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There is a great exercise that works the frontal as well as posterior areas of the upper body. The dumbbell pullover is a chest exercise as well as a back exercise.

Dumbbell pullovers mainly work the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor on the chest and the latissimus dorsi on the back. Depending on how you grab the weight and keep your arms will determine the muscle that you ‘ll be hitting more intensely. For instance, keeping the arms as straight as possible concentrates more on the chest while bending the elbows out targets more of the back muscles.

Benefits of Dumbbell Pullovers

  • Aesthetics: Dumbbell pullovers work your upper body, giving you an upright confident look.
  • Hypertrophy: They help you increase muscle mass.
  • Increased Flexibility: Dumbbell pullovers give your upper body a big stretch, which makes your upper body more flexible. 
  • Efficiency: They train the front of the body and the back of the body at the same time.
  • Core Strength: Dumbbell pullovers engage and strengthen your core muscles.
  • Posture: Strengthening your chest, back, and core muscles, they help improve postural stability.
  • Less Equipment: You don’t need access to a gym or tons of equipment. All you need is a dumbbell and a bench. But the bench is not mandatory, you can use a stepper, a stability ball, or just a mat on the floor.


How to Do Dumbbell Pullovers

  • Sit on the narrow end of a bench.
  • Plant your feet on the floor slightly wider than hip-width.
  • Roll down and rest your back, neck, and head on the bench.
  • If you are using a small stepper (as I’m doing on the video) or stability ball, plant your feet on the floor and rest your back, neck, and head fully supported while keeping your hips stable.
  • Grab a dumbbell between your hands and place your hands on a diagonal-like ◆ position.
  • Extend your arms over your chest and keep the elbows slightly bent.
  • Tighten up your core while you inhale and extend the weight back and over your head until you reach a fully extended position where the dumbbell is behind your head. 
  • Upon extending fully, exhale slowly and bring your arms up to the starting position over your chest.

    Remember, if you want to target more of the chest area, keep your arms as straight as possible (but don’t lock the elbows). If you want to concentrate more on the back, bend the elbows out a little bit more.

    Dumbbell Pullovers Mistakes

    • Not engaging the core: Keeping your core tight protects your back, prevents injury, and gives you more control over the weight.
    • Moving the weight unevenly: If one side of your body is stronger or more flexible than the other, you may see one arm extending further over your head or bringing the weight up faster than the other. So, you should be mindful and move both arms simultaneously.
    • Improper support: Make sure that your upper back, neck, and head are fully supported when you lay back so you don’t strain your neck. 
    • Too much weight: You may lose control of the dumbbell, strain your wrists, fail to maintain proper alignment, or miss going through the full range of motion when using super heavy weights.
    • Moving Fast: This is a controlled exercise, it’s not about speed. 


    Dumbbell Pullover Video

    (In the video, I’m targeting more of  the chest than the back)

    Dumbbell Pullovers

    Chest & Back Workout

    You can complete your chest workout with Flyes, Pushups, and Bench Presses. And you can complement it with a couple of back exercises Bent Over Underhand Barbell Rows and Lat Pulldowns.

    Lift, Burn more Fat, Get Stronger and Live Healthier!

    To a Fitter Healthier You,

    Adriana Albritton

    The Fitness Wellness Mentor

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