I’ll Flye Away . . . Or maybe Not

Some lessons must be learned over and over again. Such as: Don’t let Lucy hold the football. Parquet floors are slippery. Over-enthusiasm plus long-neglected exercise equals aches in all sorts of places. And flyes are miserable, at least ten hours later they are.

If your computer is flagging “flye” as a misprint, you are not alone. A flye is a type of exercise for the upper body that involves waving one’s arms around, a bit like a bird flapping. It is not related to Flyshe, a German term for a type of rock.

Your basic flye.

Your basic flye.

The flye is one of those exercises that uses a lot of muscles all at once, so it is very good when you are wanting to work relatively quickly without focusing on one muscle (as opposed to dumbbell curls for the bicep, for example). You can do cable flyes using a machine, cable-crossover-flyedumbbell flyes plain, dumbbell flyes at an incline that work different muscles at different intensities, and flyes where you are leaning forward, again to work still slightly different muscle groups.

Another variation. I wouldn't go quite so far back with my shoulders, at least not with much weight at all.

Another variation. I wouldn’t go quite so far back with my shoulders, at least not with much weight at all.

This is one of those things where strict form and light weights are your best bet until you know that everything’s going to cooperate (ladies – shoulders are going to be the problem point.)

So, I’m feeling all bright and ambitious and decide ‘Hey, it’s been two years since I did flyes. There are benches open. Why not?” No, I did not invite anyone to hold my beer and watch this. I did start with light weights and went slow, using strict form and being mindful of my shoulders. I badly injured ligaments and tendons about a year ago doing a form of push-up and I’m still rebuilding. Flat flyes – no problem. Regular inclined flyes – more difficult but no problem. The bench was at 24 degrees, so I decided just to reverse position, lay on the bench and use that for my third type of flye.

  1. This is a touch easier said than done.
  2. Ideally, your face is clear of the bench instead of turned to the side. Ideal was not available.
  3. Superstructure. Superstructure and compression should not be used in the same sentence. Especially when the muscles under said compressed superstructure are asked to do work.

But everything went well, nothing hurt more than usual, and after three drop-sets* of 12 reps each, I called it good. I did some legs and back, then went upstairs to the 15 degree inclined treadmill – the one no one else in their right mind wants. For good reason.

That evening my low back hurt. Oh did it hurt. I mean, as in I am having trouble sitting, standing, walking, bending over, unbending hurt. Given that I have a previous injury, I was getting very worried that I’d slipped a disk or was pinching a nerve again hard core. Except . . . except this time, the pain didn’t radiate down one leg. It stayed right around the muscles of my low back. As if I’d overdone the low back, somehow.

I hear those rolled eyes, you in the back. Yes, the reverse inclined flyes got me, because I had stabilized myself with the low back in a way I had not done in quite a while. Which means I need to work low back more (groan, moan, sigh).

Once again, can someone point me to a workout that doesn’t involve work?

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6 thoughts on “I’ll Flye Away . . . Or maybe Not

  1. Backs suck. I haven’t done weight training in a lot of years. But I used to do pushups, lots of them, whenever I felt the need to work my upper body. Now if I do twenty pushups my back hurts for a week. And I’ve tried to work through it, strengthen the back by doing a few pushups every day. Yeah, unlike muscles, your nerves and cartilage don’t work that way, after a few days I could barely walk.

  2. I hear you. Oh, does that bring back memories.

    At my Army units, I became infamous for my shoulder workouts. Little circles to the front, medium, big circles, now reverse, etc, repeat. Push-ups and flutter kicks in between sets to loosen up. After three sets, I had them run Jerry can relays. Good times.

    Why this particular form of torture? Lesson learned during a deployment where the fuel point was (finally) set up a couple of klicks away from where our trucks were stuck. Through thigh deep mud. Those fuel cans get heavy pretty darned quick, especially if you can’t just let your arms hang while you carry them.

    Good times. I hope to never do something like that ever again. I’m still amazed that nobody drowned in the mud there, although there were a few close calls, and lots of lost boots.

    I hope your back is feeling better soon.

    • Thanks. It’s returned to default setting, which is pain level 1 – constant but tolerable. So tomorrow morning I’ll go beat myself up again. πŸ™‚

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