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Dumbbell fly to press

RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

The dumbbell fly to press combination exercise works your pectoral muscles from different angles, giving the benefits of a traditional dumbbell press combined with the pec-stretching benefits of the fly.

Muscles worked

Starting position
Lie on a flat bench with your feet on the floor and dumbbells held in each hand above you, with your elbows slightly bent and your palms facing inward with an easy open-hand grip. Keep the dumbbells approximately shoulder-width apart; the dumbbells should never touch each other in the fly portion of this exercise. Keep your shoulders retracted and your chest up high (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position with the dumbbells held up, open your chest and, keeping your arms held in the same position with elbows slightly bent, lower the dumbbells down into a fly. Go deep but not too deep—do not allow the dumbbells to go below the level of your back or you'll risk shoulder injury (see Photo 2).
  2. When you have reached the bottom of the fly motion, reverse and bring the dumbbells back up together to the starting position. Make your chest do the pushing; don't let your shoulders kick in. Remember not to bring the dumbbells in more than shoulder-width apart (see Photo 3).
  3. Do 12 to 15 fly repetitions, then switch to the dumbbell press. After you finish your last fly, turn the dumbbells so that your hands are facing down towards your feet and the dumbbells are angled slightly in with an easy, open-hand grip. Lower the dumbbells down and out to your sides of your chest until they are parallel to chest level (see Photos 4 and 5).
  4. When you have reached the bottom of the press movement, reverse direction, press up and bring the dumbbells all the way together, squeezing your chest as you reach the top.
About Mike Clausen: Clausen is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body Personal Training and Wellness Center, which was voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. He has been actively involved in sports and weightlifting since high school, and continues to use that knowledge when training his clients. Clausen is both A.C.E. and N.A.S.M. certified and has been training clients professionally for six years. He enjoys making his clients stronger, both physically and mentally, giving them the tools to create an efficient body and to do things they thought were not possible.