Cable Fly vs Dumbbell Fly – Which is Better for Chest Isolation?

If you had to pick one.

If you want to isolate your chest, some people will tell you to do flys. But there is more than one way to do it, depending on what equipment you have available. Cable fly vs dumbbell fly, which one should you do?

Most people know that to build a bigger chest and improve their strength, one of the best exercises you can do is the barbell bench press. However, most people also know that you need to vary your training otherwise you will hit a plateau and stop making gains.

Well, how about the fly? It is one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favourite exercises and he was a beast while competing in the bodybuilding scene. But you could also choose to do the fly in different ways. Cable fly vs dumbbell fly, which one should you pick?

* Note: the cable fly is also known as the cable crossover.

man performs effective shoulder exercise with dumbbells
Dumbbell fly

Both exercises follow the same movement pattern and that is why some people consider comparing them to see which is best. You build the most muscle at the bottom of the exercise when your pecs are in a stretch position and under tension.

In the battle of cable fly vs dumbbell fly, Scott Herman, CEO of Muscular Strength, fitness coach and YouTube sensation, gives his point of view on the matter.

Cable Fly vs Dumbbell Fly

According to Herman, if you have a hard time building that mind-muscle connection, you should implement the cable crossover into your training routine. “Because […] you have constant resistance being placed on your chest whether at the bottom of the movement or at the top when your hands are together.”

However, for more muscle damage and subsequently more growth at the bottom of the movement when you have your chest very stretched, the dumbbell fly is superior to isolating your chest.

It is important to know that, according to Jeff Cavaliere, another fitness coach and physical therapist, the dumbbell fly is one of the worst chest exercises because it places your shoulder joint at increased risk of injury.

VIDEO – Cable Fly vs Dumbbell Fly

Read More: 15 Chest Exercises Ranked Worst to Best

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