T Nation

Chest Flies and Shoulder Pain


i know when doing heavy presses it’s better for shoulders to keep shoulders back through the movement, but recently I’ve started doing flies letting my shoulders move forward I’ve found I get a contraction far better than when keeping shoulders back, but I’ve started to get a little shoulder pain, I’m wondering if this is the cause, or exasperating the problem, or an underlying problem that has come about from increasing my chest volume?

Any help would be great, thanks guys


Just my .02, could be a couple of things. One of them could be your heavy presses catching up with you and causing you some shoulder pain later on in your session. Another could be simply using too much weight for flies, as I think most people do. Are you using cables or dumbbells? Personally, I’ve found flies work better for me (better pump, no shoulder pain, easier to initiate movement with pecs and keep the tension there) with cables and pec deck.

Be sure whichever version you’re doing, you’re using a weight that allows you to initiate tension and movement from the pecs and get a great squeeze. You should feel like you’re flexing your pecs, and your arms are just an extension of your pecs. If you feel like you’re moving the weight from your shoulders/arms, especially biceps, try going lighter. I think flies work best in a higher rep range, (anywhere from 10-15) as lower rep ranges tend to use more weight, and it’s just harder to keep flies in the pecs with that much weight. Again just my thoughts!


Thanks for reply, before I get onto you post It is only in one arm and I’ve noticed my rotator cuff in this arm is much weaker. Week of band work every day before next chest workout see if helps at all.

I get away with decline flies buy anything flat or incline gives me bother, I’ve completely boycotted db flies as I think they are a waste, I’ve never had any luck with them.

I do machine flies and decline cable flies, I don’t think it’s the weight as If I go lighter I don’t get as good of a contraction

Currently doing fst 7
So routine looks like
Incline db 4x10
Decline cable fly 4x12
Flat db pres 4x12
Machine flies 7x12