A chest pullover is a strength exercise that focuses on strengthening your pecs and lat muscles. It is often included by people in their strength training who want to increase their upper body strength. 

Chest pullover is known to be quite a beginner-friendly exercise as the practitioner can change the weight according to their strength. If you are a beginner to strength training, you can start a chest pullover with a small weight. Once you get comfortable doing this exercise, you can gradually increase the weight so that it can hit your lats harder. 

Difference Between Chest Pullover And Dumbbell Pullover

You can do a chest pullover using different types of weight equipment. If you are using dumbbells, the exercise would be called a dumbbell pullover. You can also do chest cable pullover and resistance band chest pullover using cable and resistance band respectively. 

Since it is the easiest to learn and practice chest pullovers using dumbbells, we will teach dumbbell pullovers in this guide. 

How To Do Chest Pullover

The most important thing to keep in mind while doing strength exercise is maintaining the right form. Otherwise, the practitioner ends up putting strain on muscles or even getting injured. The same is the case with the chest pullover. Down below, we have mentioned how to perform chest pullover the right way:

  • Sit on a weight bench and put your feet on the ground.¬†
  • Slide your feet sideways, creating a gap between them that should be a little wider than the bench.¬†
  • Now, hold dumbbells in both hands and roll back to relax your body on the bench.¬†
  • Make sure that your back, neck, and head have the support of the bench.¬†
  • Stretch your arms forward and above your chest, bend elbows, and make the palm face each other.¬†
  • Breathe in, contract your core, gradually, bring back the dumbbells over your head.
  • Make the dumbbells reach your head‚Äôs back in 3 to 4 seconds.¬†
  • Breathe out, return the dumbbells back to the position where you started this exercise.¬†

Chest Pullover: Muscles Worked 

Here is a list of the major muscle groups that get hit by the chest pullover workout:

  • Serratus muscle
  • Pectoral muscles
  • Triceps
  • Latissimus orsi

Chest Pullover Benefits

A regular practice will give you the following benefits:

  • It Increases Your Upper Body Strength: The best benefit that this exercise is known for is its unique capability in increasing upper body strength. As we just discussed above, a chest pullover can strengthen your Serratus muscle, Pectoral muscles, Triceps, Latissimus dorsi, and a few other muscle groups.¬†
  • It Improves Your Shoulder Mobility: Most of the strength training exercises require you to engage your shoulder joint in one way or the other. If your shoulder joint is not mobile enough, you won‚Äôt be able to do strength exercise. Thankfully, this exercise paves the way for various chest pullover alternative exercises by improving your shoulder mobility.¬†
  • It Stabilizes Your Core: Most people think that a chest pullover can strengthen only the chest muscles. While it is true that the main focus of this exercise is only on chest muscles, it benefits the core muscles too. The range of motion in this exercise activates glutes, lower back muscles, and the core muscles. If you stick to the upper chest pullover workout, you will end up with a strong and stabilized core.¬†
  • It Acts As A Base Exercise: Most beginners refrain from even touching the strength equipment because they think that strength training exercises are hard to practice. If you are a beginner and have the same problem, you can start your strength training journey with a chest pullover as it is relatively easier to practice than most other strength exercises. There are two reasons why this exercise is beginner-friendly: first, an inclined bench supports your body, and second, there is no minimum bar of weight.¬†

Precautions And Safety Points

Here is a list of some precautions and safety points to keep in your mind while you practice the chest pullover workout:

  • Never jump straight to the chest pullover exercise without starting your workout with some easy warm-up exercises and stretches. A warm-up session can activate the muscles and joints that will be engaged in the chest pullover exercise later.¬†
  • People who have any type of structural limitation in their body (because of any inborn disability or a medical condition) should practice this exercise only after consulting with their doctor.¬†
  • If you have an unhealed injury in your shoulders, it is better to avoid the chest pullover exercise until you are completely healed. Instead of doing a chest pullover, you can increase the number of other strength exercises that are quite efficient and increase your strength without requiring shoulder mobility.¬†
  • Before beginning the chest pullover workout, make sure that your wrists and hand muscles are comfortable lifting the weight. Otherwise, there is a risk of getting injured. While you practice the chest pullover workout, you have to lift dumbbells over your head and if your grip is not strong, you might drop the dumbbells. As a beginner, you can also start the chest pullover exercise without using weight.¬†
  • If you feel pain while doing this exercise, you should immediately stop and consult a physical therapist or doctor. The pain might be a symptom of an underlying major health problem that can get worsen with the chest pullover exercise.¬†
  • If you are a total beginner who has never practiced any type of strength exercise before, 7 to 10 reps of chest pullover are enough for you in the initial months. Once you get comfortable doing the exercise and your shoulder joints become flexible, you can lift heavier dumbbells and do more reps.¬†


A chest pullover is a simple yet effective exercise to work on your chest muscles. Though we have mentioned the dumbbell pullover exercise, you can also use other weight equipment if you want. The best part ‚Äď you can also practice this exercise with zero weight just to master the right form. If you stick to the chest pullover workout, you will soon end up with a strong chest.¬†

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August 24, 2022

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