Pullovers Exercise to Build Chest and Back Muscles

Looking for the last piece in the perfect chest puzzle? Add dumbbell and barbell pullovers exercise to target your chest and back muscles {serrates anterior} in one single move and strike the perfect chest and back balance.

Pullovers is an advanced Chest Muscle Building Exercise

Inside This Article:

P.S. Pullovers is an advanced bodybuilding exercise. I you are a beginner or intermediate bodybuilder, skip this exercise. You are better off training bench press, incline bench press, chest dips and flyes. 


Benefits of Doing Pullovers Exercise

Benefits of Pullovers Exercise

There are 3 benefits for performing pullovers exercise.

  1. Adds Mass: Pullovers exercise not only adds bulk to your pectoral muscles, it also targets the usually under-trained serratus anterior muscle. 
  2. Expands your rib cage: This gives your chest/back a bigger, fuller appearance. 
  3. Builds Shoulder Flexibility: Since pullovers stretch the pectoral and deltoid muscles simultaneously, they build shoulder flexibility too.

The Muscles Worked during Pullovers Exercise

Major muscles worked are:

  • Pectoralis major
  • Serrates Anterior.
  • Latissimus dorsi and
  • Triceps muscle {the long head}

How to Perform Dumbbell Pullovers with Proper form

Dumbbell Pullovers Exercise

The exercise is as simple as it look but there are few key points to note.

1. Lie on the bench across with your shoulders and upper back on the bench and feet flat on the ground. 

Ask a helper to provide you the dumbbell. Grab the dumbbell wth both hands overhead. 

Dumbbell Pullovers Start Position

2. Take a deep breathe in. This is the key. Keeping just a very slight bend in your arms, lower the dumbbell under perfect control, feeling a good stretch in your chest muscles and ribs cage.

Lower the dumbbells to the point of comfortable stretch. Do not overstretch as it can damage the shoulder & neck joints.

3. Bring the dumbbell back to the starting position, exhaling on the way up {or exhale in last half part for best results}.

Dumbbell Pullover End Position

3 Common mistakes:

  1. Using too much weight: Its not an ego boost. Use weights that you can control or you might lose a few teeth
  2. Too short range { under-targets the muscles} or too long range {overstresses the shoulder/neck joints}
  3. Too much arm bend: Stresses the triceps more

Barbell Pullovers

Barbell Pullovers Exercise

I prefer the dumbbell version as barbells are notorious for causing imbalance in pullovers. But if you want, you can add this variation in advanced chest workouts.


Rope Pulls for Serratus Anterior

Done correctly, Rope pulls are excellent for serratus anterior muscle building

Chest Muscle Building Program

Looking to set new record in bench press and build solid muscle too. Then I highly recommend the Blast your Bench Muscle Building Program.

It is written by Mike Westerdal who not only increased his bench to 452 pounds but also added 75 lbs of muscle mass in the process. Click here to read his secrets.


› Pullovers Exercise for Chest and Back

Recent Articles

  1. Bodybuilding Workouts & Muscle Building Workout Routines that Build Muscle

    Jul 01, 17 09:52 AM

    Discover effective bodybuilding workouts and muscle building routines with strategies to make every workout a killer one. Download free 3-day, 4-day or 5-day workout routines.

    Read More

  2. Why Beginner Bodybuilders must use Light Weights for Muscle Gain

    Jul 01, 17 09:44 AM

    Discover the science why beginner bodybuilders must use light to moderate weights to gain maximum muscle mass in the first 2-3 months of training to gain muscle, prevent injuries and grow bigger.

    Read More

  3. How to do a S.W.O.T Analysis of Your Bodybuilding Workout

    Oct 26, 16 01:41 AM

    Looking to take your bodybuilding workout to the next level? Then do a SWOT analysis of your muscle building workout to increase your lifts every workout.

    Read More