Tip: The Two-Rope Face Pull

Got long arms or a very thick upper body? You'll get better rotation, a better contraction, and better results with this variation.

Big Guys, Use Two Ropes for Face Pulls

If you're tall with long arms, or if you're very muscular, you may have trouble doing face pulls. Since a face pull starts in internal rotation and finishes at or above forehead level, its purpose is to exploit not only the scapular retractor muscles, but also to exploit a rotary component of the shoulder, dominated mainly by the rear deltoid.

Guys with longer arms who use a standard rope will be at a much smaller (more acute) elbow angle when compared to shorter-armed guys at the end point of each rep.

This difference can hinder how much rotation they can achieve at the shoulder joint, compared to what they could achieve if given the opportunity for a wider grip. The same problem exists for big guys with tight shoulders, pecs, or triceps.

Ropes come in varying lengths, but many gyms feature ropes that are fairly short. Home and condo gyms are even worse. Since they usually attach to a carabiner, a smart move would be to instantly increase the length of the ropes by doubling them up.

Put two sets of ropes on one carabiner and pull them long. Now you've instantly got a double-sized rope to do your pulls.

Another benefit comes in the form of physics. Intentionally trying to "spread the ropes" on each rep requires a lifter to create outward (lateral) force at the same time he creates resistance against a horizontal force angle.

Because of this, it proves much more challenging for the target muscles (kind of the same way squatting with banded knees works). In short, it won't take as much weight to get the same result due to your "utilization of space" within your range of motion. As a bonus, all of this applies perfectly to triceps rope pressdowns too.