Face Pulls

Introduction

Anyone who has followed me on social media for any period of time will have seen a post about the value of face pulls for long-term shoulder health.

As someone who did his best to wreck my shoulders by swimming large distances with small stroke faults, not to mention dislocating my AC joint in a bicycle versus car crash, I'm extremely aware of just how debilitating chronic shoulder pain can be.

Despite being told by a highly qualified physio that I should never again press heavy weight overhead, I've both fixed my shoulder pain and gone on to build just how much weight I can put overhead. I've also been able to return to swimming periodically (when life allows) and can do so with none of the shoulder pain I suffered in the past.

Face pulls, band pull aparts and scapula mobility exercises have been a large part of that process.

Many people think of face pulls as just another hypertrophy exercise for the rhomboids and rear delts, and perform it with that in mind.

Done well, however, it's a rehab/prehab exercise that encourages proper external rotation strength in the shoulders, something badly needed by most of us, who spend our lives with our shoulders internally rotated. The key here is the thumbs backwards, external rotation focus as shown in the video.

Grab a stretch cord or band and do a few sets of face pulls every day; your shoulders will thank you.

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Will Newton


In over twenty years of coaching, I have coached everyone from absolute beginners to world champions. My interest in getting the best results for people who train for health and fitness or the love of sport, rather than as professionals, drives me to find the most effective ways to get results. My mission is simple: Be in better shape at 70 than most people are at 20, and to help you do the same.

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