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  #1  
Unread 09-19-2017, 07:12 PM
AlphaBettor AlphaBettor is offline
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Default Face Pulls

This exercise seems to be pretty popular lately.

Here's the form I'm talking about: cable set at about upper chest height, grab the rope with neutral grip and the knobs facing up, bring arms into roughly a back double biceps pose position. Basically transverse abduction with simultaneous external rotation. Scapulae stay retracted throughout; there may be some incidental movement but I'm not trying to do a row here.

Ok so where to begin. I recently added them to my training, and this is the first stretch I've done them with the form described above. It feels pretty awkward although it's hard to tell if that comes down to the movement itself or lack of practice.

The idea behind using this exercise is general shoulder health/posture (too much computer time) and also hypertrophy of rear/lateral delts and the external rotators.

Coincidentally or not, I did get some shoulder pain in my workout today which is fairly unusual for me. I've also made some other changes to my training so I'm not really sure what's causing what and will try to figure that out.

Any thoughts on this exercise? Is it useful for what I'm trying to accomplish? Potentially dangerous/injurious?

I can't help but think that a more pure rear delt movement described here along with dumbbell L-flys or such would be better although combining the two movements into one does have some appeal.
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  #2  
Unread 09-19-2017, 07:22 PM
w1cked w1cked is offline
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Never cared for facepulls. Rear delt rows with dumbbells gave me huge rear delts. Basically put your torso parallel to the floor and row with dumbbells with your limbs perpendicular to body. Hard to get this one wrong.
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  #3  
Unread 09-19-2017, 07:29 PM
AlphaBettor AlphaBettor is offline
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Quick response, nice

I've used the rear delt/reverse fly machine as well as dumbbells when that wasn't available. Both work well (in addition to compound pulling, of course.)

Maybe it's a little greedy to expect one exercise to bring up rear delts, lateral delts (the transverse abduction in external rotation brings them in) along with strengthening the external rotators.

I tend to think the external rotation range of motion is excessive, especially with this form, but shoulders are complicated.

Last edited by AlphaBettor : 09-19-2017 at 07:36 PM. Reason: rephrased the lateral delt part
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  #4  
Unread 09-19-2017, 08:03 PM
AlphaBettor AlphaBettor is offline
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Hmmm, I kind of missed the part about rear delt rows. My mind must have just automatically read rear delt flyes although the movement at the shoulder is pretty much the same. I may give that type of row a try though.

Do you do any direct external rotation type of movement?
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  #5  
Unread 09-20-2017, 08:45 AM
ajm587 ajm587 is offline
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I don't look at face pulls as a hypertrophy exercise. It's more of prehab. For rear delt growth, I like the seated rear delt fly machine.
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  #6  
Unread 09-20-2017, 02:03 PM
AlphaBettor AlphaBettor is offline
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That's probably a good way to look at it. Thanks for the replies w1cked and ajm.
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  #7  
Unread 09-24-2017, 07:52 PM
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BEATMEOUTTAME BEATMEOUTTAME is offline
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I tried these face pulls today. It's an awkward exercise for sure. I wasn't sure if I was really doing it correctly. I'm going to keep watching videos looking for cues and keep doing them for another week or two to see if they help my shoulder problems.
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  #8  
Unread 09-28-2017, 03:07 PM
Ziltoid Ziltoid is offline
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I find with face pulls that it's hard to progress with load much before it starts turning into a different exercise and it ceases being a useful as either a prehab or rear delt builder, plus if you're doing them standing it doesn't take much weight before you start having to alter your body position to stop getting pulled forward, which again alters the movement. If you're using something like a seated cable row machine to plant your feet then the cable is usually stuck at the wrong height as well.

If you want healthy external rotation of the shoulders there's easier ways to do it and if you want a solid rear delt exercise there's probably easier ones you can choose too.
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  #9  
Unread 09-28-2017, 03:24 PM
farrenator farrenator is offline
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You aren't supposed to overload face pulls. Hypertrophy is not the point. Think of them in the same way you think of the band pull-apart.
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