Pec Deck Fly (Butterfly)
The pec deck fly, often also referred to as the butterfly exercise is an old school isolation exercise for the chest.
Regardless of how small, cramped or little equipment your commercial or hotel gym has, chances are they’ve got a pec deck machine!
The pec deck, utilizes an arcing movement to maintain tension on the chest and build that width.
Required: Pec Deck Machine
Pec Deck Fly Form:
Sit on the pec deck fly machine with your back against the pad.
Grasp the pec deck handles ensuring your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
Push the handles together as you contract your chest in the middle.
Hold this contraction for 1 second.
Allow your chest to stretch out as much as possible as you slowly return the handles to the starting position, arced out by your sides.
Pec Deck Fly Variations
Unilateral Pec Deck Fly
Instead of pressing with two handles at a time you will push one handle while holding the other handle of the pec deck in a static hold, maintaining tension on that side of your chest between repetitions.
This is a fantastic core exercise and is often used for overcoming a lagging side/correcting dominance.
You’ll find when flying one side at a time your core will need to be engaged the whole time to maintain your position on the machine.
Common Pec Deck Fly Mistakes
Utilizing A Partial Range Of Motion
As you maintain a slight bend in your arms you must allow the pec deck to pull your arms back until you feel the stretch in your chest.
Not Maintaining A Bend In Your Arms
With dead straight arms you’ll find that you’re not only failing to get the same stretch and contraction in the chest, but you’re also placing yourself at greater risk of elbow/shoulder injuries.
Failing To Contract The Chest On Each Repetition
At the top of the movement you must squeeze your chest muscles together in order to get a full contraction, if you’re merely going through the motions but not taking the time to squeeze on each repetition you’re going to fail to see the results you’re after.
Similar & Substitute Exercises
- Cable Crossovers
- Flat Dumbbell Flies
- Incline Dumbbell Flies