Face pulls is one the least glamorous workout for people. This exercise targets the upper body’s weak muscles and the major focus is on strengthening arms and shoulders. It is one of the corrective workouts that fixes poor physique and rectifies shoulder dysfunction. The majority of people ignore this workout and focus more on push-ups and other strength training exercises. But is it important to know that face pulls also have a major benefit that can strengthen weak muscles in the upper part of our body.

We always tend to suffer from poor posture or hunchback because of working on computers or sitting for long hours. Face pulls are the key to improve our posture and arm strength, also help to build stronger muscles in the chest, back, rear delts, and traps of our body. It is rather a simple exercise that involves pulling the weight attached to a cable pulley.

How to do Face Pulls

Set Up

  1. When you are about to do face pulls remember to set up the pulley up to your chest
  2. Since it is an isolation exercise for the shoulders, it’s better you do a slight warm-up exercise to activate your shoulder muscles.
How to do Face Pulls


  1. Stand in a position where you are slightly away from the machine and grab the handles with both hands palms facing in.
  2. Your arms should be fully extended with a slight drop in shoulders. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  3. Pull the rope towards your neck level and your elbows should be higher than your wrist.
  4. Make sure while pulling, your elbows should be as high as possible and engage the shoulders too.
  5. Give all your strength to pull the weight and roll in back to the starting position.

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Variation of Face Pulls

Resistance Band Face Pulls

  1. This variation can also be done at your home. You just need a strong band and a strong stable point where the band can be fixed and pull correctly.
  2. The grip should be done rightly. Pull the band towards your face. 
  3. By doing this variation, you will be targeting muscles in your upper back and trapezius.

Face Pulling With the Machine

  1. The standard face pull is that of pulling the rope towards your face with proper grip.
  2. An alternate form is to insert your hands in the rope and grab them in such a way that it should look like a handless grip.
  3. Now pull the rope towards your head by keeping elbows intact. Do this movement repeatedly to achieve arm and flexible muscles.

Seated Face Pulls

If you want more stability and you find it uncomfortable while standing and doing the face pulls then sitting on the bench and doing the same face pulls would also be beneficial to you.

One Arm Face Pull

One Arm Face Pull

If you suffer from shoulder pain or rib pain then this is a super variation to go for. One arm pull will give you proper recovery from a shoulder injury and improve muscular imbalance too

Half Kneel Face Pulls

Half Kneel Face Pulls

For this variation, you need to slightly kneel your legs. Grab the rope and start pulling it to and fro. This will strengthen your legs, and improve lumbopelvic hips.

Face Pull with Hammer Grip

Face Pull with Hammer Grip

In this variation, the grip is an important factor. The thumbs position of your hand will face towards you as your pull the rope inwards and in another version of hammer grip, the thumb will be in the inwards facing position with each other.

Common Mistakes and Precaution

Common Mistakes and Precaution

Improper Form

Most of them get confused between face pull and pull down. if you are pulling the cable towards your chin and then if you are elbows are bending it’s an absolutely wrong position. You are doing pulldown rather than face pulls. Make sure your elbows are at right angles to your body while pulling.

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Higher Weights Problem

If you are pulling the cable towards you but you are unable to move the cable backward conveniently then probably you are using very heavyweight. Initially, you have to start doing the workout with less weight. This would help you engage the core and can make the entire face pull workout smoother and effective.

Height Adjustment

The most common mistake people do while doing this exercise is setting up the machine at a lower height. This will not work and is unhealthy for your back and shoulders. Instead, you have to adjust the machine to a higher height.


  1. Rear deltoids are the prime target of this workout and face pulls helps to focus on this muscle and build healthy shoulder and heals shoulder injury too
  2. You can add this exercise with other sets of workouts in your daily routine. As it helps you to build a strong upper body and chest which helps you to even lift heavy objects with the full range of motion.
  3. Since this exercise is mostly done in a standing position, you can achieve stability and a balanced posture in the lower part of your body.

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