Pullovers are a forgotten movement from the good old days of bodybuilding. Pullovers were used in the Golden Era because of their effectiveness in building the lats. You didn’t see many bodybuilders from that era without big lats. As time went on, a pullover machine was created. If you look around at most commercial gyms, it is mainly used as a coat hanger.
While the machine pullover is OK, it has nothing on the dumbbell or EZ Curl bar version of the move when building a wider back. With the dumbbell pullover, you are laying across a bench with a dumbbell in your hands. You will use both hands to elevate that dumbbell over your face and into the air. Don’t drop it because when iron meets bone, iron always wins!
You then stretch that dumbbell back until it kisses the floor. After that return the bell back to the top before going back into the stretch for another rep. Your main goal is to feel the stretch in the lats by using a controlled rep speed. You also want to keep constant tension on your lats by performing smooth reps.
When you bring the dumbbell back to the top, you want to initiate that pull with your lats. Don’t let your arms do all the work. If you haven’t performed pullovers since baggy jeans were hot, you can expect to feel some soreness in your triceps due to the nature of the move.
The EZ curl bar version is very similar except you’re laying flat on the bench as if you were going to perform a dumbbell bench press. While holding the bar close to you, you tuck your elbows in as much as you can before stretching back as far as you can into that deep stretch. Return the bar to the chest and then repeat.
To get the most out the EZ curl bar version, contract the lats at the top of the movement. You can get more details about pull-ups and pullovers by checking out my video below: