Taking Charge of Your Health

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, Today I’m going to perform a dumbbell fly
for you, but only because I want to dig it up out of the iron graveyard so I can re-bury
it and throw one more pile of dirt on top of it. But I want to show you something different. I want to give you guys an alternative. I’m not trying to pick on the exercises
I’m trying to stress to you that there are better alternatives. I’m going to lay out the four reasons why. Number one: we know with the dumbbell fly
– I’ve even broken out the muscle markers to show this, guys – we’re in vulnerable
position here on this exercise. Just by doing it on the bench. I’ve talked about why I prefer the floor
fly to its safety with the shoulder, without detrimental effects to the exercise because
of the supported, or unsupported status here, at the bottom position of this fly. If I’m on the floor, I have a floor to support
me. If I’m on a bench I have nothing to support
me. There’s no protection against this overextension
here. Even if you’ve lightened the weights to
account for the fact that you’re weaker out here, you can still fail and cause excess
stress to the front of the shoulder here. Mainly the anterior shoulder capsule. That’s something we don’t want to mess
with. That’s point number one. Point number two: because of this fact here,
we know that the weight in a bench-press becomes heavier here, feels heavier, in a fly. Whether there’s a slight bend, or a straight
arm here, virtually by the fact that our moment arm has increased. The effect on the muscle here, which is the
pec, becomes heavier because the pec is less able to apply its force as the distance of
the dumbbell gets further away from it. So, we know it starts to feel heavy, and we
start to feel weaker out here. If that’s the case, we have to decrease
the amount of weight we use to accommodate for our weakness in this position out here. I might be able to have a lot more weight
up here at the top, but I can’t use it because I can’t support it down here. So that’s problem number two. Problem number three is, at the top, at the
very top of this exercise we’re here, applying very little, if no force at all, to the pec. I can sit here forever. But this is where we want the most because
when the pec is in its peak contracted state, or close to it because we want to get to full
adduction – even across midline, if possible. So that’s a strike against it. So, three, very real strikes against this
exercise. Last, I’ve broken out the muscle marker
to show you one other thing. We talked about the stretch on the pec. Like I said, I like to do this exercise because
of the stretch I feel on it. We know that there are better alternatives
to that as well. You can go to a bottom portion of a dip to
get a better stretch on the pec than you can here, in this exercise. But what we’re really feeling is, you’re
confusing it for a stretch on a different muscle. We know when we get to the bottom of a bench-press
like this, we can see the pec is noted here by the purple muscle marker’s markings on
the sternum here. Then out here on the upper humerus. You can feel that attachment. You can trace the pec with your fingers, right
into where it attaches. We know from this position, if I were to increase
the length of that moment arm by opening up my elbows, the distance there, the amount
of extra stretch on the chest is almost absent. If anything, it’s extremely minimal. Even if I brought my arm down a little bit,
it’s very, very minimal. What I’m feeling is extra cartilage stretch
in the ribcage, and I also feel the stretch in my arm, but that’s due to a different
muscle. That’s due to something called the coracobrachialis. That muscle starts in here on the coracoid
process, deep inside the shoulder, and it runs outside, further down on that same humerus. You can see a little piece of it underneath
the bicep here. It’s inside here noted it up top here, too. Just so you have the general position. But you see when I take my arm from this position
in here, at the bottom of the bench, and then I open it up, what increases in length is
the distance between those two points. Not by a lot, but by enough to feel the stretch
palpably in that muscle. So, for those that are arguing “I feel a
lot of extra stretch here”, it’s not really what you’re feeling. So, what’s the better alternative? I told you I wouldn’t leave you hanging. I’ve gone to this exercise plenty of times,
guys, because there’s a reason for it. It’s a better alternative. Remember, the fly isn’t locked into being
performed on a bench like that with your arms out to your side. The fly is basically taking your arm through
horizontal adduction, realizing that’s the primary function of the chest. If you can get it across midline at peak contraction,
we’d be going good. So, we can do that with a cable and if you
don’t have a cable you can anchor a band to anything and do the same, exact thing. Now, look at the difference here. When I start in this position here, what do
I have? I have the least amount of force on the chest,
almost zero, because the line of force is parallel to my humerus now. What I basically have is the least amount
of force being applied in the weakest position of this exercise. That’s good because now I’m not a slave
to the lighter weights. I can use the heavier weight and I can lift,
and command in this top position. So now I have peak force applied here to the
pec because of the varying line of resistance of the cable. And it’s in this peak contracted state. So now the pecs are doing a lot more work. And I can use a heavier weight here. I don’t have to go light to account for
the fact that I can’t hold that weight out there safely. I can use the heavier weight so when I get
up to the top here, I’m able to utilize that to my advantage. At the same time, I’m not concerned about
the extra a stretch, for the same reason I talked about when we were lying down on the
bench. But what we’ve done is created an alternative,
which is what? An adduction exercise. That’s what it is. It doesn’t get subject to the fifth thing
that I didn’t even talk about before. That is – we’ve said that even when you
get to the top of a fly, there’s no resisted adduction up here. It’s absent because the weights are now
moving this way, but gravity is acting down. We can do more than that with this. We can continue to resist, resist, resist,
resist across midline. A much more significant impact on the chest
itself when you’re training it. So, guys, I’m not trying to pick on it. It’s time to bury the unsupported chest
fly. A lot of guys want to do it. Do the motion. It’s critical. You need adduction. You’ve heard me say that a million times. The chest fly will give you adduction, but
in an inferior way. Do it with a cable or band and I promise you
guys, you’ll get better results. If you’re looking for programs that put
the science back into what we do, we choose exercises based on those that are backed by
science. Not just random ‘hey, this is what everyone
else in the gym does’. We choose the right ones based on science. They’re all built into our programs, all
available over at If you’ve found the video helpful, make
sure you leave your comments and thumbs up below. If you haven’t already done so, make sure
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one out. All right, guys. See you soon.

