How To Do Pec Deck Flys

Pec Deck Flys (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

One of the most popular exercises you’ll find being done in almost any big box gym are Pec Deck Flys.

Personally, I think there are an almost infinite number of better exercises to build strength, but I suppose they do have their place if you’re simply looking to isolate the chest.

In this article, I’m going to teach you how to do Pec Deck Flys including important coaching points and a couple of alternatives in case you don’t have access to a Pec Deck machine.

How To Do Pec Deck Flys

Equipment Needed

  • Pec Deck

Muscles Worked

  • Chest (Pectoralis Major & Minor)
  • Anterior Deltoids
  • Triceps

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Warm-up with a few minutes of light cardio or some dynamic stretches to prepare your chest and shoulder muscles.
  • Sit on the pec deck machine and adjust the seat height so the handles are at chest level. Set the weight to an appropriate level for your training plan.
  • Grip the handles with your palms facing inward and your arms slightly bent at the elbows.
  • Start with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Ensure your back is flat against the padded support.
  • Exhale as you bring the handles together in a hugging motion. Your hands should come close but not touch. Focus on squeezing your chest muscles.
  • Inhale slowly as you return to the starting position, controlling the movement to avoid any jerky motions.

Coaching Tips

Here are two important coaching tips to keep in mind when doing Pec Deck Flys:

  1. Controlled Movement: Fast, jerky motions can not only decrease the exercise’s effectiveness but also risk injury. A controlled tempo ensures that the target muscles are doing the work and also increases time under tension, which is key for muscle growth.
  2. Posture and Alignment: Maintain good posture throughout the exercise. The back should remain flat against the padded support, and shoulders should be down and back. Proper alignment helps in effective muscle engagement and minimizes the risk of strain or injury.

Benefits of Pec Deck Flys

Pec Deck Flys offer several benefits that can be valuable in your training program. Here’s a rundown:

  1. Targeted Chest Activation: The primary benefit is the focused activation of the pectoral muscles, both the pectoralis major and minor. This makes it an excellent exercise for isolating the chest.
  2. Upper Body Strength: While the pectoral muscles are the main focus, you’re also engaging other upper body muscles like the anterior deltoids. This contributes to overall upper body strength.
  3. Warm-up or Finisher: This exercise is excellent for use as a warm-up before compound movements or as a finishing move in a chest-focused workout.

Pec Deck Fly Alternatives

Not able to do Pec Deck Flys? Here are two solid alternatives, along with why they might be a good fit in your training program:

(Need more options? Here are my favorite Pec Deck Fly Alternatives)

Dumbbell Flys

Dumbbell Fly Full Contraction

Why It’s a Good Alternative: Dumbbell Flys are a very similar movement that will provide many, if not all, of the same benefits. Even better, the free weights also engage stabilizing muscles, something lacking when using a machine.

Cable Crossovers

Why It’s a Good Alternative: Another very similar exercise, Cable Crossovers provide constant tension throughout the movement. The use of cables also allows for a customizable angle, helping you hit different parts of the chest.

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    More Links and Info

    This guide is one of hundreds located in our Exercise Library. For more Chest, Back and Shoulder Exercises, head over to the Upper Body Strength section.

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