Face pulls exercise: Health Benefits, How to do? Variations - Mobile Physio (2023)

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What is Face pulls exercise?

Face pulls are one of the best corrective exercises for poor posture and shoulder joint dysfunction. This exercise help to strengthen the chronically weak muscles in your upper limb that get stretched out all day as we sit in a slumped position at the computer or driving cars. This is a weight training exercise that utilizes your upper body muscles.

The face pull is a great pull exercise to help strengthen the shoulder muscles and upper back including the lower trapezius, lateral delts, and rotator cuff that will offset the pulling work that you are doing in the rest of your workouts. Face pulls also help to support the shoulder joints because your rotator cuff works in them.

This is a simple exercise to perform, but the problem is that most people do it completely wrong!
This exercise is a multi-functional lift and serves an awesome muscle build and as a highly effective movement for improving your shoulder health and maintaining your posture.

Which muscles use to do face pulls?

The muscles that helps to face pull are:

  • Posterior deltoid (rear delts)
  • Mid Trapezius
  • Lower Trapezius
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres Major
  • Rhomboidss

Here, some benefits are explained by doing face pulls

  • This exercise make your shoulder strong .Strong shoulders are more important for everyday activities like lifting, pressing, pulling, and rotating your arms.
  • Helps to treat and prevent an internal rotation of the shoulder joint problems.
  • This is a great exercise for the lateral and posterior deltoids, trapezius, and upper back muscles.
  • Face pulls help to keep the shoulders squared and back ,so someone does not get the pulled-forward to look and not use too much chest muscles and front deltoid work.
  • Face pulls also help to build a thick upper back as a base to arch for a power bench press.
  • The deltoids are the powerhouse of the shoulder joint. which is helps to perform all overhead activities like putting items up on high shelves, lifting a child onto your shoulders, or even shooting a basketball.
  • This will also increase shoulder muscle strength and scapular stability.
  • This exercise can build muscle in your whole upper body.
Face pulls exercise: Health Benefits, How to do? Variations - Mobile Physio (1)

How to do Face pull exercise?

  • For this exercise, you need a rope and pulley system which has two handles for hold and its position slightly above your head its attached with machine or with a wall.
  • You have to reach up and hold the handles with both hands with your palms facing inward direction. Take a backward step until your arms are fully straight, then contract your core and lean backward slightly, position your body alignment roughly at 20 to 25 degrees angle.
  • Pull the cable toward the face just enough to start lifting the weight from the stack, then squeeze your shoulders, rolling them back to maintain proper posture .
  • You do not want your shoulders hunching or rolling forward. This is your initial position.
  • You have to pull the handles straight toward your forehead. Keep your palms facing in as your elbows flare outward toward the sides, contracting the posterior deltoid muscles.
  • Reverse the movement and slowly extend your arms without allowing your shoulders or chest to roll forward as you extend—you want to maintain good posture throughout the exercise.
  • Initially you advised adding two to three sets of 20 repetitions of this exercise to the end of a workout. Go a little lighter than you think you need to do and focus on slow, controlled motions.

There are different variations of face pull exercise.

Face Pulls with Hammer Grip

How to do it?

  • For this variation, you have to pull in inward direction, and another where your thumbs will face more inward towards each other to make a hammer grip.
  • This variation will help to get more range of motion. It will also contract your shoulder and lead to more activation in the shoulder muscle group.
  • In this, you have to pull the cable towards your forehead with a hammer grip. Hold for a couple of seconds, then slowly release it.
  • Do 3-4 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Face Pulls with Palms-down Grip

How to do it?

  • In this variation your thumbs are facing more inward in this shoulder range is limited than others, but in this, your shoulder internal rotation feels some resistance due to more inward grip.
  • It is conducted to lift more weight.
  • With palms down grip you have to pull the handle towards the forehead and hold it for a couple of seconds then slowly release it.
  • Do 3-4 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Cable Shoulder UN-messer-Upper

How to do it?

