Variations Of Dumbbell Fly With Videos And Instructions

Dumbbell fly is a great exercise for firming up your chest.

This exercise can be done on a flat bench or on a swiss ball. If you do it on an exercise ball, you’ll be working your core muscles too.

The dumbbell fly is usually done on an exercise bench.

If you can adjust the slope of your bench, you can also do this in an inclined position to target slightly different areas of your chest. Remember to straddle the bench, with your feet on the floor rather than on the bench itself.

If you don’t have any bench or a swiss ball, you can simply do this exercise on the floor. The range of motion will be more limited since you can’t lower your arms below your shoulder level. But you can still have a good chest workout.

Now, how do you perform this exercise?

Basically, you lie on your back on a bench, on the floor or on a swissball with a dumbbell in each hand. Then you move the dumbbells in a semi circular path across your chest. Check the videos below to see what I mean.

Dumbbell Fly On The Floor

I don’t have an exercise bench. So, I’ll show you how to do this exercise on the floor here.


  1. Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor.
  2. Raise your dumbbells above your chest.
  3. Keep your elbows slightly bent.
  4. Put your shoulders down on the floor. Relax them.
  5. Contract your abs and keep your back neutral.
  6. Breathe in and slowly bring your dumbbells to the floor.
  7. Stop when your arms lightly touch the floor.
  8. Bring them up again slowly contracting your chest.
  9. Do 2 or 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. Or perform the recommended number of times for your program.

Things To Watch Out For

  • Don’t hunch your shoulders while you’re performing the chest fly.
  • Don’t change the angle of your elbows during the exercise.
  • When you bring your arms down, don’t rest them on the floor. Keep the tension all the time.
  • You’re lifting the weights with your arms almost straight. This means you won’t be able to lift as much weight as you would with your elbows bent. So, if you can’t lift or lower the dumbbells without having to bend your elbows into nearly a 90-degree angle, you’re probably using too much weight for this exercise.

Dumbbell Flying On Your Swissball

The methods are the same, except this time your core has to work hard to balance your body on the ball. Great for your stomach and lower back.

Make sure you watch the video to be able to perform the swissball dumbbell fly properly.


  1. Sit on the exercise ball with dumbbells in your hands.
  2. Slowly walk forward until just your head and upper back are resting on the ball.
  3. Keep a straight rigid line from your head to your knees. Don’t let your bottom sag.
  4. Then do the semi circle fly using the same methods mentioned in the floor version.

The Standing Up Version

You can also perform this chest fly exercise standing up. You’ll need a strong elastic band which you can fasten to your door frame or something sturdy in your house.

With the band, your starting position will be with your arms by your side. In the dumbbell fly, your starting point is with your arms on top of your chest.

This video shows you how to perform this pectoral (chest) fly standing up.


  1. Fasten your elastic band somewhere appropriate.
  2. Stand with one foot ahead of the other, to help with balance.
  3. Hold the two ends of the elastic band in your hands.
  4. Perform the chest fly using the same methods and watch points mentioned in the floor version above.

Important Watchpoints

With this version, one thing to be careful of is not to use your bodyweight to pull the band forward like in the video below.

Keep your body still. Only your arms are moving. It’s a good idea to vary the height of the anchor points of your elastic band. This will help you work slightly different areas of your chest.

There you go. I hope I’ve given you enough guidance for you to start doing your chest fly exercise. Good luck. :-)

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