Health and Beauty

How to strengthen your shoulders with a face pull?

The face pull is a pulley isolation exercise that works primarily the shoulders and secondarily the back. It specifically targets the posterior deltoids (the back of the shoulders), and also works the rhomboids (the muscles that allow you to squeeze the shoulder blades) and the middle trapezius.

Face pulls are a great way to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles like the infraspinatus muscles. This helps build stability and strength in your shoulder blades and makes your shoulders more resistant to injury.

Many practitioners favor the pectoral muscles at the expense of the back muscles, leading to muscle imbalance and poor posture. This exercise can be effective in correcting these imbalances.

Muscles used in facelift.
Illustrative credit © Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How to do a face pull?

  1. Attach a rope to a pulley positioned approximately at chest level.
  2. Hold both ends of the rope with an overhand fist.
  3. Step back so that you are holding the weight with your arms fully extended and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly to provide some stability.
  4. Retract your shoulder blades and pull the rope towards your face while spreading your elbows out to the sides. Remember to straighten both ends of the rope and not just pull it back.
  5. Hold the top position for a second and then slowly lower back down.
  6. Repeat this movement until you reach the desired number of repetitions.

Face lift tips

  • Pull with your elbows, not your biceps.
  • Make sure your shoulder blades remain tight and tense throughout the movement. You should try to “stick” them together. One trick is to imagine that you are holding a golf ball between these objects and not letting it fall to the ground.
  • You can use a high pulley or even a low pulley as long as you angle your body so that your elbows and the angle of the pulley are perpendicular to your torso.
High roller face roller
Direct the drag at the high pulley.
Illustrative credit © Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How to strengthen your shoulders with a face pull?

Back to top button