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Cable Chest Fly [Exercise Guide]

cable chest fly

What Is A Cable Chest Fly

The cable chest fly is one of the most versatile and effective options in terms of chest training. To get the most out of this workout, you need to understand the technique and perform it correctly. Also, an athlete should choose the correct weight, ensure a movement range is enough, and don’t put tension on the delicate shoulder joint. Read on to know more about the muscles worked, exercise benefits, alternatives, etc.

What Muscles Does Cable Chest Fly Work

Cable fly is one of the finest workouts for strengthening the pectoralis major. Both the pectoralis major’s upper and lower sternal heads may be exercised, depending on the angle of motion. Therefore you can perform high-, middle-, and low cable chest flies.

You will feel the load on the pec muscle throughout the whole movement due to maximum utilization of resistance capacity. The exercise secondarily targets the triceps and shoulders. The rhomboids, levator scapulae, anterior deltoids, and latissimus dorsi have smaller roles in the cable fly’s completion. Furthermore, a cable chest fly will challenge your core stability and improve it. 

How to Perform A Cable Chest Fly

Step 1. Set Up A Cable Machine

Get the cable about a hip height. Please do it for both sides. Remember that you can place cables both higher and lower, depending on your training goals.

Step 2. Grab The Cables

Grab each handle in your hands. Don’t grasp the handles too tightly since this can over-recruit the forearms and biceps, decreasing pec activation.

Step 3. Get Ready For The Fly

Step forward. Stagger your feet and bend your front knee. Get down a little bit, keeping your back leg straight. Go on your tiptoe in the back. Keep a neutral spine and maintain a slight bend in your elbows. Arch your back a bit and stick your chest out.

Step 4. Bring Hands Together

Breathe out and bring your palms together. Make your palms meet underneath your chest area. Consider lighting your load if you can’t do that with extended hands. Never decrease the weight to the point where you feel any discomfort or pressure. Permanently preserve a slight bend in the elbows.

Step 5. Return To The Beginning Position

Take a breath. Come back to the starting position, keeping your hands low. Make it with a slow controlled motion.

Advantages of Cable Chest Fly


Cable fly is a terrific choice for folks who feel joint stiffness throughout other chest exercises. When performed with correct shoulder-blade stability, the cable chest fly alters the angle of the action sufficiently and reduces the potential stress on the joints.

Constant Load

Cable chest fly exercises transmit the weight more evenly and consistently across the motion, resulting in a more constant load on your pec muscles. Bench-pressing variants or dumbbell flies can’t be considered to be the same. Your muscles will be kept under stress for an extended time with the cable fly, and you will feel a powerful pump as a result.

Pumping From All Angles

Cable chest fly exercises serve to train the chest from various angles; for example, adopting a low-to-high motion will load the top of your chest, while performing them from high to low grades will target the lower fibers.

5 Cable Chest Fly Alternatives

Incline Cable Fly

Using cables instead of dumbbells, this exercise maintains a constant strain, which aids in developing upper chest fibers.

How to do an incline cable fly:

  • Set a 30- to 45-degree incline bench and lie on it. Place your feet flat on the floor.
  • Raise your arms straight up from your shoulders and hold onto the rope.
  • Slowly drop your arms to your sides until your wrists are at shoulder level.
  • Focus on pulling your arms back toward your midline with the help of your pecs.

Decline Cable Fly

Try a decline cable fly if you’re looking to focus on your lower chest muscles. Lower chest fibers are better developed when you use cables instead of dumbbells for this workout.

How to do decline cable fly:

  • Allow for 30 degrees of incline on your bench. Place your feet flat on the footpad or roller for extra comfort as you lay on the bench.
  • Straighten your arms and hold the cable handle over your chest.
  • Slowly drop your arms to your sides until your wrists are at shoulder level.
  • Pull your elbows in toward your midsection, and use your lower pecs to aid in the process.

Single-Arm Chest Fly

Those who want to concentrate on the inner muscles of the chest can make use of this movement. At the end of the exercise, the focus shifts to delivering resistance over and beyond the midline, resulting in a powerful peak tension in the inner pec.

How to do a single-arm chest fly:

  • Take a handle in your first hand and begin by putting your pulleys in the high position.
  • Make a slight bend in your elbow as you extend your arm.
  • Keep your upper body straight while bringing your hand to the midline.
  • Hold for a few seconds for each repetition and then return to the beginning position.

Dumbbell Chest Press

Building chest muscle mass and strength is the goal of doing a dumbbell chest press. In addition, the serratus anterior and biceps get a good workout this way.

How to do a dumbbell chest press:

  • Find a suitable pair of dumbbells and put them in front of the bench.
  • Grab one dumbbell, and put it on your knee. Do the same with the second dumbbell. Sit down on the bench.
  • Lie on your back and make sure your feet are firm on the ground. Hold the dumbbells over your body.
  • Dig your shoulders into the pad, ensure your wrists are straight, and bring the dumbbells down, maintaining 90 degrees angle in your elbows.
  • Push straight up over the lower part of your chest. Do reps.

Hindu Pushups

Hindu pushups are a great bodyweight exercise not just for your chest but also for your other upper body pushing muscles.

How to do Hindu pushups:

  • Assume a pushup position with a slightly wider stance for your legs. Stick your but up in the air
  • Lower your head down between the shoulders, dip, and push your body through with your chest. Pull yourself through with your lats and tuck your elbows in as you go down.
  • Squeeze the chest and the triceps. Pull the shoulder blades down. Squeeze the upper back and rear delts. Come all the way up and fully extend your arms. Your back should be arched, your legs straight, and your core tight.
  • Push yourself back and return to a starting position in a wave-like motion.


Are cable flys good for the chest?

Standing cable fly is an efficient and safe way to develop a more prominent and firmer chest. Unlike many other alternatives, this machine exercise puts strain on your chest muscles throughout each rep’s raising and lowering phases.

What muscles does cable fly work?

In addition to its primary target, the main pec muscle, the cable chest fly works the rhomboids, levator scapulae, anterior deltoids, and latissimus dorsi.

How do you do a cable chest fly?

Begin with your arms at your sides, elbows bent and pointed out. Exhale slowly and raise your arms over your chest. Inhale and gradually drop your arms to your sides, returning to the beginning posture. Keep pressing up.


The cable chest fly is one of the few exercises that isolate the chest to build maximum muscular size and strength. It greatly aids in the efficient and safe development of a larger and stronger chest. This machine exercise retains stress on your chest muscles throughout each rep’s raising and lowering stages, whereas dumbbells do not. The technique is pretty straightforward and available to any fitness level. However, it would be best if you had a firm grip and good control over the cable to practice this movement.