How Do Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullovers Work the Chest?

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Straight-arm dumbbell pullovers work a wide variety of different parts of your body, including your chest. Find out how straight-arm dumbbell pullovers work the chest with help from a certified personal trainer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Weightlifting & Fitness
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Tyler Tsujimoto with Tsujimoto Fitness located in Midvale, Utah. Today, we are going to talk about how to do a straight arm dumbbell pullover. And how that works the chest muscles okay. If you are not familiar with a straight arm dumbbell pullover is or what it looks like, I'll demonstrate that a little bit later on. But I do want to talk about a few key points beforehand to make sure that we know proper form and technique. So that we can stay safe and make sure that we do get the proper exercise that we are looking for. First thing you are going to need is a bench. Okay you want a nice sturdy bench cause we are going to be laying down on it for that. The other thing you need is a dumbbell, hence the name dumbbell pullover. But we are going to choose a weight for you that you can comfortably do about 15 repetitions to start. If it's new exercise for you we want to make sure that we don't go too much too soon with the weight and risk injury ok. The moment essentially is keeping the arms straight and hands together. And then you allow the arms to go over the top of the head and back over the chest as we are in a laying position ok. The reason that this works the chest muscles is twofold. We actually have to keep our hands in holding the dumbbell together which engages the muscles through the chest in order to keep the hands in the proper position. And then as we extend our arms back over the head and pull over we are getting a stretch and contraction throughout the chest in that range of motion as well. We are going to work other muscle groups in addition to this. You will feel it in the shoulders, probably a bit in the triceps. And even in the lats. But that is how this exercise is going to focus on working out the chest. Okay so now we are in the starting position to begin the straight arm dumbbell pullover. You notice I have the dumbbell resting on my chest. So whatever weight dumbbell you select you are going to want to get into this position to start because it's easiest to push the weight up from here to be in the proper position. The grip for this I'm not holding onto the handle specifically for this exercise. I'm actually going to kind of make a triangle shape with my thumb and fingers and put them around the handle so I'm holding on to the actual weight itself not the handle. From that position you are going to push straight up okay. Now from here it's important also to make sure that the bench is the height where you can keep your feet firm on the ground. It helps with balance and stabilization that way. Make you feel a little bit safer throughout the exercise. Now in this position we push up from the chest. So I want you to engage the chest muscles right now. I want you to be contracting the chest so that they know that they are supposed to be involved in this movement. Okay from here we are going to keep the arm straight, elbows almost completely locked out throughout the range of motion. And we are going to start the movement. We are going to allow the weight to come back over the head. So as I come back we are going to get a nice stretch through here. You are going to feel this in the shoulders and in the lats also. But I want you to keep tension in the chest okay. Now my feet are fat on the ground and I'm being careful not to let my hips come up off the bench either from this position. Now from here you are going to exhale and bring the weight back up over the chest to the starting position. So we'll exhale. Pull right back up over the starting position okay. Show you another repetition so you can see how it's done. Pull down get a good stretch, hips are on the ground. And up over the chest. Again focus on the chest staying tight and contracted the whole time. That's how we make sure to get maximum chest involvement in the straight arm dumbbell pullover. Again, I'm Tyler Tsujimoto with Tsujimoto Fitness. We just talked about how the straight arm dumbbell pullover works the chest. Put all these tactics to work an you will get the most benefit out of this exercise.


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