Chest Fly Variations for Chest Muscles

Chest Fly Variations for Chest Muscles

The chest fly is an exercise used to work the chest muscles and leads to upper body strength and hypertrophy. Along with the bench press, the chest fly is another exercise that can hit the pectoral muscles to a different degree than the simple pushing motion you would find with a press of a barbell bench press, dumbbell bench press, or pushup.

Individuals can use dumbbells or cable machines for the chest fly to stretch and strengthen their chest muscles. The main muscles worked on the dumbbell chest fly include the chest (pectoralis major and pectoralis minor), shoulders (anterior deltoids), and triceps brachii muscles. The traditional way to do the dumbbell chest fly is to lay on your back while on a flat bench. 

A chest fly variation is a modification to the traditional chest fly that is used to enhance muscle development, strength, and conditioning. The primary chest fly exercise variations include a standing version and a seated version that add other movements along with the fly. 

The chest fly exercise variation classification includes use for bodybuilders who want to build their chest, weightlifters who want to strengthen their chest and shoulders for other lifts (such as the bench press and overhead press), and athletes who frequently do overhead and upper body motions. 

Weight-related variations to the chest fly exist, using dumbbells, cables, and bodyweight exercises to strengthen the shoulders and the chest. Before beginners do the chest fly, users should begin with a basic chest press to understand the motion, use dumbbells for other exercises, and start doing pushups. 

Machine Fly Correct Form

1. Seated Dumbbell Bent Over Reverse Fly

The seated dumbbell bent-over reverse fly is a chest fly exercise variation that focuses on the rear deltoids, rhomboid muscles in the upper back, and posterior deltoids in the shoulder region. Athletes and weightlifters should make this motion to strengthen their upper back to protect their neck from injury and work with posture. 

Alternates of the seated dumbbell bent-over reverse fly exist, such as the standing dumbbell bent-over reverse fly, cable reverse fly, cable machine reverse fly, and lying dumbbell reverse fly. One mistake that users need to avoid with this motion is to sit up too far doing this exercise. Users can avoid this mistake by keeping their hips at a proper angle and bending their elbows at the same angle throughout the motion. 

The toughness level of this exercise is a 4 out of 10 since you will be seated and not have to worry about balancing your body or using your core strength. 

2. Dumbbell Reverse Fly

The dumbbell reverse fly is a chest fly exercise variation that focuses on the upper back, rhomboids, trapezius, posterior deltoids, and the triceps brachii. Bodybuilders and weightlifters should use this exercise to build their upper back and tone tier shoulders.

Dumbbell Reverse Fly Correct Form

Alternatives of the dumbbell reverse fly include the cable machine, reverse fly with plate weights, seated reverse flys with dumbbells, and bent over dumbbell reverse fly. Mistakes to avoid while doing this exercise includes keeping your arms straight. Users can avoid this mistake by keeping a slight bend in their elbow and head in line with their neck. 

The toughness level of his exercise is 5 out of 10 since it is slightly more challenging than the seated version. 

3. Machine Rear Delt Reverse fly

The machine rear delt reverse fly is a chest fly exercise variation that taxes the posterior deltoids and the rhomboids on your upper back. This exercise should be used by bodybuilders and weightlifters who want to build their upper back and hypertrophy.

Alternatives of the machine rear delt reverse fly include the standing rear delt reverse fly, bent over dumbbell reverse fly, and cable reverse fly. One mistake to avoid while doing the machine rear delt reverse fly is to move your chest off of the pad while moving your arms. Users can avoid doing so by keeping their chest against the support pad and keeping their hands on the candles at all times.

The toughness level of this exercise is a 3 out of 10 since the user’s body is supported by the chest pad, and the weight is on a track throughout the motion. 

4. Seated Machine Chest Fly 

The seated machine chest fly is a chest fly exercises variation that works the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and anterior deltoids on the front of the shoulders. This exercise can be used by upper-body athletes, bodybuilders, and weightlifters who want to build their pectoral muscles. 

Alternatives of the seated machine chest fly include the sending machine chest fly, cable machine chest fly, cable handles chest fly, and lying dumbbell chest fly. One mistake to avoid with this exercise is moving your back off the support pad. Users need to avoid this mistake by keeping their lower and upper back firmly against the pad and keeping their hands on the handles at all times. 

The toughness level of this exercise is a 3 out of 10 since the user’s body is supported at all times during the movement. 

5. Alternate Dumbbell Reverse Fly On Incline Bench 

The alternate dumbbell reverse fly on the incline bench is a chest fly variation that works the rhomboids, posterior deltoids, and upper back muscles. This exercise is good for upper-body athletes, such as baseball and tennis players, bodybuilders, and weightlifters.

