I’ve been saying it for some time now, “You need to do your face pulls!?” and it’s still 100% true!
Face Pulls are one of the best exercises to help offset your poor posture, shoulder dysfunction and a host of other issues you likely face. While the face pull is simple to perform I’ve seen a lot of examples of people doing it incorrectly which will diminish the results you could be getting.
Because of the angle of the movement it’s important to use the proper equipment, I recommend a band or cable machine as the line of resistance can be better controlled. These implements also offer the proper strength curve which is important.
One of the most common errors I’ve seen when performing the face pull is the placement of the anchor point of the band, or the area of origin in the case of a cable machine. In order to properly target our rotator cuff and not turn the movement into a bastardized row or shrug we need to ensure that the anchor is positioned above your head. Often I see people pulling from chin level or even worse, chest height. This positioning puts too much emphasis on the muscles of the upper back almost removing the rotator cuff from the movement.
Another common error is grip. Athletes should use an underhand grip as opposed to overhand. While performing the face pull it’s also important to make sure that you are taking a strong, stable athletic stance and leading with your hands and not your elbows. You never wants to lean backwards as this allows the lower back to contribute. If you find yourself doing this fault it’s likely because you’re making another common error… using too much weight.
The weight you use on the face pull should be enough to get meaningful contractions in the target muscles for building strength but not so much weight that you need extra momentum or backward lean in order to move the weight. This is NOT a power move or an opportunity to demonstrate your strength.
If you’re finding it hard to put your hands first, check out the video for a great tip you can perform from the floor to ensure you’re doing it right.
Once you’ve mastered the basic face pull you can start implementing some modifications to help make the exercise even better. One of my favorite modifications is to perform the hands up (think over head pressing movement) at the end of the pull. Performing your face pulls this way engages all the muscles we want but also brings the lower traps into the mix to get them some much needed attention.
Wether you’re going to perform the standard face pull or a modified version it’s important to do them correctly so you can get the results you want.
if you’ve been following me on YouTube I don’t need to tell you when to perform this exercises…the answer is simple….everyday. That’s correct. The face pull is so important and gives attention to such under used muscles that you can perform it every single day.
While there are no magic bullets in the pursuit of fitness and athleticism the face pull is as close to one as we’re going to get. People who properly perform the movement have reported improved posture, elimination of neck, back and shoulder pain as well as a reduction in chronic headaches. Wether you’re training for size, strength or to look good on the beach you always want to stay healthy so throw in some face pulls at the end of your workout.
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