Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePush
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Shoulders, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Chest Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Incline Dumbbell Flys Overview

The incline dumbbell fly is a variation of the dumbbell fly and an exercise used to isolate the muscles of the chest.

Isolation exercises, such as the incline dumbbell fly, are primarily used by lifters with aesthetic based goals. They can be used by lifters with strength based goals, however, the exercise itself will have limited carry over into increasing maximum strength.

The incline angle used during the incline dumbbell fly provides a unique challenge to the exercise and also emphasizes the upper chest.

This exercise is best used on upper hypertrophy days and/or chest workouts in more traditional bodybuilding splits.

Incline Dumbbell Flys Instructions

  1. Pick up the dumbbells off the floor using a neutral grip (palms facing in). Position the ends of the dumbbells in your hip crease, and sit down on an incline bench.
  2. To get into position, lay back and keep the weights close to your chest. Once you are in position, take a deep breath, then press the dumbbells to lockout at the top.
  3. Slightly retract your shoulder blades, unlock your elbows, and slowly lower the dumbbells laterally while maintaining the angle at your elbow.
  4. Once the dumbbells reach chest level, reverse the movement by squeezing your pecs together and bringing the dumbbells back to their starting position.
  5. Without allowing the dumbbells to touch, start the next repetition, and continue until the set is completed.

Incline Dumbbell Flys Tips

  1. Use a slight incline such as 30 degrees. Extremes are never the best option.
  2. Imagine you’re trying to hug a tree while you complete the exercise.
  3. Don’t squeeze the dumbbell handles excessively tight as this can over recruit the forearms and biceps thereby reducing activation of the pecs.
  4. Avoid touching or banging the dumbbells together at the top of each repetition in order to keep constant tension on the intended muscle groups.
  5. Always keep a slight bend in the elbows and never lower the weight to the point where you get any sort of pain and pressure at the front of the shoulder joint.
  6. If you’re feeling pain within the shoulder joint itself (specifically at the front), ensure your shoulder blades are slightly retracted and try to keep the shoulder girdle “packed”.
  7. Keep your feet flat on the floor, focus solely on keeping your elbows bent and activating your pecs.
  8. Ensure you maintain some tension in your abs and don’t allow your lower back to excessive arch.
Posted on: Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:39

I weight 145 pounds I'm 16 years old I'm 5'11 I'm very skinny and I want to build muscle what's a good workout routine all I have is a bench and dumbbells

Alex Wright
Posted on: Tue, 02/12/2013 - 19:19

**** this guy is a TANK!

Adam Haze
Posted on: Wed, 01/23/2013 - 09:06

If I don't have a bench, but I have dumbbells, would I be able to do these on the floor??

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 01/23/2013 - 17:10

Perhaps, if you have something that can prop you up at the correct angle.