An exercise that will work three muscle groups at once. How to make a pull-over

How and why do the pullover exercise? Which muscles are used?

In the middle of the 20th century, exercise was very popular, but it lost it in the 1990s, because Dr. Joseph Horrigan, an expert in the field of sports medicine, considered exercise too traumatic and even wrote a scientific paper about it. . In fact, you can avoid injuries by following simple rules: work with a weight that your muscles are ready for and also follow the correct technique.

What is a pullover and how to make it?

The pullover is an isolated exercise to work the upper back, while the pectoral muscles and triceps are lightly worked. To perform, you need a horizontal bench and a dumbbell of the desired weight.

The exercise is more about stretching than muscle growth, so trying to pull with the maximum weight is pointless. If your goal is to build muscle, it’s best to do the pullover in combination with other exercises aimed at targeting the muscles you need. The exercise will help develop flexibility and increase the range of motion in your chest and shoulders. And it will definitely come in handy when you do other similar moves in your workout routine. It will also help you correct your posture.


You can perform a pullover in several ways: lying on the floor or on a bench, standing on a block simulator with a handle, sitting on a separate simulator for this exercise.

We will talk about the traditional performance of a dumbbell pullover.

  • We lie on the bench, lean on our backs, we do not tear our shoulder blades from the bench, our legs are firmly on the floor.
  • We take a dumbbell in our hands, bend them at the elbows and raise them above our heads.
  • We take a breath and slowly lower our hands behind our heads.
  • The hands are tucked under the bench, as far as the back muscles allow. The movement stops at the point of maximum extension of the widest, then the reverse movement begins, the arms are again raised above the head.
  • During the approach, the arms are slightly bent at the elbow. Full arm extension in the low position strongly engages the triceps, taking a significant portion of the load off the latissimus dorsi. If you find holding a dumbbell with both hands uncomfortable, you can replace it with a pancake on the barbell.

This technique engages the pectoral muscles. If you need to load the lats more and chest development is not a priority, it is recommended to perform the exercise on an incline bench.

How to choose the right weight?

Everything is quite simple here. From the beginning, take the minimum weight and perform several repetitions with it. If there is no muscle discomfort, gradually increase the weight until you find the optimum. The weight can be called proper if it allows you to do three sets of 10-12 repetitions, but at the same time you feel tension in the muscles.

The exercise is suitable for everyone, regardless of training level. It is recommended to do this at the end of a chest or back workout, but not as the main exercise.