Tip: Inverted Face Pulls

This is the bodyweight version of the face pull. Great for posture, upper back size, and shoulder health.

Face pulls are a great upper back accessory exercise to build size, improve structural balance and posture, and keep your shoulders healthy. If you get bored of the traditional cable and band versions, try inverted face pulls.

This variation gets you using your own body weight. It's fast and easy to set-up. It also changes things up for your nervous system and moves faces pulls from an open-chain exercise (your body stays still and the rope moves) to a closed-chain movement (the rope stays still and your body moves).

  • Grab a Smith machine or set up a bar in a power rack.
  • Adjust the height of the bar based on your strength level (lower is harder).
  • Drape a triceps rope over the bar. Longer ropes are better than shorter ropes if you have the option.
  • Grip the bar with a standard grip – palms facing your feet – or reverse grip as shown in the video. This allows you to bring in more external rotation.
  • Get your body into a plank position and pull yourself up while aiming your fists for your temples.
  • Squeeze your upper back hard and lower under control.
Andrew Heming is a strength coach, professor, and former Canadian University U-Sport head strength coach. Andrew helps athletes and skinny hardgainers get bigger, faster, and stronger. Follow Andrew Heming on Facebook