Decline Fly: Muscle Worked, Benefits, Form

If you’re looking to add some variety to your chest workout, consider incorporating decline chest fly exercises.

This powerful exercise specifically targets your lower pectoral muscles, helping you achieve superior upper body strength and aesthetics.

The lower chest is one of the harder areas to train because of the lack of variations available and the limited range of motion.

That’s why it’s so important to add decline dumbbell or cable fly to your chest workout routine.

In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into everything you need to know about:

  • What is decline chest fly
  • Muscle worked during decline flys
  • Benefit of doing it
  • How to perform a decline fly with proper form and technique
  • Best ways to incorporate it into your workout regimen.

Get ready to take your chest workout to new heights with the decline chest fly.

What are decline chest fly exercises?

Decline chest fly exercises are a type of strength training exercise that targets the lower portion of your chest muscles.

It is performed on a decline bench, which is set at a downward slope of around 30 to 45 degrees.

You can increase the range of motion and engagement of your chest muscles by performing the exercise on a decline bench.

To perform a fly motion, you need to bring your arms together in front of your chest, using dumbbells or a cable machine.

It can be performed using different weights and variations to increase or decrease the difficulty level.

Muscles Worked During Decline Fly

A decline fly works the primary work on the lower pectoral muscle of your chest.

In addition to its target, the main pec muscle. The decline fly has the involvement of several synergist muscles, these muscles include,

A handful of other muscles worked or play the role of stabilizer muscles, including your

Benefits of Doing Decline Fly Exercise

Decline chest fly exercises offer a range of benefits for your chest muscles and overall strength training routine.

1. Joints Friendly

For people who experience discomfort in their joints during the decline dumbbell press, decline chest flys are a great alternative.

With proper shoulder-blade stability, the chest fly changes the angle of the movement enough to limit the potential stress on the joints.

2. Chest Opener

The chest fly can help open up your chest muscles. Chest openers may help reduce upper back pain, increase range of motion, and reduce tightness in the upper body.

3. Improve Performance

Having a stronger chest will not only enhance your physique, but will also help you out with daily activities and improve your sporting and lifting performance.

4. Helps With Posture

By strengthening the chest muscles, decline chest fly can also help to improve posture, which is important for overall health and wellness.

5. It Can Be Done With Different Equipment

Decline chest fly can be done with dumbbells, cables, giving you the flexibility to switch up your routine and challenge your muscles in new ways.

6. Targets The Lower Chest

The decline chest fly is particularly effective at targeting the lower part of the pectoral muscles, which can be difficult to work out with other chest exercises.

Variations Of The Decline Chest Fly

There are several variations of the decline chest fly that you can do to target different areas of your chest muscles.

Some popular variations include the decline dumbbell fly, decline cable fly.

You can also try a decline fly with a pause, where you hold the weights at the bottom of the movement for a few seconds before bringing them back up.

Experiment with different variations to keep your workouts challenging and effective, and to find out what works best for you.

Here are the best variations of the decline chest fly exercise that help to build a bigger and wider chest.

1. Decline Cable Fly

Decline Cable fly is one of the most suitable exercises for isolating the chest muscles.

Performing this exercise with cables instead of dumbbells allows for constant tension, which helps build lower Chest fibers.

Decline Dumbbell Fly

How To Do Decline Cable Fly

  1. Set a Decline bench at a 30-degree angle. Lie on the bench with your feet flat on the foot pad or the roller.
  2. Lift your arms straight up from your shoulders and hold the cable handle directly over your chest.
  3. Slowly lower your arms out to your sides until your wrists come to about shoulder level or slightly above.
  4. Bring your arms back toward the midline of your body, focusing on using your lower pec muscles to draw them back together.


  • Remember to keep your shoulder blades pressed against the bench throughout the exercise.
  • Hold and contract the chest muscles when hands are together.
  • Set bench at about 30 degrees Decline.
  • Maintain control, with a 4-second descent, slight pause and contract with a reverse motion, hold and repeat.
Know More: Lower Chest Cable Exercises For Bigger & Stronger Chest

2. Decline Dumbbell Fly

The decline dumbbell chest fly is a variation of the dumbbell fly used to target the muscles of the chest. In particular, the decline dumbbell fly targets the lower chest due to the decline angle used.

Dumbbells allow a more natural movement pattern, which can help to fully engage the chest muscles.

Finally, dumbbells are more accessible and versatile than cable machines, making them a popular choice for home workouts or busy gyms.

Decline Dumbbell Fly

How To Do Decline Dumbbell Fly

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie on your back on a decline bench. Hook your feet into the footpad or roller.
  2. Extend the dumbbells above your chest. Turn the palms to face each other and the dumbbells directly over your upper chest.
  3. Slowly lower your arms out to your sides until your wrists come to about shoulder level or slightly above.
  4. Bring your arms back toward the midline of your body, focusing on using your lower pec muscles to draw them back together.


