Upper Body: Flys on a Roller

Upper Body: Flys on a Roller

Level: Intermediate, Advanced.

Flys on a roller is another upper body exercise that works  shoulders, upper arms and chest. It is a fabulous core activator,  as you are using a weight at the end of a long lever, particularly if you are performing unilateral flys. The video below was filmed concurrently with a photo shoot….apologies for the photographer walking into view!

Set Up:

  • supine lying on a roller as per basic set up,
  • weights in each hand, arms raised over body, centred over sternum,
  • elbows slightly bent, palms facing each other,
  • deep tummy and shoulder blade muscles slightly contracted.
set up flys on a roller


  1. maintaining deep tummy and shoulder blade contractions and slight elbow flexion,
  2. slowly lower weights out to side, until parallel with floor,
  3. return slowly to starting position maintaining slight elbow flexion,
  4. repeat x 15-20. 2-3 sets
bilateral flys on a roller


  • keep weights over chest, do not let them creep up over your eyes,
  • make sure that while you are performing your flys on a roller that your ribs don’t pop ie your thoracic spine should stay in contact with the roller and breathing should be normal and into the diaphragm. Check that your weights are not too heavy if this is not achievable,
  • don’t let shoulders creep up ears, ie keep neck relaxed and chin slightly tucked,
  • maintain wrist neutral or slight wrist extension,
  • maintain lumbar spine neural throughout exercise,
  • keep deep tummy and shoulder blade muscles slightly contracted throughout exercise.

Make It Harder:

  • do unilateral flys, either alternating sides or all reps one side then repeated all reps on the other side,
  • include flys as part of an upper body routine with bench press and triceps
unilateral flys on a roller