100 thoughts on “Stop Doing Chest Flys – I’m Begging You!!

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  2. You don't have to extend out that much to get a good stretch and pump from flyes. Cable flyes are good but DB flyes have their place too. If you aren't getting any pump from a DB fly you simply aren't doing it correctly. Think more like a press at the top of the movement and play with elbow angles to feel the pec stretch and contract.

  3. Jeff is so right as always.

    Must say my bench lifts got heavier but the shape of my pecs never really got defined.

    Doing these unilateral flys put an incredible pump on the pecs brought out new development, new shape.

    Upper, middle and lower pec fibres can be easily targeted, activated stimulated with much less weight.

    Sculpting instead of annihilation.

    Thanks Jeff.

  4. Great advice Jeff thank you I will use cables from now on but what's your thoughts on machice pec flys?

    Cheers Jeff💪👍

  5. Hey Athelean-x are seated flys ok like when u lean down on a seat with your legs stretched out and dumbbells under your legs and then u do ur fly from there

  6. I was set to do chest fly by a trainer few years ago, and regretted it ever since. So yeah listen to this guy and never do chest fly ever! I have this persistent right shoulder pain as the result… and it affects my neck! Chiropractor, icy/hot, and ice pack can only help little. It hurts like mofo! Seriously!

  7. I normally like his explanations but he's way off on this. No need to go as far out on the fly as he does, to much stress on the elbow.

  8. sees a workout with a dumbbell fly in it
    searches YouTube video of dumbbell fly to do it right
    sees Jeff disapproves
    no longer doing dumbbell flyers

  9. Huh… or push your chest out keep your elbow in line with your wrist, keep a slight bend at the elbow and completely eliminate the stress on the shoulder…

  10. Listen – if you’re comfortable with dumbbell pec flys, then do them. I do. If you’re uncomfortable with skullcrushers, don’t do them. I don’t. Skullcrushers, performed to the best of my ability, form, and research, still led to some discomfort and I had to take time off. I hate taking time off, therefore I DONT DO SKULLCRUSHERS. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing them. Jeff knows as much as anyone else – that everyone’s physiology is different.

  11. This video has over 2.5 million views and I did not need to watch this to know what he’s talking about.

    The saying “listen to your body” holds so much weight. No pun intended lol.

    This is really common sense to anyone who has at least tried multiple ways of exercising the pecs

  12. Only thing I'm not in full agreement with is going passed "mid line". In order to do that you have to pivot or roll your shoulder forward. If you never had a shoulder issue you won't notice but once you have, you learn to keep your shoulders locked which limits that type of range in movement.

  13. I visit this channel for videos like this. I never personally felt comfortable with flys and thought it’s just me but thanks for clearing and the alternative.

  14. Thank you Jeff. I was doing chest flys for months until I watched this video,I since purchased a set of bands that anchor to the door and I can already tell these are going to work much better for building chest muscle than the dumbell fly and it feels a lot better as well,with the fly I only felt it in my inner shoulders

  15. My left shoulder is in pain now because I did dumbbell flyss regularly, like 50 pounds each hand..

    After, I watch this video..
    I'm surely gonna bury this set of bench flyss, instead I'll do it on cable..

    Thanks for the help bro!

  16. Wow. I was at the gym today doing flies and decided to check technique and found this post. I stopped immediately and buried the Dumbell flies 😊

  17. I literally agree 100% with this video because yesterday I have been having pains EXACTLY where jeff mentioned in the front of the shoulder and I did flys two days ago

  18. To sum up, do we need a bench and a set of dumbell to train or resistance bands and a mattress are the only necessary equipment?

  19. Only difference is there resistance thru the whole motion most people do dB flys wrong anyway or don’t have the shoulder to do them

  20. When I do my overhead movements & try to use my front delt or Tricep I get a pop in my tricep by my bicep on the front side (im guessing coracobrachiallis)

  21. You are right, and also not.
    The flyes, on the floor, does have a function/use , the stretch is actually it's strength . But adds danger as well. Double edged sword so to speak.
    Keep the weight moderate at best.
    And also, I know of guys tearing their pecs when benching. Hips replaced due to heavy squats and deadlifts.
    Flyes should be done relative light I think.
    Then they are fine.
    If not being able mentally to stick to lighter/moderate weights. Don't do it at all.

  22. I just noticed that I pulled one of my left chest tendons. I was either doing flyes or standing cable flyes. Any help? How can I heal it?

  23. I love Jeff. He knows what he is talking about. However, there are certain situations where even he himself is wrong. For example I had golfers elbow and I watched one of the videos in which jeff said to hang one hand from a barbell l. I did this and the pain was immense. So I stopped immediately. I was furious. Dont take everything he says to mean it is 100 %correct. I didnt do these flys because he says dont. But I started doing them and they are amazing. Just be conservative with the weight and DONT EGO LIFT

  24. Today was the first day I had to do Dumbbell chest fly's and I am lucky to have stumbled over this video before I went to the gym, Super informative, thank you so much for taking time out and doing this man!! This helps a ton.

  25. I've watched a lot of different people giving Fitness advice but I honestly think your videos are among the best so keep up the good work.

  26. What if you DO want to strengthen your muscles in that fully extended state, so you could be stronger in any type of situation, like some kind of real-world emergency, or fighting?

  27. Simple, if you don't believe just stop watching.. If u don't wanna fvck up ur shoulders then listen to Jeff..
    Basically when your shoulders fvck up then you useless in gym..

  28. I do bench flys because I don’t have a cable machine. Is there an alternative exercise I can do without machines?

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