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How to Do Dumbbell Pullover: Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits and Common Mistakes

Dumbbell pullover has many health benefits. (Image via Pexels/Anush Gorak)
Dumbbell pullover has many health benefits. (Image via Pexels/Anush Gorak)
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Disheeta Maheshwari

The dumbbell pullover is a dynamic strength training exercise that is popular among bodybuilders for building the back and chest. It's also an efficient exercise for others as a resistance training programme and working on the cardiopulmonary function.

This exercise can train the upper body, targeting the back, chest, glutes and core muscles differently. The movement of the dumbbell pullover can also help in enhancing the mobility and range of motion of the body.

Let's understand more about this exercise:


How to Do Dumbbell Pullover?

There are different variations of the dumbbell pullover you can incorporate into the workout regimen according to your fitness level and goal, such as a stability ball for the bench and one dumbbell instead of two.

However, this article will solely focus on the standard dumbbell pullover. Here are the proper steps you must follow to efficiently do a dumbbell pullover:

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  • Initial position – Start off with a seated position on the end of the weight bench. Position your feet on the ground while grasping the dumbbells in each hand. Your head, back and neck should be fully supported to avoid overstraining the muscles.
  • Raise your arms towards the ceiling above your chest line. Keep the palms angled such that they face each other while your elbows are slightly bent.
  • Breathe in, and bring the dumbbells slowly behind you and over your head. Make sure the weights behind are not below your head level.
  • Breathe out, and slowly bring the dumbbell back to the position above your chest line.
  • Repeat.

Tips and Techniques for Dumbbell Pullover

The Dumbbell Pullover is an intermediate level exercise that requires a certain amount of strength and stability of the body. Follow these tips and techniques to accurately perform a dumbbell pullover and avoid over straining your muscles.

Engage your core – The limited mobility in the shoulder and chest area can result in arching of the spine during the extension movement. So, engage your core, and keep your back pressed while doing the dumbbell pullover. Core stability can help you in protecting your lower back along with reducing the risk of injuries.

Wrist Rotation – The palm should be angled to face each other throughout the movement of the exercise. Maintain a strong grip on the weights, and make sure your hands are relaxed.

Weight - Make sure you're not holding too heavy weights for the dumbbell pullover. That can constrain the movement of your hands or lead to the arching of the spine to support the weight, resulting in strain or soreness of the muscles.


Health Benefits of Dumbbell Pullover

Incorporating the dumbbell pullover into a regular workout regimen can give you many health benefits, such as:

Better Stability

This exercise can help in building better stability in the body, as it works on the core muscles and glutes during the lowering motion. Meanwhile, it works on the chest and back during the upward movement of the exercise. This stability can help in preparing for more advanced exercises.

Bigger Back and Chest

Incorporating the Dumbbell Pullover into your regular workout routine can help in building a bigger back and chest.

It can also help in building strength in your upper body, as the stretch of the pullover provides a great stimulus for muscle growth. Additionally, the dumbbell pullover was one of the staple exercises that was done by the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Enhanced Shoulder Mobility

This exercise can help in enhancing shoulder mobility by stretching the triceps and lats. It can also help builf more control and stability of the body by enabling a greater range of motion.


Common Mistakes While Performing Dumbbell Pullover

Proper stance and precautions are always key in performing any exercise, especially ones involving weights. Here are some common mistakes one should avoid while doing the Dumbbell Pullover:

Unequal Extension – Sometimes, one side of a person's body tends to be stronger and more flexible than the other. That can result in one arm extending further over the head than the other. Make sure both your arms work simultaneously and are at the same level.

Starting Position – If your neck, hips or head are not completely supported by the bench, that can lead to excess strain or soreness in the muscles. So, assume the proper position before starting this exercise, including positioning yourself on the bench properly.


Bottom Line

Including a Dumbbell Pullover in your strength training circuit targets major muscle groups differently. By employing various modifications, this exercise can be done by many people in both the gym and at home.

If you want to build bigger muscles and chest, you should definitely try adding this exercise to your training regimen.


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Edited by Bhargav
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