The dumbbell pullover is an old school lifting exercise that isn’t performed as often as it should be. Here are 3 reasons the dumbbell pullover should be included in your training regimen.
1. RIBCAGE EXPANSION. This is the most popular reason trainees in the past would perform the dumbbell pullover. It can create a much more developed torso. When focusing on ribcage expansion you need to perform the pullover while focusing on your breathing. Bringing the dumbbell back past your head to the that ultimate stretching point, you want to breath in and fill your torso with air. Then slowly exhale as you bring the bell back to the starting point above your chest. Generally a lighter weight is used for torso development purposes, and sometimes pullovers are combined with breathing squats to enhance the exercise.
2. CHEST DEVELOPMENT. The pullover is an excellent finishing exercise when working your chest. Since it is unlike most other chest pushing exercises (bench press) or lateral pulling/squeezing exercises (dumbbell flys, machine flys), you approach it with a fresh perspective and eager anticipation to really push it to the max. Many trainees look forward to pullovers as a chest finisher and note that it gives chest development that significant final push that works like nothing else. When doing pullovers for chest development, place your mental focus on working the chest. This mental focus will minimize other muscles involvement and will stress the chest muscles as you will feel them squeeze together on the upward movement.
3. LATS. Pullovers also work the lats very well. The key once again is to mentally focus on lat work. Work the pulling motion so that your lats are doing the work. Yes, other muscles will assist and you will feel them working as well (shoulders, chest, tri’s and even the biceps) but try to focus on working the lats primarily and you will feel the effect they have on back development. Pullovers can be a starter or finisher for lats. Some trainees will perform pullovers as their first lat exercise as they feel it does an excellent job of warming up the back and readying it for pulldowns or rows. Yet others treat is as a finisher, the same way it finishes off the chest. It’s oftentimes effective to get a good stretch in at the end of working a particular muscle, and as a finisher pullovers can give you a good lat stretch.