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Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
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Nascimento Offline
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Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
If you're at all like me, you like your chest workouts. You probably like to hit the shoulders too. They're obviously important points if you're interested in building a good physique.

But if you focus on them too much and neglect the antagonistic muscle groups, you're going to have imbalances. Imbalances lead to disproportion in your physique or worse, pain and posture problems.

Even though my focus on back workouts has been greater this year I still have imbalances. In my case it's not so much about proportions, but it's more about posture and the pain that comes from poor posture.

My shoulders have been rounded forward for as long as I can remember (internal rotation).

Then I discovered face pulls.

I've been doing them at least every other workout for 2 weeks now and I already see a difference. I feel less neck pain from there being added stress on my neck from the rounded shoulders. My posture is gradually improving.

As a bonus, these hit the rear delts and rhomboids better than anything I've ever tried. And I've always done rear flies.

I could add more later. Make sure you do them for at least 4 sets, and use light, light weight. It's not about going heavy here. Remember, this also works the small rotator cuff muscles (the SITS) which are tiny in comparison to the large ones. This is a mobility exercise more than anything.

This video goes into more detail and shows how it's done:



(This post was last modified: 08-30-2017 11:57 PM by Nascimento.)
08-30-2017 11:56 PM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
On the topic of upper back excercises, everyone should be doing rows. Bent over barbell rows are my drug of choice, but I don't care if you're doing seated cable rows or dumbbell rows; just do them.
(This post was last modified: 08-31-2017 01:14 AM by General Stalin.)
08-31-2017 01:14 AM
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Clint Barton Offline
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RE: Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
Facepulls, band pull apart, and rows are really the best way to improve you posture. Trying to stand straight is not enough in itself.

- Clint Barton
08-31-2017 06:30 AM
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Nascimento Offline
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RE: Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
Yep. Rows are a must. But I should add that even with rows as a staple in my routine I still had imbalances and posture issues.

The benefit of the face pull isn't as much the retraction aspect (that you get with rows). It's more about the external rotation. How often do you see someone doing an exercise that specifically uses this movement? Almost never.

In comparison, any pressing movement uses a LOT of internal rotation.
08-31-2017 09:54 AM
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Post: #5
RE: Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
Yup the facepull is better than simple L external rotation exercises. I actually warm up with a band for upper body workouts, and use the cable with more weight when I'm specifically looking to get strength/hypertrophy in that upper back and rear shoulder region. Posture is way better these days. Good thread OP.

- Clint Barton
08-31-2017 01:16 PM
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komatiite Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
Do you guys actually use heavy weights on these? Or is it mainly to be used as a lighter excersise almost like Mobility work?
09-01-2017 10:04 AM
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Nascimento Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
^ Read the OP.
09-01-2017 10:15 AM
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komatiite Offline
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RE: Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
(09-01-2017 10:15 AM)Nascimento Wrote:  ^ Read the OP.

Yes but does everyone do it that way? are there benefits to doing it heavy? Or too dangerous?
09-01-2017 10:49 AM
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alexdagr81 Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
The muscles are small and mostly slow twitch, there really is not a reason to do less than 8 reps (being generous there 10 is probably better) on external rotation movements.
09-01-2017 02:07 PM
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Kieran Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
Face pulls did nothing for me and aggravated my impingement. Many in the industry swear by them though. I pretty much fixed my impingement by making the incline dumbbell press my only pressing movement for a while, doing 100 band pull aparts per day, and re-introducing rear delt work (seated bent over raises suited me the best). I did a lot of volume on rows as well but I was doing that already.
09-02-2017 05:12 AM
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Nascimento Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
As I understand it impingement is often caused by the accumulated stress of internal rotation under load. Maybe you did them wrong? In the video, the guy describes how most guys doing face pulls are doing them *incorrectly.*

You must be very careful not to be pulling the weight with an internally rotated shoulder because yes, that could exacerbate any current shoulder issues.
09-02-2017 05:54 AM
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Kieran Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Start doing face pulls! (For posture, shoulder health, and proportions)
Impingements don't always react as they should theoretically - for example the common consensus is that benching with elbows tucked and an arch is safest, but this hurts my shoulder far more than a more gentle tuck, followed by flaring as the bar comes several inches off my chest in the classic j-curve most good raw benchers press with.

On facepulls, I studied the form before starting them, and worked through discomfort for a while to see if they brought any benefits but I found them pretty much useless. Significant strength gains in band pull aparts and rear delt flies were the only thing that fixed my issues for me (and I stress significant strength gains, as just going through the motions with them for volume did nothing either). I'm not knocking the facepull movement as many s & c coaches I respect recommend them, they just didn't work for me.
09-02-2017 08:27 AM
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