Flying dumbbell – execution & tips for strong chest muscles

Flying dumbbell on the flat or incline bench – this exercise is perfect for building strong and voluminous chest muscles ! What is important in this relatively demanding chest exercise is correct execution and technique. You can now find valuable information and tips + video and pictures for the exercise in this post!

Flying with dumbbells – a serious chest exercise?

When people talk about “ flies or in English “ flys , then mostly flies Meant by dumbbell on the flat bench or incline bench. This chest exercise is very effective for building broad chest muscles and a perfect complement to the classic bench press .

However, this muscle exercise can also be performed with other training equipment. For example, flying people on the cable pull or flying people with the sling trainer !

The butterfly in the butterfly machine is also particularly suitable for beginners. This chest exercise is very similar to the flyers in terms of their execution, but much more isolated and therefore less demanding than those who fly with dumbbells or pulling a cable!

No matter which variant you choose for your chest training, all of them mainly train the large pectoral muscles (musculus pectoralis major)! The supporting muscles are:

  • The front part of the shoulder muscles (musculus deltoideus pars clavicularis),
  • the anterior saw muscle (musculus serratus anterior) and the
  • Knurled muscle (musculus anconaeus).

Flying on the flat bench – the right technique & perform

– The starting position

With dumbbells flying, it is particularly important to assume a stable starting position. You take a dumbbell in each hand and lie down on a flat or incline bench. The legs are stable on the floor and you make a slight hollow back with your back. This means that only the back of the head, upper back and buttocks rest on the weight bench .

Now you stretch your arms vertically upwards, as you can see on the left picture below. The elbows are minimally bent so that the elbow joints are relieved. In this position, the dumbbells are exactly above the chest.

Important: Do not fully extend your arms in the starting position. Hold the dumbbells over your chest and not over your head!

– The correct execution of the exercise

After you have taken the correct starting position, in the next step you lower both arms in a controlled and slowly to the side. Don’t forget to breathe deeply.

As soon as you have lowered the dumbbell to the height of your chest, the end position is reached. In this position, the arm should make an angle of about 80 degrees to the body. While you exhale, you push the dumbbell back up to the starting position in a controlled manner.

Kurzhantel Fliegende

Here you can see the starting position and the end position for the fly with a dumbbell

What training equipment do you need for dumbbell flies?

If your home gym offers a pair of dumbbells, you have almost everything to do this chest exercise. However, it is also important to have a stable surface and the necessary space to stretch your arms. For the perfect training equipment, I therefore recommend the following:

1. A high quality dumbbell set, and

2. a stable weight bench, like this one here:

Flying with dumbbells – these are the most common mistakes

Mistake No. 1: Badly buckled arms

This error can always be seen when the weight is too high. The elbows bend sharply when lowering or when pushing upwards and the dumbbell flying becomes a dumbbell bench press.

So always make sure to choose the weight so that the angle between forearm and upper arm does not change during the entire exercise!

Mistake no. 2: Fully outstretched arms

Anyone who thinks that the arms should be fully extended to prevent badly bent elbows is also wrong.

Fully outstretched arms put a lot of strain on the elbow joints and this should therefore be avoided at all costs! The optimal arm position is a slightly bent elbow that does not change during the entire exercise!


Dumbbell flying is a very effective and challenging exercise for the chest. Not least because of the many variations of Flys, this chest exercise is never boring. To avoid common mistakes and injuries, beginners should only perform dumbbell flies under the supervision of a fitness trainer or an experienced strength athlete!

TIP: You can also find more chest exercises in this post!

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