How to Incline Dumbbell Fly

About the Incline Dumbbell Fly

By performing the dumbbell fly on an incline bench, the athlete is adjusting the plane on resistance upward compared to the flat dumbbell fly, and therefore shifting the emphasis of the exercise towards development of the clavicular head of the pectorals (upper region of the chest), as well as recruiting the anterior head of the deltoid (front region of the shoulder). The sternal head of the pectorals, which makes up the main bulk of the middle and lower chest region, is still actively recruited during the exercise.

As an alternative, the athlete may wish to try the incline fly using twin cable stations with the incline bench positioned in-between. The constant resistance supplied from the cables can increase the intensity of the exercise, and demand the chest to work through the entire range of motion (ROM).

How to perform


  1. Find a set of dumbbells of a suitable weight
  2. Sit on the seat of an incline bench with the dumbbells resting on your thighs
  3. Lay back onto the bench whilst bringing your thighs up so to manoeuvre the dumbbells above your head
  4. Plant feet to the ground, and retain a slight bend in the elbow joint throughout the exercise


  1. Bring the dumbbells downward through an arc, keeping the arms fixed; the reverse action of as if you were you were hugging a tree
  2. Once your upper arms are parallel to the ground, reverse the movement by contracting the chest, until the dumbbells are back above your chest
  3. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

Other Chest Exercises