Face Pulls: How To Do It The Right Way!

By: Jenny Lynn | Date: October 2, 2020
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Face Pulls

You’ve been doing good with all your workouts and keeping yourself in shape by following the right diet. However, it seems like your exercises lacked something, and you are wondering if you are doing it correctly, especially if you are working out alone. One workout that you need to be careful of is face pulls.

If you want to have strong balanced shoulders, you need to know how to do face pulls the right way. Face pulls may look less glamorous than other exercises like a bench or overhead press, but it is as important as them.

If face pulls are done right, you will achieve the posture and strong shoulders that you want. In my article, we will find out how important it is to do face pulls, how to do it, and the benefits of having it in your workout routine.

What Is Face Pulls?

what is face pulls

Face pulls is a workout that targets your posterior deltoids of the shoulder; other shoulder exercises tend to neglect this part. In doing face pulls, you need to use a cable pulley machine to pull the weight straight to your forehead. Using face pulls can help strengthen your upper body, can help your form, and prevent muscular imbalance.

You can either use a cable pulley machine or resistance bands while doing the exercise. However, resistance bands aren’t as effective as the cable pulley machine because you need to add more resistance as you get stronger. The band that you are using may not be as influential.

Why Do You Need To Do Face Pulls?

Doing face pulls are essential and should be part of your workout regimen. It will strengthen your weak muscles on your upper body because we tend to neglect it. Little do we know that these upper body muscles are always in slumped positions by just sitting and driving.

Face pulls will help wake up these muscles and give them a stretch that will make them stronger. However, even if some people know the importance of face pulls and is part of their workouts, they are doing it wrong. You must know how to do face pulls correctly.

How To Do Face Pulls

how to face pulls

Knowing how to do face pulls will help you build your upper muscles more and make it more robust than ever. Here are some points on how to do face pulls correctly.

  • Grasp both the handles of the cable machine. Make sure your palm is facing in.
  • Your arms should be fully extended out in front of you.
  • Pull the handle towards you, keep your arms parallel to the floor and the handles should go on either side of your face.
  • The position of your body should be roughly a 20-degree angle
  • When pulling the handle, you need to engage your shoulders and roll them back for good posture.
  • Make sure your shoulders are not hunching or rolling forward. This is going to be your starting position.
  • Pull the handles straight toward your forehead. Keep your palms facing in a while your elbows are moving outwards on your sides.
  • Please return to your starting position and support the tension in the cable while doing it.
  • Always keep your movements slow and controlled.
  • It is recommended to do 20 reps of face pulls for a complete back workout

Types Of Face Pulls

type face pulls

Resistance Band Face Pulls

You won’t be able to go to the gym everyday, especially if you don’t have time. If you don’t have access to a cable machine, you can use a resistance band. Connect the resistance band to a stable point, but it doesn’t have the same effect as a cable machine. You need to add an extra dimension to your exercise like taking your hands out to either side as you pull it towards your face.

Seated Face Pulls

Standing up is not the only way you can do face pulls. If you think that you can’t manage the face pulls while standing, you can do it while seated. It is the safest way to perform face pulls, and it is more stable. Doing the seated face pulls will give you an added challenge on your upper back, and it will help you have an extra weight that won't yank your body out of position.

Common Mistakes On Face Pulls

Doing the right face pulls is essential so you won’t strain your muscle or, at worst, have an injury. Here are the things that you need to avoid.

Poor Form

Poor form is the most common reason why you are doing your face pulled wrong. It would help if you had a great understanding of how to do face pulls and in a good position. In doing face pulls, you need to feel your backside of your position working into the upper back between the shoulder blades.

Ensure you pull to your chin or neck, and your elbows are pointing out, and your palms are facing in. Always double check your form because failing to do so will strain your muscles.

Too Much Weight

Selecting weight is essential, and if you pick a heavy one that isn’t aligned on your weight, you might get in trouble. Rear delts are part of the smaller muscle groups that are going to be worked up while doing face pulls. If you are not used to working them, you need to take it slowly.

You need to reduce the amount of weight you’re trying to lift if you can’t control the face pulls or just use your momentum to pull it towards your body. If you wan’t improvement to your rear delts you need to make sure you are not using additional muscle to perform your exercise.

Benefits Of Face Pulls

benefits face pulls

There are a lot of benefits when you start doing face pulls. Here are the things you would be getting if you consistently do the exercise.

  • It is a good exercise for your rear deltoids, upper back muscles, and trapezius.
  • It can keep the shoulders squared and help build a thick upper back as a base for your power bench press.
  • It can make your shoulders strong to help you with everyday activities like pressing, pulling, and rotating your arms.
  • It can improve the deltoids you usually use when reaching and putting items on the shelves, lifting, and even sports.
  • It targets and improves your rear delts.

Alternative Equipment That You Can Use

If you have no access to a cable machine, you can use other things to help you with face pulls.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands can help when you are doing face pulls when you are at home at can’t go to the gym. You need to have good quality bands that you can attach on a high point or even a pull-up bar. The bands can mimic the movement of a cable machine but it isn’t as strong. Resistance bands can also be useful for those who are just starting with face pulls. However, it won’t provide a more vigorous resistance like the cable machine.


Dumbbells are an excellent option to use if cable machines and resistance bands are not available. Dumbbell exercises are also designed to target rear delts. However, it is not a perfect tool replacement, but it can make a small difference in your rear delts.

Final Thoughts

Face pulls are a vital workout, and it needed to be part of your workout regime. It will greatly improve your shoulder and increase your shoulder strength, which has many benefits, especially if you are always using them. Even if not, this could be a way to help them be healthy, so it won’t always be a sleeping muscle.

Learning the right form and knowing the right way to do face pulls will help you achieve the rear delts you want and make your shoulder stronger and toned. Always practice safe workout so you won’t injure yourself while doing this exercise.

If you experience any discomfort while doing face pulls, you need to check your form, decrease your weight, and maybe see a personal trainer or therapist to assist you.