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Bent Arm Barbell Pullover - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Multi-joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Lats
Secondary Muscles Worked: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps

Barbell Pullovers work the lats, chest, shoulders and triceps and are great for stretching the pecs and helping to widen the rib cage. This exercise will aid in the full development of the lats and give you that sought after "V" taper. The Barbell Pullover requires a lot of control, especially when lifting with heavier weights. It is especially challenging to not allow the deltoid or pecs to do the majority of the work.

Bent Arm Barbell Pullover - Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Position yourself on a flat bench with your back making contact with the bench.
  • Get organised for this exercise by putting the barbell you intend to use for this exercise behind you on the floor.
  • Extend your arms above and behind you to take hold of the barbell.
  • Exhale and maintaining the bend in the elbows throughout the entire exercise, bring the barbell over your head in an arc-like motion, with the movement ending when the weight is just above the middle of your chest.
  • Now inhale and return the barbell to the previous position. Don’t let it make contact with the floor.
  • Complete your reps, and rest before repeating this exercise.

Bent Arm Barbell Pullover - Tips & Safety

  • Start with lighter weights to get used to this exercise.
  • Keep your arms bent at the elbows throughout the movement.
  • Stabilise your core muscles throughout the exercise to maintain back contact with the bench.
  • When attempting heavier weights, have someone hand you the barbell or alternatively hold the barbell at your chest and press up to get into the starting position.
  • The point at which the barbell is over your head is the most dangerous and a spotter is always recommended for this exercise as it puts you at a high risk of rotator cuff injuries.

Bent Arm Barbell Pullover - Alternatives

  • Try using an E-Z curl bar to add variety to your training.
  • Try using a reverse grip on the bar to emphasise the outer head of the triceps.
  • A Dumbbell Pullover is also another way to work similar muscles.
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