Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover: Perk Up A Beautiful Chest Exercise

As a female fitness enthusiast, have you ever faced the challenge of getting a toned back? Have you ever been perplexed by the complex movements and exercises required to accomplish this goal? If so, you are not alone. The women’s bent arm dumbbell pullover is a powerful exercise that can enhance your upper body strength and tone the muscles in your back, making it an essential part of your workout routine. However, it’s no secret that this exercise can be difficult to perform without the right technique. The good news is that you are about to discover a solution that will help you master the women’s bent arm dumbbell pullover and get the results you desire.

Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Latissimus Dorsi
  • Secondary Muscles: DeltoidPosterior, Levator Scapulae, Pectoralis Major – Sternal, Pectoralis Minor, Rhomboids, Teres Major, and Triceps – Long Head
  • Equipment: Dumbbell and Bench
  • Mechanics Type: Isolation
  • Force: Pull
  • Utility: Auxiliary
Graphic image of a fit woman performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover Instructions

  • Lie on your back on a flat bench with your head at one end and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold a dumbbell straight up above your chest with both hands.
  • Bend your arms at the elbows and slowly lower the weight behind your head. Keep your elbows slightly bent throughout the movement.
  • Once you feel a stretch in your chest muscles, reverse the motion and lift the weight back to the starting position.

Video Tutorial

Bent Arm Pullover Strength Exercise for Women

Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover Muscles

Target (Agonist)


Dynamic Stabilizers

  • None


Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the bent arm dumbbell pullover exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover

The Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover is an excellent exercise for targeting the Latissimus Dorsi muscle. It is beneficial for those looking to increase their upper body strength and improve their posture. This exercise helps to develop the chest, shoulder, and back muscles, and the Latissimus Dorsi in particular. It also helps to improve shoulder stability and overall shoulder health. Additionally, this exercise can help to improve your core stability and core strength. It is an effective exercise for building muscle mass, as well as improving muscle endurance.

Tips for Performing Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover

Before we get into some tips, it’s important to keep in mind that form is key when performing any exercise. Make sure you have your back and shoulders pressed firmly against the bench and maintain control of the dumbbell throughout the entire movement.

  • Always Use Your Full Range of Motion. When you use full range of motion you will ensure that that you strain your entire muscle you are focusing on and that you maintain your flexibility.
  • Ensure You Allow For Recovery Time, and Always Complete a Full Set. When ever your rest period is to small you are unlikely able to carry out your complete set, in the event that your recovery time is too long you will be waisting your time by not exercising efficiently.
  • Work out Where You can Examine Your Technique in a Mirror. Ever wonder why there are so many mirrors at the gym. When you are lifting your want a mirror, not to check yourself out but to help yourself maintain proper technique. You will be surprised at how much better your technique is when you are looking in a mirror.
  • Slow Down Each Repetition to Approximately 5 Seconds Per Contraction and Extension. To fatigue your muscles quickly slow down. This may seem counter intuitive, but the longer your muscle is under tensions the more quickly that they will fatigue. Since the goal of weight training is to fatigue your muscles so that they will be built back stronger during recovery, the slower you go the longer your muscles are under tension. There have been many studies on this and you can go too slow that it is no longer effective. Most studies found that the sweet spot is between 4-6 seconds. This is a great technique to work into your resistance training program, but don’t do it every time or you will loose your muscles speed, essentially trading speed for strength.
  • Breathe In When You Extend Your Muscle Tissues And Exhale When You Contract Your Muscle. Breathing is one of the most important things that you do while you lift, it is keeping you alive as well. Keeping a rhythm with your breathing will help you maintain your core tight as well and reduce the chance of injury.
  • If you’re just starting out, it’s best to use a lighter weight until you’ve become familiar with the exercise.
  • Focus on squeezing your chest muscles as you lower the weight behind your head.
  • Do not arch your back as you lower the weight – this can cause injury.
  • Make sure that you are moving slowly and in control throughout the entire movement.

Benefits and Tips Video

Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover - Chest / Back Exercise -

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When you really want to have superb technique and improve your strength you need to avoid these mistakes at all cost. Additionally, to prevent injuries you should also stay away from these errors.

  • Don’t Rush Your Workout. When you speed through your workout you are more likely to have bad form and maybe an accident.
  • Don’t Let Yourself to Cheat. In most cases cheating is using the momentum as a substitute for your strength to perform the exercise. The objective of weight training is to teardown your muscles so that they will build back up through rest, when you cheat, you are cheating yourself out of progress. Once in a while, a bit cheating on your final rep can help you overload your muscle, although this is not good to do for more than a couple of reps.
  • Don’t Allow Your Core to Relax. Keeping your abs flexed can help protect your spinal column by maintaining your internal pressure.

Find More Dumbbell Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

The exercise Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover is an excellent exercise for targeting the chest muscles and for increasing overall strength. It can be used as part of any chest workout routine. While this exercise is effective, it can be beneficial to mix it up and do variations, complementary, or alternative exercises to help maximize the benefits of the chest workout. Below are some variations, complementary, or alternative exercises for the exercise Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover that work similar muscles.

Straight Arm Lat Pulldown

Graphic image of Straight Arm Lat Pulldown.

