Dumbbell Pullover

  • Alternative Names: Straight arm dumbbell pullover, lying dumbbell pullover, cross-bench dumbbell pullover
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Equipment: Dumbbell
  • Muscles Targeted: Chest, lats, triceps, shoulders
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 2-3 with 12-15 reps each
  • Variations: Incline, bent arm, decline dumbbell pullovers
  • Alternative: Bench press, cable chest dip

The dumbbell pullover is a classic chest-strengthening exercise that you can add to your full body workout routine to develop your upper body. It is commonly performed by powerlifters as part of their chest or back training for targeting their serratus muscles.

Dumbbell Pullover Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Straight arm dumbbell pullover, lying dumbbell pullover, cross-bench dumbbell pullover
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Equipment: Dumbbell
  • Muscles Targeted: Chest, lats, triceps, shoulders
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 2-3 with 12-15 reps each
  • Variations: Incline, bent arm, decline dumbbell pullovers
  • Alternative: Bench press, cable chest dip

Benefits

  • Stretches your body and improves the range of motion and flexibility in your chest and shoulder muscles
  • Works the stabilizer muscles, including your upper back, glutes, and the abs
  • Engages two opposing muscles at the same time – your chest and back muscles

How to do Dumbbell Pullover

Start the exercise by placing a dumbbell (weighing about 20-25 lbs) on a flat bench. Securing the dumbbell, lie on the bench with your torso across it so that only your shoulders make contact with the surface and your upper body forms a cross. Keep your head off the bench and hips below it, with the feet flat on the floor. Hold the dumbbell using both hands so that the palms are pressing against the underside of the dumbbell. Keeping the arms straight, bring the weight down behind your head until your chest muscles are stretched. Move the dumbbell back to the initial position and hold for a second before performing the reps.

Dumbbell Pullover

Straight Arm Dumbbell Pullover Tips

  • If you are not used to lifting free weights, use a spotter to hand you the dumbbell.
  • Ensure the plates on the dumbbell are tightly secure so to prevent the dumbbell from falling on your face.
  • If you are using Powerblock dumbbells, hold one in each hand so that the palms are facing each other.

Variations

  1. Incline Dumbbell Pullover: Performed by lying down on an incline bench instead.
  2. Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover: Involves holding the dumbbell while keeping your arms bent slightly.
  3. Decline Bench Dumbbell Pullover: Done by lying down on a bench declined at an angle of about 30 degrees.

Alternative Exercises

  • Bench Press
  • Cable Chest Dip

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