Exercise of the week: Dumbbell Pullover

The pullover is a great and almost forgotten exercise. There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about it – does it work the chest or the lats? This is because the pullover is a compound movement that targets both the chest and the back and is one of the only exercises that works opposing muscle groups at the same time. 

You can tweak pullovers to target certain bodyparts depending on what you do before or after the unique exercise.

The “common wisdom” is that the pullover “expands your ribcage” to make your chest bigger… But properly performed the pullover is also the only way to isolate the lat muscle without significant assistance from the rhomboids, teres, traps, or any of the back muscles. It appears to be best as the first exercise on back day. It can pre-fatigue the lats and improve muscle activation and mind-muscle connection. You can use variation by going declined, flat or inclined.


How to do dumbbell pullovers:

* Lay down on a bench with feet firmly on the ground and back flat

* Hold the dumbbell in both hands with your elbows slightly bent

* Squeeze your lats and stretch the dumbbell over your head as far as you can maintaining the tension and keeping your ribs on the bench

* Bring dumbbell to the starting position squeezing your elbows towards each other and pulling with your lats

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