The face pull is a simple exercise to perform, but the problem is that most people do it (and even teach it) completely wrong! As face pulls are designed to slowly exercise your muscles with lighter weights, you should do two sets of 20 reps at the end of a back workout. You do this by adding a raise of the arms at the end point of the movement. Performing an additional arm raise at the end point of the movement helps involve the lower traps. By getting the proper equipment, knowing the right form, and how to fix common mistakes, you can start doing face pulls like a pro. If you’ve got access to a cable machine, it’s a better option to perform face pulls. You want to create external rotation and elevation of the shoulder and avoid internal rotation with elevation, which is dangerous for the shoulder. As you pull the rope make sure that your elbows are always higher that your wrists. Lower your elbows slightly but keep hands at head level. 2. You’d be accumulating a lot of repetitions in an internally rotated shoulder position with elevation. Instead the hands should be beating the elbows in a race to the back. References. For Cable Face Pulls we’ll start by setting up a rope attachment on a cable in a high position, or if you’re training at home you can anchor a band to something high. Box 5054Westport, CT. 06881. If you’ve been following me on YouTube, I probably don’t need to tell you when to perform this exercise. I’ve been saying it for some time now. In other words, all gains and no pain! Face pulls help improve posture and strengthen chronically weak muscles in the back and shoulders. We can only use dumbbells! Face Pulls need to be a part of your training program. However, you also don’t want to load it so much that you need extra momentum or a backward lean in order to move the weight. But there is something you need to be aware of when it comes to doing it with the band. Don’t let the hands drift. Results, as always, will vary from individual to individual for these reasons and you are responsible for understanding that atypical outcomes may not reflect your experience. Keep your elbows down below your shoulder. The Incline Bench Press is one of the best upper chest exercises there is, but there's one major problem preventing us from getting the maximum... Today I’m going to share my favorite chest exercises… but there’s a catch. This positioning puts too much emphasis on the muscles of the upper back, and almost completely removes the rotator cuff from the movement. If I instead use a higher anchor point for this exercise, when I pull back I’m concentrically pulling into external rotation. A Sports Performance Factory LLC Production – Copyright ©MMXVIII Sports Performance Factory LLC P.O. Not a good idea. The classic theory of "Upper, Middle, and Lower" chest exercises is a good start, but, it's not enough!! If you have bad balance, it’s ok to get into a staggered position as long as you square up your hips and shoulders and pull that way throughout the exercise. They help strengthen the chronically weak muscles in our upper body that get stretched out all day as we sit in a slumped position at the computer or driving our cars. That’s correct. And they themselves are not entirely to blame, because there are YouTube tutorial videos out there with millions of views that are not only showing you an incorrect way to do the exercise, but actually the fastest way to hurt yourself doing it! The best, most athletic stance for the face pull is a square stance. 3. As you can see, it’s not just what exercises you do but how you do them that matters the most. Do not al… Pull the rope toward you just enough to start lifting the weight from the stack, then engage your shoulders, rolling them back to creat… wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. If you try to go so heavy that you’re getting pulled forward, you know you’re going too heavy. Begin pulling the rope with elbows leading the hands as you pull backward and squeezing the shoulder blades as you get the end of the movement. Keep your back as straight as possible and your chest sticking out. Whether you’re doing the cable rope face pulls or doing banded face pulls at home, there are some important differences between the two and considerations for both. Exercise notes: Start position is standing, holding a cable attachment in each hand with palms facing each other and thumbs pointed toward your face. I’ll wear that badge proudly because I believe this is an incredibly important exercise! To correctly perform the face pull you need to set a high anchor point and perform the exercise from a high to low position. Pull the rope toward your face as far as you can and contract your rear deltoids while pulling both … 2. The other important thing to pay attention to is the position of your hands and elbows at the end point of the movement. It’s just something you have to be aware of if you’re going to train at home. Let’s talk about weight selection first. Some helpful hints (key elements to consider) on how to perform rope cable face pulls safely and effectively. The best equipment for a face pull is a cable pulley machine, which should be available at any local gym. There are two great modifications for the face pull that will help you get even more out of this great exercise. The face pull is so important and gives attention to so many important but underused muscles that you can perform it every single day. This is not only a great way to feel the correct positioning for the face pull, it’s a fine way to perform the exercise. Then you turn the hands slightly and pull. NOTE: Excessive forward head posture is common too and can be fixed by telling people to 1) stop doing that, 2) telling them to make a “double chin,” or 3) place a tennis ball underneath the chin. Squeeze for a second or two, and come back up. When we get in the correct position of external rotation pulling from high to low, we strengthen the muscles we’re looking to work in this exercise: rear deltoids, mid scapula, rhomboids and traps. MOVEMENT (ACTION): With your head facing forward and still, pull the center of the rope attachment towards the center of your face, keeping your palms down and elbows up. The classic theories of “just do curls” or “it’s not necessary to train your biceps directly” are both flat out wrong! Get a step by step ATHLEAN-X program based on your specific goals that will show you how to do every exercise for maximum benefit without risking injury. Always keep your elbows high and your wrists above your elbows when pulling the rope backward. To properly target your rotator cuff and not turn the movement into a bastardized row or shrug you need to ensure that the anchor point for the face pull is positioned above your head. Grip is one of the most important factors when it comes to the face pull. Performing it on the floor will help you ensure your hands are beating the elbows to the end point of the movement. "Doing a face pull correctly is about leading with your hands, not with your elbows," says Cavaliere. If you try and do a face pull with too much weight equipped, you’ll end up engaging muscles in your arms and lower back and increase the risk of injury. How To Do Face Pulls The Right Way: Proper Form & Technique. Coach Jeff Cavaliere (the owner of ATHLEAN-X™ and Sports Performance Factory LLC) and staff have conducted all steps possible to verify the testimonials and reviews that appear on this site. First let’s look at the basics on how to perform the classic Face Pull with a trap raise. https://athleanx.com/articles/shoulders-for-men/stop-doing-face-pulls-like-this You’re not going to overtrain with these. There are two things you want to pay attention to here. Squeeze, hold, raise up if you’re going to, come down, and rest. Take a few steps back from the tower to extend the cable. What wins the race to the end point… your elbows or your hands? 2) Rather than gripping the rope from the top with your palms facing down like most people do, instead, grip it from... 3) Keep your chest up, shoulders back and retract your shoulder blades. Lots of people who do get the high to low anchoring correct, go wrong when they take an overhand grip. What do you do? The first thing is: where are you pulling to? 1) Grab a rope attachment and set it at upper chest height. The face pull is so important and gives attention to so many important but underused muscles that you can perform it every single day. If you find this stance difficult to maintain or start feeling pain in your lower back as you exercise, you might need to adjust your stance. The problem is that most people perform face pulls incorrectly. If you don’t have access to a cable pulley machine, you can use a long resistance band attached to something sturdy a little above the height of your head. This will come in even handier when we look at how NOT to perform this exercise!