A: A popular form of the pullover is done with a single dumbbell while lying faceup on a bench, usually across the bench rather than lengthwise.
I much prefer a good machine pullover. It’s a far more practical, safe and effective way of doing the exercise. But pullover machines weren’t around until about 1970, when Arthur Jones produced the first commercial one at Nautilus, and even today they aren’t available in all gyms. Plus, some of the machines aren’t very good.
If there’s a pullover machine where you train, try it. If it’s a good machine, it could be a fine addition to your program. Use it in some routines as an alternative to the pulldown or chinup/pullup.
Note that this is the pullover for localized muscle building. It should be differentiated from the much lighter weight breathing pullover, which is done lengthwise on a bench with no more than 15 to 20 pounds and done immediately after a set of high-rep squats—most typically on the 20-rep squat routine.
Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the new BRAWN series, Book 1: How to Build Up to 50 Pounds of Muscle the Natural Way, available from Home Gym Warehouse (800) 447-0008 or www.Home-Gym.com.