T Nation

Cable/HS Pullover Alternatives

The gym I go to doesn’t have a Pullover machine or any straight cable station.

It does have a Lateral Pulldown/Row station like in the image (not that exact model but similar)

I’m looking either for some sneaky way to do them on that machine or some freeweight alternative that is just as good for building width on my back. Anyone got any ideas?

How about, oh I don’t know… pullovers?

Sorry forgot to attach the picture this is the machine I’ve got to use.

How would you suggest doing pullovers on this? Or is there another type of pullover you are referring to?

dumbbells

[quote]Enders Drift wrote:
Or is there another type of pullover you are referring to?[/quote]

I believe he was probably refering to barbell (think skullcrushers but your arms don’t flex) or DB pull overs.

[quote]Enders Drift wrote:
… building width on my back. Anyone got any ideas?[/quote]

I don’t do pull overs because I don’t think they’re particularly effective and they aggravate my right shoulder. While I may not be Mr. Yates or Mr. Coleman, I think weighted pull ups, rows, deadlifts, proper nutrition and sleep are the way to a wide, thick back. I do these 3 movements on 3 different days (pull ups w/ shoulders, deadlifts on deadlift day, and rows with bench).

i would just do a different exercise for your lats…

if you don’t have a machine, then there is no point…you won’t be able to use heavy enough weight using a db or cable even for preexhaust, and the resistance path is just not right…

yates was doing 400+lbs on the nautilus pullover…you can’t use those poundages on the freeweight version due to your triceps and forearms being far weaker than your lats

stick to the pulldown/pull up and row variations…

[quote]D Public wrote:
i would just do a different exercise for your lats…

if you don’t have a machine, then there is no point…you won’t be able to use heavy enough weight using a db or cable even for preexhaust, and the resistance path is just not right…

yates was doing 400+lbs on the nautilus pullover…you can’t use those poundages on the freeweight version due to your triceps and forearms being far weaker than your lats

stick to the pulldown/pull up and row variations…[/quote]

I don’t think that the OP is in danger of using a weight anywhere close to what a professional bodybuilder would use, but I could be wrong.

I would echo Mr. Popular’s advice…a good freeweight substitute for machine pullovers is pullovers. Do them with a dumbbell. Pretty simple.

Ah I see never knew there was a freeweight kind - first I learned of this exercise was in the article “Developing a powerful V” and it only mentioned the laying cable pullover. I looked up some videos and the form was greatly varied, going off size alone these were the two largest guys I found videos of showing it. Should the butt stay low like in the first video or raise as in the second video?


thats not the point…

My reasoning for telling the OP not to use db/cable pullovers is that your simply wasting your energy on such movements because the lats will never be taxed to the point where they are forced to grow…

A muscle will only grow if it is taken to a point were it has never gone before…

The benefit of a pullover machine is you can use more weight on a pullover machine than a lat pulldown because your arm flexors are the first to fail on a pulldown movement…whereas on a pullover machine, it is pure lats, so you are not limited to using a weight that your arms can handle…Hence, you are taking the lats to a place they have never experienced before…

[quote]D Public wrote:
thats not the point…

My reasoning for telling the OP not to use db/cable pullovers is that your simply wasting your energy on such movements because the lats will never be taxed to the point where they are forced to grow…

A muscle will only grow if it is taken to a point were it has never gone before…

The benefit of a pullover machine is you can use more weight on a pullover machine than a lat pulldown because your arm flexors are the first to fail on a pulldown movement…whereas on a pullover machine, it is pure lats, so you are not limited to using a weight that your arms can handle…Hence, you are taking the lats to a place they have never experienced before…

[/quote]

This

[quote]D Public wrote:
thats not the point…

My reasoning for telling the OP not to use db/cable pullovers is that your simply wasting your energy on such movements because the lats will never be taxed to the point where they are forced to grow…

A muscle will only grow if it is taken to a point were it has never gone before…

The benefit of a pullover machine is you can use more weight on a pullover machine than a lat pulldown because your arm flexors are the first to fail on a pulldown movement…whereas on a pullover machine, it is pure lats, so you are not limited to using a weight that your arms can handle…Hence, you are taking the lats to a place they have never experienced before…
[/quote]

I agree with your general argument, but there aren’t many back movements that don’t involve the arm flexors. So what does it matter if he substitutes pull downs for pullovers if they both use arm flexors?

FTR, I’ve never done pullovers of any variety, this is a genuine question.

Barbell Pullovers

Cable Pullovers

come on dude

=)

pullovers don’t use the arm flexors…the tricep assists you on a pullover and in that posistion it is extremley weak…

when doing a pulldown, your arm flexors are in a very strong posistion…they will still fail before the lats, but they will allow you to stress the lats with more weight than a DB pullover…

I’ve tried to pre exhuast the lats with cable and db pullovers and all I end up with is tired tris. I then tried a reversed grip pulldown keeping my elbows locked at a 90 to mimick a pullover machine which worked a little better but still wore out my arms first.

^ you were doing it wrong.

DB pullovers can only be done on a steep decline bench if you want to target the lats.

If your triceps got tired during straight arm pulldown than you should lower the weight so you can feel the lats working. Or use a rope attachment and use a semi neutral grip.

I have experimented with different attachments and body angles on the SAPD and always do pullovers on a decline. It goes back to what D Public was saying, if the weight is too light I don’t feel it in the Lats. I end up doing higher reps and my arms (the weak link in the chain) give out first.

My intention for this exercise is to take the lats to failure for pre exhaust and it just doesn’t work. I feel that the pullovers and SAPD are a good finisher to the lats but not a good pre exhaust exercise.

So barbell pullover or no? Seems like a split decision here. Rockula seems to be saying yes, Bonez seems to be saying no. D Public also seems to be saying no.

So to Bonez and D Public - what particular row variations should I do. This is what I’ve been doing:

Pull-ups
Deadlift
Krocs
T-Bar Rows or Bent Over Rows
Lat Pull Down with wide lat bar
Shrugs
Horizontal Rows with I guess it would be best described as a extra extra large double d

I know my numbers aren’t great that I should be seeing much but I feel like I’ve made enough progress I should be seeing some development and I’m just not. I don’t know all numbers off hand but off the top of my head:

Pull-ups usually get out first set of 20-25. Second set of about 4-6. Third set I switch to wide grip and usually get 2-4.
Deadlift is at 330. I pull sumo.
Krocs the most I’ve done is 3 x 8 with the 90 lb dbs (this was PR last week)

I use to do Pullovers because I had a cable machine and it really felt great. Thats why I was looking for alternatives.

I do have access to rings, bands, some kettle bells, and every bar imaginable… just no cross cable station or pullover machine.