The seated cable fly is a marvelous way to work the large muscles that take up pretty much of your upper chest.
This movement can be performed in many variations including standing, on an inclined or declined bench, and is in itself a variation of the cable fly exercise.
In all these variations, the main movement- cable fly position is the same.
If you are a beginner, you might first need to familiarize yourself with the cable station and how it works. Your trainer can come in handy in this.
This article will spell out everything you need to know about this powerful upper body exercise, including; how to perform it in the right form, the muscles worked, its benefits and common mistakes to avoid in order to increase effectiveness.
HOW TO DO SEATED CABLE FLY PROPERLY
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform this exercise with the right form
Prepare for this exercise by positioning a bench in the middle of the cable machine slightly ahead of the cables. Proceed to adjust the cables until they are at your shoulder height as you are seated down.
Grab the pulleys from both sides of your hands and bring them to the centre.
Maintain a straight back all though and ensure your elbows are slightly bent. In order to help with your spine alignment, consider having your bench positioned upright.
Start by extending your arms almost fully, with a cable in each side.
Using a slow and controlled motion as if you are hugging a big tree, squeeze your chest and bring your hands out and have them in front of you.
Aim to breathe throughout this routine- exhale as you perform the exercise and inhale as you go back to the original starting position.
If you are looking to make a challenge out of this exercise, consider allowing your hands to cross over just before they touch. At this point, you will feel a very tight squeeze on your chest.
SEATED CABLE FLY MUSCLES WORKED
This is the main target of the seated cable fly exercise. It is made up of two muscles: pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. Of these two, the pectoralis major gets to be engaged more as it is involved in the adduction of the arms.
This is when you bring the cable handles in front of you, similar to when hugging or clapping. Additionally, its inward rotation and elevation during the exercise causes it to be worked.
Other muscles that get a hit by virtue of assisting in the movements involved include: deltoid anterior, biceps brachii, triceps and wrist flexors.
SEATED CABLE FLY BENEFITS
USE OF CABLES
This exercise uses the cable as its weights.
Compared to other weights such as dumbbells, the cables will provide your muscles with constant tension throughout this exercise, even at the peak movement.
IMPROVES MIND-MUSCLE CONNECTION
By being able to successfully push your torso against the bench, you allow your body to focus on the mind-muscle connection hence moving slightly heavier weights.
Doing this constantly will improve your general mind-muscle connection.
EASY TO NAVIGATE
While performing the seated cable fly and there is need to change your weights, this will be easy as you will only need to change the cables for drop sets.
GREATER MUSCLE GAIN
This exercise is a strength exercise. Therefore, it will stretch your chest muscles under load which will in turn lead to greater muscle gains.
REDUCES SHOULDER PAINS
If you experience any pain while performing exercises such as bench presses, this exercise will be a great alternative for you.
Thanks to the shoulder blade stability involved in it, the seated cable fly will change the angle of the movement, enough to reduce or prevent potential stress to your shoulders.
GREATER RANGE OF MOTION
The seated cable fly has a greater range of motion. This, will come in handy in placing more tension on the target muscles of the exercise.
SEATED CABLE FLY ALTERNATIVES
Below are alternative exercises that can be used in place of the seated cable fly.
SEATED MACHINE FLY
A machine fly is an exercise that directly targets the chest. In order to perform it, as the name suggests, you will need access to a machine.
If you are not able to, fortunately, there are other variations of this that you can hop on.
Remember to always keep your arms parallel to the floor throughout.
This alternative, as the name suggests is similar to the seated cable fly only that it uses dumbbells instead of cables as its weights.
It borrows the seated cable fly’s chest fly movement to isolate the chest muscles and make them bigger and stronger.
It targets most parts of the pecs, but most especially hits the inner chest.
Always remember to perform this exercise in controlled movements.
This alternative is a free weight exercise that mainly serves to work the inner chest and to a much lesser degree, also targets the triceps and shoulders.
It is responsible for muscle hypertrophy and creation of a chiselled and well-defined upper body.
COMMON SEATED CABLE FLY MISTAKES TO AVOID
Avoid over squeezing the handles as this could divert the attention of the exercise from your pectoral muscles and engage the forearms and biceps instead.
Do not touch the handles together at the peak movement in order to maintain the tension that is meant to go to the pectoral muscles.
Avoid lowering the weights too much as this could lead to pain at the front of your shoulder joints. To ensure this, consider slightly bending your elbows.
Avoid arching your lower back excessively and always maintain some tension in your abs. This will help to stay clear of any stress and pain in your back.
As you familiarise yourself with the machine in the seated cable fly exercise, one golden rule worth noting is to always start small. Begin with small weights and gradually advance to the heavier ones.