Gym Combat: Flat-Bench Dumbbell Flye vs. Flat-Bench Cable Flye

We put the flat-bench dumbbell flye and flat-bench cable flye to the test. Here we tell you which is the better choice for building a strong, shapely chest.

February 24, 2013
Gym Combat: Flat-Bench Dumbbell Flye vs. Flat-Bench Cable Flye









FLAT-BENCH DUMBBELL FLYE FLAT-BENCH CABLE FLYE
Muscles Emphasized Pectoralis major, Anterior (front) deltoid, Biceps brachii Pectoralis major, Anterior (front) deltoid, Biceps brachii
Range of Motion ★★★★★ ★★★★
Weight Used ★★★ ★★★
Pro Recruits more total muscle due to stabilizers Continuous tension throughout movement
Con No resistance at the top of the motion and can place excessive strain on shoulder and elbow joints Can place excessive strain on shoulder and elbow joints

Winner: Flat-Bench Cable Flye
The dumbbell variation of the flye is most effective in the lower phase of the movement, where the chest is contracting to overcome gravity. once the dumbbell moves higher through the arc, however, there is less resistance and the stress of the weight is transferred to the arms. As they resist, the dumbbells fall downward. With the cable version of the flye you’ll get continuous tension throughout the exercise, with max resistance in the chest muscles at the strongest point of contraction 
(at the top when you bring the handles together), where there’s limited help from assisting muscle groups.