This is Arnold Schwarzenegger's favourite exercise for a thicker chest 7 years ago

This is Arnold Schwarzenegger's favourite exercise for a thicker chest

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a bodybuilding legend.

So if there's anyone we're going to take advice on about building muscle, it's probably him.


Arnie was a seven-time Mr Olympia champion during his bodybuilding heyday, before he took that famous physique to Hollywood for films like Conan and The Terminator.

One of his greatest assets was his vast chest and old school footage shows he used to train it like a maniac.

While most people are fixated on the bench press for adding muscle to their chest, there's one move that Arnie loved above them all to add thickness.

It's a move that some hardcore bodybuilders still use today, but it's something many people have long forgotten or just miss off their chest training plan today.


It's the dumbbell pullover. Arnie credits this brilliant strength move with giving him that thick, barrel chest and insane back development that won him so many titles.

He's not the only one either - legends from the huge Dorian Yates to the aesthetic Frank Zane swore by it for developing the upper chest, lats, triceps and even the serratus muscles.


You'll often hear bodybuilders saying they try to 'attack the muscle from every angle' - and it's true. If you can work the muscle through as many different planes of motion, you will inevitably get better muscular development.

That's why just doing bench press and flyes won't ever give your chest a complete workout.

This is where the dumbbell pullovers come into their own - they work the chest through a completely different plane of motion to bench press variations which just rely on pushing a weight away from the body.

While it's brilliant for developing your back and lats, science shows in EMG activity tests that it actually stimulates the pec major more.


But it works the lesser known pec minor muscles which lay under the pec major - and stimulating these can give you thickness in your upper chest.

So how do you perform the movement?

  1. Lie across a bench with just your head and shoulders over the end
  2. With your hands in a diamond shape and palms facing upwards, hold a single dumbbell pressed out over your chest with your elbows slightly bent
  3. Star the movement by lowering the dumbbell over and then beyond your head in an arcing movement until your upper arms are in line with your torso and parallel to the floor.
  4. Slowly pull the dumbbell back up in an arcing movement back over your head to the starting position which you should squeeze your chest isometrically.
  5. Repeat for anywhere between 12 and 20 reps