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Pullovers: For Back? For Chest? For Both?



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Old 05-13-2010, 09:10 AM
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BG5150 BG5150 is offline
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Default Pullovers: For Back? For Chest? For Both?

I've seen chest routines that have included pullovers.

I've seen back routines that have included pullovers.

I figured they would have different execution, even though they might be similar. But all the example I see seem to have the same mechanics.

So what's the difference between pullovers for the back and pullovers for the chest?

For back: http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...BPullover.html
For chest: http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...BPullover.html

The back one is using a BB and the chest one is using a DB. Is that the only difference?
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:13 AM
EricT EricT is offline
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It's the same I think it just depends on what muscle you're hung up on when you choose the exercise.

The major muscles involved are the lats and bodybuilders consider working the lats as "back work" so they put pullovers on back day. If you are obsessing over your pecs then they're on chest day. Something like that, lol, I don't pretend to know exactly how bodybuilders think.

Some people probably think they are more chest or more lats but I think they are a lot of trouble for little return so I have never bothered to really think about it. I kinda consider them one of those archaic exercises better left to yesteryear.
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If you act sanctimonious I will just list out your logical fallacies until you get pissed off and spew blasphemous remarks.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:14 AM
EKnight EKnight is offline
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Pullovers are a back movement. Period. Functionally, the pectoralis are used to adduct the humerus (bring your arms together.) Since your arms remain in a fixed plane throughout pullovers, there is no way that can happen. Old-school thought (in the 60s and 70s) was that pullovers could expand the rib cage and make your chest "broader." This is also a myth. The cartilage in your rib cage can not be made to grow significantly after Tanner stage 5 growth. Keep the pullovers with back. -EK
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:22 AM
EricT EricT is offline
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You're absolutely right about the rib-cage expansion thing and there were a lot of ridiculous ideas connected to that practice which came all the way back to the "old-time" strongmen even before bodybuilding became a separate sport.

However, the pectoralis major is is involved also in internal rotation, flexion, abduction (past 90 degrees of arm abduction), adduction (below 90 degrees of abduction) of the shoulder joint as WELL as horizontal adduction.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:30 AM
EKnight EKnight is offline
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While that may be, it is not involved enough to make pullovers considered a chest movement. Every other chest exercise involves bringing the arms away from and back to (horizontal abduction and adduction) the body. There is a reason for that. Using pullovers as a chest exercise is similar to saying triceps pressdowns should be included in a forearm routine under the logic that your extensors and flexors are secondarily involved in stabilizing the bar. Lol! -EK
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:40 AM
EricT EricT is offline
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I didn't say they should be used as a chest exercise. I don't even think they should be used as a "back" exercise.

You said it was a back exercise "period". and that since no horizontal adduction occurs the chest therefore could not be worked. That is wrong. Regardless of whether you think it is a chest exercise from a bodybuilding standpoint the pectoralis is still involved in the movement to some exent as a synergist.

The multiple functions of the pectoralis major are what allows it to help the arm move in that desired plane which is exactly the "fixed" plane you spoke of.

When it comes down to it this is a shoulder movement. Since the shoulder has such a wide range of motion in so many planes there is virtually no movement which can occur at the shoulder which does not involve the coordination of several muscles, as well as the scapulohumeral rhythm between the glenohumeral and shoulder girdle to maintain stability and specifically to maintain a fixed plane of motion. Without this you'd have the shoulder flying all over the place.

I do understand your logic but it all depends on perspective. - ET

Last edited by EricT; 05-13-2010 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:06 AM
EricT EricT is offline
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By the way, I don't think that comparing a shoulder movement to an forearm (wrist) movement is a fair or apt comparison.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:29 AM
EKnight EKnight is offline
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Either way- whether we agree on the physiology or not- we both agree it is NOT an appropriate chest exercise, am I correct? -EK
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:47 PM
EricT EricT is offline
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I don't think there is a such thing as a chest exercise so yes I would agree to that. I just don't agree because of the reasons you think it. Just agreeing on a statement is not agreeing on the concepts surrounding that statement so agreeing is not always the point. - PL

Edit: To be more precise, so that it doesn't seem like I am just being a smart alleck, I think there are many movements that "work" the chest, including pullovers but I don't think that there is a "chest" exercise per se.

Last edited by EricT; 05-13-2010 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:13 PM
EKnight EKnight is offline
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You don't seem like a smart allec; you seem like a disputatious know it all trying to intellectually bully people because you took an anatomy class. The OP had a simple question- do pullovers belong in a chest routine or a back routine? Almost every exercise involves secondary muscles as synergists. Pullovers do not significantly develop the pecs, but provide a good option in a back routine. The fact that you don't believe there is such thing as a chest exercise (I don't even know what that means) is immaterial to the OP's question.
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