Mastering Cable Face Pulls Form, Benefits

The face pulling exercise: Introduction and benefits

The Cable Face Pull is a compound exercise designed to strengthen the muscles of the shoulders and upper back.
In particular, the exercise strengthens a number of muscles involved in the stability of the scapula, in particular the traps and rhombuses, as well as the external rotators of the shoulder.

Weakness in one or more of these muscles is associated with rotator cuff problems and shoulder pain. That is why the facial feature is often recommended to improve the health of the shoulders.

And it’s not just for people who are trying to fix creaking shoulders.

If your exercise program includes many horizontal pressure movements, such as push-ups or bench presses, the muscles strengthened by the facial feature will add some balance to your torso and ensure that your shoulders function as they should.

Even if your shoulders are feeling good right now and you want them to stay that way, the facial feature can prevent shoulder problems before they get too serious.

To be clear, the facial feature is not a magic ball that is guaranteed to restore the normal function of the shoulder or correct poor posture in everyone who does it.

There are many different things that could cause shoulder pain, and not a single exercise that cures every shoulder problem known to man.

While the facial feature certainly has the potential to improve shoulder function, its ability depends on it:

The specific variant of the facial feature you are using.

What causes your shoulder problems in the first place.

Some minor mistakes here and there can be worked around and can improve over time as long as your full workout program is set up correctly.

But if shoulder problems persist, it is worth consulting with a physiotherapist, rather than trying to clarify it yourself.

Any approach to treating a shoulder health-issue by correcting a strength and/or flexibility deficit should be based on a patient-specific assessment rather than general advice.

Facial features are usually performed as part of an upper body workout. Some people like to do a few light warm-ups at the beginning of a workout routine to prepare the shoulder muscles for heavier work.

Others will do you towards the end of a workout once the heavier compound lifts are out of the way.

Although it is often considered a rehabilitation exercise, the facial feature is also a very effective way to increase your Deltas and traps, depending on the Variation used (which I will talk more about in a moment).

Facial feature: worked muscles

Posterior Deltoid Muscle

The afteral Deltoid Muscle

Rhomboids (under the traps between the shoulder blades)

Rotator cuff (infraspinatus and Teres minor)

Trapeze (middle and lower traps)

Elbow flexors (biceps, Brachioradialis and brachialis)

How to make facial features: instructions

Although there are many different ways to perform facial movements depending on the muscles you want to emphasize, this is how I do them the most.

Set up a rope roller machine with a rope attachment attached to the high roller.

Grasp the handle of the rope with an overhanging grip, with your palms facing the floor and your thumbs facing each other.

Step back far enough from the cable machine with your arms outstretched so that the weight you are using comes off the rest of the pile.

Keep your arms straight, place one foot in front of the other and bend your knees slightly. Keep this posture shifted throughout the movement to improve your balance.

Pull the middle of the rope towards the face. Imagine that you are pulling the ends of the rope apart instead of just pulling back.

At the end of the range of motion, the thumbs should be approximately at the level of the ears.

Keep the final position short and quickly tighten the muscles of your shoulders and upper back.

Bring your hands back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

Don’t go too hard. Instead, focus on the right form and use all the freedom of movement. In most matters, it is better to use a lighter weight and a gentle, controlled lifting rhythm.

If you tilt your head forward to hit the rope, or if you feel it more in your biceps than in your shoulders and upper back, you are probably lifting too much weight.

If you exercise at home or your gym doesn’t have a cable machine, many people drag a resistance band around a stair railing or power rack and pull the face that way.

“Ligamentous facial movements are a very peril exercise given the massive risk of suffering a potentially blinding eye health-issue when the ligament locks,” says Tuminello. “And the tapes snap all the time. Never pull a strip towards the face. The risk of suffering a potentially blinding health-issue is simply too great.”

If you want to do resistance band facial features, get safety glasses first.

Face Pull Variants, Modifications And Alternatives

There are many variations of the face pull-up that you can perform in the gym, depending on which muscles you want to emphasize.

The four most important things you can change are:

Starting hand position (on-hand against the hammer handle)

Starting cable position (top vs. bottom)

Finishing hand position (Top vs. Hammergriff)

End cable position (top vs. bottom)

Let’s say you start with a grip with the stubby ends of the rope positioned next to your thumbs and the pulley just below the level of your chin.

You pull the rope backwards and upwards towards the forehead, which means that the rope moves from a low position to a high position. Finish the procedure with your hands in the hammer grip position, thumbs pointing back and palms towards you.

This Variation strengthens the external rotators (Teres minor and Infraspinatus) and can help solve shoulder problems associated with the weakness of these muscles.

It is better to use a long rope or two ropes attached to a single carbine. You should also use lighter weights and a slower, more controlled lifting pace.

A greater focus on the posterior Deltas and upper back muscles would require a change in technique.

In particular, you would start with a grip, but with the stubby ends of the rope next to your little finger and not your thumb.

This time the rope would start in a slightly higher Position. When pulling the rope to the lower part of your face near the chin, hold an overhanging handle and stretch your elbows to the side.

There is no one right way to pull the face. The Variation you choose depends on the muscles you want to focus on and the other exercises included in your training program.

Kneeling face pulls

Kneeling and bench-supported facial movements make cheating more difficult, forcing you to use a lighter weight and limit momentum.

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