The Straight Arm Lat Pulldown is an effective exercise that complements or serves as an alternative to the Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover. It works the same muscles as the pullover, but does not require the user to lay on a bench, making it ideal for those who don’t have access to one. The user stands facing the lat pulldown machine and holds onto the bar with their arms straight and slightly wider than shoulder width apart. By pulling the bar down towards their chest, the user engages their lats, rear deltoids, and triceps. While this exercise does not target the chest as directly as the pullover, it still provides an excellent workout for the back muscles.

Lat Pulldown

Graphic image of Lat Pulldown.

Lat pulldown is a great alternative or complementary exercise for bent arm dumbbell pullover. This exercise targets the same muscles as the pullover but in a different way. The motion of the lat pulldown requires less range of motion and therefore can be used to focus on the back muscles without taxing the shoulder joint. It also allows you to add more weight than the pullover, allowing for greater growth potential. It is important to remember that both exercises are effective in targeting the back muscles and should be used in combination for maximum results.

Dumbbell Straight Arm Pullover

Graphic image of Dumbbell Straight Arm Pullover.

The Dumbbell Straight Arm Pullover is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to the Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover. It targets the same muscle groups, but uses a different movement. The Straight Arm Pullover requires you to extend your arms straight out to the sides and pull the dumbbell up over your head and back down. This is a great way to increase the range of motion and intensity of the exercise without adding additional weight. By utilizing this exercise, you can work the same muscle groups, but in a different way, helping to prevent overuse injuries.

Check Out These Top Dumbbell Exercises

Seated Underhand Cable Row

Graphic image of Seated Underhand Cable Row.

The Seated Underhand Cable Row is a great complementary exercise for the Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover. It provides similar benefits to the pullover, but it does so in a slightly different way. The seated cable row targets the lats, rhomboids, traps, and rear deltoids, while the bent arm pullover works the chest and shoulders. The seated cable row allows for more range of motion while also engaging the lower back and hips. This makes it a great alternative to the pullover for those who have limited shoulder mobility or are just looking for a different way to target their back muscles.

Inverted Row

Graphic image of Inverted Row.

Inverted Row is a great exercise for building back and shoulder strength and can be used as an alternative or complementary exercise to the Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover. The Inverted Row is performed by lying on the floor with the feet elevated on a bench. Then, the arms are fully extended while gripping a bar placed above the body. From this position, the body is pulled up towards the bar while maintaining a straight line from head to heels. This exercise strengthens the back, biceps and shoulders, making it a great choice for those looking to improve their upper body strength.

Reverse Grip Bent Over Dumbbell Row

Graphic image of Reverse Grip Bent Over Dumbbell Row.

Reverse Grip Bent Over Dumbbell Row is an excellent alternative or complementary exercise to the Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover. This exercise works the muscles of the back, as well as the biceps, while also engaging the core. To perform the Reverse Grip Bent Over Dumbbell Row, begin by standing with feet shoulder width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend the knees and hinge forward from the hips, keeping the back flat, and pull the dumbbells up towards your chest using a reverse grip (palms facing away from you). Make sure to keep your elbows close to your body and squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the motion. Then slowly lower the weights back down and repeat. This exercise is an effective way to target the muscles of the back without putting too much stress on the shoulders, making it a great alternative to the Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover.

Find More Back Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

To maximize the benefits of the Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover, it’s important to also work the opposing muscle groups. The following exercises target those muscles to ensure a balanced workout:

Close Grip Push Up

Graphic image of Close Grip Push Up.

The close grip push up is a great exercise to complement the bent arm dumbbell pullover. The close grip push up works the chest, shoulders, and triceps while the bent arm dumbbell pullover works the back and lats. By performing both exercises together, you are able to work opposing muscle groups to create balance and symmetry in the upper body. The close grip push up also helps to strengthen the core, as the abs are engaged during the exercise. This combination of exercises is a great way to build strength and definition in the upper body.

Lever Pec Deck Fly (Machine)

Graphic image of Lever Pec Deck Fly (Machine).

The Lever Pec Deck Fly machine is a great complement to the Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover exercise. It works the opposing muscle group, the pectoralis major, by allowing the user to pull their arms inwards towards their chest while keeping their elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. This movement targets the chest muscles and allows for an effective contraction, strengthening them and helping to build a well-defined chest. The Lever Pec Deck Fly machine is a great addition to any upper body workout routine, as it helps to build strength in both the chest and the back muscles.

Standing Cable Chest Press

Graphic image of Standing Cable Chest Press.

The standing cable chest press is a great complementary exercise to the bent arm dumbbell pullover. It works the opposing muscle group of the pectorals, or chest muscles, by engaging the back muscles. This helps build balance and stability in the upper body as well as increase strength and endurance. The cable chest press also helps with shoulder stability and posture, both of which are important for overall health. By combining these two exercises, you will be able to work your entire upper body effectively and safely.

Get Strong and Fit with Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullovers

If you’re looking to strengthen your upper body and improve your posture, the bent arm dumbbell pullover exercise is a great addition to your routine. This exercise targets your chest, back, and shoulder muscles while also engaging your core. By incorporating this exercise into your workout, you can increase your overall strength and improve your overall fitness. Consider adding bent arm dumbbell pullovers to your fitness regimen and see the results for yourself!

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Back Dumbbell Exercises

Pin image for bent arm dumbbell pullover post. With an image of a woman performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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