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What's up, guys?
Jeff Cavaliere,
Today I'm going to perform a dumbbell fly for you, but only because I want to dig it
up out of the iron graveyard so I can re-bury it and throw one more pile of dirt on top
of it.
But I want to show you something different.
I want to give you guys an alternative.
I'm not trying to pick on the exercises I'm trying to stress to you that there are
better alternatives.
I'm going to lay out the four reasons why.
Number one: we know with the dumbbell fly – I've even broken out the muscle markers
to show this, guys – we're in vulnerable position here on this exercise.
Just by doing it on the bench.
I've talked about why I prefer the floor fly to its safety with the shoulder, without
detrimental effects to the exercise because of the supported, or unsupported status here,
at the bottom position of this fly.
If I'm on the floor, I have a floor to support me.
If I'm on a bench I have nothing to support me.
There's no protection against this overextension here.
Even if you've lightened the weights to account for the fact that you're weaker
out here, you can still fail and cause excess stress to the front of the shoulder here.
Mainly the anterior shoulder capsule.
That's something we don't want to mess with.
That's point number one.
Point number two: because of this fact here, we know that the weight in a bench-press becomes
heavier here, feels heavier, in a fly.
Whether there's a slight bend, or a straight arm here, virtually by the fact that our moment
arm has increased.
The effect on the muscle here, which is the pec, becomes heavier because the pec is less
able to apply its force as the distance of the dumbbell gets further away from it.
So, we know it starts to feel heavy, and we start to feel weaker out here.
If that's the case, we have to decrease the amount of weight we use to accommodate
for our weakness in this position out here.
I might be able to have a lot more weight up here at the top, but I can't use it because
I can't support it down here.
So that's problem number two.
Problem number three is, at the top, at the very top of this exercise we're here, applying
very little, if no force at all, to the pec.
I can sit here forever.
But this is where we want the most because when the pec is in its peak contracted state,
or close to it because we want to get to full adduction – even across midline, if possible.
So that's a strike against it.
So, three, very real strikes against this exercise.
Last, I've broken out the muscle marker to show you one other thing.
We talked about the stretch on the pec.
Like I said, I like to do this exercise because of the stretch I feel on it.
We know that there are better alternatives to that as well.
You can go to a bottom portion of a dip to get a better stretch on the pec than you can
here, in this exercise.
But what we're really feeling is, you're confusing it for a stretch on a different
We know when we get to the bottom of a bench-press like this, we can see the pec is noted here
by the purple muscle marker's markings on the sternum here.
Then out here on the upper humerus.
You can feel that attachment.
You can trace the pec with your fingers, right into where it attaches.
We know from this position, if I were to increase the length of that moment arm by opening up
my elbows, the distance there, the amount of extra stretch on the chest is almost absent.
If anything, it's extremely minimal.
Even if I brought my arm down a little bit, it's very, very minimal.
What I'm feeling is extra cartilage stretch in the ribcage, and I also feel the stretch
in my arm, but that's due to a different muscle.
That's due to something called the coracobrachialis.
That muscle starts in here on the coracoid process, deep inside the shoulder, and it
runs outside, further down on that same humerus.
You can see a little piece of it underneath the bicep here.
It's inside here noted it up top here, too.
Just so you have the general position.
But you see when I take my arm from this position in here, at the bottom of the bench, and then
I open it up, what increases in length is the distance between those two points.
Not by a lot, but by enough to feel the stretch palpably in that muscle.
So, for those that are arguing “I feel a lot of extra stretch here”, it's not really
what you're feeling.
So, what's the better alternative?
I told you I wouldn't leave you hanging.
I've gone to this exercise plenty of times, guys, because there's a reason for it.
It's a better alternative.
Remember, the fly isn't locked into being performed on a bench like that with your arms
out to your side.
The fly is basically taking your arm through horizontal adduction, realizing that's the
primary function of the chest.
If you can get it across midline at peak contraction, we'd be going good.
So, we can do that with a cable and if you don't have a cable you can anchor a band
to anything and do the same, exact thing.
Now, look at the difference here.
When I start in this position here, what do I have?
I have the least amount of force on the chest, almost zero, because the line of force is
parallel to my humerus now.
What I basically have is the least amount of force being applied in the weakest position
of this exercise.
That's good because now I'm not a slave to the lighter weights.
I can use the heavier weight and I can lift, and command in this top position.
So now I have peak force applied here to the pec because of the varying line of resistance
of the cable.
And it's in this peak contracted state.
So now the pecs are doing a lot more work.
And I can use a heavier weight here.
I don't have to go light to account for the fact that I can't hold that weight out
there safely.
I can use the heavier weight so when I get up to the top here, I'm able to utilize
that to my advantage.
At the same time, I'm not concerned about the extra a stretch, for the same reason I
talked about when we were lying down on the bench.
But what we've done is created an alternative, which is what?
An adduction exercise.
That's what it is.
It doesn't get subject to the fifth thing that I didn't even talk about before.
That is – we've said that even when you get to the top of a fly, there's no resisted
adduction up here.
It's absent because the weights are now moving this way, but gravity is acting down.
We can do more than that with this.
We can continue to resist, resist, resist, resist across midline.
A much more significant impact on the chest itself when you're training it.
So, guys, I'm not trying to pick on it.
It's time to bury the unsupported chest fly.
A lot of guys want to do it.
Do the motion.
It's critical.
You need adduction.
You've heard me say that a million times.
The chest fly will give you adduction, but in an inferior way.
Do it with a cable or band and I promise you guys, you'll get better results.
If you're looking for programs that put the science back into what we do, we choose
exercises based on those that are backed by science.
Not just random 'hey, this is what everyone else in the gym does'.
We choose the right ones based on science.
They're all built into our programs, all available over at
If you've found the video helpful, make sure you leave your comments and thumbs up
If you haven't already done so, make sure you subscribe and turn on your notifications,
so you never miss a new video when we put one out.
All right, guys.
See you soon.
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Stop Doing Chest Flys - I'm Begging You!!

310 Folder Collection
leo published on February 23, 2019
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