Weightlifting Tips

Pullover Exercise – Best Workout for Your Chest, Back & Shoulders

The one exercise you must include in your workout is the pullover. Continue to read why this isolation lift is just as necessary as the major compound lifts. Do you know how to use the pullover exercise to build a massive chest, back, and shoulders?

Your body is your most priceless possession and asset, so take care of it. Fitness is not about being better than someone else. It’s all about the best version of yourself. The first wealth is health, and there is no alternative to good health.

Pullovers are an excellent exercise for developing your chest, back, and shoulders. It is an isolation exercise, which means you will only use one joint to complete the movement. Also, this allows you to create muscle tension with no outside distractions.

The pullover is arguably the king of isolation lifts and one of the best for bodybuilding and workouts. Think about how an isolation lift can build multiple muscle groups at once for a second. Of course, it can create various muscle groups, but we can also use it on push or pull days because it works anterior and posterior muscles. Unfortunately, this exercise does not get the credit it deserves. If you are not performing pullovers, you miss tremendous muscle gains.

What are the benefits of performing the pullover exercise?

The pullover exercise is an exercise that is performed either with a barbell or with a dumbbell. You can use it to strengthen the chest, shoulder, and back muscles. In addition, there are multiple other benefits of pullover exercise.

The pullover exercises offer a variety of benefits that can improve your overall fitness level. First, the exercises help grow your chest, shoulders, and back muscles. Also, this can help improve your posture and make it easier to lift heavy objects. Second, the exercises help improve cardiovascular health by increasing your heart rate and allowing you to burn calories. Third, athletes often use the activities to help improve their agility and coordination. Finally, the exercises can increase flexibility by stretching tight muscles in your shoulders and upper back.

What equipment do you need to perform the pullover exercise?

You can perform the pullover exercise with dumbbells, barbells, or a tricep bar. You will need a bench, like a bench press, to perform this exercise. However, the bench does not require a rack because it will only get in the way as you pull the weight back over your head.

Also, a pair of weightlifting gloves should protect the hands. If you want to do it right, a good pair of weightlifting shoes can help your feet stay firmly planted on the ground as you pull the weight over your head. Finally, don’t forget to use a weightlifting belt.

Many gym fanatics underestimate the value of gloves, shoes, and belts. But these accessories support the most vulnerable parts of your body during every lift. The gloves give you a firmer grip. The shoes allow you to plant your feet into the ground for more pushing power. And the belt supports your lower back and gives your abdominal muscles a base to stabilize your body during a lift.

How do you perform the pullover exercise correctly?

For the isometric part of the lift, follow these steps:

First, sit down on the end of a stable weight bench. Then position your feet on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width. Next, lie on your back on a bench and hold the dumbbell, barbell, EZ curl bar, or tricep bar in your hand. Don’t forget to turn your palms away from your face with a firm grip on this lift. Then extend the weight from your chest with your triceps.

For the eccentric part of the lift, follow these steps:

With your arms extended, slowly bring the weight down behind your head. Ensure to keep the weight under control as injuries can quickly occur to the shoulders during this part of the lift. Also, when performed correctly, the eccentric portion of any lift opposes muscle groups. Thus, this exercise works the back and chest because of the constant pressure placed on you during the eccentric part of the lift.

For the concentric part of the lift, follow these steps:

Once the weight is slightly above your head, you are ready to begin the concentric part of the lift. Make sure not to over-extend the weight behind the head. By doing so, you can damage your shoulders or lose control of the weight as the momentum of the bar snatches you off the bench. Now slowly pull the weight back to your chest. Don’t forget to retrace your path to bring the weight over your head.

Tips and suggestions to complete the exercise safely:

  • The bench must thoroughly support your body, neck, and back
  • Inhale as you extend the weight over your head
  • Slowly exhale when you pull the weight overhead
  • Keep your abdominal muscles tight during each lift

What are some common mistakes that lifters make while performing the pullover exercise?

One common mistake lifters make while performing the pullover exercise is arching their back. Also, this can cause lower back pain and reduce the effectiveness of the training.

Another common mistake is bending their elbows, which takes tension off the chest muscles and puts it on the shoulders. It is crucial to keep your back straight, and your elbows slightly bent to avoid these mistakes.

Some lifters make the mistake of rushing through the lift. You must always bring the weight down slowly and under control. Your goal is to work the muscles, not finish the exercise quickly.

By taking your time, you will keep your muscles under constant tension. The best exercise is the one that provides many benefits and few weaknesses. The pullover exercise is a free weight exercise that offers the help of a cable weight exercise. Do not lose that benefit by rushing through this exercise.

Finally, a mistake many novices make is using too much weight, which can cause the shoulders to round forward. To select the right amount of weight for you, use a spotter and test for your one-repetition maximum.

You will benefit from this exercise by avoiding these mistakes and performing the correct reps and sets. In addition, you will see gains in your chest, shoulders, and back if done correctly. Like most compound exercises, this exercise will allow you to get the best results in the shortest time while in and away from the gym.

Last word on the pullover exercise

You cannot afford to pass up on this exercise. It gives you all the benefits of an isolation exercise by targeting specific muscles in one move that any novice can perform. But it does more. It also gives you the advantage of a compound exercise by working on multiple muscle groups.

Now check out most compound lift workouts as primary muscle and supporting muscles. But not the pullover. It works the primary and supporting muscles while also working the opposing muscles. So what other lift can give you those benefits? We are waiting! Yep, just what we thought.

The pullover exercise has many advantages, including strength, power, balance, and flexibility. Finally, the pullover exercise provides power to your upper body muscles. With free weight, it applies cable-like constant stress to the latissimus dorsi, triceps, serratus muscles, and pectoralis major.

We forgot to mention that this exercise causes the chest and back to stretch, making them more elastic. The pullover exercise is the lift that keeps giving. We did not mention all the benefits of this exercise. We wanted to provide you with a taste of what this lift can do!

What has been your experience with the pullover? Do you do it regularly? Have any tips about how best to use this movement pattern? We would love to hear from our readers! Let us know what’s up by commenting below.

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By Terry Clark

Terry Clark, M.S. is a math professor, certified fitness trainer, nutritionist, bodybuilding coach, writer, and fitness enthusiast.

Terry loves working out, math, music, chess, cooking, writing, and teaching.

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