
  • Use a spotter when you’re lifting heavy weights above your body.

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About the Author

M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.

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