Cable Flys Variations and Exercise Tips

A cable fly comes in so many variations. So, in this article by, we look at the most common types. We also look at some of the commonest mistakes exercisers make while using them. 

Cable Flys Variations


Standing Cable Fly vs. Seated Cable Fly

You need to have more control over your core when using standing cable flyes. Also, the ratio between body weight and strength should also be high. If you are strong but light, performing with a cable fly in a standing position may be difficult for you. 

In that case, have something to support your back for added stability. This allows you to better focus on your chest muscles. 

One Arm Cable Flys

A chest fly is best used one at a time. This allows room for focusing on the pectoralis major. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can use the low-to-mid fly bilaterally with amazing effects. 

What’s more, as you alternate between arms giving each one 90 seconds to work out, each arm naturally gets the required rest so you don’t have to take rest in between. To use this fly, you must be methodical and slow. 

Low to Mid Cable Flys

These are one of the best exercising tools if you want to tone and shape the pectoralis major. Unlike many other flys, this one is impossible to cheat.  

Pronated Grip Cable Flys

The pronated grip is a resistance training exercise wherein your palms face away from the body. Your knuckles stay on top of a dumbbell, kettlebell, or bar.

A cable fly with a pronated grip is also a similar exercise tool. It is used for pullups, bicep curls, barbell squats, etc. A cable fly with a pronated grip is used for doing shoulder and bench presses. 

While using these, make sure that your posture, breathing techniques, and form – are all well-adjusted.

Standing low & High Cable Flys 

This particular cable fly is one of the variations on chest fly. You use these when it comes to building the push muscles including shoulders, triceps, and chest. It can be tough to work with a low to high cable fly unless you have great core stability. 

Therefore, it’s best if you use it as an accessory movement when. You can include several movements in your routine such as chest workout, upper body workout, push workout, and full-body workout.

Exercise Tips When Using Cable Flys

Standing Cable Flys

  • Imagine hugging a tree while performing this exercise to get a better output.
  • Avoid squeezing the handles too tightly. This could over recruit the biceps and the forearms, resulting in pecs activation.
  • Do not touch or bang the handles when you reach peak contraction. This will help to maintain constant tensions among the right muscle groups.
  • Make sure that the elbows always remain slightly bent. Also, never bring the weight lower than the point where you start to experience any pressure or pain in shoulder joints.
  • Avoid arching your back too much and also ensure some degree of tension in the abs area.
  • Use mindfulness throughout the routine. 


Decline cable fly

Mistake #1 – One of the common mistakes people with decline cable flys is maintaining an incorrect setup. For example, they may rush through the setup and dive right in. This can compromise their form.

The right way to do things is to grab the handles first and then take a step back. Pull the weight near the chest and then walk ahead. Punch the handles while keeping your feet staggered. Keep the wrists in line with the shoulders.

Mistake #2 – Another common mistake is leaning too forward. More often than not, people would lunge or lean too forward while using this fly.

The solution is to decline properly. Maintain a staggered stance. Use the weight in the right angle in comparison with the front leg. Maintain a slight bend in the elbows with the chest lifted.

Open the arms and bring them to the chest level on the side. Keep the shoulder blades squeezed. Pull the weight down using your chest to the start point. Bring them to the same angle as your legs. Continue and repeat.

Seated Cable Row

Common Mistake – One of the commonest mistakes with using a seated cable row is maintaining poor posture. If you hunch your shoulders or around your back, it might increase your chances of sustaining an injury. Also, you should avoid leaning back too much. 

A good way is to start off is by sitting at the machine. Bend your knees slightly as you place them on the platform. Extend your arms straight to sit in the right position and grab the handles. Engage your core by sitting up tall.

Keep your shoulders back, spine straight, and chest up. Pull the handle towards the chest by bending elbows. After that squeeze your shoulder blades as though you’re holding a paper between them.

Hold for a count before bringing them back to the starting position. Continue to repeat.


Biceps Cable Curl

Mistake #1 – The key to proper exercising is maintaining the right form. When your form is right, you can target all the right muscles and also prevent injuries. If you find it hard to maintain control while flexing your arms, that could be a huge problem. 

Solution – As you bring the handle towards your chest, make sure not to lift the elbows up to the shoulder height. If it’s too much for your body, go for a lighter weight. Also, never lose focus on your form.

Triceps Cable Extension

A common mistake while using tricep cable extension is bending over. Most people do it to secure some leverage over their weight. But, that’s not the right way to do it. When you engage your core your body should be tall. Also, this move must be performed slowly and with complete control if you want to reap the benefits. 

Solution – One quick fix is to bend your arms ninety degrees, bring the elbows close to the sides, bend the knees slightly, and place the feet together. After that, grab your ropes and stand in front of weights.

While engaging your core and keeping the elbow still, bring your arms down to the side and then return back to the original position. Repeat this step.

Seated cable lat pulldown

Common mistake – A common mistake is to hold the bar down and pull it behind the neck. This is a huge error as it can result in a lot of neck issues and shoulder problems.

Solution – Sit down in front of the weights. Hold the bar handle. Keep your core tight and your spine erect. Now pull down the bar bringing it closer to the chest. Lean back just a bit so you can pull it behind your face without hitting the chin. 

Imagine pulling down your shoulder blades as though you’re trying to bring them to the level of your back pockets. While slowly resisting the weight, go back to the original position. Repeat this step.

Other Additional Tips

Below are some more common mistakes that you must avoid while working with flys –


Holding Your Breath

Most people, as they’re engaging their chest muscles, would hold their breath for several movements. It’s called bracing. When you’re doing light exercise, you don’t necessarily need this fast method. 

It’s only helpful when you use more weight and when the movements get difficult. But, as a beginner, you should reset your breath with every repetition.

Using Legs

A lot of people would press their feet to hold steady and give the body that momentum they need for more power. However, remember – that you’re training for chest muscles; not the legs. If you notice doing this often, try decreasing the weight you are picking.

Arching Your Back

Many people would arch their backs while exercising. Often this can result in lower back injuries. It’s crucial that you maintain a good posture throughout the exercise. Also, stand tall and maintain steady contact with whatever is supporting you on the back. 

Using Momentum

Maintain controlled and slow movement every time you lift and lower down the weights. Going too quick may result in bigger momentum but you won’t be able to train your muscles.

Safety and Precautions Tips

It’s always best to familiarize yourself with the equipment. The same kind of machine can come in different variations which means you may have to make some adjustments to support your form.

Also, adjust your seat before you add weight. Try a couple of repetitions while there are no weights.

During the exercise, you should feel some of the effects on your chest and also in the shoulders and biceps (only a little). But, if you feel intensity in the wrists and shoulders, get off the machine and seek assistance.

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