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do face pulls after every workout


There’s an epidemic going on right now in fitness, and it’s ruining your posture, muscle symmetry and strength.

But, what if I told you there was just one thing that you could start doing at the end of every one of your workouts that will fix these issues and help prevent injuries and muscle imbalances?

And best of all, it only takes about 90 seconds!

Here’s the crux of the problem…

Most people in the gym are doing a lot of pushing exercises and not nearly enough pulling (unless they’re using an ATHLEAN-X program of course!)

When you train your chest, triceps, shoulders, or even your abs, you are inadvertently feeding into a front to back imbalance that is not only costing you a chance to have muscle symmetry but to maintain healthy joints and muscles in the process.

When you train your chest, triceps, shoulders, or even your abs, you are inadvertently feeding into a front to back imbalance.

To fix this you need to program external rotation or scapular work to offset the high volumes of pushing.

The face pull with an overhead press is the ideal pull exercise to help strengthen the muscles of the upper back, lower trapezius, rear deltoid and rotator cuff that will offset the pulling work that you are doing in the rest of your upper body workout.

I’ll show you exactly how to perform this cable face pull exercise combo to get the best results!

face pulls benefits and performance notes


The Face Pull is the first component of this two-exercise combination.

For the cable Face Pull we’ll start by setting up a rope attachment on a cable machine in a high position. If you’re training in your home gym you can anchor resistance bands to something high up to perform banded face pulls.

To perform Face Pulls, starting position is standing with a staggered stance near the cable machine or resistance band. Grab the handles with your palms facing toward each other and thumbs pointing backwards.

Keep your elbows down below your shoulder joints. You don’t want to raise them to the level of your shoulder.

Then you turn the hands slightly and begin pulling the rope. By turning and rotating out you’re getting the external rotation of the shoulder joint to hit the rotator cuff which never gets worked in most conventional training programs.


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face pulls exercise


The Trap Raise is the second component of this very useful combination.

Start position is holding the rope attachment of the cable pulley machine out in front of you with arms out straight.  Begin pulling up and back without bending the elbows. Begin pulling the rope back and come straight up overhead and down.  Overhead and down and return to the starting position.

As I get to the top I’m trying to lead with my thumbs and go back and almost out at an angle.


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trap raises exercise

In the Trap Raise I’m working the all-important lower traps that help to stabilize my entire upper back during all the pushing exercises.

Start performing the face pull after every workout, whether you’re working chest muscles, shoulder muscle, push, legs or even pull!  Because if your pull workout consists of rowing and lat pull downs, where is the rotation component?  Where are the exercises that hit those smaller muscles in the upper back?  They’re likely not there. This face pull exercise guide will go a long way toward helping you to get all those benefits I listed earlier, but you do need to be consistent with it.

When you work out with one of our ATHLEAN-X programs you don’t have to worry about neglecting little-known important muscles or missing the best muscle growth techniques.  They’re all included in every one of our training routines.  To make sure you’re overlooking NOTHING in your training, let’s train together for the next 90 days.

Do FACE PULLS After Every Workout!

  1. Most people who work out spend a great deal of time doing push exercises for the chest, triceps, shoulders, and even abs. But a common mistake that most people make is ignoring external rotation in their upper body workouts. This can set you up for shoulder injuries down the road.
  2. It’s important to program shoulder exercises that most workout programs are missing: external rotation or scapular work to offset these high volumes of pushing. The Face Pull and Trap Raise combination helps offset these push workouts by employing that range of motion.
  3. Face Pulls are great for the external rotation to strengthen rotator cuffs, while Trap Raises help work the lower traps.
  4. Do this combination after EVERY workout, whether you are working chest, shoulders, push, legs or even pull.

Watch the YouTube version of this article
Jeff Cavaliere Headshot

Jeff Cavaliere M.S.P.T, CSCS

Jeff Cavaliere is a Physical Therapist, Strength Coach and creator of the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs and ATHLEAN-Rx Supplements. He has a Masters in Physical Therapy (MSPT) and has worked as Head Physical Therapist for the New York Mets, as well as training many elite professional athletes in Major League Baseball, NFL, MMA and professional wrestling. His programs produce “next level” achievements in muscle size, strength and performance for professional athletes and anyone looking to build a muscular athletic physique.

Read more about Jeff Cavaliere by clicking here

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