How to Do a Reverse Fly With Proper Form


Like Achilles himself, many of us have weakness when lifting weights that make our movements less effective and put us at the risk of injury. “When doing any kind of strength training, you want to focus on position, alignment, and then movement,” says Nicole Uribarri, program director and founding instructor of Bande. One such exercise that she sees people struggle with is the reverse fly. “Reverse flies are a great exercise to strengthen the muscles of your back, improve your posture, and lengthen and open up the muscles of the chest,” says Uribarri. “Unfortunately, a lot of us perform this exercise incorrectly.”

And to repeat (because this part is important): Improper form not only increases your risk of injury, it also prohibits you from working your muscles properly and getting stronger. In this week’s episode of Well+Good’s YouTube series The Right Way, Uribarri breaks down three common mistakes she sees people make when attempting a reverse fly. Then, she demos how to do it the right way. Here’s what to know.

The most common mistakes with reverse fly

1. Shoulders are forward: Uribarri says that she sees a lot of people crunching their shoulders forward into their neck, which doesn’t activate the muscles of the back.

2. Going too fast: Another common mistake she sees is that people try to bang out reps quickly. When you focus on taking your time and trying to activate the muscles of the back, you’re often better able to activate the muscles that wrap around the spine. In the long run, this can make your back stronger and improve your posture, she says.

3. Weights are too heavy: “Another mistake that I see is people grabbing weights that are way too heavy, and then [they] try to rely on momentum to get that weight up again,” Uribarri says. Instead, she suggests using a lower weight, which enables you to actually activate your back muscles and improve your strength.

Now that you know the warning signs of improper technique, watch the video to see how to do a reverse fly the right way.

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