The Pullover: An Old-School Move That Delivers


As much as I love classes and home-based workouts, sometimes it feels good to go to the gym and pump some iron the old-fashioned way.  One gym move that’s been around forever, but has been swept aside amidst the boot-camp rave, is the pullover.

I love this compound exercise, especially performed with dumbells for a fuller range of motion, because it works the chest and back simultaneously.  It works the lats, pecs, triceps, teres major, deltoids, rhomboids, levator and abs–all at once.  That’s a lot of muscles.

Using a bench, you can lay perpendicular (pictured below), with your hips lower than your back, or lengthwise (above).


Personally, my favorite way to do this is lengthwise, using one or two dumbells (rather than a barbell).  However, you can try using a barbell for a wider grip, which will work more of your chest.  Keep your elbows slightly bent.  Be sure to use proper weight that allows you to keep good form.  Start light and go from there.

This move can also be done with a cable…


Or  at home with a bench or stability ball and weights…

Pullover 2

I like to superset this move with dumbbell chest presses or pec flies, or even lying tricep extentions.  Speaking of triceps, mine were sore for a couple of days the last time I did pullovers.  Try supersetting pullovers with tricep extentions for an awesome tricep workout. This may or may not sound weird, but I like being sore after a workout 🙂

When it comes to changing up your workout routine, sometimes going back to basics is best.  If you’re really looking for a firm, toned upper body, try adding the pullover to your workouts!


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