One mistake to avoid is lifting your chest off of the bench. Users can avoid this mistake by keeping their chest against the bench and their heads in line with their bodies. Alternatives of this exercise include the dumbbell reverse fly on the flat bench, seated bent-over reverse fly, and cable reverse fly. 

The toughness level of this exercise is a 4 out of 10 since the reverse fly can be more challenging than the chase fly for most athletes.  

6. Bent-Over Dumbbell Fly 

The bent-over dumbbell fly is a chest fly exercise variation that taxes the rhomboids, posterior deltoids, and trapezius muscles during the range of motion. This exercise is good for upper-body athletes, bodybuilders, and weightlifters who want to build their upper back.

One mistake to avoid during this motion is to stand up too straight during the movement. Users need to avoid this mistake by keeping a hinge in the hips and keeping a bend in their elbows. Alternatives of the bent-over dumbbell fly include the seated dumbbell fl, standing cable fly, and cable machine fly.

The toughness level of this exercise is 5 out of 10 since it requires balance and core work from the user. 

7. Dumbbell Fly On Exercise Ball

The dumbbell fly on the exercise ball is a cable chest fly that works the pectoralis muscles and anterior deltoid. This exercise is good for athletes who need to work on stabilization and upper body strength. 

Alternatives of the bent dumbbell fly on the exercise ball include a dumbbell fly on the incline bench, a dumbbell fly on the flat bench, and a dumbbell fly on the decline bench. One mistake of this exercise is to fall off of the exercise ball. Two tips to avoid this mistake are to keep your feet hip-width apart and use your core to stabilize your body.

The toughness level of this exercise is a 6 out of 10 since it requires full-body coordination. 

8. Seated Dumbbell Bent Over Reverse Fly

The seated dumbbell bent-over reverse fly is a chest fly exercise variation that works the rhomboids and posterior deltoid. Bodybuilders and weightlifters can use this exercise to build their upper backs.

Alternatives of this eerie include the seated bent overfly, cable reverse fly, and machine reverse fly. One mistake to avoid is sitting up too straight during this exercise. Users can avoid this by keeping their hips bent and their feet firmly planted on the floor.

The guess level for this exercise is a 4 out of 10 due to the necessary posture and position. 

9. Lever Pec Deck Fly

The lever pec deck fly is a chest fly exercise variation that works the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. This exercise is good for beginner athletes who are new to using the gym.

Alternatives to this exercise include the lying dumbbell chest fly, incline bench chest fly, and cable chest fly. One mistake to avoid during this exercise is moving your back off the pad. Two tips to keep in mind during this exercise are to keep your arms against the arm pads and to keep your head in line with your body.

The toughness level of this exercise is a 3 out of 10 since the user’s body is supported throughout the entire exercise. 

10. Standing Cable Fly

The standing cable fly is a chest fly exercise variation that taxes the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and anterior deltoids. It works well for bodybuilders and weightlifters who want to strengthen their chest by bench press exercise.

Alternatives to the standing cable fly include the seated cable fly, lying dumbbell chest fly, and machine chest fly. One mistake of this exercise is to bend over too far with your body. Two tips to avoid this mistake include keeping your arms at a slightly bent angle and keeping your head facing upright.

The toughness level of this exercise is a 5 out of 10 since you will have to use your core to brace yourself. 

11. Lever Seated Iron Cross Fly

The lever seated iron cross fly is a chest fly exercise variation that works the pectoralis muscles and anterior deltoids. This exercise is good for bodybuilders who want to build their chest muscles and have a bigger physique.

Alternatives to the lever seated iron cross fly are the standing cable fly, lying chest fly, and machine chest fly. One mistake to avoid during this exercise is to keep your feet planted together. Users can avoid this mistake by keeping their feet shoulder-width apart and facing forwards. 

The toughness level of this exercise is a 4 out of 10 since it requires balance and coordination. 

12. Lying Supine Cable Reverse Fly

The lying supine cable reverse fly is a chest fly variation that works the rhomboids, trapezius, and posterior deltoids. This exercise works well for athletes, bodybuilders, and weightlifters.

One mistake in this exercise includes not keeping your arms at the right angle. Two tips to prevent this mistake include keeping your entire body on the bench and going through a full range of motion. Alternatives to this exercise include the standing cable reverse fly, seated cable reverse fly, and incline bench dumbbell reverse fly.

The toughness level of this exercise is a 3 out of 10 since your body is on the bench the entire time. 

13. Lever Reverse Fly

The lever reverse fly is a chest fly exercise variation that works the rhomboids, trapezius, and posterior deltoids and is suitable for bodybuilders, beginners, and weightlifters.

Alternatives to this exercise include the lying spine cable reverse fly, seated cable reverse selfie, and incline bench dumbbell reverse fly. One mistake in this exercise includes not keeping your chest on the support pad. Two tips to avoid this mistake are keeping your chest on the pad and keeping your hands on the handlebars at all times.

