You might not often think about the muscles in your shoulders and upper back—or how important they are. But it’s worth taking a moment to consider the wide range of movements and functions you perform every day that rely on those muscles.
From the work you do at your computer to the many tasks you perform at home, your shoulders and back are an integral part of how you move through life. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to keep your shoulder and upper back muscles well-conditioned so that they’re up to every challenge you throw at them: dumbbell reverse flys.
What Are Reverse Flys?
Reverse flys are a simple but effective exercise you can do at home or at the gym. They don’t require any fancy equipment or expensive personal trainers. In fact, all you need is a pair of dumbbells, a few spare minutes, and a tiny bit of determination.
If you’re wondering how to do a reverse fly with dumbbells, see these three easy steps:
Step #1 – Begin by grasping the dumbbells at your sides and standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, bend over so that your chest is parallel with the floor while keeping your legs and hips upright. Your arms should hang comfortably toward the floor.
Step #2 – Take a deep breath while holding that position. As you exhale, slowly raise your arms out and away from your body, as if you’re about to take flight. Remember to keep your elbows at a slight angle and focus on bringing your shoulder blades together where they meet at your spine.
Step #3 – On the inhale, slowly lower your arms to the starting position. As you do so, remember to keep your chin tucked toward your neck to ensure that your spine remains properly aligned throughout the exercise. Repeat the movement as many times as you feel fit or you can. For best results, take care not to hunch your shoulders during this step.
6 Benefits of Reverse Flys
For such a simple and relatively low-intensity exercise, you might be surprised by how many varied benefits you can gain from performing reverse flys with dumbbells. But the dumbbell reverse fly exercise focuses on important muscles in your shoulders and upper back that you use all day long.
This means that keeping those muscles strong, nimble, and well-conditioned can drastically improve your physical health in several ways.
Here are six reasons incorporating reverse flys into your exercise routine is an excellent idea:
They can strengthen rear shoulder muscles – Reverse flys work your posterior deltoids, the muscles at the rear of your shoulders. Keeping your shoulder muscles strong helps promote proper shoulder joint function and protects the joints from injury.1
They can help you build upper back muscles – Besides building upper arm strength, Reverse flys can also strengthen the rhomboid and trapezius muscles in your upper back, similar to a pullover exercise. These muscles are crucial for your posture and your mobility, so keeping them in prime condition is important.2
They can improve posture – Another function of the muscles in your rear shoulder and upper back is keeping you upright. When those muscles are strong, they’re better able to support the rest of your body, keeping your posture on point.3
They can help you with balance – Some studies link an array of shoulder and upper back issues with imbalance while standing, walking, or running, suggesting that taking care of those muscles can also keep you well-balanced.4
They may reduce pain and mobility issues – For people who work in offices or at computers, stress, strain, and pain in the shoulders and upper back can result from spending too much time hunched over their workstations. Reverse flys can help reduce pain associated with that kind of stress and help reduce the mobility issues that can occur.3
They can help with functional fitness – Performing reverse flys can be a boon to your overall functional fitness. Functional fitness refers to your ability to perform regular, everyday tasks and actions like picking things up, rising from a sitting position, or putting something away on a high shelf.5
From targeting different shoulder muscle groups to reducing pain, the simple dumbbell reverse fly exercise is worth adding to your upper body routine.
Build Your Body Better with Chuze Fitness
Knowing the exercises and workouts that can help you build a stronger, healthier body is one thing. But knowing how to incorporate them into your fitness routine is quite another. That’s where Chuze Fitness comes in.
At Chuze Fitness, our friendly team of fitness experts can help you discover the best exercises for your fitness goals and show you how to perform them safely and effectively. Whether you’ve got your eyes on incorporating turf workouts or trying out a barre workout, create your routine with Chuze Fitness.
With several facilities located in different states, you can easily find “gyms near me.” When you do, you’ll be introduced to a fitness community that’s there to support and encourage you in your fitness journey.
With fitness classes, our iChuze app for fitness anytime, and even a customized Spotify playlist to keep you pumped, Chuze fitness is the obvious choice. Keep your fitness journey on track with Chuze Fitness.
Ani is the Vice President of Fitness at Chuze Fitness and oversees the group fitness and team training departments. She’s had a 25+ year career in club management, personal training, group exercise and instructor training. Ani lives with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and loves hot yoga, snowboarding and all things wellness.
Share Care. Why should I do shoulder strengthening exercises? https://www.sharecare.com/health/strength-training/why-should-shoulder-strengthening-exercises
Cleveland Clinic. Trapezius Muscle. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/21563-trapezius-muscle
Very Well Fit. How to Do a Reverse Fly: Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes. https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-perform-the-reverse-fly-4684392
BMC. Balance ability and postural stability among patients with painful shoulder disorders and healthy controls. https://bmcmusculoskeletdisord.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2474-14-282#
Healthline. Why Functional Fitness Is Important for Everyone. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/functional-fitness-adults