Dumbbell Pullovers
Tone Your Upper Back



Dumbbell pullovers are a great exercise, they work your upper back and chest in one smooth movement. Find videos and instructions for the correct technique, avoid injury and see quicker results.

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For some reason, people rarely do dumbbell pullovers as a regular part of their strength training exercises.

It's baffling because this exercise works two of your largest masses of muscle (pectoralis major - chest; latissimus dorsi - back, in case you were wondering).

It also uses many smaller stabilizing muscles in your upper back and core (abs and lower back).

Now I know it's not much incentive for women to build their pecs, but simply toning (as opposed to bulking) those 2 large muscles will go a long way to improving your metabolism. That means more fat burning, which provides great motivation.

Another added benefit of this exercise, is that it provides a good body stretch. Once you've warmed up and got the blood pumping, it's a good idea to include the dumbbell pullover near the start of your strength workout.

With any exercise, good technique is vital to staying fit, but it's even more important with exercises that work your back.

Also, you'll need to apply some common sense (shocker!). Seeing as you'll be lifting a weight over and above your head, make sure the dumbbell is secured tight, or even better use a fixed-weight dumbbell.

healthy back

Dumbbell Pullovers

Start by using a relatively light weight and do 10-15 reps. Progress from there.

  1. Lie across a bench (so that only your upper back, shoulders and neck are resting on the bench).
  2. Keep your back neutral, head still and both feet flat on the floor (knees bent at 90 degrees).
  3. Hold the dumbbell over your chest with both hands. Keep your elbows slightly bent.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbell back and behind your head. Feel the stretch further by lowering your hips a little at the bottom of the lift.
  5. Then slowly lift the dumbbell back up above your chest.
  6. Repeat until you complete your reps.

Tips:

  • Exhale as you lift up, inhale as you lower. Don't be tempted to hold your breath.
  • Keep your core muscles braced throughout, this will stabilize your lower back.
  • If your core can't handle this, lie fully along the bench so that your back is supported.
  • Lift and lower in a slow and controlled fashion. If you feel gravity is taking over then stop.
  • Don't fully bend your elbows, keep them ever so slightly bent, but no more.


Double Dumbbell Pullovers
(Try and say that in a hurry!)

This exercise is identical to the one above, but this time you're holding a dumbbell in each hand. Doing it this way works your left and right sides individually. Use a lighter weight from above.

  1. Lie across a bench (so that only your upper back, shoulders and neck are resting on the bench).
  2. Keep your back neutral, head still and both feet flat on the floor (knees bent at 90 degrees).
  3. Hold both dumbbells (1 in each hand, palms facing in) over your chest. Keep your elbows slightly bent.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells back and behind your head.
  5. Then slowly lift the dumbbells back up above your chest.
  6. Repeat until you complete your reps.

Tips:

  • Exhale as you lift up, inhale as you lower.
  • Keep your core muscles braced throughout.
  • If your core can't handle this, lie fully along the bench so that your back is supported.
  • Don't fully bend your elbows, keep them ever so slightly bent, but no more.
  • Lift and lower in a slow and controlled fashion. If you feel gravity is taking over then stop.

Exercise Pictures

Dumbbell Pullover Videos

Enjoy these dumbbell pullovers! Check out these quality videos for more examples of the best technique:



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