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How do I do the face pull exercise?



A broad back and strong shoulders can be one of the most important components of a healthy body. However, the muscle groups can be hard to work with because your shoulder joints are sensitive mechanisms. Far too many people leave the gym with shoulder injuries after pushing beyond their capacity. So it pays to train intelligently.

Enter the facial feature. The movement is one of those underrated exercises that you probably do not do often or not at all. But you should definitely make it part of your normal upper body routine because it's simple and effective, and it's also a great way to keep your shoulders bulletproof.

You're probably doing lots of push-up exercises in the gym (think: bench presses and push-ups), so pulling with your face is a good way to balance out all the pushing out with a little bit of pulling. The movement is easier than pull-ups and safer for your shoulder joints than many other back and shoulder options. You work your traps, backs, rotator cuffs and mid-back muscles, and prevent injuries.

Watch the video above to learn the perfect face shape. For this version of the exercise you will need a cable machine with rope attachment.

  • Hold the rope with your thumbs turned upwards (turned outward).
  • Take a few steps back from the tower to extend the cable. Maintain a strong athletic posture and activate your torso and glutes.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together to pull the handles of the rope to your face. Hold the position for 2 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position and make sure your shoulders remain high.

    Try to start with low weight to maintain posture and shape. Add the exercise with 4 sets of 1

    0 to 15 reps to your upper body and back.

    Add Exercise Bands

    If you do not have access to a cable machine or just want to power up the unit, you can also use a resistance band for facial features.

    WODFitter's Resistance Bands

    With the low impact option, you can really emphasize the pressure in your shoulder blades. If you do not have a tape on hand, check it out at WODFitters.

    See below how Men's Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., demonstrates exactly how the move can be accomplished with the band. Notice again how he uses an overhand position to thumb the thumbs up.

    Here are a few things to keep in mind when pulling the band:

    • Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
    • Hold up your elbows and drive them as far as possible past the ears shoulders.
    • Keep your upper body and back upright and resist the urge to lean forward.
    • Do not go too fast. The slower you go, the more muscles you have to work.


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