People in powerlifting circles may do face pulls as part of their workout routines, but rarely, if ever will you see someone at your local gym performing them. In fact, many people who hit the gym don’t even know what face pulls are much less know how to do them correctly. Even though this lift serves a dual purpose by building muscle and providing highly effective shoulder health you will rarely see anyone doing them. It is underrated and underutilized when in fact it should be part of your everyday workout routine.
Face pulls offer proven results. They work wonders for building rotator cuff muscles, traps, rhomboids and rear delts. Any weightlifter who suffers from internal rotation of the shoulder joint (a common problem for many) can benefit greatly by adding face pulls to their regular routine. Also known as “rounded shoulders,” this is a common problem that results from too much emphasis placed on the pressing exercises for the chest and front delts, and not enough emphasis on the pulling exercises for the back and rear delts.
You may think that you are following a well-rounded, balanced weight training regime, but almost everyone at one time or another will end up over- stimulating the chest and front delts and may not even realize it at the time. Often it is your daily job routine that causes issues with the posture. You may be sitting at a computer for hours at a time all hunched over and not even realizing what an impact this is having on your shoulders.( It’s not often you see someone sitting perfectly straight in front of the keyboard.) You are going to end up with issues with the shoulders-anything from rotator cuff problems to elbow and shoulder impingement.
There is a proper position for shoulders to be in, and face pulls done consistently can assist with pulling them into proper alignment. Not only will you look better, but ultimately you will feel better! You do have to apply yourself diligently when doing the face pulls. Once in a while just won’t do. Learning the right techniques and proper form are essential if you truly want results.
• A rope attachment set at upper chest height is needed.
• Don’t grab the rope from the top palms down as many people tend to do. Grasp it from underneath in a neutral hammer-style grip.
• Greater range of motion will be achieved and most people will find it more comfortable to grip the rope this way.
• Shoulders back! Chest up! Keep your shoulder blades retracted
• Now-pull the rope toward your face. Pretend you are trying to rip it apart.
• Take a momentary pause in this position, and while fully contracted squeeze your rear delts and upper back. Return to starting position.
Take the time to properly learn the technique before you attempt to try it. It is very easy to injure yourself, especially your lower back and shoulders if done improperly. Use weights that are moderate, and do 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps 2 or 3 times a week when you are working out at the gym.