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If you workout at home all the time or are temporarily doing home exercises because of the current situation, this is exercise is one that you simply cannot skip. In this video, I’m going to show you how to perform the face pull to improve your posture, shoulder health, and correction of small muscle imbalances that will help you to lift more weight on your big lifts regardless of whether you do them at home or at the gym.
The key to the face pull is that you do them. There is no better reward on any other exercise than this one when you do it consistently. You may be asking how often it needs to be done. The answer is daily. Don’t worry though, this is not a home exercise that is going to require a lot of time to perform it. Doing even just 3 sets of 12-15 high quality repetitions is all it’s going to take to get the benefits mentioned above without turning this into a workout of its own.
The most obvious way to perform this movement in a home gym is with a band and a pullup bar. Those that have the bare minimum equipment for training at home usually will have these two items. If so, simply wrap the band over the pullup bar and grab onto it with two hands. Be sure to turn your hands up (underhand) rather than overhand to get more external rotation at the shoulder instead of internal rotation.
As you pull the band back you can pull it apart as well. This is simulating the same effect you would get from doing this with two ropes and a cable machine.
The key is to try and let your hands beat your elbows to the back. Meaning, you want your hands to be further behind your body at the end of the exercise than your elbows. If you can do this right, you will have achieved external rotation at the shoulder and activation of the rotator cuff muscles. The slight variation that places the elbows high and further behind the body is going to totally change the mechanics of the movement at the shoulder, throwing the joint into internal rotation instead. This is something you don’t want, especially with the elevation of the arms if you choose to do so.
The next two variations of this are something you can do with far less equipment. The first is going to require just a beach towel and something heavy. Lay the towel out flat, put the weight in the middle, fold the towel horizontally and pick it up with an underhand grip. From here, simply lift the towel up towards the face and spread the hands as you do. This will simulate what happens when you pull the two ropes apart during a face pull.
If you don’t have a towel but do have your old gym bag (that you’re not using right now as you stay at home to workout), you can still do this important upper body exercise. Load up the bag with a few items like some books or water bottles to add some light to moderate weight to the bag. Remember, for the face pull you don’t need to add heavy weight. The key is doing the movement right to get the benefits of the home exercise.
Finally, if you don’t have access to either a bag or a towel, you can do the doorway variation of the facepull. Here you want to stand inside a room and step your feet into the other room on the other side of the doorway. Your hands should also go against the door frame on the outside of the door. Be sure to use the back of your hands to do this. From here, allow your body to lay back so your arms extend out in front of you. Push against the back of your hands to pull your body back to the top to engage the same muscles used during the face pull done more traditionally.
As always you have the option to add the extension of the arms overhead for the extra lower trap engagement.
Give this a try and let me know how it works for you. Remember, just because you train at home doesn’t mean that you can’t get the benefits of the best home exercises. This is just one example of that. If you are looking for a complete home workout that uses nothing but your own bodyweight, be sure to check out athleanx.com at the link below and grab the ATHLEAN XERO program.
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