Dumbbell Pullovers A Forgotten Chest Exercise

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The pullover is an exercise you seldom see done in the gym anymore. Yet back in the Pumping Iron days of bodybuilding it was a staple in almost everyone's routine. In fact way back in the old days before the invention of bench presses with upright racks for holding the bar, guys would do a barbell pullover, lifting the bar from the floor to their chest, and then do their bench presses. But gradually over the years this exercise got pushed to the wayside and is hardly ever done by the average gym goer.

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34 comments
  1. Lee Hayward / January 10, 2014

    Please post your comments and feedback below. And if you have any
    suggestions for future videos that you’d like to see, please let me know
    :-)

  2. 131T3M3 / February 23, 2014

    No address to the fact that with barbell pullovers you lie lengthwise along
    the bench?

    • J Cook / March 29, 2014

      Thanks for the analysis. Any other worldly advice for us?

    • 131T3M3 / March 30, 2014

      I was talking about him in the video, as in, “Why did you not address the
      fact that you lay lengthwise IN THE VIDEO when you did barbell pullovers?”
      Gettin quite sassy there eh mate?

    • J Cook / April 3, 2014

      Love you. 😉

    • ExpensiveGarbage / July 15, 2014

      +131T3M3 LMFAO

  3. jahaira cruz / October 8, 2014

    Im tryin to tonify my arms n back n legs well basically all my body im a
    5.2 women that goes to gym almost everyday.but i got somethin is killin,me
    my jiggli on my amrs cant wear no short sleeve shrts..

  4. greenbastard50 / November 3, 2014

    I find that this exercise simply kills my shoulder joints and really hurts.
    I started with a high weight and lowered until the shoulder pain wasn’t
    there but I find the weight I currently use does not activate my chest
    enough as I go based on feeling and I didn’t really feel a burn Not sure
    what I can do to fix it but my upper chest is definitely lagging.

    • Lee Hayward / November 6, 2014

      +greenbastard50 You kind of did the opposite of what you should have done.
      It’s best to start off light and build up in weight gradually, rather than
      starting heavy and working your way down.

    • Lee Hayward / December 10, 2014

      +pinz2022
      Some people will do the pull over length wise on the bench, but you won’t
      get as big of a stretch in the chest and rib cage this way. Laying across
      the bench allows your hips to be lower and will expand the chest more. But
      regardless of what variation you do make sure your upper back is supported
      on the bench

    • fontas pas / January 23, 2015

      +Lee Hayward Dr. Joseph Horrigan, a board certified chiropractic, sports
      medicine practitioner and strength and conditioning specialist recommends
      performing pullovers laying down on a bench along rather than across. He
      believes that if you lie across the bench, and your hips are in low
      position, Pullover had a devastating effect on the abdominal wall.

  5. Austen Jenius / February 6, 2015

    “Forgotten” lol

    • dauksz / March 4, 2015

      It was very common back in the day but you rarely see anyone doing it now.

  6. SP Fitness / February 8, 2015

    you have to keep your elbows slightly bent and lock them now your doing
    triceps lol

  7. oliver rodriguez / February 14, 2015

    hand down

  8. ManInTheWorld / April 13, 2015

    how is it forgotten all my gym play it

  9. Adam Pesina / April 15, 2015

    Lee, I’ve always done this on my back day. I guess I never gave it any
    thought. Everytime I do it I feel my lats stretch so I assumed it was a
    different variation to a cable lat extension. Good to know though. Any
    tweaks to maybe add more of a stretch to my chest? Maybe open or close my
    elbows? Can’t wait for chest day haha.

    • Lee Hayward / April 17, 2015

      +Adam Pesina All positions are going to stretch both the lats and chest,
      but experiment with different variations such as using a barbell, dumbbell,
      laying length wise on the bench, and laying across the bench to see if
      there is a particular position that stretches your chest more.

  10. Jose Ocasio / May 27, 2015

    hi lee:
    i have a question for you:
    how many sets and reps should i do for
    the “dumbbell pullovers”?
    thank you!
    your friend,
    josian.

    • Jose Ocasio / May 27, 2015

      +Jose Ocasio
      your friend, josian

  11. David Ashley Balmer / May 31, 2015

    I do this using the Swiss Ball, amazing, I highly recommend it.

  12. Mohamed Saat / July 3, 2015

    Great video. . Well I’m so beginner just 1 month of workout …so what is
    your advices to me
    No: 75kg weight
    1.78m
    And sorry about my English ?? 

  13. mightguyfan / July 8, 2015

    Hey man you are awesome I’ve been looking for advice on this exercise for
    awhile now thank you for posting this.

  14. Chandra Pakash / July 16, 2015

    Thank you for the clear explanation. 

  15. Jose Ocasio / July 28, 2015

    hi lee:
    can i do “barbell pullovers” on my back workout?
    thank you!
    your friend,
    josian.

  16. Stuff / September 21, 2015

    Gonna try this tomorow.. Thanks for making this video

  17. Marios / September 28, 2015

    can i do this exercise lying on the floor? because i don’t have a bench at
    my house! or it is not good?

  18. CrayeZ / January 28, 2016

    Damn i used to do this one often, thanks for the reminder Lee!

  19. Timothy Haun / March 28, 2016

    LOVE IT! I will definitely be switching my overhead pulls to this method
    tonight!

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