Suspended exercises feel completely different than anything you'll ever do with dumbbells or a barbell. There's more freedom of motion, so instead of keeping the arms in a fixed position as with a bar, you have the ability to bring the arms inward (which is the main function of the pecs), placing your body in a prime mechanical position to maximally recruit the chest.
Dumbbells and cables also allow similar freedom of motion, but the fear of falling on your face with suspended flyes creates a whole lot more tension in your muscles that can't be matched. Try this with the TRX, gymnastic rings, or Blast Straps:
- Set up the suspension device so that the handles are about waist high. The lower the handles, the more difficult this movement will be.
- Assume standard push-up position with your hands in the rings or handles and your feet on the ground. Your arms should be straight and your hands under your chest.
- Squeeze your glutes, brace your abs. It's almost like you're planking in mid-air.
- Lower your body to the count of 1-2 seconds, allowing your arms to spread out to your sides. Focus on getting tension in the chest, not the shoulder joints.
- Pause for one second at the bottom.
- Push your body back up to the count of one second and repeat, maintaining tension within your chest the entire time.
Most lifters will be thrilled that they're able to complete a few reps without falling, making it more likely that focus will remain on proper form and maximizing muscle contraction and less on trying to determine how much weight you can brag about.