Variations: The Pullover can be performed without a machine, using a weighted bar, medicine ball or a dumbbell. In this case, the exercise is performed lying on the floor, or on a bench, which allows for stretch as the weight is lowered. Lie face up with knees bent and feet on the floor. Grasp the weight with both hands and with straight arms, lower and lift. If using a bench, it is very important that the head and neck are supported throughout each repetition and that the back does not arch excessively.
Design of health club equipment can vary. Some Pullover machines have a foot lever that when pushed, advances the bar so that an overstretch is avoided at the start of the repetition.
Excess arching of the back during the Pullover is usually an indication of insufficient flexibility of the shoulders. Because the Pullover requires a stretch at the shoulder joints, it may not be suitable if you have issues. If you normally have somewhat tight shoulders, do not overstretch, instead, try limiting range of motion, use light resistance, while gradually working up to greater flexibility with daily stretches.
If you are not familiar with this exercise, consult a professional for instruction, or have an experienced spotter available to assist you. If you are new to exercise, have an injury or medical condition its in your best interest to check with your doctor before attempting a physical fitness program.