Dumbbell pullover is unique in that its movement because it works the chest from a tremendous variety of angles. This exercise takes quite a bit of coordination, which adds to the challenge of the exercise. You can do this straight arm or bent arm. Somehow I found that the straight arm pullover stretches the chest more whereas the triceps get more the workout in the bent-arm dumbbell pullover. That is why I prefer straight arms.
The main muscle involved is chest, but other muscles worked include triceps, shoulders as well as lats. Athletes who play tennis, javelin or football throw-in will gain the benefit from this compound workout.
- Lie flat on your back on a flat bench. Feet flat on the floor or on the bench.
- Begin by holding the dumbbell above your chest with straight arms.
Inhale deeply. Slowly lower the dumbbell in semicircular motion behind head as far as possible without pain.
- Your arms and the dumbbell will actually go behind and above your head and will drop down below the bench – this movement will really give you a great stretch.
- Return the dumbbell to the start position slowly, focusing on keeping your elbows locked in the slightly bent position.
- Do 3 sets of 8 – 12 repetitions each set.
- When choosing the correct weight, make sure you choose a weight that allows you proper handling. You will be lifting this weight over your head and you do not want it to slip.
- Also, you could injury shoulders, so be careful. Make sure that here is no added strain. Only lower the dumbbell as far as it is comfortable.
- If possible, lower the arms on a four count and bring them up on a two count.
That is another way of doing the Dumbbell Pullover which I am currently doing – Straight Arm Dumbbell Pullovers Across A Bench. The difference is the orientation of the bench. In this case, your entire back does not lie on the bench. Only your upper back. This position allows you to get a much fuller stretch as compared to normal pullovers on a bench.
- Turn a bench sideways.
- Lie back so that your upper back is on the bench and your torso and legs extend out perpendicular to the bench. Your body should actually form a right angle to the bench or seat.
- Keep both feet on the floor shoulder width apart and your knees bent at a ninety degree angle.
- Your body should form a bridge with support points at your upper back and feet. Grasp a dumbbell with two hands, palms flat against the inside of one of the plates.
- Extend both arms directly up above your face.
- With a slight bend in your elbows, lower the weight down and back above your head until your arms are parallel to the floor.
- Use your upper chest muscles to raise the weight back to the starting position. Do not raise your hips.
- For an extra triceps burn, each time you complete a pullover, lower the dumbbell straight down until it touches your chest.
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