BARBELL AND DUMBBELL PULLOVERS: KILLER CHEST EXERCISES
One of man’s biggest pride and ego is their chest. Aside from being visually and aesthetically good-looking, it is what makes a man, simply a man. You can now achieve those desired pecs of yours through the Barbell and Dumbbell pullovers. Try asking yourself or any random guy of what would be their motivation for going to the gym? Majority of their answers will have “to buff my pecs or chest” in it. Psychologically, a bigger chest increases the masculinity of a man; it makes them feel more manly and powerful.
These two kick-ass pullovers, the Barbell and Dumbbell pullovers, are the rulers of the chest empire. Little does it seem like it, but it actually has some killer results and it will give you the power and manliness you have wanted for too long.
Scientifically speaking, let us find out the benefits and advantages of having a buffed chest to your health, physique and functionality in general.
Science of the Chest
The chest is the most eye-catching part of the body, it may seem that it is the largest muscle of all but actually it encompasses a small portion of the total body muscles. So it is important to also shower some attention on your chest area so as to achieve a balanced physique. A well-defined muscle, especially in the chest region, signifies strength and power. It also provides balance for the shoulders and the overall skeletal structure. It has been universally understood that having strong pecs tells a lot about a man’s capabilities. But having strong pecs does not only benefit the male specie but the women as well. In general, achieving a strong and healthy chest muscle is vital and essential when it comes to posture, functionality and strength.
Two Main Muscles
Pectoralis Major makes up the bulk of the chest for males and lies under the breast of the females. This muscle is situated at the anterior (what is in front of) part of the human body. It is a thick, fan-shaped muscle which is primarily responsible for the movement of the shoulder joint. The Pectoralis Major is also responsible for keeping the arm attached to the trunk of the body. Pectoralis Minor, as oppose to the Pectoralis Major, is a thin, triangular-shaped muscle located beneath the Pectoralis Major. It has two main functions, the abduction and depression of the scapula towards the ribs.
Because of its scientific name “Pectoralis” it is now commonly called as “pecs”, synonymous to the word, chest.
Having the anatomy all covered, it is safe to say that the chest looks best with mass and what better way to gain those mass than to hit some hard chest exercise with these two heavy pressing movements: Barbell and Dumbbell Pullovers.
The Barbell Pullover is quite alike with the Dumbbell Pullover but what sets these two apart is the equipment used. So, from using dumbbells in your dumbbell pullovers you will, instead, be using a barbell when doing your barbell pullovers. The main target of this chest exercise is the back. It also has a great contribution to your chest development, specifically in your pectoralis minor. One of the advantages of the Barbell Pullover is it improves your shoulder performance. It allows you to pull your body up against gravity. As well as, it improves your posture and ability to perform daily tasks, such as pushing a door open.
How to do it:
This is similar to doing the dumbbell pullovers but substitute the dumbbell with a barbell.
- Lie down perpendicular to a workout bench. Position your head and torso off the bench which will require you a great amount of balance. Contract your core muscles to further stabilize yourself.
- Hold and position the barbell above your chest using an overhand grip. Extend your arms but with a slight bend in your elbows. This is your starting position.
- Slowly lower the barbell behind your head in an arc motion. Ideally, your arms should be near or parallel to your ears.
- You can ask for someone to spot you upon doing this workout. Losing control of the barbell might cause serious injuries to your shoulders.
- Bring the barbell back up to the starting position to complete one repetition.
- Repeat to the number of desired repetitions.
The dumbbell pullover is one of the most ironic type of upper body exercises due to the reason that it targets opposing muscles which are the chest and the back simultaneously. Your back is responsible for and reacts more during the pulling movement. Your chest takes over as it contracts and gives off power as you return back to the initial position.
Equipment to prepare:
- A dumbbell. The weight will depend on your skill level, measure the weight to where your are challenged but not up to the extreme where you are no longer comfortable.
- A flat-surfaced bench.
How to do it:
- Place the dumbbell to a place where you can easily reach.
- Lie your back straight on the bench at a 90 degree angle as if forming a cross.
- Your shoulder area should be the only part lying on the bench.
- Your torso should be off the bench paralleling to the floor, keep hips positioned slightly below the bench.
- The head should be off the bench as well.
- Feet should remain flat on the floor at all times.
- Grab the dumbbell gripping it with both hands towards your chest at arms-length. This is your starting position.
- Your palms should be facing the underside of the plate which is positioned closer to the ceiling.
