The trx chest fly almost resembles the cable fly, except you do it with suspension trainers instead of the pulleys of a cable machine.
As the name suggests, this is an exercise that mainly works the pectoral muscles (pecs) on your chest.
Since it is a controlled movement, it keeps your muscles engaged throughout the lift which is great for building and strengthening your pecs.
Performing it from a suspended position also makes your core work super hard to keep you stable during the movement.
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To do it properly, follow this step-by-step guide:
- First, attach the trainers to an anchor point higher than your head.
- Then, stand with your back to the anchor point and grab the handles with your palms facing each other.
- Once you’ve secured the handles around your palms, step back so that your body is almost parallel to the ground. Your spine and neck should be neutral, and your core tight.
- Lean forward, bend your elbows slightly and open up your arms to form a “T” shape with your body.
- Then, lean back slightly and squeeze your pecs as you bring the handles towards each other and make them touch. This marks the end of the rep.
- Lean forward again and repeat these steps, making sure you maintain the suspended position throughout your set.
WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE TRX CHEST FLY WORK?
Your pecs are the primary movers in the trx chest fly.
This exercise helps open them up and strengthen them at the top of the rep when you squeeze them as you bring the handles towards each other.
Although not a primary mover, your core keeps your lower back from overarching which could hurt your spine.
When you brace it, it also helps maintain your overall stability in the suspended position.
BENEFITS OF THE TRX CHEST FLY
IT STRENGTHENS AND BUILDS YOUR CHEST
Many people opt for this exercise for building and strengthening chest muscles because it generates more tension in the muscles than most free-weight movements.
By leaning back as you do it, you increase resistance in the trainers which then focus the tension into your muscles for optimal gains.
YOU CAN MODIFY IT
Your body position during the trx chest fly determines the difficulty level of the movement.
The further you lean back, the more challenging it gets since more tension is placed on the trainers.
Likewise, the more you move towards the front of the anchor point, the easier the exercise gets.
Feel free to experiment with your body position to find what suits you best before you begin the first rep.
However, note that it is most effective when it is most challenging.
So, moving to the front of the anchor point may make it less effective it takes some of the tension off the trainers.
IT CHALLENGES YOUR BALANCE
Performing a strength-training exercise while suspended is no walk in the park.
When you walk your feet back and then lean forward to squeeze your pecs, your body is forced to muster all the balance it can get to keep it solid in that position.
This helps enhance your balance and stability.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE TRX CHEST FLY
RESISTANCE BAND CROSSOVER
The resistance band crossover uses a resistance band to stretch your deltoids and strengthen your chest muscles.
- Loop a resistance band around a pole at shoulder level.
- Stand with your back to the pole and hold the band handles, one in each hand.
- Tighten your core and step forward to increase the tension in the band.
- Stretch the band forward and bring your arms over each other.
- Release the band and go back to the starting position.
- Do as many reps as you want.
This is great upper body movement that works plenty of muscles in your upper body, among them being your chest muscles.
- Stand between two horizontal bars that are shoulder-width apart and place your palms on them.
- Grasp the bars firmly and lift your body off the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your arms straight.
- Then, lower your body until both elbows are at 90⁰.
- Extend your arms to get back to where you began.
- Repeat the above steps as many times as you’d love to.
TRX CHEST FLY MISTAKES TO AVOID
USING EXPLOSIVE MOVEMENTS
The trx chest fly is a controlled exercise; this means your movements should be slow and steady, otherwise your chest muscles will not receive enough tension to be properly trained.
OVERARCHING YOUR BACK
Your back should only be slightly arched during the trx chest fly; overarching it will likely ruin your alignment and put too much pressure on your spine.
Bracing your core throughout the exercise helps with this.
LOOSE SUSPENSION TRAINERS
Always remember that the function of the suspension trainers in this exercise is to supply additional resistance which puts tension in your chest muscles.
For them to work well, they must be super tight.
Be sure to adjust them if you notice them getting loose during the workout, otherwise you may not get much out of the movement.
TWISTING YOUR ARMS
Twisting your arms makes your shoulders rotate internally which then makes your deltoid muscles the primary movers instead of the pecs.
Keep your arms in the same position and your palms facing in to keep the tension in your chest muscles entirely.
You’re probably asking yourself – why the trx chest fly? Why not the dumbbell chest fly?
Well, here’s why.
The dumbbell chest fly is arguably less complicated, but the trx chest fly makes your muscles work almost twice as hard to keep you stable since you do it while suspended.
This translates to more time under tension (TUT) for your muscles and ultimately, more muscle gains.
Plus, it wouldn’t hurt to swap the two once in a while, would it?
Don’t forget to consult your doctor before doing this exercise if you have chest pain or any history of such.