Dumbbell Floor Flys

Isolation exercise, Free weights




Required equipment

Main muscles

  • Chest: Large pectoral muscle
    (Musculus pectoralis major)
  • Chest: Small pectoral muscle
    (Musculus pectoralis minor)

Training plans

Dumbbell Floor Flys is a suitable substitute for similar exercises in or as a supplement to various training plans.

Dumbbell Floor Flys: Basics and alternatives

: Involved main muscle groups Dumbbell Floor Flys

Involved main muscle groups:
Dumbbell Floor Flys

Dumbbell floor flys are a simplified version of the regular flys on a flat bench. The movement is basically the same, but since there’s no bench, the range of motion is smaller. For this exercise, you’ll lie on the floor and lift your slightly bent arms off the ground above your body. This mainly targets your middle chest muscles, making it an isolation exercise.

Dumbbell floor flys work well with resistance band chest press as a home exercise, so you can work your pecs in different ways without needing much equipment.

You won’t see floor flys often at the gym because better equipment offers a greater range of motion, making the exercise more effective. Alternatives include flys on an incline bench or using a cable pulley.

Correct execution

Although dumbbell floor flys have a slightly limited range of motion compared to the regular version, it’s important to pay attention to the same details. Keep your elbows consistently bent at the same angle throughout the exercise. If this angle changes while your arms are moving, it’ll affect the exercise.

Make sure not to lower the dumbbells too far. As a rule of thumb: when your elbows or triceps touch the ground, the downward movement is done. Going further down will cause you to straighten your elbows and take the load off your chest muscles.

Pull your shoulders back, tensing your shoulder blades. Be sure to perform the exercise on a soft surface to avoid discomfort.

You can do the exercise with one dumbbell, switching sides after all reps, or with two dumbbells, moving both arms at the same time. If using one dumbbell, do the same number of reps on each side to avoid imbalances. Using two dumbbells makes it easier to maintain balance.

Video tutorial

Step-by-step instructions

Place the dumbbells on the floor with enough space for you to sit between them. Sit on the floor between the dumbbells, with your legs bent.

Grab the dumbbells and bring them towards your thighs. Now, lean back and move the dumbbells over your chest simultaneously.

Push the dumbbells up vertically above your torso.

Turn your palms inward.

Bend your elbows slightly.

Open your arms and lower the dumbbells towards the floor. Stop when your elbows touch the floor.

Bring the dumbbells back together above your body by rotating your shoulders. Keep your elbows bent at the same angle throughout the downward and upward movement.

Common mistakes

Like with regular flys, don’t fully extend your elbows in the floor version. Keep your arms slightly bent (about 10 to 30 degrees) throughout the exercise.

Especially when lowering the weights, you might find yourself extending your elbows further, even resting the weight on the floor. Avoid this at all costs.