The pullover is one of those exercises that demands perfect form. That is, in order for this exercise to be effective, your form and technique must be spot on. The key to this exercise is breathing. Breath in as you are lowering the weight and breath out as you bring the weight up. The pullover can be done on a bench or the floor, depending on what you have at the time.
Position for the dumbbell pullover
1. Lie down on a bench with your shoulders near the end of the bench. Your head should be off the bench. Now, you can either reach to the floor for a dumbbell and pull it up, have someone hand you the dumbbell or you can start with the dumbbell on your chest. Personally, I start with a dumbbell on my chest.
2. Grab the dumbbell (as in the picture) and press the weight up. Your arms should have a slight bend to them at the starting position.
Execution of the dumbbell pullover
1. Slowly lower the dumbbell so to stretch your arms as they reach the floor. Remember, all muscles should be totally stretched as the weight approaches the floor. The back should have a maximum arch when the weight is lowered to this position. The dumbbell will actually be behind your head in this position.
2. Slowly raise the dumbbell back over your chest and repeat until your set is complete.
Note~ I just love this exercise and always choose it as a chest exercise rather than a back exercise. Secondary muscles used are your front shoulders and your triceps. It's a great exercise and in my opinion feels great. The stretch at the lowering position feels great and using your strength to pull the weight over your chest. You should feel and see your chest twitch a little while you're pulling the dumbbell over your chest. I do prefer to use a heavy dumbbell when I do this exercise. I think you will surprise yourself how strong you will be at this exercise. If you are wanting to ever increase your weight.. Always ask someone to spot you until you are sure about the weight your using.
In this particular exercise going too heavy can result in a nice bump on the head.. The best thing to do if that happens is to just drop the dumbbell. Don't risk having the weight hit your head. Plus it hurts.. =O As my brother Dana would call them..."Head Smashers" Lucky I rarely had that problem. I was too hard headed and damned if this dumbbell wasn't going up!