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 Post subject: Forgotten Exercises: The Pullover...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:07 am 
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It wasn't all that long ago you could walk into any gym and see this exercise being performed. Moreover you could ask anyone over 200 pounds what the essential exercises for growth were and chances are Pullovers would be among the top responses. With the advent of Nautilus machines in the late 80's/early 90's Pullover machines became very popular and kept this exercise lodged in the minds of many.

Today you don't see or hear of pullovers nearly as often as you once did which is why it finds itself as the star of this article.

Pullovers have two main variations: Bent arm and Straight arm. Its typically accepted that straight arm pullovers are the harder of the two due to the strain placed on the triceps and shoulder (the joint, not the delts). These two are performed with a barbell however a dumbell version also exists. They can be performed while lying 'cross-bench', meaning your body is perpendicular to the bench with only your shoulders and upper back supported or with body placed firmly on the bench. Neither is better or worse although lying cross-bench can allow for a greater level of stretch from the rib cage and abdominals at certain points in the ROM.

Muscles worked:

Major:
Latissimus Dorsi
Pectoralis Major
Posterior Delts
Triceps (long head)

Secondary:
Anterior Delt
Triceps Brachii
Forearm/Wrist Flexors
Rhomboids

It is argued by many that the focal point of the pull over is the back, namely the lats. It is argued by others that the pullover is primarily a chest exercise. The truth is that it's both. At one time it was said that all one needed to develop a respectable upper body was heavy pullovers.

Lets see how they're done:

This first video shows a fairly accurate example of a cross-bench bent arm pullover. My only criticism would be to drop the hips as low as possible. This will cause your lower body to serve as more of a counterbalance and make the exercise more stable throughout the ROM.




This next video shows a good representation of a straight arm pullover. Notice the stress placed on the shoulder girdle at the far end of the ROM. This variation should be done carefully paying strict attention to form and to any signals from the body which might indicate danger of injury.




While I'm not sure that the only exercise needed to develop the upper body is the pullover I think its one of those exercises that warrants a place in most strength workouts strictly due to its ability to give us quite a bang for the buck!

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 Post subject: Re: Forgotten Exercises: The Pullover...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:15 pm 
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I absolutely love this excersise and use it all the time. I usually do it on chest day, before hitting triceps and it just smokes my triceps before I begin to isolate them with more typical tricep movements. I can't decide what muscle group it hits the hardest, and even though I typically do it as a chest finishing movement I'd have to say I feel it less in my chest than I do in my lats, triceps and even abs. This is one of my favorites but it can irritate your shoulders (and tendonitis) if you have issues with them. I've never done the straight armed version but that looks like it could be trouble for anyone with shoulder or elbow issues. Notice how light of weight he is using. It really doesn't take much to be effective in my opinion.

Good post! :hi:

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