PULL-OVER FOR MAXIMUM MUSCLE GAINS
For those struggling to build some impressive upper body size across the chest, back and triceps there is no better exercise than the Dumbbell cross bench pullover. For sure, it will never be as popular as the bench press or curl but the benefits that this exercise has to offer are substantial. This movement was a staple in the Arnold-era and is still one of my all time favorite exercises. For some strange reason, this superb exercise seems to have fallen out of people’s routines. Maybe it’s because there are too many fancy machines or it’s just fallen out of trend. I want to be 100% straight down the line with you. If you are serious about building an impressive physique you have to include the dumbbell pullover in your routine. Let’s face the facts; if it was good enough for Arnold, it’s definitely good enough for you. If done properly, the Dumbbell Pull Over hits everything from the bottom of your pecs to your abs, lats and triceps, serratus, working all of these muscles in a direct and unique way. If you’re not doing push/pull workouts (chest and back together) make sure you do it on chest day. I prefer to keep the reps high, often in the 12-20 rep range, and I really focus on getting a deep stretch for every set, usually doing 3-4 sets. Focus on technique before weight, once you have the exercise form perfected you can then increase the weight gradually. What you will notice on the following days of performing this movement is soreness through your upper lats, pecs and surprisingly your triceps. I actually find my triceps get a real workout from this movement. You will notice that your serratus muscles will appear much deeper and really stand out, and you will create some freaky lines and separation throughout your upper body.
There are a few keys to performing this movement correctly
The cross bench version as seen in the photo above is by far the best way to get the most from this exercise. Make sure the dumbbells in your gym have welded or at least locked ends because you will be holding the dumbbell directly over your face! We don’t want any accidents. A lot of people rush through it and don’t focus on getting a proper stretch. Really feeling that deep stretch is a must with the dumbbell pull over. Also, it’s important to keep your hips and head down, which ensures you’re not just swinging the weight. With your hips down, you’ll really feel your lats working and that all important stretch. What I tend to do is performed the exercise with a 3 second phase to lower the weight. One second pause at the bottom stretch. Two seconds back to the top, followed by a hard squeeze of the pecs at the top position. Once I have completed a full set I like to finish with 4-5 short tricep press type movements where I bend my elbows and then straighten them to give the triceps a final blast. I like to perform this movement as a superset with a back movement such as chin ups or lat pull downs. This produces an amazing pump through the entire upper body. When performed correctly, you’ll feel muscles in your upper abs, lats and triceps working hard, giving you a pump that’s hard to be re-created with any other movement. In fact I get more of a pump from the dumbbell pullover than I do on the bench press! Do yourself a favor throw some pullovers into your routine twice a week and watch your upper body gains explode.