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How To Do The One-Arm Cable Flye

One-arm cable flye
(Image credit: Getty Images / Kilito Chan)

When you think of the best chest exercises, the first thing that probably springs to mind is bench pressing heavy barbells. You probably don’t think about the cable machine – and yet the one-arm cable flye is one of the most effective ways to target pecs, and it serves up a side of abs work to boot.

Add it to your workout routine today using our form guide and a cable machine workout which includes the one-arm cable flye.

How To Do The One-Arm Cable Flye

Stand side-on to the cable machine, holding the high cable in the hand nearest to the machine. Split your stance so the leg further from the machine is forwards. Keep your core engaged throughout to resist the rotational pull of the cable and amplify the abs benefits of the exercise. Pull the cable down and across your body slowly, then reverse the motion with control. Do all your reps on one side, then switch.

Use The One-Arm Cable Flye In A Workout

Once you’ve secured your spot on a cable machine, make good use of it with this five-move workout that includes the one-arm cable flye.

1 High-to-low woodchop

Hold a cable at head height in both hands, standing side-on to the machine with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and your knees bent. Bring the cable down and across towards the opposite knee, then take it back to the starting position. Do all your reps on one side, then switch.

2 Cable lunge

Stand facing the cable machine, holding a low cable in both hands. Stand far enough away from the machine that there is tension in the cable. Step forwards into a lunge and lower until both knees are bent at 90°, then push back up to standing. Alternate legs with each rep.

3 High pull

Attach a long bar to the low cable and hold it in both hands. Pull the bar up to your chest, raising your elbows to the sides and keeping your shoulders down, then lower the bar slowly.

4 One-arm cable flye

As above.

5 Squat to row

Attach a small bar to the low cable and hold it in both hands facing the machine. Pull the bar in towards your abs and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Then extend your arms to move the bar back towards the machine, and pull it back in to your abs as you stand up.

Sam Rider
Sam Rider

Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix (opens in new tab). Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.

With contributions from