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The chest fly is definitely not one of my favorite exercises, at least not if you rely on your shoulder for a living. That said, there is a way that you can do this chest exercise in a much safer way without compromising your gains in the process. In this video, I show you why the popular floor fly alternative is a better movement that limits the potential risk to your shoulder capsule, ac joint and pec muscle.

Beyond that however, I am going to demonstrate a variation of the chest fly done on the floor that turns regular flies into an inferior alternative when it comes to building chest muscle. Often times, you hear people tell you that you can do the chest fly safely if you simply perform it with good form and with lighter weights.

While this is certainly sound advice when it comes to the suggestion to use good form, the lighter weights may not provide you with the challenge necessary to overload the eccentric portion of the lift safely. By under loading the negative portion of the chest fly you are compromising a great opportunity to build more chest muscle by doing the exercise in that way.

It comes back to injury risk. Here, even the biggest advocates of flys have been known to decrease the weight they use to ensure they don’t get hurt on the exercise. That is a compromise not needed to be made however. As shown, when performing the floor fly you have the option of increasing the weight of the dumbbells that you use to one that is much heavier than what you would normally use to do a fly on a bench.

Because you have the floor acting as your safety net here to protect your shoulder, you can use the heavier load to increase the eccentric load on your muscle. Maybe the weight is so challenging that you reach a point where you reach positive failure on the movement? No problem, you can shorten your arm which will shorten the moment arm on the pec and then press the weights back up to the top so you can dig in for yet another eccentric rep.

It is here that true eccentric overload can occur and real muscle gains can start happening, all with the increased safety provided by doing this exercise on the floor rather than a bench.

When it comes to training, we are all looking to improve. Whether it be in the form of more size, strength, functional performance, etc, the only way you are going to get there is if you are healthy and consistent with your training. Putting your shoulders at potential risk by doing an inferior form of an exercise is not a smart long term plan. Not when you have safer alternatives that can deliver as much if not more muscle gains.

If you are looking for a program that maximizes your gains while putting science behind the strength to get you training smarter…without injury, then head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. Start training like a pro athlete and start looking more athletic in just 90 days.

For more videos on the chest fly and why I don’t like this particular chest building exercise done in the traditional way, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at

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  1. Nobody is gonna do this shit. Just do the damn exercise. This is a recurring theme with this guy. Don't see how he has so many subscribers…

  2. Your alternate exercise to the Fly/Press was the key to finally feeling chest activation. Thanks ……. I was using so much of my arms before.

  3. Nick wright needs to watch this video if he ever wants his chest to grow(I know he's a power lifer but he would look so much better with a decent chest). Jeff is also arm dominant and look at hist chest.. I'm also extremely arm dominant and my chest finally started to grow with this exercise coupled with db bench press.

  4. I don't quite get it Jeff. You were saying many times, that muscles grow by contracting exercises, not by extracting ones. And now this – how's that?

  5. Tried this last week. I'll never do flys on the bench again.  This is an incredible exercise, thank you, Jeff!

  6. you're the best Jeff so good actually that some other so called online PTs are simply stealing your content even your examples!! Keep your very informative and effective work.

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