If you’re just beginning to develop your chest muscles, the Machine Fly is a great place to start. Very little weight produces great results, and the machine ensures proper form for safe fitness practices.
A Brief Introduction
The Machine Fly is a strength training exercise using a machine that targets the chest muscles. Also called seated lever fly, Butterfly or Pec Dec fly, it works the pectorals and anterior deltoids. The seated lever version also works the biceps due to a slightly different arm position.
History In Brief
Not much is known about the development of the Machine Fly, though fly machines for several types of exercises became popular in the 1980s as a safer option than free-weight lifts, in which it is more difficult to maintain proper form. Machine Fly exercises remain popular today because they are easy to use and have built-in stability.
What Type Of Exercise Is Machine Fly?
The Machine Fly is a compound strength training exercise. It is based on a free-weight lift called the chest fly, and the amount of weight used is adjustable. It offers foundational muscle training for the pectorals, making it an important step in strength training before moving on to more advanced chest lifts.
Preparing To Use A Machine Fly
First, set up the machine for your use by adjusting the seat lever up or down to find the right height, where your feet are flat on the ground. Some machines also let you adjust the arm levers, depending on the length of your arms.
Second, choose your weight setting.
How The Machine Fly Is Done
Follow these steps to do a proper Machine Fly workout:
- Sit tall, with relaxed neck and shoulder muscles. Keep both feet flat on the floor.
- Hold the handles with your palms facing frontward.
- Slowly and with elbows slightly bent, press your arms together so that they meet in front of your chest.
- When you’ve closed your arms as far as possible, hold the position for one second.
- Slowly release your hold and bring your arms back out to where they started. Concentrate on feeling your chest open up.
- Complete 7-10 reps, pausing in between to rest your muscles appropriately.
Working the pectorals is important because these muscles are responsible for moving the shoulder joint. The pectorals are very useful in daily living, such as in pushing open a heavy door, lifting a child or picking up a bag of groceries.
The Machine Fly also offers the following benefits:
- Great pectoral exercise for beginners
- Supportive, seated positions (no stability concerns)
- Safe to do if you have a lower body injury
- Effective results with much less weight than other pectoral exercises
Machine Fly Variations
There are two different machine designs available for this same exercise, one seated and one standing. Machine Fly can also become an abdominal workout by using one arm at a time. This is called Single-Arm Machine Fly.
The Machine Fly is a low-risk, high-reward strength training exercise. It is suitable for beginners and advanced fitness buffs alike, as it offers both stronger pectoral muscles and benefits to daily living.