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How To: High-To-Low Cable Fly

3 Golden Rules

By Scott Herman Published 

Today I’m going to give you some quick tips to help clean up your form on the HIGH-TO-LOW Cable Chest Fly.


Golden Rule #1: Maintain Proper Alignment

This is because a slight shift in the wrong direction can take this exercise from training your chest to placing a lot of unwanted stress in your shoulders and rotator cuff.

So, what’s the proper set-up and alignment for the High-To-Low Cable Fly?

Well, first you should ALWAYS check the height of the pulleys and they should be about the same height as your head. 

Then from here, grab the handles and step a few feet AWAY from the cable station so the weight you’re lifting never touches the rest of the stack during your set.

Once in place, STAGGER YOUR FEET for more stability and balance.

Keep your KNEES slightly bent so that the weight doesn’t pull you backwards.

And for added stability you should engage your glutes and flex your core with a slight arch in your back.

Then from here, make sure your shoulder blades are retracted and depressed (packed) and be sure to maintain a slight bend in your elbows to avoid stressing the elbow joint and your biceps.

Now, that might seem like a lot to think about, but it will become second nature extremely fast.  Trust me.

Golden Rule #2: Hands Come Together “Under” Your Chest

This is all about execution and the rule here is that your hands need to come together “under” your chest.

Chances are, if you’ve never really felt a cable fly in your chest, this is the reason. As you initiate the “fly” motion, you need to bring your hands together from underneath the chest, almost like you’re creating a slight scooping motion. It’s not just back and forth in a straight line.

However, you’ll NEVER be able to recreate this form if your shoulders are not retracted and depressed at the start of each rep and what ends up happening to most people, especially as they increase the weight, is that they start to roll their shoulders forward which ends up taking most of the tension out of the chest as the load transfers to the deltoids, rotator cuffs and serratus.

So, until you NAIL DOWN proper form, it might be best for you to slightly pause before each rep and make sure your chest is up and your shoulders are packed!

Golden Rule #3: Don’t Rush The Movement

Cable flys are not an “explosive” exercise.

They’re meant to be a controlled movement to help you focus on creating resistance throughout the entire range of motion for the most overall activation in your chest. 

Yes, you CAN go heavy here, but if you trained your chest hard enough on compound movements like the flat or incline bench press, you should be able to focus on bringing out the ultimate pump HERE with moderate weight sitting in a rep range of 8 to 10 reps.


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