  • Keep the movement slow and controlled.
  • Don’t let the dumbbells touch as they meet at the top, holding for a second in the contracted position.
  • Make sure you keep your elbows bent. You should never fully straighten your arms, or lock them out, as this puts too much stress on your elbows and shoulders.
  • Pick a weight that you can control, that’s not too light or too heavy — find what’s right for you.
Know More: 10 Best Chest Workout With Dumbbells

3. Dumbbell Decline Twist Fly

The decline dumbbell twist fly is a slight variation of the decline dumbbell fly.

The movement targets the muscles of the chest, with an emphasis on the lower pecs. It also indirectly targets the muscles of the shoulder and triceps.

The slight added twist, the decline dumbbell twist fly provides, results in a greater contraction on the chest.

Dumbbell Decline Twist Fly

How To Do Dumbbell Decline Twist Fly

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand in each hand with a neutral grip and lie on a decline bench.
  2. Hold the weights above you at shoulder height.
  3. Slightly retract your shoulder blades, unlock your elbows, and slowly lower the dumbbells laterally while maintaining the angle at your elbow.
  4. Once the dumbbells reach chest level, reverse the movement by squeezing your pecs together.
  5. As the dumbbells are returning to the starting position, twist the handles so that the bottom of the dumbbells almost touch.
  6. Without allowing the dumbbells to touch, start the next repetition by untwisting the handles back to a neutral position, and continue until the set is completed.


  • Imagine you’re trying to hug a tree while completing the exercise.
  • Avoid touching or banging the dumbbells together at the top of each repetition to keep constant tension.
  • Don’t let the dumbbells or handle touch as they meet at the top, holding for a second in the contracted position.
Know More: Lower Chest Dumbbell Exercises To Build Muscle & Definition

Common Mistake To Be Avoid While Doing Decline Fly

Proper form is important to avoid injury and get the most out of the decline chest fly, which is an effective exercise for targeting chest muscles.

Here are some of the common mistakes to avoid when performing the decline fly:

1. Using Too Much Weight

Using too much weight can make your form worse, which can lead to injuries.

Start with lighter weights and focus on proper form.

2. Bringing The Weights Too Low

Bringing the weights too low can cause the shoulders to rotate forward, which can strain the rotator cuff muscles.

Keep the weights at chest level or slightly above throughout the exercise.

3. Arching The Back

When you arch your back during the exercise, you can put strain on the lower back.

Keep your back flat against the bench throughout the exercise.

4. Using Momentum

Moving the weights up with momentum can take the focus away from the chest muscles and put strain on other muscles, such as the shoulders and elbow.

Use slow, controlled movements throughout the exercise.

5. Neglecting The Eccentric Phase

The eccentric phase (lowering weights back down), is just as important as the concentric phase, (lifting of the weights up).

Control the weights as you lower them back down to fully engage the chest muscles.

6. Touching Dumbbell At Top

Avoid touching or banging the dumbbells together during each repetition in order to maintain constant tension on the intended muscle groups.

Decline Chest Fly Workout Volume

If you’re looking to incorporate decline chest fly into your workout routine, here are some tips that will help you get started.

1. Sets And Reps


  • Beginners: ~10 sets per week.
  • Intermediate: ~15 sets per week.
  • Advanced: ~20 sets per week.


The best rep ranges and loads to work with.

  • 6–8 reps for strength
  • 8–15 reps for muscle hypertrophy
  • 15-20+ for endurance

Beginners should aim for 3–4 sets of 8–12 reps each, with 1–2 minutes of rest between sets.

2. Frequency

It can be performed 1–2 times per week, depending on your overall workout schedule and goals.

3. Combining With Other Chest Exercises

Combined decline fly with other chest exercises, like bench press, push-ups, to make a good chest workout.

When combining exercises, be sure to vary the angles and resistance to target the chest muscles in different ways.

4. Used As A Finisher

Decline chest fly variations can be used as a finishing exercise at the end of your chest workout.

This helps to exhaust your chest muscles and increase blood flow, leading to greater muscle growth and definition.


Is the decline chest fly suitable for beginners?

Yes, beginners can perform the decline chest fly exercise. Start with lighter weights and focus on maintaining proper form.

It’s also a good idea to have a spotter or personal trainer to assist with the exercise until you are comfortable and confident.

What muscles are targeted during the decline chest fly?

The decline chest fly primarily targets the lower pectoral muscles, but it can also engage the triceps and shoulders.

Can I perform the decline chest fly with other chest exercises?

Yes, you can combine the decline chest fly with other chest exercises such as the bench press, push-ups, or cable crossovers.

This can help provide variety to your workout and ensure that all parts of the chest are worked out.

What is the difference between incline and decline fly?

  • Incline fly targets the upper chest muscles, while decline fly targets the lower chest muscles.
  • Incline flies are performed on an incline bench that is angled upwards, while decline flies are performed on a decline bench that is angled downwards.
  • Incline flies primarily engage the clavicular head of the pectoralis major muscle, while decline flies primarily engage the sternal head of the pectoralis major muscle.


Decline chest fly is, generally, underrated and often overlooked. They are just as important as the flat bench press if you want to get that well-shaped chest and the thickness.

The decline chest fly may be a good exercise if you’re looking to build strength in your chest, shoulder, and tricep muscles.

If you’re a beginner, start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the weight each week as you build strength.

Let us know, in the comment section below, your favorite exercise!

Thanks for reading.

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