T Nation

Flyes and Elbow Friendly Chest Work


So for the past 3 weeks I've switched my chest training around and I start with pec dec flyes, then cable flyes where I change the height of the handle every few sets. I follow these with incline DB presses, and hammer strength dips. I do this because the flyes are easy on my shoulders and elbows and also I can pre-exhaust my chest. So I have some questions...

1) Doing flyes I can feel my chest working better than doing any other exercise. I do the reps slow and I squeeze forcefully at the end of the motion, sometimes holding the handles together for a second or two. What do you guys think about doing flyes as the main movement for chest?

2) Any suggestions on elbow friendly exercises I could follow my flyes with? We have a few hammer strength chest machines, but they place a lot of stress on the joints it seems.

3) If any of you have unconventional chest training methods that you feel effective, please share.


i've brought my chest up from absolute garbage, so not entirely terrible by switching out flyes for presses, as my triceps were doing a considerable amount of the effort.

i'm not saying i dont do presses anymore, but focusing on flyes instead has def helped.


Like Holy Mac, I learned that just going to the gym and repeated benching as much as I could fit on the bar wasn't going to help MY chest look like Arnold no how how much I wanted it to. Ken Waller (former Mr. Universe, going waaaay back) relied heavily on flyes for his chest development. Certainly nothing wrong with some intelligent training, and by that I mean exercise selection based on what works for YOU, and even adjusting their order in your training to work around natural strengths and weaknesses.

Additionally, something I found that puts a little LESS stress on the elbow (I've had some issues with my left elbow this past year), is to eliminate the upper most portion of the ROM. Now, I realize that most people don't lock out their weights in order to keep tension on the chest muscles anyway, but I found that by fully eliminating a good 2-3 inches of the movement has allowed me to still move some considerable weights.

Bottom line will simply be to see what feels okay, and what doesn't, but definitely keep the pre-exhaust approach if your natural tendency is to bench with your delts and tris (I'm assuming of course that your form is accurate,... slight arch, elbows pinched etc..)



Something i have played with as both a finisher and a main movement is pause DB benches. looking for a good 2-3 second pause right above the chest. the time isnt important the whole purpose of the pause is to completely take momentum out of the exercise. For you it could work very well since the weight would be considerably lighter which would make it easier on the joints. I would say do them with stu's approach and not completely lock them out.


[quote]kirchman wrote:
Something i have played with as both a finisher and a main movement is pause DB benches. looking for a good 2-3 second pause right above the chest. quote]

I do these occasionaly they give me terrible DOMS, perhaps a little deeper though - my shoulders don't mind this.