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.
Primary Muscles Used
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.
- 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.
- Inhale and extend the weights back and over your head, keeping a strong back and core.
- 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.
- Slowly return to the starting position either squeezing your chest or squeezing your back depending on which area you are focusing on.
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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