Dumbbell pullover

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Sternal (lower) Pectoralis Major
  • Synergists: Latissimus Dorsi, Triceps Brachii (long head), Posterior Deltoid,  Teres Major, Rhomboids, Levator Scalupae, Pectoralis Minor
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Lie perpendicular on a bench with only your upper back and shoulders being supported by the surface. Your head and lower body should be extending off the bench, with your lower body acting as a counterbalance.
  2. Hold a dumbbell with both hands directly above your chest, with your arms almost fully extended and your palms facing each other.


  1. Exhale as you slowly lower the dumbbell in a backward arc behind your head until your elbows are level with your ears.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly raise the dumbbell back over your head to the starting position using the same arcing motion.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your arms slightly bent throughout the movement.
  • Keep your hips lower than your shoulders.
  • Do not arch your back.
  • Do not lower the dumbbell too far down behind your head.


The dumbbell pullover can be performed with straight arms (as above) or bent arms (bent-arm dumbbell pullover), with a barbell or EZ bar instead of a dumbbell, or with a small dumbbell in each hand instead of one dumbbell. You can also perform the exercise on a stability ball instead of a bench, which will activate more core muscles to maintain stability.

Dumbbell pullover video



Click here to post a comment

Follow Me on Social Media

I post all new exercises and training programs to these social media platforms. Follow me to see the exercises and training programs in your feeds.

Download My Ebook

It contains everything you need for total-body fitness and transformation.

How to Create a Great Body ebook

See what's inside >>