How to do dumbbell pullovers

Dive into dumbbell pullovers for toned triceps

Posted by for Strength

Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: tricep pullover.

We’re so used to working the front of our bodies but to be truly strong, we have to have strong muscles out back too. When it comes to our arms, you may be used to doing bicep curls but that work has to be evened out – and that’s where a dumbbell pullover comes in.

So, what exactly is a dumbbell pullover and what muscles does it work?

While this is the ultimate tricep move, it also works our back and chest muscles. The heavier the weight, the more you’ll feel every part of your upper body working to stabilise and support the movement.

  • Helps to rebalance: If you only work the front of your arms, this move will help to make sure that the backs are just as strong.
  • Targets neglected muscles: We don’t normally do a lot of chest work as women but we should – and the same goes for the back.

Which muscles are worked?

This move primarily targets the upper body, including:

  • Pectoralis major (chest)
  • Latissimus doors (back)
  • Triceps brachii  (back of the upper arm)

How to do a dumbbell pullover

This is all about targetting the backs of the arms, as well as getting the chest working. You should feel the whole of the upper body working to stabilise you.

  1. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Take your dumbbell and hold it so that the palms of your hands are supporting one end, fingers and thumbs knitted or overlapping.
  3. Extend the arms over your head and then move them behind your head to lower the weight towards the floor.
  4. Once it reaches or nearly reaches the ground, slowly bring it back up and over so that your arms return to being straight above your face.

Keen to improve your form? Check out our How To library to see exactly how the experts do over 100 of the most common strength training exercises.

Image: Stylist

Share this article

Miranda Larbi

Miranda Larbi is the editor of Strong Women and Strong Women Training Club. A qualified personal trainer and vegan runner, she can usually be found training for the next marathon, seeking out vegan treats or cycling across London on a pond-green Tokyo bike.

Recommended by Miranda Larbi