The toughness level of this exercise is a 3 out of 10 since your body is supported the entire time. 

14. One Arm Dumbbell Reverse Fly On Incline Bench

The one-arm dumbbell reverse fly on an incline bench is a chest fly exercise variation that works the rhomboids, trapezius, and posterior deltoids. This exercise is suitable for bodybuilders, athletes, and weightlifters who want to work their shoulders and upper back.

One mistake to avoid is to move your arms simultaneously. Two tips to avoid this mistake are to keep your chest on the pad at all times and avoid moving your head forwards. Alternatives to this exercise include the dumbbell reverse fly on a flat bench, dumbbell reverse fly on an incline bench, and lever reverse fly.

The toughness level of this exercise is a 5 out of 10 since it requires unilateral coordination. 

15. Seated One Arm Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly

The seated one arm bent over dumbbell reverse fly is a chest fly exercise variation that works the rhomboids, upper trapezius, and posterior deltoids. Nad is suitable for weightlifters and bodybuilders.

Alternatives to his exercise include the two-0arm bent over dumbbell reverse fly, standing cable reverse fly, and seated cable reverse fly. One mistake to avoid is to move both arms at the same time. Users can avoid this mistake by keeping their heads down and only moving one weight at a time.

The toughness level of this exercise is a 5 out of 10 since it takes extra coordination and core strength. 

16. Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly on Exercise Ball

The dumbbell rear delt fly on an exercise ball is a chest fly exercise variation that works the upper rhomboids, trapezius, abdominals, and posterior deltoid. This exercise is suitable for athletes who want to test their upper body and core strength simultaneously.

Alternatives to this exercise include a dumbbell rear delt fly on a flat bench, incline bench, or standing. One mistake to avoid during this exercise is sliding off the exercise ball. Users can avoid this mistake by bracing their core and moving slowly through the exercise.

The toughness level of this exercise is a 6 out of 10 since it takes coordination and core strength.

17. Resistance Band Back Fly

The resistance band back fly is a chest fly exercise variation that works the rhomboids, trapezius, and posterior deltoids and is best for weightlifters and athletes. 

One mistake to avoid during this exercise is to keep your arms straight. Users can avoid this mistake by keeping a slight bend in their elbows throughout the motion and keeping their chest upright. Alternatives to this exercise include a cable reverse fly, lying dumbbell reverse fly, and incline bench reverse dumbbell fly.

The toughness level of this exercise is 5 out of 10 since it has constant tension throughout the entire range of motion. 

18. Standing Back Fly With Band

The standing back fly with the band is a chest fly exercise variation that focuses on the rhomboids, trapezius, triceps brachii, and posterior deltoids. This exercise is suitable for beginners who do not want to use heavyweights. 

Alternatives to this exercise are the resistance band reverse fly, cable reverse fly, and bent-over dumbbell reverse fly. One mistake to avoid during this exercise is to bend your body over too far. Two tips to avoid this mistake are to only hinge slightly at your hips and keep your back flat during the motion.

The toughness level of this exercise is a 3 out of 10 since it requires no dumbbells or heavyweights. 

19. One Arm Cable Fly On Exercise Ball

The one-arm cable fly on an exercise ball is one of the cable fly variations for the chest that focuses on the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and anterior deltoids. This exercise is good for athletes and weightlifters since it taxes your chest, core, and shoulders.

Alternatives to this exercise include the cable fly on the exercise ball, dumbbell fly on the exercise ball, and chest fly on a flat bench. One mistake to avoid during this eerie is moving the cables at the same time. Two tips to avoid this mistake are to keep your feet firmly planted on the floor and to use your core to brace during the movement.

The toughness level of this exercise is a 7 out of 10 since it requires core strength, coordination, and strength, 

20. Cable Fly On Exercise Ball

The cable fly on an exercise ball is one of the chest fly machine variations that work the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and anterior deltoids and can be used for athletes and weightlifters.

Alternatives to this exercise include the one-arm version, dumbbell chest fly on an exercise ball, and cable fly on a flat bench or incline bench. One mistake to avoid with this exercise is to move one arm at a time. Users can avoid this mistake by moving both arms simultaneously and bracing their core throughout the movement.

The toughness level of his exercise is a 6 out of 10 since it requires balance, coordination, core strength, and shoulder flexibility. 

21. Swiss Ball Dumbbell Fly

The Swiss ball dumbbell fly is a chest fly exercise variation that works the upper rhomboids, trapezius, deltoids, and core. This exercise is good for athletes who want to work on their balance, coordination, and core strength.

Alternatives of this exercise include the swiss ball lying reverse fly, dumbbell fly on a bench, and dumbbell fly on an incline bench. One mistake to avoid during this exercise is sliding off of the ball. Users can avoid this mistake by keeping their feet hip-width apart and bracing the core during the movement. 

