Reverse Flyes – How to perform the exercise

What are reverse flyes? Well, they are an exercise which can help you strengthen your shoulders and upper back. That’s an weightlifting exercise and you need to know the proper way to do it in order to prevent any injuries.

How to perform it

For starters lie on an inclined bench. Your stomach and your chest should be pressed against the incline. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip – meaning that the palms should be faced toward each other.

Extend your arms forward in a line perpendicular to the bench’s angle. Keep your legs stationary and apply pressure with your toes. That’s the starting position.

Keep your elbows slightly bend and start moving the dumbbells out and to the side (away from each other) doing this in an arc motion. Exhale during this part. For best results squeeze together your shoulder blades.

Continue with this motion until your arms reach a position parallel to the ground.
Now your muscles should contract. Then start slowly lowering down the dumbbells to reach starting position. Inhale during this part of the motion.

You can perform the exercise while standing up as well. In this case your feet should be apart from each other at a hip-width. Keep your knees soft and your arms should be by your sides with a dumbbell in each hand. Your back and neck should be in a neutral position. Hinge at your hips and lean your torso at around 45 degrees forward. Your hands should be hanging below your shoulders with your palms facing in. Then exhale and laterally lift the dumbbells up with an arching motion until they reach the height of your shoulders. Pause for a second and start lowering the dumbbells down.

Mistakes to avoid

Don’t arch your back for this not only decreases the effectivity of the exercise but also makes you more prone to injuring yourself due to putting too much stress on your lower back.

And do not forget to warm up before starting this exercise. Do several pull-ups or push-ups to activate the muscles on the back which are worked out with the reverse flyes.

Avoid going too heavy. Choose a weight you are comfortable with otherwise your risk injuring yourself. Quality over quantity. That’s a tough exercise and you should choose dumbbells with less weight than those you lift in other exercises.

Remember to use the full range of motion – don’t lift the dumbbells only partially and always go back to starting position.

And don’t try to use the body momentum. This reduces the overall efficiency of the reverse flyes. If you have to use momentum to perform the exercise, then you are going too heavy.

More advices

Don’t swing the weights in order to lift them up, nor use momentum to do this.
Remember not to round your back during the exercise for this places too much stress on it.
Rather, keep is straight.
And focus on breathing properly.
Here is a helpful video which shows how reverse flyes are done:

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