Kip Swing and Overhead Mobility with the Cross-Bench Pullover
Written by TJ O’Brien
Are you burying your head in a prayer stretch and actually praying that this will open up your overhead position or improve your loading swing? Look, it will certainly help you open up your position, but what about loading that position after you’ve opened it up?
Enter the Cross-Bench Pullover. This drill adds some load to the overhead position, helping you out a few extra degrees.
But beyond using some weight to help you open up, it also mimics the position of a “loading swing” or arch swing, the shape you are in as you swing forward on the pull-up bar before a toe-to-bar, kipping pull-up, or muscle up.
In the bottom of this movement you should feel a big stretch of the front side of your body. The goal is to open the angle between your lats and your triceps. Then, very important, USE your lats to press the dumbbell back up with as straight of arms as possible.
Straight arms uncomfortable? Then bend the elbow as much as necessary to feel the stretch that works for you.
Final note: as the hips drop, the dumbbell drops, creating the arch we’re after. As you bring the dumbbell back up, the hips come up as well, finishing in a hip bridge.
The cross-bench pullover will get you more flexible and strong in your overhead press and kip swing by loading the range you use. Start with a light dumbbell (10-20#) and go by feel from there. If you really want to train this movement for strength, you can work up to about 20% of body weight.