Exercises You Should Be Doing: DB Fly Away

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Pareto’s Principle states that 80% of the effects will result from 20% of the causes.

This “rule” can be applied to everything from farming to business (and everything in between).

  • 80% of the profit comes from 20% of the yield.
  • 80% of your sales comes from 20% of your clients.
  • 80% of why I never got laid in college came from 20% of watching Lord of the Rings on a Friday night rather than go out drinking.

See! It works for everything.

I’m a “strength” guy through and through.

For most trainees, most of the time, placing a priority and premium on the “big rocks” (I.e., 20%) – multi-joint, compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench press, chin-up/pull-ups, rows, and carries1 – will lead to 80% of the results.

More strength, more fat-loss, glutes that would make Bret Contreras shit an EMG study,”peckier” pecs, I don’t know, a lot of cool things happen when people focus on the basics.

The less fluff the better, if you ask me.

That said, as I’ve gotten older and the more experience I’ve accumulated as a coach (14+ years), the less militant I’ve gotten in my ways.

Don’t get me wrong: I still have my core values and beliefs as a fitness professional (deadlifts solve everything, people who don’t eat meat make me sad), and am set in my ways to some degree. However, I can’t neglect the fact that as a fitness professional I am in the service industry, and at the end of the day, again, to some degree, I am at the mercy of what the client wants.

Moreover, speaking from personal experience, I’ve found that as I’ve inched closer and closer to 40, my body is responding quite well – dare I say, eloquently – to more healthy-doses of isolation/bodybuilder-centric type movements.

I’m still focusing on the “big rocks.”  However, if anything, it’s been fun to toss in some isolation work for my shoulders, arms, legs, hair follicles, whateverthefuck.

N=1 doesn’t mean much, but I’ve seen a nice increase in my strength since I’ve indulged myself more brotastic training modalities.

NOTE: Check out Bryan Krahn’s fantastic post, Over 40 Training is a Scam for a nice synopsis of my thoughts on the topic. He said things way better than I ever could.

Cutting to the chase I wanted to share a new (to me) exercise that fits the bill on this discussion.

DB Fly Away


Who Did I Steal It From: the bro-master himself, John Romaniello.

What Does It Do:  It increases the likelihood that your pecs will cut diamonds. Truthfully, as much as I think the bench press should be a staple in any well-designed strength training program, for hypertrophy (muscle-growth) purposes it’s kind of a dud.

Yes, you can build a monster chest with the bench press. Relax.

I much prefer dumbbell variations, however, which allow for more humeral adduction (which happens to be one of the prime actions of the pectoral muscles).

Key Coaching Cues: Um, yeah, sorry for the crotch shot in the video above.

This is a hybrid, 2 for 1, exercise…combining both a press and fly.

All you’re going to do here is press the DBs as you would for a normal pressing exercise, but on the way down you’ll perform a “fly” motion moving the DBs away from the midline of the body.

Bring them back together and repeat.

You’re so sexy.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.
  1. And, okay, maybe a bicep curl, or two. Or 27.

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