Stop Making This HUGE Face Pull Mistake!

If you do face pulls, then you need to watch this video to see the right way to do one and how to stop making this huge face pull mistake. If you’re not doing face pulls, then I have to ask, are you even watching my channel? Everyone knows how important I believe this exercise is. The key however is not just doing it but making sure that you do it right.

The face pull is a great exercise for developing the muscles of the upper back, rhomboids, rear delts and rotator cuff. When it comes to the rotator cuff muscles, their job is to externally rotate the shoulder. In fact, their only movement function is to create external rotation of the shoulder. Ignoring their function is a recipe for long term shoulder health issues.

In order to keep a shoulder functioning normally with proper biomechanics you have to take the time to strengthen the muscles that keep the humerus centered within the glenoid. If this is in place, as you raise your arm up overhead you will keep the arm out of an impingement position and limit the inflammation and pain that can come as a result.

Whenever you do an overhead pressing exercise or a barbell OHP, you want to be sure that your shoulder has the ability to remain stable.

If you aren’t doing face pulls right now, make sure you start. If you are, be sure you’re doing them the right way. Far too often people will lead with their elbows when performing this exercise. That is not correct. When leading with the elbows you are creating internal shoulder rotation with elevation. This can lead to impingement over time. A good exercise with amazing benefits can quickly become one that isn’t so beneficial at all.

Instead, think of it as a race to the back between your hands and your elbows. If your hands win the race then you’ve done the exercise correctly. If your elbows win the race then you’ve done it incorrectly. Maintain the ninety degree angles between your elbows and shoulders as well and you will be sure that you’ve done this hugely important exercise the right way.

If you’re looking for a complete program with step by step workouts to build strength and athletic muscle without having to sacrifice leanness or the safety of your shoulders, be sure to head to via the link below and pick the ATHLEAN-X training program that is best suited to your current goals.

If you’re looking for more workout videos or exercises for shoulders and rotator cuff, be sure to subscribe to our new AX Shorts channel for great tips in less than 60 seconds as well as the main channel seen here below.


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28 thoughts on “Stop Making This HUGE Face Pull Mistake!

  1. ATHLEAN-X™ says:

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    If you don’t win, no worries, you’re not going away empty handed. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

  2. Devon says:

    Jeff: Your hands have to win the race to the back to create external rotation!

    Cashier: Sir, this is a Wendy‘s.

  3. Al says:

    I just started doing these a couple weeks ago after the shoulder exercises ranked video came out. I’m glad Jeff clarified this before I wasted more time with improper form

  4. AMR Physiotherapy says:

    Good information. This expresses the importance of hand position in certain exercises. Will definitely keep this in mind. Thanks for sharing! Keep up the good content!

  5. SrInigoMontoya says:

    I’m in my mid 40s. I’ve had both shoulders operated on. Diligently doing the face pull several days a week for about a year now. My shoulders haven’t felt this good since my 20s – and it isn’t just while performing exercises that primarily target the shoulder. Complete game changer. I could say the same for my increased focus on the lower traps. I’ll take it a step further and say that since focusing on the hip correctives Jeff encourages, my knees haven’t felt this good either. Seeing a theme? “Every muscle matters.”

  6. Midwest Combatives says:

    I REALLY like these short clips. At times I do enjoy the thorough explanation of the kinesiology but this is good stuff

  7. Mike Wernecke says:

    Jeff, ABSOLUTELY LOVE the computer imagery. Anytime we can see all the muscles and underlying tendons it REALLY helps me make much more sense of the importance of proper mechanics. PLEASE DO TONS OF THIS IF POSSIBLE ESPECIALLY IF YOU CAN WITH MOTION!!

  8. DanteBrian says:

    Oh damn. Tried doing the motion at my desk, and hands winning first makes a hell of a difference! Thanks, Jeff!!!

  9. Myles High-Club says:

    Not gonna lie…i did this wrong during my workout last night…wish I saw this 24 hrs earlier…Thanks Jeff!

  10. Alex Affleck says:

    True story: I was at the gym with my girl the other day and after doing a chest workout she looked at me and said, “Can we do some facepulls now?”

    I swear I would’ve married her on the spot if she wasn’t already my wife.

  11. Eric Santos says:

    I’ve been in and out the gym for the past 15 years, until I’ve found you and bought the Max Size program. I don’t need anything else for training and eating. And I’ve achieved expressive changes ever since. But, I don’t believe any of those guys who claim to score a 30/30 at the You in 30 Minutes challenge. I don’t believe htat even you are able to do that by following the rules.
    Best of luck,

  12. Iman Pirmohamed says:

    I find it tricky ensuring that my hands win the race, rather than my elbows. Anyone else have this, and if so how do you combat it or is it just doing them slowly and lowering the weight?

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