Pullover exercise (you can find a variant of the name “pullover” - from the English pull over) helps to work out the pectoral muscles, affects the broadest backs, and also helps to expand the chest if it is performed at a young age. Let's look at this exercise in detail and talk about the different options for performing a pullover with a dumbbell, with a barbell and in the simulator. And finally, we will analyze the nuances that are important to consider in order to avoid typical mistakes and get the maximum result.
Exercise Goal and Muscles Involved
Pumping up the chest using the pullover exercise alone will not work. Why do it? It has a different purpose and is more likely to be auxiliary in nature. Doing the exercise makes sense in combination with other exercises for the chest, as it helps to stretch, and most importantly - to increase the volume of the chest. For its intended purpose, it can be partially compared with the Raider's thrust, also aimed at expanding the chest.
The effectiveness of such exercises varies with age. At a young age, when the bones and cartilage of our skeleton continue to grow and form, you can achieve the most impressive results. Indicators vary, depending on the body, but on average men grow to 20-27 years old, and women to 18-20.
But this does not mean that after the indicated age, the situation becomes hopeless and there is no point in doing the exercise. This is not true. The results will be unambiguously more modest, but you can still get valuable additional millimeters of volume, especially if you combine training with breathing squats.
In fairness, it is worth saying that the debate about whether the implementation of the pullover contributes to the expansion of the chest due to the factors indicated above has not subsided so far. There are many supporters and opponents of this point of view, which have not yet come to a consensus.
Now let's talk about muscle work. During execution are loaded:
- large pectoral muscles;
- latissimus dorsi;
- triceps (mostly a long head).
Also, the front dentate and intercostal muscles are additionally involved, the diaphragm works, shoulders and brachialis act as assistants.
Thus, if the skeleton does not grow at your age (or you think that the exercise does not expand the “backbone”), it makes sense to make a pullover if only because it’s just a great exercise that works out important muscle groups, which can be included in the final part of the training of the upper body and chest , both for men and for girls.
With a dumbbell
First of all, we consider the technique of performing a pullover with a dumbbell, as the most common and popular option. The exercise is performed while lying on a horizontal bench.
Moreover, you can often find options for lying down across or along the bench. It is believed that in the first case, the muscles get a greater load and are better stretched, so we will consider it. You can navigate according to your own feelings and choose the best option for yourself, since the differences in technology are minimal.
It is also sometimes possible to meet an embodiment on an inclined bench (head pointing down), in which the emphasis is shifted towards the latissimus dorsi. But this is more exotic, and for training the widest you can choose much more effective and familiar exercises.
Finally, another possible variation is straight or bent arms at the elbows. Straightening of the arms for the most part excludes triceps from work, shifting the emphasis to the upper chest and back muscles: the broadest, rhomboid and large round.
Now let's look at the technique of performing the classic version of the pullover with a dumbbell:
- Take a lying position across the horizontal bench. In other words, your torso is perpendicular to the bench. The upper back rests against the bench, the legs rest against the floor and are bent at an angle of just over 90 ° - a kind of “bridge” is obtained.
- Carefully grab a dumbbell with both hands (ideally, ask an assistant to give you a shell) by the bottom of the disc, the bar passes between the crossed thumbs, the palms are facing away from you, the second disc hangs freely. Lift above your head with your arms slightly bent at the elbows. This will be the starting position.
- On inspiration, gently and controlledly lower the dumbbell back and down behind the head, feeling as you inspire and abduct the pectoral muscles are stretched. In the process of movement, only the shoulder joints work, if you move your elbows, you will get something similar to the French bench press .
- At the lowest point, feel the maximum stretching of the chest. Try not to raise your pelvis up (you will definitely want to do this) - this will reduce the effectiveness of stretching.
- Raise the dumbbell to its original position, exhaling and feeling muscle contraction. Do the planned number of repetitions (for beginners, 10-12 repetitions with a weight of not more than 10 kg).
It is worth mentioning the variation, which is often called the "breathing pullover." The difference in technique is to preliminarily force your lungs to do powerful work, which is why squats are done first.
This can be either ordinary squats with a barbell on your shoulders (15-20 reps) or your own weight, or breathing squats - three deep breaths at the top point, holding your breath and squatting to the parallel, returning to the starting position and powerful exhalation.
After squats, immediately (without a pause), the respiratory pullover is also performed with a powerful inhalation and exhalation. The chest is “bursting” from the work done during the squats, and the pullover helps to consolidate the effect, by analogy with the Raider rod mentioned above.
Before experimenting with breathing, consult your trainer. If you have little experience, dizziness may occur.
With a barbell
Pullover with a barbell is slightly different from the version with a dumbbell. The vulture is taken with a direct grip. The width of the grip may be different, but it is recommended to place the hands approximately at shoulder width, but not wider so as not to reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.
In the case of the bar, the most common option is to perform a pullover lying along the bench, and not across. Make sure that your legs rest firmly on the floor and do not lift your pelvis (while the projectile is moving over your head).
Lower the bar smoothly, without jerking. Hands fall approximately parallel to the floor or slightly lower.
In the simulator
Finally, there are variations of the exercise in the simulator - standing or sitting, and not lying down, as in the classic version. It can be simulators such as "Nautilus" or "Crossover".
In the first case, the trajectory and amplitude of motion will be rigidly set due to the fixed crossbeam. The back should be pressed firmly to the seat. The crossbar stretches down to the level of the chest, then gradually rises to the upper position. Do not forget to monitor your breathing: the crossbar at chest level - exhale; moves to the upper position - inhale.
In the crossover, there are no strict frames and the amplitude of the movement can be adjusted depending on your tasks. You can adjust both the simulator itself and your own position, including the distance from you to the simulator.
The pullover at the block, thus, can be aimed at the development of the latissimus dorsi, the upper part of the deltas, can affect the rhomboid and round muscles, and triceps is excluded altogether. The technique on the block simulator as a whole can be represented as follows:
- Fasten the horizontal handle to the top unit. Stand at the treadmill so that the handle is above your head. Grip the handle with both hands with a straight grip. The arms are almost straight, slightly bent at the elbows, the back is straight.
- Pull the handle down due to the widest tension, keeping your back and arms straight, approximately to the level of your hips.
- Hold for a couple of seconds at the lower point, then smoothly and controlledly return to its original position.
Reducing the amplitude of motion at the upper point will practically exclude the pectoral muscles from work and focus on the widest. Depending on your goals, put the exercise in the final part of your chest or back workout, respectively.
Important nuances - fixing bugs
And finally, a number of recommendations:
- Watch for sensations in the shoulder joints, because they have a significant load. Be sure to warm up at the start of your workout to reduce the likelihood of injury. For the same reason, you should not immediately use too large a burden in maximum amplitude. If you are an experienced athlete and are ready to work with a lot of weight, do fewer reps (5-8) and slightly reduce the amplitude.
- Pullover is not a basic exercise. Bring it closer to completing your chest muscle training program.
- If you want to work out the top of your chest with an accent, you can use light weight and do the exercise with almost straight arms. The number of repetitions is high - 15 times or more.
- If you are doing a pullover in the simulator, it is also not recommended to use a lot of weight, focus on the technique. Make sure that there are no sudden movements, jerks, inclinations and swings. Only the muscles of the chest and back work. This is an isolating exercise.
Now you know everything about pullovers, or almost everything, in order to decide whether to include this exercise in a workout. Success and new sporting achievements!