Chest Training is for many simply the pursuit of brute force and size. Pressing (whether using a dumbbell incline or a barbell bench) is a great way to increase your strength and size. It’s all about pushing your weight as high as possible. As you move up the ladder, you will gain more strength and chest size. You’ll need to include some additional exercises if you want to improve your pectoral definition. That’s where moves that engage your chest muscles by bringing your arms in toward your body’s midline like flys come into the equation–particularly, the cable machine chest fly.
” “There is a time when you want to create detail in your chest and carve your middle,” says Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. Men’s Health fitness director. The classic cable fly is one of the most effective exercises that you can do. “
But the exercise is more subtle than grabbing a pair of cable handles and letting it rip. To make the cable fly, you will need to pay attention to your position, movement, and other details. This guide, featuring Brett Williams, NASM fitness editor at MH, explains how to perform the cable fly exercise. Samuel says, “It’s a great chest day finisher, so you will feel pumped up.”
How to Do the Cable Chest Fly
Set Up Right
The placement of the cables is important for the cable fly. Other fly types may require you to place the cables at other places, but this cable fly requires that the handles be placed just above your shoulders. Samuel suggests that the handles should be a bit higher than your shoulders but not so high that your torso must bend forward to reach the desired position.
It is also important to know how you hold the cables handles. Don’t hold the cable handle tightly in your palm. Instead, let go. He continues, “What he wants is to get the cable near his palm so that you don’t even need to grip if it doesn’t feel right to him,” he said. Our arms are a lever that allows us to drive our chests shut and flex our chests. Keep your thumb away from the handle to help you remember the cue.
Squeeze Your Shoulder Blades
Once you’re primed for action, one of the most important points of focus should be on your shoulder blades. Samuel suggests that Samuel imagines putting a pencil between your shoulder blades and holding that feeling for as many reps as possible. Keep your shoulders centered on your chest and keep the tension on your chest muscles.
You might’ve seen gym bros performing flys as a cable crossover, pulling their hands over each other to overemphasize the final phase of the movement. Do not do this. Samuel says, “When you do that, most often you’re just lifting your shoulders forward.” “We are not getting more flexibility for our chests.” Stop when your hands touch, and then emphasize the squeeze in your chest.
Lead With Your Pinkies
To really emphasize chest engagement, you want to do more with your hands than just keeping your palms out. Rotate your hands and bring your pinky fingers to the forefront of the movement. This will magnify the squeeze through your upper and middle chests, which is what we want to do with these flys. “
Want to master even more moves? Check out our entire Form Check series.
Brett Williams, NASM Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. The content was created by a third-party and imported onto this page in order to allow users to enter their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
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