Tip: Make the Face Pull a Staple Exercise

Got bad posture or a permanent slouch? Do the face pull. Here why and how to do it.

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The face pull may be the most versatile training tool in our arsenal for remediating poor shoulder and thoracic positioning. It provides the exact opposite movements that we're continuously pulled into on a daily basis – namely sitting down and looking at computer, phone, and TV screens.

This movement incorporates humeral horizontal abduction and external rotation of the shoulder and retracts the shoulder blades – all helping combat the hunched over, constantly adducted, internally rotated and protracted posture. If you're slouching over a phone or computer reading this, that's the poor position we're talking about.

Don't be fooled into thinking the face pull is just another dainty corrective exercise. Sure, it can be programmed into any successful dynamic warm-up or activation technique for prepping the shoulders and rotator cuff, but you can also load this pattern up for a results-producing training effect.

When going heavy, the externally rotated end range position of the shoulder will be largely lost secondary to load, but that's ok. Pull back hard and hit your posterior shoulder girdle musculature in strength and hypertrophy rep ranges. As for turning up the metabolic stress in a tissue, extremely high rep ranges with increasing tension will light a fire on those posterior delts.