How to Do Butterfly Press Properly

Butterfly press exercise strengthens the chest (pectoral), shoulder (deltoids), and arm (triceps) muscles.

To execute it, you will require a weight machine. In some fitness centers, cable weight machines are available.

In the absence of weight machines, you can perform butterfly press exercises with free weights. The chest is very important for daily movements. Therefore, exercises that strengthen it, such as the butterfly press, should be part of your routine.

To generate the best results, it is vital to use good techniques and forms to prevent unnecessary injuries.

If you are a beginner, it is best to find a workout partner or gym instructor to spot you, monitor your progress, and provide constructive feedback.

How to do it with a cable machine:

  • Begin by sitting comfortably on the cable machine.
  • Adjust your seat according to your comfort and ensure your back presses the pad on the machine.
  • Once you have established the correct sitting position, align your arms so that they are parallel to the floor.
  • Stretch your arms to your sides while pushing the handles of the machine in a straight motion.
  • Gently bend your elbows, hence making your arms be in front of your chest.
  • While performing the technique, ensure you bring the knuckles of both hands together.
  • Squeeze your chest then move the handles outwards.
  • While opening and lifting your elbows, close your arms in a manner that resembles a butterfly that is flapping its wings. The movements should be slow but controlled.
  • Instead of sitting, you can choose to perform the routine while standing.
  • Perform 15 to 20 reps of the routine.

Note that if you do not know how to operate the machine, it is wise to seek guidance from the gym instructor. This will prevent unnecessary accidents.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES BUTTERFLY PRESS WORK?

PECTORALIS MUSCLES

The opening and closing of your arms as you perform the butterfly press work on your pectoralis muscles.

You will notice significant changes in your bust line since you are toning your chest muscles. For women, changes are evident in that the exercises lift their chests.

On the other hand, men get more defined pec muscles, which promote toned appearance and stability.

However, you might experience soreness after performing the routine since it targets large groups of muscles in the upper area. This should not discourage you. Workout consistently and you will see the results.

DELTOID MUSCLE

Only the shoulder joints move as you perform the exercise. The butterfly press tones the synergist muscles, hence promoting stability on the chest.

This significantly prevents shoulder injuries due to the strength of the muscles, which support the shoulder joints.

UPPER ARM MUSCLES

The routine tones the upper arms. This exercise engages the triceps and biceps since they hold your elbows at a steady position. They experience contraction alongside your shoulder muscles.

LOWER ARM MUSCLES

The wrist flexor muscles contract as you move your arms in a butterfly motion.

ABS

The abs muscles play a vital role in promoting the balance and stability of your body weight on the bench.

Moreover, the abs muscles support your core and keep your back straight as you position yourself to perform the exercise.

BUTTERFLY PRESS BENEFITS

INCREASES ATHLETIC ENDURANCE AND POWER

Butterfly press engages your shoulder and chest muscles, which stimulates your athletic power. This is particularly beneficial since you are able to play sports such as racquets or golf with ease.

Besides, the exercise stimulates your swing power. Your fitness level will improve and you will ultimately feel stronger.

STIMULATES ABDOMINAL MUSCLES

The exercise engages your core muscles. The abs play a vital role in keeping your back straight while performing the exercise to avoid injuries.  

TONES THE UPPER BODY

The butterfly press exercise tones the pectoralis and synergist muscles. This significantly minimizes flabbiness and increases chest size.

Furthermore, it flatters the torso. To get good results, you must be consistent and perform the routine correctly.

DEFINES THE WAIST

Since the exercise targets and tones the upper body, the waist remains defined. This is particularly beneficial to women since it creates an image of an hourglass figure.

Additionally, the bust line experiences significant changes.

ALTERNATIVES TO BUTTERFLY PRESS

CHEST PRESS

In the absence of the machine, you can do a chest press. You will need dumbbells of your preferred weight to perform the routine. The exercises target the chest, shoulders, and arms.

How to do it:

  • While on your back, lie on a flat bench ensuring your feet are firmly pressing the floor.
  • Your shoulders should also press the bench.
  • Hold a dumbbell of the same weight in both hands.
  • Your thumbs should wrap around the handle of the dumbbell.
  • While inhaling, slowly lower the dumbbell to your mid-chest area.
  • The dumbbells should touch your chest gently.
  • On exhaling, press both arms upwards while ensuring that your elbows bend slightly.
  • The positioning of the dumbbells should below your eye level.
  • Perform 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.

PUSHUPS

In the absence of a cable machine or dumbbells, you can perform pushups. You will only require a yoga mat if you do not want direct contact with the floor.

How to do pushups:

  • Position yourself in all fours on a yoga mat.
  • The width between your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Straighten both your arms and legs.
  • Gently lower your body, with your back straight, till your chest slightly touches the floor.
  • Push your body back up.
  • Repeat several reps.

BUTTERFLY PRESS MISTAKES TO AVOID

ARCHING YOUR LOWER BACK

Your back should be straight while performing the exercise. Arching it not only interferes with the effectiveness of the routine but also causes back injury.

WRONG POSITIONING OF ELBOWS

Ensure that your elbows are not sticking out. You will exhaust yourself unnecessarily at the same time failing to see results.

Instead, your shoulders should point at least 30 degrees to the sides. This will also promote shoulder stability.

FAILING TO WARM-UP

Butterfly press exercise involves large muscles. It is best to warm up or stretch before commencing the routine.

CONCLUSION

The butterfly press is an effective exercise to tone your upper body, particularly your chest. Moreover, it promotes muscle strength and stability. It might be difficult at first, but consistency promotes endurance and a fit physique.