Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePull
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Lats, Shoulders, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Chest Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Barbell Pullover Instructions

  1. Set up for the barbell pullover by grabbing a barbell and a flat bench.
  2. Position yourself at a 90 degree angle to the flat bench with your shoulder blades resting on the bench.
  3. Your feet should be positioned on the floor at wider than shoulder width, and your body should be straight.
  4. Hold the weight straight up, with your arms fully extended. This is the start position for the exercise.
  5. Without moving your body and keeping your arms straight, slowly lower the barbell behind the back of your head until your arms are parallel to the floor.
  6. Do not pause, and then raise the bar back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for desired reps.

Barbell Pullover Tips

  • Do not bring the bar too far forward at the top of the movement. You should only come forward until your arms are facing straight up.
  • Make sure you lower the bar all the way down, and don't let your arms bend at the elbows throughout the movement.
Posted on: Tue, 08/06/2013 - 00:31

Do *not* fully extend your arms and lock your elbows as you will only damage them. You want them pointing towards your lower body at the starting position. Only lower the bar until you feel a nice stretch in your lats. The person in this video is also not tightening his lower back or pelvis to protect his spine. He's rocking his torso which he will regret when he gets older and can't stand up straight any more. His feet also aren't wide enough apart which will contribute to potential for injury later on. Following the instructions on this page are potentially harmful.

Posted on: Sun, 05/19/2013 - 08:03

While doing Barbell Pullover for the chest, can I lie flat along the length of the bench instead of just resting the shoulders?

chetan bhatt
Posted on: Wed, 03/13/2013 - 07:14

Nice to watch. good tips. I was bending the hand from elbows. Now onwards I will take care.