Build a strong, broad chest with the cable flye, says Shaun Stafford, fitness model and performance director of City Athletic gym.

What’s the best move for a big chest? Most men would probably say the trusty bench press – but that’s not necessarily true. Here’s why you’re better off doing the flye.

“The fibres of the pectoral muscles run from your sternum up towards your armpits,” says Stafford.

“The flye lets you work the muscles in the direction their fibres run, unlike the bench press.

“That allows for greater contraction, a greater stretch and an increased range of motion for full pec development, with additional strength benefits that carry over into all your pressing moves.”

Here Stafford demonstrates this top-notch chest-building exercise.

Save it for the end of your upper-body session, slow it down and start light so your form doesn’t suffer.


  • Set the handles of a dual-cable crossover machine at their highest point.
  • Take a handle in each hand and kneel between the stands, positioning yourself with your hands just above your ears and slightly behind you so your chest is stretched.


  • Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, contract your chest to pull the handles so they meet in front of you, just above your stomach.
  • Slowly allow the cables to pull your arms back to the start position.


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Photography: Tom Miles and Mike Prior