Physique Global

The most underrated upper body exercise

Dumbbell pullover is one of the most if not the most effective upper body exercise to train your back and chest muscles simultaneously.

It’s effectiveness in activating different upper body muscle groups has been known for decades. It can give you that great feeling of pump in your chest, stretches the lats, builds up the serratus, and has even been attributed with the ability to stretch your ribcage.

The correct form:

  • Holding a dumbbell, lay with your back flat on a bench.
  • With your feet planted on the ground and your core engaged, extend your arms to the sky, holding the dumbbell with both hands above your chest.
  • Keeping your lower back pressed into the bench, slowly lower your arms overhead until your biceps reach your ears.
  • Slowly bring your arms back to above your chest. This is your one repetition.


  • If done properly, Dumbbell pullover hits everything from the bottom of your pecs to your abs, lats and triceps, working all of these muscles in a beneficial and unique way.
  • The dumbbell pullover earned its reputation as one of the best chest builder exercises. It’s only natural, because this complex move incorporates all the benefits of dumbbell flyes and cable crossovers in all of their variations. It provides both shoulder extension and shoulder adduction.
  • With slight variation you can also use the pullover to isolate the lats, greatly eliminating the help of the other muscles. This makes the pullover a perfect isolation exercise for developing the back. If you want to target your lats, you should bend the elbows and flare them out slightly. Focus on pulling with your elbows, while keeping the forearms and hands relaxed to eliminate biceps contribution.


A lot of people rush through the movement and don’t focus on getting a proper stretch. Really feeling that deep stretch is a must. Also bear in mind that, pullovers aren’t for everyone, especially people with shoulder issues should skip this exercise all together.

Since it is not that popular and glamorous like some of the other exercises, dumbbell pullovers seem to have fallen out of people’s routines, but it definitely needs to make a comeback, with all the benefits and results it has got to offer.