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  1. #1
    Registered User matteomacc89's Avatar
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    Question Involvement of pectoral in flies/cross vs press

    Hi all!
    We all know that the overall best movement for the development of the pecs is the press/pushing, whether it's with dumbbell, barbell, machine and so on.
    My question is: is there a significant difference from the mechanical/anatomical prospective regarding the involvement of the pecs in the "pushing" movement vs cross movement? Does the muscle work in a different way or the reason why the press movement is better is purely because you can lift a heavier weight hence stressing the muscle harder?
    I hope I made myself clear. I have no in depth knowledge of anatomy that's why I came up with this question.
    Thanks
    Last edited by matteomacc89; 06-02-2020 at 04:48 AM.
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I don't think it matters if you keep your elbows in a fixed postition like with a fly or if they move like with a press. What matters is the force exerted and resistance provided at different points in the range of motion.

    For this reason, I don't like flys with weights or cables behind you. That is too similar to pressing. The real benefit of isolation exercises is to present a different force curve and potentially emphasise different motor units in the muscle. When combined with pressing, that will produce the most comprehensive stimulus.

    So I prefer cable flys with widely spaced cables. Pec deck machines are actually quite good too because they have a rotational path and usually ensure constant resistance along that path.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    There is some difference between movements.
    On the BP for example your with mobility because a bar fixes the arms in a position so they only move so far compared to using DB's.
    True you can use more weight but thats not necessarily going to develop the muscle the best way.
    When you overload with heavier weight you recruit more of the muscles to complete the lift.
    DB's are good as your arms can move more freely in a arc type motion.
    The issue can be how you do them.
    Some people let the DB's fall in together taking off tension on the pecs.
    There is even with DB's a point where the tension is small toward the top.
    Cable movements are really good at providing full range tension but need to be done precisely to effectively hit the pecs in the best way.
    Many machines these days are designed to address these issues mentioned above.
    Years ago when i trained at a commercial gym they had hammer strength BP machines that went in the best groove for development purposes.They start with an outward hand position and move inward as you press going along with the function of the chest upper arm moving inward for a good contraction.
    Im sure these days there are many good machines out there for the chest.
    I hope this answers some of your question.
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  4. #4
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Years ago when i trained at a commercial gym they had hammer strength BP machines that went in the best groove for development purposes.They start with an outward hand position and move inward as you press going along with the function of the chest upper arm moving inward for a good contraction.
    OP, if you have access to a seated hammer strength BP machine you may want to try sitting sideways and pressing your inside arm (that's against the seatback) outwards across your body.

    Many people do crossover flies/pec deck to try to hit the inner chest, but you can push more weight doing these and hit your chest using a diff motion than regular presses. Plus you can do them without the shoulder issues many people have when they go heavy on flies/pec deck.
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