Big compound lifts like bench presses and rows get plenty of attention, and for very good reason, but there’s always a place for some isolation exercises if they’re used at the right time and in the right way. When it comes to chest training, the dumbbell flye is one of those sometimes-useful isolation movements, and it’s about to get cranked up a notch.
The floor flye is to the standard dumbbell flye what the floor press is to the basic bench press. By lying flat on the floor, you’re not only limiting the full range of motion, but more importantly you’re able to start each rep from a dead stop, which reduces your muscles’ stretch reflex advantage.
By trying to eliminate the stretch reflex, you have to rely almost entirely on the actual contraction of just the chest muscles, which produces gains in size and strength; but the trade-off is having to use a reduced weight. When you start learning the floor flye, use less than you’d lift in a standard dumbbell flye.
2-3×8-12, pausing for a full one or two seconds at the bottom of each rep, should get your pecs working like never before. Ease into this one, though, because if it feels like Brock Lesnar caught you in an arm bar between sets, you’ll want to work on your upper body flexibility.