How to Do Bent Over Dumbbell Fly Properly

The bent over dumbbell fly is a versatile exercise that can be done at home or at the gym as it requires just a dumbbell.

It engages a number of areas all over the body. However, the primary focus is the upper back and rear shoulders by utilising an awkward starting position.

WHAT TO DO:

While setting up to start the exercise, ensure that you use the following steps as a checklist:

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at your sides.

Press the hips back in a manner that allows you to extend your arms beyond the central bodyline.

That said, bring your chest forward in a way that positions your chest in a way that ensures it’s parallel to the floor.

Allow the weights to hang straight down (palms facing each other) while maintaining a tight core, straight back, and slight knee bend.

With that in mind do the following:

  • Hold dumbbells in each hand, stand with knees slightly bent. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the hip joint.
  • Exhale and lift both arms out to the side, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • With control, lower the dumbbells back toward the ground
  • This completes one rep
  • Complete three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions

WHAT MUSCLES DO THE BENT OVER DUMBBELL FLY WORK?

REAR SHOULDER

The proper starting position while doing the bent down dumbbell fly positions your chest parallel to the floor.

This followed by the movements necessary to complete a bent over dumbbell fly rep, forces you to use your rear shoulder.

The rear shoulder is thus used to act as the anchoring point for the power source. It, therefore, acts as the supporting act to what thrusts the dumbbell up.

As you keep doing reps, this engagement consequently leads to the strengthening of the rear shoulder.

UPPER BACK

All pulling movements often engage the back. Therefore any pulling movements done while performing the dumbbell rear fly exercise engage the back.

The bent down dumbbell fly however utilises the upper back mostly. While doing the bent down dumbbell fly the upper back works with the rear shoulder.

The upper back, therefore, provides the power to pull the dumbbell supported by the rear shoulder

BENT DOWN DUMBBELL FLY BENEFITS

INCREASED BODILY STRENGTH

The bent down dumbbell fly strengthens a number of muscles across the body. This includes areas such as the larger shoulder region and your back muscles.

Increased strength helps you achieving day to day functions more effectively i.e., lifting heavy materials

HELPS PREVENT POOR POSTURE

We live in a technology centred era where our obsession with electronics is slowly affecting our posture.

This is because we stay hunched all day, glued to our various devices. Bad posture often comes about as a result of a shrivelled trap muscle and tight chest.

This leads to constant back pains and limited range of motion

However, an exercise such as the bent over dumbbell fly corrects bad posture due to the fact it strengthens your back muscles.

In the long run, the bent down dumbbell fly acts as a rehabilitation exercise as it ensures that your spine is better protected.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE BENT DOWN DUMBBELL FLY

WALL WALKS

  • Lie facedown on the floor with your feet touching a wall behind you and your hands flat on the floor beside your shoulders, head down, spine neutral.
  • Extend your arms and press up into a plank, then walk your feet quickly up the wall behind you while simultaneously walking your hands toward the wall.
  • Continue until you come into a full handstand with your belly against the wall. Slowly walk your hands back out and your feet back down to the start position.
  • Speed is your friend — the quicker you can get your feet moving upward and your centre of gravity above you, the easier it will be to get vertical.

BENT OVER ONE ARM CABLE REAR DELT RAISE

  • Put the cable in a low setting below your knees.
  • Standing with your feet slightly shoulder-width apart, bend forwards at your hips.
  • Reach across your body to pull the cable across your chest.
  • Keep your elbow bent through the motion making sure to get an extension of the arm behind the body.
  • Keep your centre of mass still while still allowing some rotation in your back.

REVERSE BUTTERFLY

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Hinge forward at the hips and let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders, palms facing your body.
  • Raise both arms out to the sides as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Return to start.

The reverse butterfly requires you to feel out the number of reps you’re comfortable doing. Start out small and gradually increase the number of reps you’re comfortable doing.

LYING ONE ARM SIDE DELT RAISE

  • Lie chest down on a flat bench. Grasp a dumbbell in one hand.
  • Keep the arm holding the dumbbell extended with your elbow slightly bent. Your palm should be facing your torso. This is the starting position.
  • As you exhale, raise your arm holding the dumbbell to the side until your elbow is at shoulder height. Your arm should be parallel to the floor. Hold the contraction at the top for a second.
  • Slowly bring the dumbbell back to the starting position, inhaling as you do so.

BANDED REAR DELT FLY

  • Hold the handles of the band and step your right foot onto the centre of the band on the floor.
  • Keeping your left arm long, pull the handle of your left arm up over your left shoulder.
  • Slowly lower back.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps and switch sides.

MISTAKES TO AVOID

OVERSTRETCHING

Whilst it’s okay to try and maximise the strain from an exercise, you should always do it with a limit in mind.

In a bid to maximise efficiency, it is common to see people lower the dumbbell too close to the floor while doing the bent down dumbbell fly.

This can lead to injuries i.e., tendon tears. In order to avoid this mistake ensure that you align your torso with your arms to ensure you’re not doing too much.

IMPROPER FORM

This mostly involves improper neck position which tightens the chest. It is therefore prudent that you keep your neck properly positioned so that your chest can feel the maximum effect of the exercise

CONCLUSION

The bent down dumbbell fly is an exercise that gives you great control and efficiency at a go.

It is also relatively low impact however if you have back issues ensure that you use weights you are able to handle then gradually grow

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