Pullover with a barbell

Using the barbell when performing the pullover exercise allows you to pay attention to the development of the pectoral muscles, rather than when using dumbbells. Do not think that in this embodiment, the dorsal latissimus muscles remain idle. They are also involved in the work, but to a lesser extent.


  • 1 Technique
  • 2 General recommendations
  • 3 Options
    • 3.1 Pullover with a bar lying across the bench
    • 3.2 Pullover with a bar on a bench with a reverse slope
  • 4 Analysis of exercises
    • 4.1 What muscles work
    • 4.2 What is the difference from a pullover with a dumbbell "> 4.3 Who should use the exercise?
  • 5 Interesting Facts

Execution technique

You can get the most out of a pullover with a bar only if the correct technique is followed.

To take a starting position, you must:

  • take the bar with a medium grip;
  • lie on a horizontal bench, making sure that the head is on the edge;
  • fix with a direct grip the bar over the chest, keeping your hands slightly bent and raised vertically.

The loin should not bend much. Relieve stress from the press allows the position when the feet are installed on the back of the bench.

The movement itself with a pullover is performed as follows:

  • take a deep breath, slowly lowering the barbell behind the head;
  • hold hands with a bar parallel to the floor surface for about one to two seconds;
  • exhale, returning to their original position.

When arms with a shell are wound behind the head, they focus solely on muscle strain. It is necessary to completely abstract from traction.

Important! Do not bend your arms. If we allow this, instead of a pullover, a bench press will be executed, and, therefore, the load will begin to be exerted on other muscle groups.

General recommendations

  1. Exercise is recommended to be performed with an EZ-shaped bar on the bar. This allows you to ensure the natural position of the elbow and wrist joints when performing movement.
  2. The bend angle of the elbow joint should not change. During movement, it should be 150 degrees.
  3. The optimal load for an athlete performing a pullover with a barbell is considered the weight of an empty neck. It ranges from 8 to 10 kg. In the future, the load is increased. The maximum limit is 25 kg.

Do not exceed recommended weight. Otherwise, an abdominal hernia may develop.

Execution Options

Pullover with a barbell lying across the bench

Complicated variation for more advanced athletes. When the projectile is planted behind the head, the pelvis can be lowered down. Additionally, the muscles of the press and the back are connected to the work. It is best to perform the exercise in pairs. This allows you to sit on the bench as convenient as possible, because the projectile is supplied by a partner.

Pullover with a bar on a bench with a reverse slope

The load falls to a greater extent on the lower pectoral muscles and on the back. This leads to a decrease in the amplitude of motion and an increase in the load on the elbow joints.

Parsing exercise

Pullover with a bar is a “finishing” exercise for training the target muscle group. It does not allow hypertrophy. Movement may be included in the warm-up before strength training. This allows you to improve the mobility of the shoulder joint and prevent injuries from high loads already during the session.

What muscles work

Exercise involves the long head of the triceps brachii, pectoralis major and latissimus. Auxiliary is triceps. The trapezoid takes on a stabilizing role.

What is the difference from a pullover with a dumbbell?> Who needs the exercise?

Pullover with a barbell is much more traumatic option with a dumbbell. This is due to the fact that the movement of the brush is strictly limited. Some care must be taken. Do not proceed with the movement without checking the mobility of the shoulder joint.

To do this, perform classical pull-ups in full amplitude. If it is given with ease, you can proceed with the implementation of the pullover. Such a test should not be carried out for those who have fresh shoulder injuries, since they are a direct contraindication to exercise.

Interesting Facts

Among athletes, there is an opinion that the exercise becomes more effective when it is combined with a bench press, that is, they make a superset. This is not true. The classic bench press brings results only when using a lot of weight, and the pullover is light. This means that the combination of two exercises in the superset is unproductive when it comes to the bench press and is traumatic when applied to the pullover.

In some sources, the movement is positioned as the target, allowing to expand the chest. Such a conviction is valid only for the period when active growth of the organism is observed. The rest of the time, this effect cannot be achieved.