your guys take on pullovers...

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by waray214, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. waray214

    waray214 Member

    just wanted to know what you guys thoughts are on pullovers, specifically dumbbell pullovers? this exercise definitely seems hit or miss with a lot of people, they either love them or think they're completely useless. anyone actually used them and found them effective? anyone used them with hst? they seem like sort of a forgotten compound exercise (maybe because people have found them a waste of time :)). i'm thinking of possibly adding them to my next cycle to possibly add some upper body/chest thickness. just wanna know your guys' thoughts...totentanz, lateralus, grunt...bestow upon me your wisdom :)
  2. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    I tried DB pullovers for one cycle and didn’t notice anything out of them. Of course one cycle may not have been enough to give them a fair tryout. The next cycle I did cable pullovers. I didn’t feel that those did anything for me except as a killer ab workout since I did them knelling using the high pulley station on my power rack. So base on that and the fact that there is only so much time in a workout and recover ability in my body I’m sticking mostly to traditional compound lifts for now and may give them a try much later on when I have bulked up as much as I reasonably think I can.
  3. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I have done them and felt a good stretch in the lats but never stuck with them too much. Too hard to set up and do them safely with appreciable weight. It's difficult doing them in a rack for me, so I just never stuck with them.
  4. Brixtonian

    Brixtonian Active Member

    Hi waray,

    I used to do dumbbell pullovers (straight arm) for many years when I was younger, back in the late 80's - I read about them assisting in 'stretching' the rib cage (to create a bigger rib cage - more chest size) something done by many BBer's in the 60', 70's and 80's.
    I also did 'bent arm' pullovers with a barbell, and occaisonally a machine, for more direct lat work.

    I have since read that once you are in your 20's or so, it is less effective for strecthing the rib cage than first thought? I managed to get a 54" chest, and I truely believe that a lot of that size was down to the dumbbell pullovers in my early 20's.

    In my 30's (and now into 40's) I have had minor rotator cuff issues - primarily from heavy stretched dips - so I havent really done the pullovers for a few years now.

    Remember the two variations of doing them - straight arm and bent arm.
    If you are still young enough to benefit from the potential stretching effect to your tendons and rib cage, I would strongly consider giving them a meaningful go (at least two HST cycles with good progression)
    If you are older, then maybe consider the bent arm/machine ones, for more direct lat work.

    I used to do the bent arm ones as a pre-exhaust for chin ups. Another option?
    Part of this game is experimentation - what works for some, might not work so well for others!

    Otherwise, stick with chins - which, in my opinion - are the best lat exercise overall!

    Hope this helps

  5. Lateralus

    Lateralus New Member

    Can't add any experince to this thread, but I considered including them in my previous rutine.
    Never considered any dumbell variations though. You should be able to move quite a fair amount of weight. Considering your grip on a dumbell, it would not be the kind of weight you'd have hovering above your face.. I wouldn't anyway.

    I'd use an EZ bar and gloves. I'd go with the closest grip possible, bent arms, lying flat (back arched etc.) on a bench. (Seen some perpendicular to the bench, approaches)
    Maybe start/end your sets from the floor. This should be possible with decent sized plates, lifting you a** a little. I'm able to do it anyway, and i don't consider myself very flexible.
    This makes the setup easy and you don't have to worry about getting off the bench, with a heavy barbell.

    I'd consider them a good chest/Lat suppliment. Not a replacement. Don't think i'll include them in HST any time soon though. Considering you only have a 48 hour recovery, I think they would take away to much from "better" compounds.

    As I said, just thoughts. No real experience with this.
  6. waray214

    waray214 Member

    thanks guys for the input. the consensus seems to be that the other compounds get the job done more effectively than pullovers, so i think i'll pass on them for now. i have read many articles on the highly debated breathing squats routines and the expanding rib cage issue, which seems to have become more and more a debunked myth. like brixtonian said, i think the younger you are, the more effective they can be at adding upper body size because you're still growing and there may actually be a possibility of rib cage expansion. i'm 23 now and my growth has peaked at my towering height of 5'9" ;) so my ribs are pretty much set in stone. the one area pullovers do seem to hit though are the serratus muscles, but like lateralus, pullovers definitely seem more of a supplemental exercise for chest/lats not a replacement. thanks again for the input
  7. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    1) I tried the breathing squats routine for a short while. I would do 20 rep sessions, adding weight each session. Unfortunately, time and events caught up with me and I was not able to finish (that happens to me a lot...).

    I can note however, that the main emphasis of my "breathing squats" was the breathing. I was made to feel as though my chest and lungs were being squashed because of the length of time the heavy bar was on my shoulders. The exercise may be profitable for endurance, but for me it was frankly a distraction in terms of either strength or hypertrophy.

    I agree with the principle: high reps, heavy weight, progressive load. However, I think you'd be much better served to use Max-Stim rather than breathing squats. Max-Stim also requires high reps, heavy weight and progressive load, but it allows you to focus on the lifts rather than on the breathing. Max-Stim also allows for much better control of fatigue.

    2) Don't knock 5'9". I stand 5'2" and would give a lot for another half foot of height. Three of my five sons are 5'10". That's plenty enough to get by with.

    You've only got just so much life energy. You can squander it on height, or spend it on intelligence and good looks...!

    3) If you want to work your serratus muscles, you can to a serratus press along with your bench press. You've already got the bar overhead, so it only takes another few seconds.

    Serratus Press

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