Want to work your lats, triceps and chest in one fluid move? Then the dumbbell pullover is not to be missed.
This is a very efficient chest/back exercise, but it takes practice to master. You should be careful when loading this exercise. From a safety point of view, you should make sure that you always perform this exercise with a secure dumbbell that you can safely manage.
How to perform a dumbbell pullover
You’ll need a flat bench and a dumbbell weight you’re comfortable with – start light for practice.
To do this exercise you can either lay long ways on the bench (making sure the top of your head is touching the top end of the bench). Or you can lay perpendicular on the bench so that your shoulders are resting on the bench, your feet are firmly on the ground with your knees at a 90 degree angle. If using the latter method, keep your hips up, but not above the height of the bench. Your body should form a ‘T’ with the bench.
Grip the dumbbell, holding one end firmly with both hands directly over your chest.
Keep your arms straight and slowly lower the dumbbell backwards in an arc over the top of your head. You should start to feel it stretching through your chest.
Once you’ve gone as far back as you can, slowly bring the dumbbell back to starting position through the same controlled movement. Go for reps.
Dumbbell pullover: Common mistakes to avoid
This is one of those exercises that could easily result in injury if not performed correctly, so pay attention to your form and get it right before you start loading. If laying perpendicular with the bench you should ensure that your hips do not sag during the exercise.
Also, remember that this is ultimately a chest and back exercise so you should keep the muscles you intend to work in mind when you are performing the exercise. Mind muscle connection is ideal for ensuring targeted results.
Reps and sets
As with all exercises, your dumbbell pullover needs to be worked into your overall bigger picture. How many reps and sets you perform with each exercise depends entirely on where you are physically and your desired outcomes.
As a rule of thumb; beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point. For the purpose of laying a solid foundation to build upon; don’t over complicate things. The most important thing at this stage is to get started, the rest will come with experience.
On the other hand, more advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals.
Beyond the dumbbell pullover...
More chest exercises coming soon...
Just so you know, this list of chest exercises is a work in progress and is by no means extensive. We will continue to grow this entire database for you over time, so be sure to check back for updates. Alternatively, you can join our mailing list below and you’ll be the first to know about all new content we produce.