The dumbbell pullover is widely known and is the latest trend workout amongst teens these days, although it has been existing since 1911. Bodybuilders have been doing a different version of dumbbell pullovers since ancient times. Many of them have even given dumbbell pullovers a huge credit to build their giant torsos.

This effective exercise improves muscle strength and especially targets lats(latissimus dorsi ) and chest majorly pectoralis. It is a postural workout by athletes and sports physiologists. No special gym equipment is needed to do this exercise. You can even perform it at the comfort of your home, by just buying dumbbells of the appropriate weight. Dumbbell pullovers movement is similar to abs rollout, it also develops a strong back with good posture.

Step By Step Instructions to do Dumbbell Pullover

Step By Step Instructions to do Dumbbell Pullover

Set Up

  1. Lay on the bench with face facing up. Maintain a little archway on your back.
  2. With both hands, grab a low-weight dumbbell.
  3. It should look like you are holding a dumbbell upwards over your chest.


  1. Bend your elbows slightly. 
  2. Slowly start reaching the dumbbells backward. 
  3. Do not move your hips or back. Try to maintain a stable body.
  4. Repeat the movement by moving the dumbbells in front and backward positions. 
  5. Remember to just use lower weight and do not start with high weight resistance.

Variations of Dumbbell Pullover

Parallel Dumbbell Pullover

In this variation, you just need to lie parallelly with the bench and move your dumbbells same as mentioned above in the instructions. The position is the same as that of the bench press. This exercise often makes glute and lats muscles stronger.

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Dumbbell Pullover with a Stability Ball

Dumbbell Pullover with a Stability Ball

In this version, you have to lie on your stability ball in a table position and perform the action. Your hips should not be on the ball. Make sure while moving the dumbbell from front to back, stretch your arms straight as much as possible. Squeeze your abs and make them engaged to the core. This variation especially strengthens your lats and makes rib bones stronger.

Dumbell Pullover with Cable Extension

Dumbell Pullover with Cable Extension

This is an amazing workout to improve scapular stability and build stronger lats. The cables are attached to the machine with adjustable weight. It can be done in a standing position. You have to pull down the handle, by keeping your chest up and squeeze it through the entire emotion. It is a good choice of workout with people suffering from shoulder injuries. This makes it easier instead of standard dumbbell variation due to the attached cables.

Double Dead Bug Pullover with Dumbbells

Double Dead Bug Pullover with Dumbbells

This variation is an excellent exercise to increase core stability. You can do this workout by lying down on the floor. Raise both your legs by bending the knees. Your leg’s position should look like a dead bug exercise pose. With back keeping stable, hold both dumbbells separately on both hands and try to move them in front and back of your head.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

Single-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

It is done the same as that of the standard pullover. Only one arm with one dumbbell is used throughout the entire exercise. You can only focus one arm at a time. It increases muscle activation on the arms and chest. With proper techniques of this workout, the lifters also become aware of their weight lifting capacity.

Who Should do a Dumbbell Pullover Workout


Power Lifters

It is a huge advantage for powerlifters because they have to brace their back and develop strong lats. Dumbbell pullovers help powerlifters to develop strong muscles and serratus for lifting heavyweights.

Olympic Weight Lifters

Olympic Weight Lifters

Dumbbell pullovers give great benefit to Olympic weight lifters to increase stability in movements like clean and jerks. Front and back squats require great focus and strength, so pullovers helps to set the base required for all kind of squats.

Fitness Athletes

Since chest and back developments are necessary for athletes, they can include dumbbell pullovers in their daily workout regime.

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General People

If you are a beginner, it is better to start strength training exercises and simple pullover exercises in presence of an instructor. After several months of rigorous training, you can include a dumbbell pullover in your workout program.

Benefits of Dumbbell Pullover

Benefits Of Dumbbell Pullover
  1. It is one of the workouts that help to improve your posture and fitness in the back and front part of the body at the same time.
  2. The muscular balance in the upper part of the body gets balanced after doing several variations of dumbbell pullover workouts.
  3. By doing regular dumbbell pullover exercises, your heart and lung health also remains good. 
  4. Lats and pecs are the important muscles connecting to the respiratory system, that helps to improve cardiopulmonary functions.
  5. Also not to forget, dumbbell pullover is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favorite exercise that helped him achieve accolades in bodybuilding. 

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