For August I wanted to highlight what I feel is one of the most critical upper body exercises to include in a strength training program – FACEPULLS!
The name might sound silly to you if you are not familiar with strength and resistance training, but I can assure you that this exercise has nothing to do with physically pulling on your face. ;-P
Facepulls are an exercise designed to hit the muscles in the rear deltoids (back of shoulders), trapezius, and upper back muscles.
However, what is vital about this exercise is that it is one of the BEST exercises for combatting poor POSTURE! Facepulls help to strengthen the muscles that combat forward/internal rotation of the shoulder. This is commonly seen in individuals who suffer from poor forward head and rounded upper back postural positioning.
(Of course there is no ONE magic exercise that fixes all of the problems with poor posture alone – BUT, this one certainly offers a “big bang for your buck”.!)
Equally important is that this exercise will help to improve general shoulder health and movement patterns, as well as improve the overall strength and stability of the muscles that support the shoulder joint. With shoulder injuries seemingly running rampant today, these are all perks that should not be ignored!
However, I often cringe when I see people try to “go it alone” at this exercise, because it is so commonly performed incorrectly. As with any exercise, if performed incorrectly not only are you negating most (if not all) of the benefits this exercise has to offer, but possibly setting yourself up for injury.
I have included a quick video of one of our trainers (Tim 😊) performing both the INCORRECT and CORRECT ways to execute this lift. I also included pictures of both the correct starting and ending position of this lift below. Click the following link to check it out the video on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/445007462
Facepull Correct Starting Position:
Facepull Correct Ending Position:
Key Takeaway Notes:
1) This exercise can be performed using a variety of different gym equipment (including bands, TRX, AND cable machines). What matters is that whatever equipment you choose to use allows proper spacing between hands to execute full range of motion. (IE – using a short rope, closely spaced handles, or placing the hands too close together on a band will encourage improper form.)
2) Before initiating lift, make sure the shoulders are “locked down” so you do not elevate the traps (allow shoulders to lift towards ears) as you pull hands back to final position.
3) The goal is to EXTERNALLY rotate the shoulders as you pull back the arms to their final “L” like position. THIS external rotation is the key to providing the postural and shoulder strengthening benefits I mentioned above.
SO basically my point is…IF you are not already regularly including some facepull variation in to your strength program – YOU SHOULD! 😉 If you still have any questions though, please reach out and let us help you!
Dedicated to your success,
P.S. If you’re a “newb” to the fitness game, looking to get back ON the wagon you’ve fallen off of, OR just looking for a little more direction…then our 30 Day Challenge would be a GREAT place for you to start! Click the button below to learn more details!
Mara Jones (Owner)
Florida Fitness Coaches
(239) 398 – 9848 (Call or text!)