T Nation



Once upon a time they were a staple in all bodybuilding programs.

Some claimed that performing them expanded your ribcage and developped your serratus.

Nowadays you rarely see them being performed.

I was thinking about adding them back into my program because I noticed in a dark, damp corner of my gym that we have an arced pullover bench made just for this exercice.

What do you guys think about pullovers? Waste of time? Usefull? Do you perform them with shoulders across the bench with low hips?


Yeah, I would definitely like to know whether pullovers will help put some meat on my ribs in the serratus area.

Great to do with heavy wt. & light wt after some breathing squats. Tonight I did straight arm & bent arm pullovers. They’re great!

I somethime do straight arm pullovers as a way of tightening up the lats for the bench press.

Biomechanically, they shouldn’t actively hit the serratus as the serratus actually tilt the scapula up not down. Serratus should in theory be hit by incline bench shrugs-arms extended in an incline press, shrug you shoulder up off of the bench. Light weight.

Also, I can only do pullovers with a neutral or curl grip. With a straight bar I get some feeling of dislocation. Same with a dumbell. I prefer to grab the sides of a 25, 35 or 45 pound plate. You can use a pair of plates flat to flat if you can handle them.

Great to do with heavy wt. & light wt after some breathing squats. Tonight I did straight arm & bent arm pullovers. They’re great![/quote]

He mentioned the magic words “breathing squats”. Combine those with “breathing pullovers” to expand the ribcage. It REALLY helps if you are under 18 though. The ribcage is much more pliable then. As you age, the sternum hardens.

I love them! I go with my body perpindicular to the bench. Feels good with neck and upper back on the bench. I “anchor” my feet under a pair of 50lbs d-bells and crank out 5x5 w/a 120-130lb d-bell. Great to superset with any heavy chest move or delt press.

I don’t know exactly what muscle group they hit directly(serratus,rhomboid,spleen) but they get my back good & sore. I like moves like this, because they kind of make you feel like you are fighting for your life under the weight. I get this feeling w/ deads,squats,cleans,… you get the point? I think the exercises that are the best for you are the ones that if you fuck-up on can really hurt you bad. You can’t get that with tri kickbacks.