  • If you want your shoulder boulder then this is a very creative series of exercises.
  • For this two cables are used to perform this exercise.
  • Place cable in a cross method, right side cable you have to hold with the left hand and left side cable hold with the right hand.you have to stand in front of the machine with both shoulder 90 degree flexed.you have to pull cable in cross method.
  • Pull the cable towards the ceiling.
  • Then slowly release it.
  • Do 3-4 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Arm Face Pulls

How to do it?

  • You will do this with a single-arm face pull you get an additional anti-rotation and core component to the exercise.
  • This will give you more focus on one arm at a time and potentially even out some muscle imbalances.
  • For this you have to pull the handles towards you, your upper arms parallel to the ground so that the handles go any one side of your face.
  • Then return to the initial position, maintain the tension in the cable.
  • Keep your movements smooth and slow with control throughout the exercise.
  • Do 3-4 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Face Pulls with Dual-ropes

How to do it?

  • For this exercise you need two ropes, slide its attachment with one end, and clip to the cable. with two ropes you get more range of motion and wide pull if you want to .
  • It is better if you have clavicle width and broader shoulder and cranky shoulders. secure rope attachment with dual handles for rotating a high pulley.
  • Pull the handles back towards your face until your hands are in front of the shoulders.
  • Hold this for a couple of seconds. then slowly release it.
  • Do 3-4 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Seated Face Pulls

How to do it?

  • For this exercise, you have to Sit down on a low pulley row machine that has been equipped with a rope attachment.
  • Hold the ends of the rope with a palms-down grip.
  • Your back should be straight, your knees should be slightly flexed. Your arms should be fully straight in front of you. This is the initial position.
  • Raise your elbows and flex them as you pull the rope towards your neck, breath out as you do so.
  • Your upper arms should be parallel to the ground.
  • Hold this position for a couple of seconds, then come back slowly to the initial position. breath in as you do this. Your trunk should remain stationary as you do the movement.
  • Do 3-4 sets of 10-20 repetitions.
Face pulls exercise: Health Benefits, How to do? Variations - Mobile Physio (2)

Body weight Face Pulls

How to do it?

  • For this exercise, you have to lie down on met just below the cable with leg straight .
  • Hold cable handles and lift your chest towards the ceiling by pulling the rope. hold a couple of seconds and slowly release it, to get the initial position.
  • In this variation, your body weight works to create resistance.
  • Do 3-4 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Band Face Pull-Apart

How to do it?

  • This variation is good for a warm-up with high repetition sets.
  • If you want your shoulder joint to feel fried then try these variations.
  • For this, you have to Wrap a resistance band around your foot, slightly flexed your legs, and hold the handles just above your knee joint.
  • Pull resistance band directly towards your forehead, keep your elbows higher than your forearms, until your knuckles face towards your cheeks. slowly lower your arms down and do this again.
  • Do 3-4 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Half-kneeling Face Pulls

How to do it?

  • For this exercise, you have to take the Kneel position on one knee with good posture and hold the rope.
  • Keep your elbows raised and pull the rope towards your face while squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Slowly release it to get starting position.
  • Do 3-4 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Chest Supported Face Pulls

How to do it?

  • For this variation, you have to take an arm less chair.
  • You have to pull the rope and sit opposite in a chair where the chair back support gives to your chest support.
  • Then pull the rope towards the chair and slowly release it.
  • Do again in this same movement.
  • This variation helps to build more strength in your shoulder complex.
  • Do 3-4 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

Common Mistakes happen while performing face pulls.

Avoid these mistakes to get the most benefits from this exercise and prevent strain or injury from the exercise.

Poor Form

  • If your arms are not at right angles to the body, you are performing a pull-down instead of a face pull. If your elbows point downward instead of outward.

Too Much Weight

Using momentum

  • If you found that you were using momentum to pull the attachment toward your body, or if you can not control the weight as it returns to the stack, pull your body forward side, then you should probably decrease the amount of weight you are trying to lift. To target the rear deltoids effectively, you need to make sure you are not inadvertently recruiting additional muscle groups to take over to perform this exercise.

When did you not do this exercise?

  • If you feel pain during exercise.
  • If you are recently injured.
  • If your doctor advised for rest.
  • If you have an arm bone fracture.
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