Dumbbell Pullovers – Chest Exercise

How to do dumbbell pullovers the forgotten exercise.

The Pullover exercise is great for developing the chest and it has been used by some of the most successful bodybuilders in the world.

It was once a very popular exercise among weight lifters and bodybuilders. It has now been mostly forgotten and now you rarely see it being performed in gyms.

Benefits of this exercise?

The pullover was once thought to help expand the rib cage therefore creating the appearance of a wider chest, however reports and studies on this are uncertain and unproved, however it’s still a very effective exercise for the Pectorals. Many very successful bodybuilders including Arnold Schwarzenegger claim that the pullover exercise was an influential exercise and very important to their chest and upper body development.

What are the risks?

Due to the nature of the exercise during the middle position of the exercise your arms end up in a out stretched and extended position while holding the dumbbell and in some cases this can be a very heavy dumbbell. This is considered by some experts to be an unnatural position and it’s believed it places unnecessary stress on your shoulders putting them at risk of injury.

Another potential risk of the exercise is during the starting and final positions, you’ll end up with a weight in line with your face and from personal experience this can be a little unsettling. However just as long as you don’t lift beyond your ability and you keep a good grip on the weight there shouldn’t be a problem.

Equipment that can be used to perform the pullovers

  • Dumbbell – most commonly used
  • Barbell – alternative to using a dumbbell
  • Flat Bench – required

Pull Over Machine

There is a machine for performing the pullover. This machine is the safest way to perform the exercise. Some people prefer the technique of the machine version rather than using free weights. However using free weights is almost always better for muscle development.

How to perform the pullover (Dumbbell Version)

  • Lie down on a flat bench, the bench should be in a horizontal position, only your upper back and neck should be in contact with the bench.
  • Grab the dumbbell in a vertical position, which should be rested on the bench by the side of you, or have someone pass the dumbbell to you.
  • Hold the dumbbell above your chest (starting position), keeping your arms slightly bent, now slowly lower the dumbbell beyond your head so your upper arms are parallel with the floor, now slowly raise the dumbbell, arms slightly bent, and return it to the starting

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