Pec Fly Push or Pull – Everything There Is to Know!

Considering pec fly to give your body a killer shape? But confused about whether it’s a push or pull exercise? It’s a rather common confusion as you have to both push and pull the pec deck handle. So you aren’t alone. 

Now the main question is, pec fly push or pull exercise? 

Pec fly is one of the best push exercises for building chest muscle. You will get triceps muscle support and shoulder benefits too. Additionally, it will give you a bit of benefit from the pull exercise. As a partial pull exercise, it will strengthen your upper arms and overall core. 

Wanna know more about pec fly and push/pull exercises? Here I have rounded up all the details about push, pull, and peck exercises. So, keep reading.

Pec Fly Push Or Pull Exercise

Pec fly is technically a push exercise. The priority of pec fly is to increase chest muscle mass and upper body strength.

Primarily, it will give you the benefits of a push exercise as it’s an intense chest workout. Also, it increases shoulder and triceps muscle strength. 

In pec fly, you have to push the pec deck to handle together and return them by pulling. This is done with a certain amount of weight. Therefore, your upper body muscles stretch and contract with severe pressure.

As a bonus, doing pec fly, you will get partial benefit from the pull exercise. You wanna know how? For that, you have to know what muscles work during a pec exercise. 

So, if we summarize the whole thing, this is what we get.  

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ExerciseMuscle Group
Pec FlyChest, shoulder, triceps, biceps, forearm
PushChest, shoulder, triceps
PullUpper back, arms, biceps


Pec Fly Push

What Muscle Does Pec Fly Work?

As an intense workout, pec fly covers a vast area of the upper body. Let’s see the pec fly target muscle group. 

Pectoralis Major

This is the primary chest muscle. It is located on the front of the upper torso. This is the muscle that mostly moves while performing pec fly. while using the pec deck machine, it helps swing and bring the arm together. 

Pectoralis Minor

This flat, thin muscle lies beneath the pectoralis major and assists it during pec fly. 

Serratus Anterior

It is found on the sides of your chest, above the first 8 ribs. It is also a major muscle involved in pec fly.

Anterior Deltoids

It is located on the front of the shoulder. It works with the pectoralis while pec fly exercise, to flex the shoulder joint. 

What Muscle Does Pec Fly Work

Pec Fly Push Or Pull: Well, It’s A Push

So, pec fly covers the upper and lower chest by moving the pectoralis major and minor respectively. Also, it covers the sides of the chest by Serratus anterior. 

So, we can see, the pec fly exercise covers the full chest area intensely. It also covers the shoulder muscles. This is how it gets the full benefit of push exercise. 

Furthermore, you have to significantly straighten your elbows and swing your arms against intense pressure. Also while pulling the deck handles together, your biceps muscles contract.

This is how some pull exercises also happen. As a pull exercise, this will help strengthen your arms, especially the biceps. 

Now you know if pec fly is a push or pull exercise. Talking about this, another question may arise in your mind. What about chest fly? Find out whether it’s a push or pull exercise. 

Push And Pull Exercise

Push and pull exercises are divided.  Because they are targeted toward different parts and muscles of the upper body. This exercise is very popular among bodybuilders. Because it gives the option to choose which group of body muscles they wanna work on.

So, divide push and pull exercises into alternative days. That’s how you can give your muscles more time to heal. 

Let’s see the benefits of push and pull exercises. 

Push Exercises Gym Benefits

Pushing exercises are upper body stretching exercises using a pushing motion. This type of exercise mainly emphasizes upper body muscles such as the chest, shoulder, and triceps. Besides, it helps strengthen the bones and joints.

Now can you relate it with the pec fly exercise?

Popular push exercises are push-ups, overhead shoulder press, bench press, shoulder press, dumbbell lateral raise, etc. Learn everything about the best push exercises. By following them, you will get a powerful upper body. 

Pull Exercises Gym Benefit

In pull exercise, we do the opposite method of push exercise. This exercise involves a contraction of the muscle. Here, the muscles are shrunk while pulling the equipment together. 

Pull exercise covers upper body muscles such as the back, forearms, and biceps. So, these muscles are strengthened and enhanced in this exercise. Pec fly covers only a portion of the pull exercise, as in, forearms and biceps.

Some of the best pull exercises are deadlifts, pull-ups, chin-ups, barbell bent-over row, etc. 

Pec Deck Risks & Prevention

Pec fly undoubtedly is one of the most effective chest-building exercises. But working in a pec deck can be risky too. 

Pec deck machines can be hard on the shoulder joints. In this machine, your shoulder is placed in the dislocation position. Which is a very unstable position. 

So it is very uncomfortable. Besides, It can tear your ligament or dislocate your shoulder joint or make them stiff.

But If you somehow end up with a stiff joint or ligament, try this really effective solution. 

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Pec fly exercise will benefit you only when you do it properly and safely. So, follow these tips below to have a safe workout session while using a pec deck. 

Machine Adjustment

The first requirement before using the machine would be to adjust it properly to your body. Adjust the seat in a way that, 

  • Handles or arm pads are level with your chest
  • Your feet are properly touching the ground

Ensure Proper Breathing

Proper breathing is crucial during this exercise. Remember to exhale when you pull the handles together and inhale while pushing them back. 

Complete The Pull

To do the exercise properly, you must pull the deck handles all the way. Sometimes you may not be able to finish a set. See what you can do when you can’t finish a set

If you find it very difficult to do so, one of the reasons can be overweight. You are maybe using more weights than you should. This leads us to our next tip.

Do not Put Overweight

If you take on more weight than your capacity, there is a high chance of mishaps. You may end up having muscle pull or ligament strain. You will know, you took a high amount of weight when you find the workout too intense.

Don’t Rush 

You should keep the deck handles together for 3-4 seconds and then push them again. Also, after every rep, there should be a gap for at least 3-4 seconds. 

Always push and pull the deck handles slowly. Pushing or pulling it in a rush can be very dangerous. It can strain the muscle or tear the ligament. So, take your time. 

Be Careful With Your Elbow

A common mistake gym enthusiasts make is to lock their elbows straight during pec fly. This can cause strain on the elbow and ligament injury. So, always bend your elbow a little bit. 

If you feel any unusual pain on your shoulder or arm while pec flying, stop immediately. If you have a prior shoulder problem, pec fly won’t be a good choice for you. Other than that, by following these safety measures, you should be fine. 


How To Use Pec Fly Machine?

Firstly Select the proper amount of weight and adjust the machine. Seat on the machine grabbing the handle. Keep your feet on the ground. Then slowly pull the handles together using your forearms. Wait for 3-4 seconds and slowly push the arms back in the prior position. Repeat the process.

Is There Any Pec Fly Exercise Alternative? 

If a pec deck isn’t available or you aren’t comfortable with pec fly, there are alternatives. Such as dumbbell floor fly, sliding push-up, chest dips, archer push-up, crossover chest fly, etc. these exercises will also help you gain upper-body, especially chest strength. 

Is Pec Fly And Chest Fly Same?

Although both pec fly and chest fly help strengthen the chest muscle, there are some differences. Pec fly is done while seated. It moves Serratus Anterior muscle which benefits the shoulder. whereas, chest fly is done while lying down, moving the Biceps Brachii muscle. So it benefits the biceps more. 


I hope, now your confusion about either pec fly push or pull exercise has been cleared. Also now you know which muscles it does work on. 

So get started on the hard work. Most importantly, never forget to follow the safety measures. Best wishes on your desired body. 

Have a good day!

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