It is safe to say that I have a slight obsession with facial strain. Anyone familiar with my brand of hypertrophy training and programming knows this. But the truth is that I honestly believe that they are one of the biggest shoulder movements in the world.
Why so much love? For the last ten years, I've seen how pulling the face over and over again proved to be the most effective direct shoulder exercise in my programming arsenal. It builds large, strong and sturdy shoulders and upper back, helping to protect the shoulders from chronic pain and pain.
Frankly, there are few who can not benefit from this movement. If you have been injured, this can be a crucial component of rehabilitation. If you are not injured, this is the perfect condition for preparing your shoulders on a heavy day. And if you're someone who's trying to pull three times more than you do ̵
So, what could make it better? A simple change that you probably have not seen, but you can buy without any additional equipment except a band (which seriously you should already have). After 18 months of beta testing this simple but very effective face pull variant, I can definitely say that this is the best variation you've ever made.
The Handless Banded Cable Face Pull  This variation is essentially a combination of the best parts of the two most common facial features: the band-shaped face pull and the cable pull. I watch both at the gym daily and program both in the Bodybuilding.com All Access Manual Unstoppable: The Ultimate Guide to Injury Training. So it's a big thing to improve something.
One thing I like about the traditional face mask is that it offers more resistance at the back end of the movement where the hands are close to the face. and less at the front of the movement, where many upper back muscles, including the Deltoids and Teres back muscles, are weakest. This makes it ideal for warm-up exercises, but also for beginners, for people returning from an injury, or for those who do not have much equipment.
The obvious drawback to the band's face pulls alone is the inability to dial in the load accurately. Here comes the cable with rope attachment into play. If the goal is to train the face with more force or hypertrophy, which I think is a great idea for long-term strength or muscle development, weight gain over time is a must.
However, as stress increases and effort increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to avoid death having to seize the ropes. While there are many movements where holding on to weight has an advantage, facial features are not one of them. When you grip the rope firmly, you initiate the so-called "radiation effect" by transferring the tension from the hands through the forearms to the biceps and triceps and finally into the shoulders and upper back.
These muscle groups become activated, the movement becomes stronger overall, but it is less focused on the small intrinsic muscles of the back shoulders. That's what you try to reinforce with facial features in the first place.
Here's the solution: Place a circular medium resistance band on the cable and loop each end of the band around your wrists. That way you can not reach your hands during the face-pull movement at all. This little change gives you more freedom of movement so you can access both internal and external shoulder rotation more than would be possible with the more common rope setup.
Another advantage? It keeps you serious. A major disadvantage of cable pulls is that you can lean your body against the weight so you can outsmart the movement without knowing it. With the hands-free kit, the bands will stretch and elongate if the movement becomes too fast, too powerful, or uncontrolled. As a result, you can choose the right technique, constant tension, and muscular recruitment of the back and upper back – and only those muscles.
With this setup, you expect the usual loads. The cable stack should be immediately reduced by 25 to 50 percent. No, that's not a bad thing.
Remember that a key tenet of painless training is maximizing muscle strain while minimizing joint strain. By recruiting the right muscles and minimizing the balance of other muscles, you reduce unnecessary strain on your wrist, elbow, shoulder joint, and spine, placing them where they belong.
Exercise this movement in the traditional scheme of hypertrophy at least 8-15 repetitions. You can also drive it up to metabolic stress patterns that can exceed 50 repetitions.
As the weights for heavier lifters become heavier, two medium resistance bands or one heavy single band may be required. But that's a while down the road. To start, just enjoy the feeling of pulling your face to the right and your shoulders and upper back are grateful!