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Dumbbell Pull-Over 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Flexibility & Mobility


Dumbbell Pull-Over
Dumbbell Pull-Over

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type


Required Equipment


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The Dumbbell Pull-Over is a versatile exercise primarily targeting the chest muscles while also engaging secondary muscle groups such as the lats, shoulders, and triceps. Utilizing only a dumbbell, this exercise involves lying flat on a bench with the weight held above the chest and then lowering it in a controlled motion behind the head while maintaining a slight bend in the elbows. The movement is then reversed to bring the weight back to the starting position, effectively engaging the chest muscles through a full range of motion while also providing a comprehensive upper body workout.

How to Perform

  1. Begin by grasping a dumbbell firmly with both hands, ensuring a comfortable grip.

  2. Position yourself on a flat bench with your shoulder blades resting firmly against its surface, maintaining a 90-degree angle with the bench. Your back should remain straight throughout the exercise, with knees bent at a 90-degree angle and feet planted firmly on the ground to stabilize your body.

  3. Hold the dumbbell directly above your chest with both arms fully extended, creating a starting position where the weight is directly overhead.

  4. Initiate the movement by bending at the shoulders while keeping your arms straight, gradually lowering the dumbbell in a controlled manner behind your head until it reaches the height of the bench. This motion should primarily engage the chest muscles.

  5. Slowly reverse the movement by raising the dumbbell back to the starting position, focusing on contracting the chest muscles to bring the weight overhead.

  6. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions, ensuring smooth and controlled movements throughout to maximize effectiveness and minimize the risk of injury. Additionally, maintain proper breathing techniques throughout the exercise, exhaling as you lift the weight and inhaling as you lower it.


  1. Ensure to maintain straight arms throughout the exercise, avoiding any bending at the elbows to effectively engage the targeted muscle groups.

  2. Be cautious not to allow the dumbbell to drift too far forward during the movement. The initial position should have the dumbbell directly overhead, and it should not extend beyond that point to maintain control and effectiveness.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid arching your back excessively during the exercise as it can lead to strain on the lower back and detract from isolating the target muscle groups. Maintain a neutral spine position to ensure proper form and minimize the risk of injury.

  2. Do not use momentum to swing the dumbbell during the movement. Instead, focus on controlled, deliberate motions to effectively engage the chest muscles and secondary muscle groups. Swinging the weight can lead to ineffective targeting of the intended muscles and may result in strain or injury.

  3. Avoid lowering the dumbbell too far behind your head. Overextending the range of motion can place excessive strain on the shoulders and may lead to discomfort or injury. Keep the movement within a comfortable range that allows for proper muscle activation without compromising joint integrity.

  4. Do not grip the dumbbell too tightly or allow your wrists to bend excessively. Maintaining a relaxed grip and neutral wrist position can help to prevent unnecessary strain on the wrists and forearms, allowing you to focus your energy on contracting the chest muscles effectively.

  5. Avoid holding your breath during the exercise. Remember to breathe evenly and continuously throughout each repetition to ensure adequate oxygen supply to the muscles and maintain proper form. Holding your breath can increase intra-abdominal pressure and may lead to dizziness or lightheadedness.

  6. Do not rush through the exercise. Take your time to focus on the quality of each repetition, emphasizing the contraction of the chest muscles at the top of the movement. Rushing through the exercise can compromise form and reduce the effectiveness of the workout, leading to wasted energy and suboptimal results.

  7. Avoid using excessively heavy weights that you cannot control with proper form. Select a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with smooth, controlled movements while still challenging your muscles. Using weights that are too heavy can increase the risk of injury and detract from targeting the intended muscle groups effectively.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.








Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.


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