- Make sure to use a very secured and safe dumbbell to prevent the plate from falling apart or on your face.
- Maintaining a straight arm, pull the dumbbell backwards in an arc motion bringing all the weight behind your head until you feel a stretch in your chest area. Inhale as you do this movement.
- Upon hitting the maximum point, pull the dumbbell forward bringing it back to the starting position. You can just retrace the motion you did when you lowered the dumbbell behind. Exhale as you do this.
- Repeat to the number of desired repetitions.
There is another way to do your dumbbell pullovers. In this manner this will double the effect in your chest area and arms, intensifying and speeding up the results.
Bent-arm Dumbbell Pullover
This is almost identical to the regular dumbbell pullover, but instead of doing the movement with your arms extended straight, you slightly bend your elbows as you bring the weight back in an arc motion and as you pull it back up to the starting position. This variation requires twice the power and strength when performing this. Then again, if you are uncertain that you can pull this off, do not hesitate to ask for a spotter to assist you in your workout.
Work those Chest!
Although, despite the difficulty level of the Barbell and Dumbbell pullovers, you have to gather all your motivation and perseverance if you want to achieve those grandiose pecs. The intensifying, sweat-dripping and muscle-grinding exercise is what it takes to crank up those pecs and having a perfect chest exercise.
With the Barbell and Dumbbell pullovers, you can be rest-assured that in just a span of a week, you will feel a huge change in your chest area. Nevertheless, it will still come with discipline and regularity from your workout habit. I have included below a list of other chest exercises that you can incorporate to your workout routine to have an additional spice when working out your pecs.
Other Types of Chest Exercises
This is the most basic chest exercise out there because of it being relatively easy and no equipment is used for this type of exercise.
- Lie on the floor with your chest facing down. Place both of your hands below your chest and extend it at arms-length pushing your torso upwards. Keep your back straight and do not sag your hips down. This is your starting position.
- Next, inhale and bend your elbows as you lower yourself down until your chest almost touches the floor. Leave about an inch or two between the floor and your chest.
- As you exhale, push your body back up to the starting position while contracting your chest.
- Repeat to number of desired repetitions.
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
- Clip your legs at one end of a declined bench to secure yourself from not falling down and lie down.
- Hold one dumbbell at each of your hand with your palms facing each other.
- Position the dumbbells above your chest as you extend your arms with your hands shoulder-width apart. Rotate your hands to let your elbows face outward and your palms facing your feet. This is your starting position.
- Inhale as you lower down the weights on your sides until your elbows are paralleled to your underarms making a 90 degree angle.
- Exhale as you bring the dumbbells back up to the starting position. Contract your chest and arms while doing the movement.
- This chest exercise is similar to a regular dumbbell bench press.
- Lie down at a bench holding one dumbbell at each hand.
- Position the dumbbells above your chest and extend your arms with slightly bending elbows. Your palms are facing each other and your elbows are pointing outwards. This is your starting position.
- Inhale as you lower down the dumbbells at your sides in a wide arc motion without breaking off the bent position of your elbows. Contract your chest and your arms as you hold the position for a second or two.
- Exhale as you bring back up the dumbbells to the starting position.
- Hold a pulley in each hand and stand in the middle of both pulleys. You can set the pulley to the resistant that you want.
- Hold both pulleys and stand with one foot forward as if standing in a straight line. Bend slightly your upper body forward for support and balance. Exhale as you pull the pulleys in front of you until your hands are an inch apart from each other. This is your starting position.
- With slightly bending your elbows, this to prevent unwanted stress to your biceps, spread your arms far off way to the sides in a wide arc until your hands are in line with your shoulders. Inhale as you do this movement.
- Pull the pulleys back in front of you going back to the starting position.
- Repeat to the number of desired repetitions.
There is a significant difference between having a big chest and a big, defined chest. There is one person in the history of the chest dynasty who had everything, from a big, defined chest and strong arms to a big back and defined abs, and that is no one but the chest master himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Looking at his picture you can see that he had it all: mass, definition and balance and who does not want to have the same results as him? But we need to keep in mind that not everyone has the same reaction and response to particular workout exercises. The Barbell and Dumbbell pullover may not work for you that well, but you can listen to your body and understand what it needs. Then, you can adjust some certain factors or recreate your own variations so that it would workout for you. But one thing here is for sure, Schwarzenegger was able to achieve those perfect pecs because of using the Barbell and Dumbbell pullovers for his workout.