Hit your lats, pecs, and serratus all in one exercise! The cross-bench pull-over sometimes seems forgotten in the land of gym machines, but it used to be THE most popular exercise among bodybuilding greats in the 1900s. Don’t let the infamous pull-over go by the wayside. It is a 5-star exercise that you should be using in your routine.
Why? It’s essential in sculpting a deep, thick upper body. It works many different muscles that you’ll want to see size and strength gains in. However, many people often don’t know which day to use it, back or chest day. The truth is it works both very effectively, so it isn’t really important which day you use it as long as you are performing it. Just pick a day to schedule it into your routine.
How To Do The Cross-Bench Pull-Over:
- Secure a flat bench and place your dumbbell standing upright on one end of the bench.
- Lie with your torso across the bench perpendicular to it. You and the bench will form a plus sign. Only your shoulders will be supported by the bench.
- Your hips should be positioned below the bench with your legs bent at a 90 degree angle. Plant your feet firmly on the floor. You head should not be touching the bench.
- Grab your dumbbell using both hands. Raise it straight over your chest with your arms fully extended. Your palms will press against the underside one of the “head” of the dumbbell on only one side. The other “head” will be facing downward toward your chest.
- Keep your arms straight. Begin the movement by lowering the weight slowly in an arc behind your head.
- Lower the weight until you feel a stretch in your chest. You should be hinging at the hips, pushing them toward the floor and thus allowing your torso to fully stretch.
- At the bottom of the movement, pause for a one count and then begin slowly bringing the weight back to the starting position using the same arc pattern in which you lowered the weight.
- Pause at the top of the motion, and then repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
If you have had shoulder injuries, be cautious with this exercise.
The deep stretch is the most important part of this exercise. Lower your hips dip down to the floor at the same time as you are lowering the dumbbell toward the floor to ensure that your get that deep stretch throughout your entire torso. Your torso will form a nice arch as you perform the exercise.
Sample Exercise Plan:
- Cross-bench pull-over 3 sets of 12-15
- Seated cable rows with double D attachment 3 sets of 10-12
- T-bar rows 3 sets of 10-12
- Lat pull downs wide grip 3 sets of 12
- Renegade rows 3 sets of 12
- Decline push-ups 1 set to failure
- Diamond push-ups 1 set to failure