Decline Dumbbell Fly: A Great Exercise For Building A Wide Chest

Are you struggling to develop your chest muscles despite putting in all the hard work at the gym? Do you find that your chest is lacking definition and overall size? One of the key reasons for this could be that you are not targeting your chest muscles effectively enough. Specifically, your upper chest area may be missing out on the love it needs to grow and develop. The decline dumbbell fly is a workout move that is effective in helping you target this area. In this post, we will be discussing the benefits and technique of the decline dumbbell fly – an exercise that can take your chest game to the next level. So, if you are looking for an effective solution to your chest development woes, keep reading!

Decline Dumbbell Fly Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Pectoralis Major – Sternal
  • Secondary Muscles: Latissimus Dorsi, Levator Scapulae, Pectoralis Major – Clavicular, Pectoralis Minor, and Rhomboids
  • Equipment: Dumbbells and Decline Bench
  • Mechanics Type: Isolation
  • Force: Push
  • Utility: Auxiliary
Graphic image of a fit man performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Decline Dumbbell Fly Instructions

  • Start by taking up a dumbbell in each hand, the weight should be light enough that you can position on the decline bench after you pick them up. If not you should get on the bench and then have a spotter hand you the weight.
  • Once you are laying on the decline bench with your dumbbells, press then up over you chest so that your arms are vertical.
  • Next, with you arms slightly bent and elbows locked, lower the weight to your side.
  • Pause for a moment then bring the dumbbells back together over your chest keeping your elbows locked.
  • Continue conducting flys until you have achieved a complete set.

Video Tutorial

How to Do a Decline Dumbbell Fly

Decline Dumbbell Fly Muscles

Target (Agonist)


  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Pectoralis Major – Clavicular
  • Pectoralis Minor
  • Rhomboids

Dynamic Stabilizers

  • None


Antagonist Stabilizers

Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the decline dumbbell fly exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Decline Dumbbell Fly

The Decline Dumbbell Fly exercise is an excellent way to target the pectoralis major – sternal muscle, which is the large chest muscle that is responsible for helping to keep the shoulder joint stable and strong. This exercise specifically targets this muscle and can help to strengthen it and improve its stability, which can help you increase your overall strength in the chest area. Additionally, performing this exercise will also help to improve your posture, as it works the muscles that help keep your shoulders from slouching. Not only will this help you look better, but it can also help to reduce back pain and strain as well.

Tips for Performing Decline Dumbbell Fly

If you’d like to experience the most effective gains, you should always use these uncomplicated tips. Likewise, whenever you wish to reduce the likelihood of receiving an injury, you ought adopt these tips.

  • Consume Water. You will have even more energy and recover faster if you intake water during your workout.
  • Perform Power Sets. Is carrying out a set of not one but two different lifts consecutive. Generally there are a couple key methods to undertake power sets, first is to target on a single muscle. The second is to emphasis on different muscle groups.
  • Establish Your Technique Before Increasing The Weight. Possessing correct technique will definitely help prevent injury and faltering early. Quality Form will certainly enable you to develop muscle tissue more quickly.
  • Complete the Right Number Of Sets Using Rest. Your target to begin with might be to do 3 sets to near fatigue. Nevertheless, you can increase to 5 sets. If your muscles aren’t tired at the ending of 3 – 5 some thing should change. Initially you can increase the resistance to make each rep harder. Second, you can decrease the rest time between each set.

Benefits and Tips Video

How to Properly Do a DUMBBELL FLY | Mind Pump

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

You need to avoid these regular mistakes to build and maintain great technique and improve your strength. Likewise, when you steer clear of these problems you will minimize the probability of experiencing injuries.

  • Don’t Relax Your Stomach. Keeping your core tight to protect your backbone by maintaining your internal pressure.
  • Don’t Forget Your Cooldown. You will likely reduce your restoration time frame and reduce soreness should you accomplish a proper cool down.
  • You Don’t Want To Execute The Exact Same Exercises Each And Every Occasion. Any time anyone conduct the exact exercise every exercise routine your muscular tissues will certainly be conditioned to accomplike that sole exercise very well, and you will plateau faster.

Find More Dumbbell Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

For those looking to switch up their decline dumbbell fly routine, or those looking to add complementary exercises to their workout, there are a variety of options. Below are a list of variations, complementary, and alternative exercises to the decline dumbbell fly.

Decline Dumbbell Twist Fly

Graphic image of Decline Dumbbell Twist Fly.

Decline Dumbbell Twist Fly is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Decline Dumbbell Fly. This exercise targets the same chest muscles but with a slight twist. To do this exercise, you will lie on a decline bench with a dumbbell in each hand and palms facing each other. From there, you will open your arms to the side and then twist your wrists inward so that your palms are facing each other. Then, return to the starting position. This exercise not only works the chest muscles but also the shoulder and triceps muscles.

Dumbbell Fly

Graphic image of Dumbbell Fly.

