Dumbbell Fly Exercise Guide

Reviewed by Valerie Zeller Valerie Zeller Printable version

Dumbbell Fly is a strength exercise that works your traps, pecs, rhomboids and upper pecs.

Dumbbell Fly is a great basic move. When done correctly, it can effectively target your chest, middle back, neck, shoulders, upper back, upper body and upper chest.

It requires dumbbells to do.

Dumbbell Fly

How to do Dumbbell Fly


Grasp two dumbbells. Lay supine on table. Hold dumbbells above chest with arms set in slightly bent pose. Internally twist shoulders and elbows stick out on hands.


Lie down on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Press the dumbbells in front of you with a slight bend in your elbows. Now, draw your arms back down in a wide arc by squeezing your chest and moving at the shoulder joint. Hold a moment before returning on an exhale. Keep going.


  • Keep shoulders internally rotated so elbows point downward at bottom position and outward at top position. Keep elbows at fixed angle, only slightly bent.

  • Make sure to keep a slight bend in the elbows throughout the movement.

Illustrated Guide

Learn how to do dumbbell fly from this step-by-step illustrations:

Dumbbell Fly 1
Dumbbell Fly 2
Dumbbell Fly 3
Dumbbell Fly 4

Muscles Worked

The muscles used for dumbbell fly may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for dumbbell fly are:

Primary Muscles

  • Traps
  • Pecs
  • Rhomboids
  • Upper Pecs

Synergyst Muscles

  • Triceps
  • Deltoids
  • Rear Deltoids
  • Front Deltoids
  • Side Deltoids

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does Dumbbell Fly work?
Dumbbell Fly works traps, pecs, rhomboids, upper pecs.
What is Dumbbell Fly good for?
Dumbbell Fly is beneficial for conditioning and to strengthen. It works the best for chest, middle back, neck, shoulders, upper back, upper body and upper chest, as it works traps, pecs, rhomboids, upper pecs. Dumbbell Fly is a great strength exercise for men, men over 50, women and women over 50.
Is Dumbbell Fly a good exercise?
Dumbbell Fly is a popular strength exercise for traps, pecs, rhomboids, upper pecs.

Training, Progressions and Regressions

Interested in how to improve your Dumbbell Fly faster?

Dumbbell Fly Training and Progressions

Standards and Averages

Wonder how do others perform in Dumbbell Fly and how should you?

Dumbbell Fly Standards and Averages


Wonder how to work the same muscles with other exercises?

Dumbbell Fly Alternatives


Wonder how to make Dumbbell Fly either easier or more challenging?

Dumbbell Fly Variations

Discover more