Health Advocate Blog

Workout of the Week: Bent-Over Dumbbell Reverse Flys

This week’s workout is the Bent-Over Reverse Flys. Similar to the Dumbbell Chest Flys we talked about a couple weeks ago, Bent-Over Reverse Flys, or Bent-Over Reverse Dumbbell Flys, is a very popular isolation exercise for upper-body athletes and bodybuilders because it effectively strengthens your shoulder, triceps, and back muscle groups.

This exercise requires the use of dumbbells or weights to be held in your hands, but other objects around the house like paint buckets or gallon jugs can work as a substitute. This exercise can be done either sitting or standing, but it’s important to remember to keep your back straight while doing this exercise. Improper form of this exercise can cause tension to be placed on your back, which can cause serious injury. It is recommended to start this exercise with a light weight while you learn the proper technique, and then you can add on more weight once you are sure you’re using proper form.

Here’s how to do them:

  1. Begin by either sitting or standing (whichever is more comfortable) with your arms hanging by your side, holding weights in each hand.
  1. Slowly lean forward, sticking your chin and your chest out. Keep your eyes straight ahead—this will help you from putting any unwanted strain on your neck. Let your arms come forward and bend your elbows so the weights are parallel with your chest. This will be your starting position.

Bent Over Raise 1

3. Next, slowly pull your arms back as if you were trying to touch your shoulder blades together, keeping that bend in your elbows as you do so. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds.

Bent Over Raise 2


  1. Finally, slowly lower the weight back down in a controlled motion till you reassume the starting position.
  1. Congratulations, you just completed one Bent-Over Reverse Fly! Continue steps 3 and 4 in a slow and controlled repetition.
  1. Try doing 2-3 sets of about 10-12 Bent-Over Reverse Flys. As you begin to build muscle in your shoulders and triceps over time, try adding more weight.



  • To ensure correct posture and form, keep your eyes looking forward as you do your repetitions. This helps prevent placing unnecessary strain on your neck.
  • Keep in mind that throughout the movement, your elbows should be bent to prevent straining your wrist or other joints.
  • If you feel an abnormal amount of pressure in your shoulders, chest or back, stop this exercise immediately and consult your doctor.

We hope you’ll try Bent-Over Reverse Flys over the weekend and then build them into your daily routine Monday through Friday of the coming week.

Want more fitness ideas?  If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for more healthy ideas to get—and stay—fit. And remember, talk to your doctor before beginning any new fitness regimen.