DB Pullover Vs. Cable Pullover

Cory Gregory


     A lot of history goes into Dumbbell Pullovers for me.  It’s one of the first exercises that I’ve never seen in a gym that I had performed from reading content from Arnold and other Golden Era bodybuilders.  When I got a chance to work with and talk with Arnold, we talked at great length about the Pullover and how it is a lost exercise.


     One of the reasons that I think this exercise has been lost is because it is a difficult movement.  In a gym you are going to have to lay across the bench versus on it.  In a gym you are going to have to stretch out with your shirt coming up a little bit.  In a gym you might have to grunt a little bit, and if you don’t keep your elbows tight you can drop it on your fucking face. 


     The amazing part about this exercise is the stretch that your ribcage receives, and in turn it helps to develop your serratus anterior.  It helps to develop that separation and definition between your chest and your top abs.  If you keep your hips down while executing the Dumbbell Pullover, you can even stretch out your scapula, rear delts and lats.  You receive ALL of these benefits from the Dumbbell Pullover.


     Switching gears, the cable pullover is a great movement, but I believe it is more of a “finishing touch” exercise.  It’s not the same kind of strength and girth that you get from a dumbbell pullover. 


     That being said, you can vary your grips and use different attachments (V-Bar/Straight Bar) to hit different angles.  This variation will give you a nice variety to add into your training, and I tend to stay in the mid-higher rep range while doing these.


All in all, I think the dumbbell pullover is far more superior of an exercise, but you can get benefits out of both.


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