Shoulder Training – Dumbbell Shoulder Flyes

Shoulder flyes allow you to isolate your deltoids, particularly your middle delts.

Muscles Used for this Exercised

Exercise Classification:

Exercise Technique

  • Equipment: Perform shoulder flyes seated on an upright bench with your back supported.
  • Hand Position: Grip the dumbbells in both hands, with hands in the pronated position (palms facing forward). Make sure your hands are centered on the dumbbells.
  • Start with the dumbbells overhead, your elbows bent slightly.
  • Lower the dumbbells in a wide arc out to the side, maintaining complete control of the weight.
  • Maintain the slight bend in your elbows; do not bend them more as you lower the weight.
  • Lower the dumbbells until your upper arms are parallel with the floor.
  • Raise the dumbbells back to the starting position,

Strength Standard

  • Keep the weight light on this exercise. This is an assistance exercise not an ego lift. The amount of weight you lift is less important than performing the exercise properly. It is most effective when you use a weight you can perform 12-20 reps – your shoulders should be burning when you finish.

Common Mistakes

  • Bending your elbows: Don’t bend your elbows as you bring the dumbbells down. Increasing the bend in your elbows as you bring them down turns this exercise into a dumbbell press, reducing its effectiveness – the weight should be far too light to perform an effective shoulder press. The motion should be a wide arc.

Exercise Safety

  • Keep the weight light: Your shoulders are a relatively vulnerable joint, comprised of a number of small muscles. Using too much weight will increase your risk of shoulder injury.


Here are some additional shoulder isolation exercises you might try:


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