Dumbbell Pullover

The dumbbell pullover is a great exercise for expanding the diaphragm and increasing strength in the core, chest, back, and triceps.  This is a great complimentary exercise as it will help your other back and chest movements become stronger and with a greater range or motion and flexibility.

Dumbbell Pullover

Primary Muscles Used

Muscles Used in Exercise

Dumbbell Pullover Instructions

  • To prepare for this exercise, sit on the end of a stable weight bench. Place your feet on the floor, slightly wider than the bench. Hold a dumbbell with each hand. Next, roll back so you are lying on the bench. Your upper back should be on the bench, but head should be off the bench.
  • Tighten your core and push your butt down slightly, this will cause an initial stretch in the diaphragm.
  1. Extend your arms toward the ceiling, over your chest. Your palms should be facing up and thumbs interlocked around the dumbbell handle with your elbows slightly bent.
  2. Inhale and extend the weights back and over your head, keeping a strong back and core.
  3. Make sure that you keep your butt down. Take about 3 to 4 seconds to reach a fully extended position where the weights are behind you.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position either squeezing your chest or squeezing your back depending on which area you are focusing on.
Dumbbell Pullover Exercise

Benefits of the Dumbbell Pullover

  • The classic dumbbell pullover is a widely used resistance exercise that primarily strengthens the muscles in the chest. It also engages the large wing-shaped muscles in the back (lats), the core muscles, and the back of the triceps.
  • The dumbbell pullover is considered a postural exercise as performing the full movement requires that you keep the spine in a lengthened, stable position. This move also helps open and increase flexibility in the chest and upper body. These areas often become tight, especially in those with computer or desk jobs.
  • The overhead reach required by the pullover movement stretches the muscles of the chest and shoulders.
  • By inhaling as you stretch to the back position you increase your diaphragm's expansion ability, giving your body increased lung capacity.
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