Get ready to feel that chest pump. The high cable chest fly is a top-tier exercise for building a strong, muscular chest. This unique movement allows you to isolate the chest muscles using cables, which provide constant tension throughout the motion.
Unlike presses and push-ups, the high cable fly takes the shoulders and triceps largely out of the picture. You’ll feel a deep burn in your chest muscles by focusing on the contraction and stretch of the pecs. This makes it an ideal move to strengthen your lower chest and create an impressive set of pecs.
In this beginner’s guide, we’ll break down the following:
- What is High Cable Chest Fly
- Muscle Worked During It
- How To Do High Cable Chest Fly
Let’s dive in!
- What is High Cable Chest Fly
- Muscle Worked During High Cable Chest Fly
- How To Do High To Low Cable Fly
- Tips To Properly Form High To Low Cable Fly
- High to Low Cable Fly Alternative
- 1. Decline Dumbbell Fly
- 2. Chest Dips
- 3. Incline Push-Ups
- 4. Resistance Band Chest Fly
- 5. Machine Pec Deck
- 6. Decline Bench Press
- Benefits of High Cable Chest Fly
- 14 Best Chest Exercises To Build Bigger Pecs
What is High Cable Chest Fly
The High cable chest fly also known as high to low cable fly is the best chest exercise that can help to train the chest at various angles and strengthen the chest and shoulders. It mainly targets the lower pectorals by pulling the arms from a high to a low angle.
This exercise is highly specialized in isolating the pectoral muscles. Unlike compound exercises such as bench presses, which target the chest, triceps and shoulders, the High Cable Chest Fly solely targets the chest.
The cable setup allows for a bigger range of motion than some other exercises, so the chest muscles can be stretched and contracted more fully. This increased range is great for chest development and flexibility.
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Muscle Worked During High Cable Chest Fly
The High cable chest fly primarily works the pectoralis muscles, specifically the lower chest muscles
High to low Cable fly has the involvement of a number of synergist muscles, these muscles include, rhomboids, levator scapulae, anterior deltoids, and latissimus dorsi. It is also assisted by are the biceps brachii, the brachialis, and the brachioradialis and Triceps.
A handful of other muscles play the role of stabilizer muscles, including your wrist flexors, obliques, and rectus abdominis.
The erector spinae muscles of your back help to keep the correct position of your joints as you perform the exercise.
How To Do High To Low Cable Fly
- Attach the D-shaped handles to the high pulleys on the cable machine. Ideally, they should be at head height or slightly above.
- Stand in the center of the cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Grasp the handles with an overhand grip and step forward to create tension in the cables.
- You can either place one foot slightly in front of the other in a staggered stance for balance, or keep your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart.
- Engage your core muscles and make sure your back is straight, chest out, and shoulders down.
- Keep your arms straight and bring the handles down and in front of your body. Do this in a sweeping motion.
- Pause for a moment at the bottom of the movement, then slowly return to the starting position.
- Repeat the 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions
Tips To Properly Form High To Low Cable Fly
- Maintain a slight bend in the elbows. Do not fully lock out the elbows.
- Keep your torso stable and core engaged. You should avoid excessive arching of the lower back when you bring the handles forward.
- Move the handles in an arc-like motion in front of your body, rather than straight out to your sides. This arc targets the pecs better.
- Keep your feet shoulder-width apart or in a staggered stance for better balance.
- Squeeze your chest hard at the peak contracted position before slowly returning to the starting position. Hold for a second to maximize muscle tension.
- Use a controlled motion on both the concentric and eccentric parts of the movement. No jerky momentum.
- Go through a full range of motion for maximum chest muscle activation.
- Inhale while you return to the starting position, and exhale when you contract the muscle.
- Keep your head neutral and your eyes focused forward to help maintain proper alignment.
- If needed, use lighter weight and higher reps to practice nailing down form before increasing the load.
- Occasionally perform the exercise in front of a mirror or film yourself to ensure your form is correct.
High to Low Cable Fly Alternative
If you’re looking to diversify your chest workout or don’t have access to a cable machine, there are several effective alternatives to the High to Low Cable Fly. Here are some to consider:
1. Decline Dumbbell Fly
If you want to add some variety to your chest workout, try decline chest fly exercises.
This powerful exercise specifically targets your lower pectoral muscles, helping you achieve superior upper body strength and aesthetics.
2. Chest Dips
Using parallel bars or dip stations, this bodyweight exercise focuses on the lower part of the chest when leaning slightly forward during the dip.
3. Incline Push-Ups
Incline push-ups are easier than compared to the normal push-ups ones because of the angle at which the exercise has to be done.
The incline surface means that more of the lower chest, shoulder muscles, tricep are used in incline push-ups.
4. Resistance Band Chest Fly
Using resistance bands anchored at a high point, you can perform a fly movement similar to the High to Low Cable Fly, ideal for home workouts.
5. Machine Pec Deck
Many pec deck machines allow for angle adjustments. Setting it to focus on the lower pecs can offer a similar muscle engagement as the High to Low Cable Fly.
6. Decline Bench Press
If you want to build greater thickness and strength in your lower pecs, then you should add decline dumbbell bench press to your training regime
It is also easy to learn and use, so it works well in both beginner and advanced training programs.
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Benefits of High Cable Chest Fly
- Targets the lower portion of the chest muscles.
- Provides a deep stretch in the chest muscles.
- Increases chest strength and size.
- Improves posture and shoulder stability.
- Maximizes tension within the pectoralis muscle group.
- Sparing the joints compared to traditional chest exercises like the bench press.
- Offers a constant resistance throughout the range of motion.
The high cable chest fly is clearly one of the best exercises you can do to directly target and build the chest muscles. By isolating the pecs, it provides all the benefits of a mass-building compound lift without the assistance of other muscle groups. This allows you to achieve an impressive chest.
If you want to improve your chest development, high cable chest flyes are a must in your push day routine.
14 Best Chest Exercises To Build Bigger Pecs
Manish brings over 10 years of hands-on experience in weight lifting and fat loss to fitness coaching. He specializes in gym-based training and has a lot of knowledge about exercise, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.
Through “Fit Life Regime,” he generously shares the insights he’s gained over a decade in the field. His goal is to equip others with the knowledge to start their own fitness journey.