The Face Pull is a highly effective exercise for targeting the rear deltoids, upper back, and rotator cuff muscles. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the correct technique, benefits, alternatives, and other essential details associated with the Face Pull.



  1. Attachment Height: Adjust the height of the cable machine to approximately forehead level.
  2. Handle Attachment: Attach a rope or dual-handled attachment to the cable machine.
  3. Standing Position: Stand facing the cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the handles with a neutral grip (palms facing each other), and step back to create tension in the cable.


  1. Pulling Motion: Exhale as you pull the handles towards your face, keeping your elbows high and out to the sides. Aim to bring the handles towards the sides of your head, just outside of your ears.
  2. Squeezing the Muscles: At the end of the movement, squeeze your shoulder blades together and focus on engaging the rear deltoids and upper back muscles.
  3. Controlled Release: Inhale as you slowly return the handles to the starting position, maintaining control over the movement.
  4. Repeat: Perform the desired number of repetitions with proper form and control.


  • Keep your chest up, shoulders down, and core engaged throughout the exercise.
  • Avoid using momentum or jerking movements to pull the handles; focus on a smooth and controlled motion.
  • Adjust the weight of the cable machine as needed to ensure that you can perform the exercise with proper form.


  1. Rear Deltoid Development: The Face Pull targets the rear deltoids, helping to strengthen and build muscle mass in the back of the shoulders.
  2. Upper Back Strengthening: This exercise also engages the upper back muscles, including the rhomboids and trapezius, which help improve posture and shoulder stability.
  3. Rotator Cuff Activation: The Face Pull activates the rotator cuff muscles, including the infraspinatus and teres minor, which contribute to shoulder stability and injury prevention.
  4. Improved Shoulder Health: Strengthening the rear deltoids and rotator cuff muscles can help improve overall shoulder health and reduce the risk of injuries such as impingement and rotator cuff strains.

Muscles worked in Face Pull

It primarily targets the following muscles:

  1. Rear Deltoids: The primary muscle targeted by the Face Pull is the rear deltoid, also known as the posterior deltoid. This muscle is located at the back of the shoulder and is responsible for shoulder extension, transverse abduction, and external rotation.
  2. Trapezius: The middle and lower fibers of the trapezius muscles are engaged during the Face Pull to stabilize the shoulder blades and support the pulling motion.
  3. Rhomboids: The rhomboid muscles, including the rhomboid major and rhomboid minor, are activated to retract the shoulder blades during the pulling motion.
  4. Rotator Cuff Muscles: The Face Pull also engages the rotator cuff muscles, including the infraspinatus and teres minor, which help stabilize the shoulder joint and assist in external rotation.
  5. Posterior Deltoids: While the rear deltoids are the primary focus, the Face Pull also engages the posterior deltoids to a lesser extent.

Overall, it is an excellent exercise for targeting the rear deltoids, upper back, and rotator cuff muscles, helping to improve shoulder stability, posture, and overall upper body strength.

Alternate names for Face Pull:

  1. Cable Face Pull
  2. Cable High Row
  3. Rope Face Pull
  4. Rope High Row


  1. Band Face Pull: Use a resistance band anchored at eye level to perform face pulls, providing variable resistance throughout the movement.
  2. Cable Rope Face Pull: Perform the exercise using a rope attachment on the cable machine, allowing for a wider grip and targeting slightly different muscle fibers.
  3. High Row Machine: Utilize a high row machine to perform a similar pulling motion, targeting the rear deltoids and upper back muscles.
  4. Seated Face Pull: Perform the exercise while seated on a bench or stability ball, focusing on maintaining proper posture and alignment throughout the movement.


Incorporating the Face Pull into your workout routine can help strengthen the rear deltoids, upper back, and rotator cuff muscles, leading to improved shoulder health, posture, and overall upper body strength. Focus on proper form, control the movement, and consider incorporating alternative exercises to keep your workouts varied and effective.

Also, check the Dumbbell Rear Delt Row

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