Variety is important to proper training. A good focus is to get as many “tools in your toolbox” or “weapons in your arsenal” when it comes to exercises and training. This will help increase your build and help you see results because you are simply finding what works best for your body and what can be seen as another “go to” if an exercise does not deliver like it used to.
When it comes to training the chest, there are many different movements one can do. To keep things simple, the chest can be broken up into the upper, base, and lower chest. There are different variations to hit any of these three areas of the chest while also indirectly hitting other muscle groups like shoulders and triceps.
A wonderful, isolated movement for the chest is a chest fly. This is when weight or resistance is in each hand the arms are extended out away from the body with the arms slightly bent, and then the weight is brought back into the body like you are hugging a tree. The chest muscles are elongated and then contracted which completely obliterates the area. You can achieve a phenomenal pump in the chest in no time by doing a chest fly.
Like the other exercises for the chest, the fly too has its variations. The two most popular are the cable fly and dumbbell fly. Many argue over which is best, but one needs to go back to the beginning of this articles where building up your arsenal was important because you want to always do what is best for you.
When it comes to cable flies, the lifter has much more control and isolation of the weight, which then allows them to hit the chest from different angles. This is from the angle in which they are bent over or the height the cable handles are set on.
The dumbbell fly does not allow as much control with the weight which forces the lifter to be more sensible about the weight he/she is using. The benefit though is the shoulders and triceps are engaged much more and also stabilizer muscles in the arms and chest. The core is also engaged much more than cable flies to stabilize the body on the bench.
So, when looking at the two, not one is really better, just a different “weapon”. Days where you may feel more exhausted and want to get a final squeeze and burn into the chest or even a safe warm up for the shoulders before you go into a heavy bench press, cable flies would be the way to go. If you are looking at challenging yourself and really getting the chest and the other surrounding muscle groups and stabilizers to engage, go with some dumbbell flies.