Exercise How To: High/Low Cable Fly (plus benefits, variations, and more!)
Muscle Target: Chest
Equipment Needed: Dual Cable Machine
Experience Level: All Levels
The cable fly is an exercise designed to target the inner portion of your pectoral muscles and is a great compliment to a pressing movement when looking to grow your chest strength or size.
HOW TO PERFORM THE HIGH-LOW CABLE FLY:
Set the cable starting point to the lowest notch on the machine. Choose a comfortable handle.
With a handle in each hand, take a slight step forward until you feel tension on the cable.
Engage your core. While maintaining a slight bend in your elbows, pull the handles together until they meet at mid-chest level.
Pause at the top, and squeeze your chest muscles before lowering the handles to the starting position.
Repeat the exercise for the desired number of reps and sets.
For the high-fly variation, adjust your cable starting position to the highest point.
BENEFITS: Size and strength development is often the goal when training your chest, and the cable fly helps with both of those. Here are some benefits of the cable fly:
Strength and Size Development - This isolation exercise is a great way to work your pectoral muscles to improve both strength and size. This shouldn't be your only chest developer and should be paired with other major movements like a chest press, bench press, or dips.
Addresses Muscle Imbalances: Exercises that involve individual movements of each side are must-haves when addressing a current muscle imbalance (where one side is stronger than the other) or to use to help prevent those imbalances. The cable fly is a perfect exercise for creating a strong, balanced chest.
Make sure to use a weight that you can handle. Choosing a weight that is too heavy can lead to improper form, which will eventually lead to injury.
Make sure to keep your back against the pad throughout the exercise.
Maintain a slight bend in your elbow, rather than locking them out at the full extension of this motion.
Incline Dumbbell Fly (targets upper pectoral)
Decline Dumbbell Fly (targets lower pectoral)
Machine Fly (aka Peck Deck)
Thomas, M., & Burns, S. (2016). Increasing Lean Mass and Strength: A Comparison of High-Frequency Strength Training to Lower Frequency Strength Training. International Journal of Exercise Science, 9(2), 159–167.
Kim, T., Kil, S., Chung, J. W., Moon, J., & Oh, E. (2015). Effects of specific muscle imbalance improvement training on the balance ability in elite fencers. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 27(5), 1589–1592. https://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.27.1589
Cpt, M. F. M. A. (2022, November 4). How to Use a Chest Fly Machine: Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes. Verywell Fit. https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-use-a-chest-fly-machine-4589757