The Dumbbell Fly is a great exercise to add to any chest workout routine. It is an effective exercise for targeting the chest muscles, and is often performed as an alternative or complementary exercise to the Decline Dumbbell Fly. The motion of the Dumbbell Fly is similar to that of a standard chest press, but with the palms facing each other. This allows for more range of motion, and allows the chest muscles to be engaged from a different angle. This exercise helps to strengthen and tone the chest muscles, and can be done on a flat or decline bench.

Incline Dumbbell Fly

Graphic image of Incline Dumbbell Fly.

Incline Dumbbell Fly is a great complementary exercise to Decline Dumbbell Fly, as it targets the same muscle groups but with a different angle. This exercise works the chest muscles by having the user hold a dumbbell in each hand, lying on an incline bench with arms extended out to the sides and elbows slightly bent. The user then brings their arms together in a “fly” motion, squeezing the chest muscles and then returning to the starting position. It is important to keep the elbows slightly bent throughout the exercise to avoid injury. Incline Dumbbell Fly can also be used as an alternative exercise to Decline Dumbbell Fly, as it allows for a different angle of attack and can help to target different muscle fibers.

Check Out These Top Dumbbell Exercises

Incline Dumbbell Twisted Flyes

Graphic image of Incline Dumbbell Twisted Flyes.

Incline Dumbbell Twisted Flyes are an excellent complementary or alternative exercise for the Decline Dumbbell Fly. This exercise is performed by lying on an incline bench and holding a pair of dumbbells, with your palms facing inwards and your arms extended out to the sides. From this starting position, you twist your wrists so that your palms face each other, and then bring the weights up and together in front of your chest. This exercise targets the chest muscles and is great for developing power and strength in the upper body. It also helps to increase shoulder stability and can help improve posture.

Low Cable Fly

Graphic image of Low Cable Fly.

The Low Cable Fly is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Decline Dumbbell Fly. It allows you to target the same muscle groups as the Decline Dumbbell Fly but with a different angle and resistance. With Low Cable Flys, you can use either a low pulley machine or cable handles and stand in a split stance with one foot slightly forward of the other. You then move the handles apart in an arc-like motion, stretching the chest and shoulder muscles as you bring your arms back together. This exercise requires a great deal of control and stability in the core, which makes it an ideal exercise to add to your chest and shoulder workout.

Lying Cable Flys

Graphic image of Lying Cable Flys.

Lying Cable Flys are a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Decline Dumbbell Fly. This exercise targets the same muscle group but with a different approach. The decline angle of the cable machine allows for a more isolated movement and greater tension to be placed on the chest muscles, as well as the arms. It also allows for more variation in the range of motion, making it a great way to switch things up and keep your body from getting used to the same routine. It is also a great option for those who may not have access to a decline bench or dumbbells.

Find More Chest Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

In order to maximize the effectiveness of the Decline Dumbbell Fly, it is recommended to complement it with exercises that work the opposing muscle groups. These exercises will help create balance in the body and prevent overworking any single muscle group. Below are a few exercises that target opposing muscle groups and can be used to complete your workout.

T Bar Reverse Grip Row

Graphic image of T Bar Reverse Grip Row.

The T Bar Reverse Grip Row is a great complementary exercise to the Decline Dumbbell Fly, as it works the opposing muscle group. This exercise involves standing at a T Bar machine and gripping the bar with an underhand grip. As you pull the bar towards your chest, you are engaging your lats, traps, and rhomboids in a rowing motion. The Decline Dumbbell Fly works the opposing muscle group of your back, specifically your chest. By doing this exercise together, you can help balance out your muscle development, providing more stability and strength overall.

Barbell Bent Over Row

Graphic image of Barbell Bent Over Row.

The Barbell Bent Over Row is a great complementary exercise to the Decline Dumbbell Fly, as it works the opposing muscle group. This exercise focuses on the back muscles, specifically the lats, rhomboids and traps. By performing this exercise, you are working the opposite muscles of those used in the Decline Dumbbell Fly. It also helps to develop strength in the upper back and improve posture. This exercise can be performed with a barbell, dumbbells or cable machine, allowing for a variety of different options when training the back.

Barbell Rear Delt Raise

Graphic image of Barbell Rear Delt Raise.

The Barbell Rear Delt Raise is a great exercise to add to your workout routine to complement the Decline Dumbbell Fly. This exercise targets the rear deltoids, which are the opposing muscle group of the chest muscles that are worked when performing the Decline Dumbbell Fly. By training both the front and rear deltoids you will be able to achieve a more balanced and symmetrical look in your shoulders. Furthermore, by working both of these opposing muscle groups you will be able to improve your strength, stability and overall shoulder health.

Sculpt Your Chest with Decline Dumbbell Fly!

When it comes to building a well-rounded and proportionate upper body, working on your chest is essential. A great exercise to add to your chest day routine is the decline dumbbell fly. This exercise targets the lower part of your chest, which is often neglected by other chest exercises. By adding decline dumbbell fly to your workout, you will be able to sculpt a more defined and impressive chest that will make you feel confident and strong. However, it’s important to ensure that you use proper form and weight to avoid injury and reap the maximum benefit from this exercise.

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Chest Dumbbell Exercises

Pin image for decline dumbbell fly post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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