- Lie on a bench and position a dumbbell above your forehead with your arms nearly fully extended. (If the weight is heavy, this may be tricky. It is recommended, at least at first, that this exercise is done only with weight than can be very comfortably managed.) Note: Your palms will be positioned flat on the inside of one of the bells of the dumbbell. To best secure the dumbbell into a locked position, you may find it useful to cross your fingers and thumbs around the dumbbell handle in a spade shape, but, regardless, your thumbs should wrap around the handle.
- From the aforementioned starting position, lower the dumbbell behind your head in a smooth arc, inhaling throughout the movement.
- Raise the dumbbell, once again in a smooth arc, until it is above your face, exhaling throughout the movement.
- Repeat steps 2-3 for as many repetitions as are desired.
Pullovers are unique in that they allow for thorax (rib cage) expansion better than basically any other exercise. To expand the rib cage with this exercise, it's ideal to lie across a bench differently than the usual fashion; instead of lying long-way across the bench, place your shoulders on the bench pad forming a "T" shape with your body and the bench. In this manner, you can drop your hips lower than your shoulder girdle and get the proper, full stretch and thus maximum expansion benefits . In addition, to achieve rib cage expansion, it's especially important that your arms remain mostly straight throughout the lift--slight elbow bending is acceptable at the bottom of the motion to ensure that an optimal stretch is being achieved.
Due to the positioning of the dumbbell for this exercise--that being over your forehead--it is especially important to choose only a weight which can be very comfortably managed. If your arms buckle from exhaustion the weight could end up falling on your face.