The toughness level of this exercise is a 6 out of 10 since it takes coordination and balance. 

22. Seated Cable Rear Delt Reverse

The seated cable rear delt reverse is one of the best chest fly variations that taxes the trapezius, rhomboids, and posterior deltoids and can be used for upper-body atlas, bodybuilders, and weightlifters. 

Alternatives of this exercise include the standing cable rear delt reverse fly, lying dumbbell reverse fly, incline bench reverse fly, and machine rear delt reverse fly. One mistake to avoid during this exercise is to push your chest forwards. Users can avoid this mistake by keeping their chests upright and their heads facing forward.

The toughness level of this exercise is a 4 out of 10 since it requires core strength and posture. 

23. Flat Bench Cable Fly

The flat bench cable fly is one of the chest fly cable variations that focus on the pectorals, anterior deltoids, and core. This exercise is a good choice for beginners, bodybuilders, and weightlifters.

Alternatives to the flat bench cable fly are the flat bench dumbbell fly, incline bench cable fly, incline bench dumbbell chest fly, and seated cable fly. One mistake to avoid during this exercise is to bring your head off of the headrest on the bench. Users can avoid this mistake by keeping their body on the bench at all times and keeping their arms at a constant slightly-bent angle.

The toughness level of this exercise is 4 out of 10 since it does not require heavyweight or full-body balance.

24. Inverted Fly

The inverted fly is one of the chest fly exercise variations that work the upper rhomboids, trapezius, and posterior deltoids. And can be good for athletes, beginners, bodybuilders, and weightlifters.

Alternatives of this exercise include the incline bench reverse fly, lying flat bench dumbbell reverse fly, and incline bench cable reverse fly. One mistake to avoid during this exercise is to stand upright. Users can avoid this mistake by keeping their hips bent at a 90-degree angle and keeping their heads in line with their necks. 

The toughness level of this exercise is a 4 out of 10 since it requires a proper form. 

What to Know About Chest Fly Variations?

Chest fly variations are helpful exercises that can help tax the pectoral muscles, rhomboids, trapezius, and anterior/posterior deltoids. If you are new to the chest fly, these variations are highly effective exercises to add to your routine.

What are the common mistakes in doing the Chest Fly variations?

Common mistakes to avoid during the chest fly variations include not having a proper head angle, keeping your arms too straight or too bent, or choosing a weight that is too heavy. 

Which type of Chest Fly variation is beginner-friendly?

The best variations for beginners are the inverted fly, flat bench reverse fly, resistance band standing reverse fly, dumbbell chest fly variations, and TRX chest fly variations. 

Which type of Chest Fly variation is good for weightlifters?

The best chest fly variation for weightlifters includes exercises that build the upper back and shoulder strength, such as the cable reverse fly, cable chest fly, seated cable chest fly, and incline cable chest fly. 

Which type of Chest Fly variation is good for athletes?

The chest fly variation that is good for athletes includes single-arm variations that ax the core and the shoulder mobility, such as the one-arm dumbbell reverse fly on an incline bench and one arm cable fly on an exercise ball. 

Which type of Chest Fly variation is good for bodybuilders?

Bodybuilders can benefit from all the chest fly variations that work the smaller mirror muscles, such as the standing cable fly, lying supine cable reverse fly, seated cable rear delt reverse fly, alternate dumbbell reverse fly on an incline bench, and incline chest fly variations. 

What are the alternatives to Chest Fly exercises?

Alternatives to chest fly provide the chest muscle growth with different exercise equipment and muscle movements. Some alternatives to Chest Fly include movements such as “Fly movements”, and some Reverse movements such as Lying Supine Cable Reverse fly. There are 25 main alternatives to chest fly exercises, such as the following. 

  1. Seated Dumbbell Bent Over Reverse Fly
  2. Dumbbell Reverse Fly
  3. Machine Rear Delt Reverse fly
  4. Seated Machine Chest Fly 
  5. Alternate Dumbbell Reverse Fly On Incline Bench 
  6. Bent-Over Dumbbell Fly 
  7. Dumbbell fly On Exercise Ball
  8. Seated Dumbbell Bent Over Reverse Fly
  9. Lever Pec Deck Fly
  10. Standing Cable Fly
  11. Lever Seated Iron Cross Fly
  12. Lying Supine Cable Reverse Fly
  13. Lever Reverse Fly
  14. One Arm Dumbbell Reverse Fly On Incline Bench
  15. Seated One Arm Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly
  16. Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly on Exercise Ball
  17. Standing Cable Fly
  18. Resistance Band Back Fly
  19. Standing Back Fly With Band
  20. One Arm Cable Fly On Exercise Ball
  21. Cable Fly On Exercise Ball
  22. Seated Cable Rear Delt Reverse
  23. Flat Bench Cable Fly
  24. Inverted Fly
  25. Swiss Ball Dumbbell Fly
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