How To Do Lateral Fly Properly

Lateral Fly is a painstaking shoulder workout that targets the lateral deltoid, which is the middle part of the shoulder muscles.

The workout may seem incredibly simple but once you add dumbbells to the equation, you will know how it feels to have burning muscles after just a few reps.

Choose your weights wisely, because this will help you concentrate on the form and technique rather that how you are going to lift the weights without dropping them.


Form and technique matters a lot in this workout, a simple tweak of the technique and you are doing a different workout altogether.

For beginners, have your trainer/gym instructor close by to help you case of any injuries.

How to do it:

  • Grab two dumbbells each on one hand in an overhand grip and stand with feet hip width apart.
  • Hold the dumbbells by your side, close to the front of your thighs and have a slight elbow bend.
  • Straighten your back and slightly bend at the knees to have balance when doing the fly technique. This is your starting position.
  • Tighten your core, puff your chest out and inhale as you lift your arms outwards to the sides and up to your shoulder height, your arms should be parallel to the floor. You should feel a slight pinch in your shoulders.
  • Maintain the slight elbow bend throughout the fly technique, this way the dumbbells are in your plane of sight.
  • Hold the position and exhale while returning to your starting position. The fly technique should have a momentum that gives you a smooth transition with the motions and help maintain a good breathing pattern.
  • Do 2 sets of 8-10 reps.



The workout’s name gives you a hint of what muscles are a target. The lateral deltoid is the middle part of the deltoid muscles that function as the shoulder abductor when moving your arms upwards from the side.

With the dumbbells in each hand, the shoulders get to feel the tension of the weights, which activates the deltoid muscle to abduct the arm and keep it in place when lifting the dumbbells.

Constant contraction and activation facilitate the growth of the muscle and gives you the boulder shoulder look.


This rear deltoid acts as a synergic muscle and helps the lateral deltoid do the arm abduction. When moving the arms outwards, the muscle stretches and holds the shoulder in place.

We can say the posterior deltoid gets to be activated but it does not have the same intensity as that of the lateral, which gives the middle deltoid an advantage on developing more than the rear deltoid.


Traps is a muscle that runs from the neck, spreading across your shoulders to the middle of your back. The muscle is a great back stabilizer that helps with your posture and keep your spine neutral.

The muscles tightens and holds the spine in place while doing the fly technique. This works the muscle and helps to strengthen it.



Boulder shoulders are almost necessary when you are working out. That bulk shoulder that can knock someone out needs constant shoulder workouts that pushes you to the limit.

Lateral Fly is one of the best shoulder workouts for development and strength and concentrates more on the middle deltoid that protrudes outwards giving shape and form to your shoulders.


It is not a mystery why fitness guys have this confident walk that gives out power and wrestler look. Their spine is accustomed to constant posture reinforcement through numerous workouts that tighten and develop their back muscles and improve their spine positioning and relieve backaches.

Straightening your back helps improve your posture and at the same time reinforce it giving you a healthy strong spine and a confident posture.


The fly technique reps are not easy to keep up with especially if you have progressed to adding more weights or you are a beginner.

Constant lifting stretches your arm muscles and definitely gives you wings, that means your shoulder joints and arms become flexible and increase your endurance to finish a set without a break.



A workout that shifts most the weight to your shoulder muscles. For shoulder muscle mass, dumbbell seated Arnold press is a good alternative.

How to do it:

  • Grab two dumbbells each on one hand in an overhand grip and sit on a workout bench with your back straight.
  • Bend at the elbows and hold the dumbbells close to each other in front of you with palms facing you. This is your starting position.
  • Inhale and move your arms outwards as if assuming a dumbbell bicep curl position and in a fluid motion press the dumbbells upwards stretching your arms above you.
  • Your palms should be facing in front of you. The technique is more of a rotation of your arms, which creates a fluid twist motion.
  • With the same technique, exhale and return to your starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps.


Press workouts definitely work on the shoulder muscles effectively.

How to do it:

  • Grab two dumbbells each on one hand and sit in a workout bench.
  • Hold the two dumbbells to your shoulder height with palms facing the same direction as you. Do not flare your elbows out. This is your starting position.
  • Inhale and press the dumbbells upwards until your arms are fully extended.
  • Hold the position and exhale as you go back to starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.



Number one mistake to never forget. Your spine holds every bone in place and your entire body nerves pass through there. That should tell you having a neutral back is not only important for posture improvement but for protecting the spine in general from harm.

Keeping a straight posture strengthens your back muscles and holds in place your back, which improves the health and position of the spine.


When you elongate and stretch out your arms that becomes a lateral raise technique, which does not have an intense momentum as that of Lateral Fly. Bending slightly at the elbows effectively works on the lateral deltoid muscle.


Lateral Fly is a great shoulder workout and greatly builds strength and mass of the shoulder muscles. You can never go wrong with any fly or press variation.

Shoulder strength and development protect your shoulder joints from injuries that could have been severe if your muscles were not strong and bulk.

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