Face Pulls

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Shoulders
Secondary Muscle(s) Middle Back
Equipment Cable
Emphasis Compound
Type Pull

Face Pull Instructions

  • Set a cable pulley slightly above your head with either one or two rope handles.
  • Feet positioned in an athletic stance slightly outside shoulder-width.
    • Your knees are slightly bent and toes pointed straight ahead.
    • You will need a strong brace to counterbalance the weight.
  • The core and glutes are engaged with your shoulders pinned back and chest up.
    • Your spine is neutral with a flat back.
  • If needed, place one foot forward for counterbalance.
  • Have your triceps parallel to the floor and hold the rope above your head.
  • Facing the cable machine, pull the center of the rope towards your face, externally rotating your shoulders and hands. 
    • Don't let your traps "shrug" upward.
  • Your forearms should be vertical at the top of the movement.
  • Without losing your shoulder position, return to the starting position.
  • As you return the rope, don't lose your strong posture. 


  • Keep your chest up and do not let your shoulders roll forward. 
  • You do NOT want the feeling of your upper traps elevating or shrugging.
  • Do not arch your back excessively, keep your core tight to combat this.
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