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  • JEFF: What's up, guys?

  • Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com.

  • Dudeyou're making me uncomfortable.

  • JESSE: Why?

  • Oh, was it because of my exercises?

  • Dude, my rotator cuff feels great.

  • JEFF: Can you get behind the camera, please?

  • JESSE: You sure?

  • JEFF: I'm positive.

  • JESSE: Okay.

  • Okay.

  • JEFF: Creep.

  • I'm positive.

  • All right, guys.

  • Today, let's talk about what we're really here to talk about.

  • That is, the face pull.

  • A lot of people don't do this exercise right.

  • And some of you, I don’t blame because there are literally tutorial videos out there with

  • millions of views that are not only showing you an incorrect way to do the exercise, but

  • it's the direct way to hurt yourself doing the exercise.

  • That's not what we want.

  • So, I want to make sure you do this right.

  • I know we've become a little synonymous with this exercise, but for good reason.

  • I'll wear that badge proudly because I believe this is an incredibly important exercise.

  • Not just to build the stability of your upper body and torso for your bigger lifts, but

  • more importantly, to your overall posture and health.

  • So, we need to do it.

  • What I'm going to do is cover a few different elements here.

  • I want to talk about the equipment you use.

  • The height you want to set it at.

  • The grip that you're going to usebecause a lot of people screw that up.

  • The stance you take when you do the exercise.

  • The travel, and what the key points are when you start to move the band.

  • And then some alternatives.

  • More importantly, when you program it, what type of weight you're using, what type of

  • reps, and then where you program it into your overall plan.

  • So, we start here, first and foremost, with the equipment.

  • You might be training at home, or you might be training at the gym.

  • In the gym you'd have access to a cable, which I prefer, but I'll get to that in a second.

  • If you're home, it doesn’t mean you can't do it.

  • It just means that you have to be alert of something or aware of something.

  • That is, when you do it with a band the strength curve on a band is different than when you're

  • going to encounter on a cable here.

  • As you stretch the band further and further out it gets more and more difficult.

  • But the most difficult portion of this exercise is the end.

  • So, if I were to start and try to do full range of motion where my arms are out in front

  • of me, getting some scapular protraction here, and then I come back into the face pull I

  • hit a wall.

  • I don’t have the strength because this band got too hard, too quick.

  • I'd either have to compromise and use a lighter band, or I'd have to stand closer here and

  • start in the midrange of the exercise so I can get in position at the end.

  • It's something you have to be aware of if you're going to train at home.

  • Ideally, you would use a cable machine.

  • But what would you attach here?

  • You wouldn't want to attach a bar to this because you're going to limit the amount of

  • rotation you can get, which is an all-important component of this exercise through your shoulders.

  • So, you'd use a rope.

  • But the problem with one rope is that it's often times not long enough.

  • As you'll see here, we're going to want to get our arms out wide.

  • Not just here, but out wide so we can get into external rotation.

  • This is limited by the use of a single rope.

  • You could either attach a sled rope like this to get more length, or what I like to do is

  • take another rope from the gym, pull that one down, attach a second rope, and now I've

  • got the length I need to maintain that position here.

  • So that's what you want to make sure you can do to get yourself in the right spot.

  • The next thing would be, what is the height?

  • Where do you want to set the height here?

  • Again, you see some people taking this thing from a low position.

  • The problem with low is that it's setting up the wrong mechanics of the exercise.

  • You don’t pull from low to high.

  • You saw Jesse doing this.

  • We call it the 'upright pull'.

  • It's horrible for your shoulders.

  • You're basically performing an upright row instead of a face pull.

  • But what's more important is when you resist yourself from low to high, you're asking for

  • an eccentric contraction of the rotator cuff, in the external rotators of the shoulder to

  • counteract that because you're being pulled down, and forward.

  • This is the angle.

  • Down and forward.

  • You want to make sure you have yourself going from high to low because if I'm getting pulled

  • in this direction, not only is my arm getting pulled there, but my back gets pulled there,

  • too.

  • I lose my thoracic extension.

  • What happens there is the amount I can externally rotateand you can do this yourself, right

  • nowif you round your thoracic spine and try to externally rotate you only get a certain

  • amount.

  • If I were to stand up into full extension, now I get an extra 20 degrees of external

  • rotation.

  • So, if we could fix that just by making this thing anchor high, that's what we would do.

  • Now, by getting in this high anchor position when I pull back, I'm concentrically pulling

  • back into external rotation.

  • Strengthening those muscles there, the ones that we're trying to work on the most, along

  • with the rear delts, and of course, the mid scap, rhomboids, and traps.

  • So, I'm in this position here.

  • So, you want to pull from high to low.

  • Next is the stance.

  • How do you stand?

  • People say, "I'm never sure if I'm supposed to stand square, or if I'm supposed to stand

  • like this, or if I'm supposed to put my leg up on something."

  • No.

  • You don’t want to do that.

  • You want to stand square, if at all possible.

  • It's more athletic.

  • You get to a more athletic stance.

  • You square up and you pull.

  • What it does is regulates the amount of weight you can use.

  • So, I can't overload this to the point where it degrades the form on the exercise because

  • if I try to go so heavy that I'm getting pulled forward I'm going too heavy.

  • It's an easy sign for you to know that.

  • But you want to be able to square up here and pull around that torso this way.

  • If you have to.

  • If it's not because you're using too heavy of a weight, but because you have bad balance;

  • you can get into a staggered position here.

  • But square up your hips, square up your shoulders, and pull that way throughout the exercise.

  • Here's where it gets really important.

  • It's the grip.

  • What is thehow are you gripping this rope?

  • All the time I see peopleespecially if you're correctly putting it up highthey

  • take an overhand grip, and overhand grip, and then they pull.

  • What this is promoting is, again, internal rotation of the shoulder with elevation of

  • your arms up overhead.

  • You don’t want to be there.

  • Especially if you do this as often as I'm going to recommend you do this.

  • You're accumulating a lot of repetitions in an internally rotated shoulder position with

  • elevation.

  • Not a good idea.

  • So instead, you grab it from underneath, and underneath.

  • You point your thumbs backward.

  • Now when I grip it this way and I come back you can see I'm getting external rotation

  • of the shoulder at the top with elevation here, as opposed to internal rotation.

  • Which leads us right into the trough lift.

  • What the exercise looks like when you start to perform it.

  • There are two things you really want to focus on here.

  • The first thing is: where are you pulling to?

  • What's the destination?

  • This should be easy, but it gets screwed up a whole hell of a lot.

  • This is a face pull.

  • So that means you're pulling to your face, right?

  • Right around your nose.

  • My big nose is a nice target for me.

  • I can come right toward my nose and if I could, I'd pull it right in here.

  • A face pull.

  • It's not a clavicle pull, in here.

  • You're not trying to pull down there.

  • It's not a chest pull.

  • It's not an overhead pull like that.

  • It's a face pull.

  • So, you want to make sure that's your destination.

  • In terms of the main driver of this, this is what's key.

  • What wins the race to the back position there?

  • Your elbows or your hands?

  • The answer is: your hands.

  • This is where I think people get this wrong all the time.

  • They let their elbows win.

  • They do this.

  • They do this.

  • This is an elbow beating my hand.

  • My hand is the length of my forearm away from my elbow right now.

  • That's not what I want.

  • Once again, that's internal rotation with elevation.

  • What I need to do is let my hands beat my elbows in a race to the back.

  • I come in here, the hand beats the elbow.

  • What that ensures is that I'm getting external rotation.

  • What I'm really trying to do here is close down the back here.

  • Open the chest, close down the back.

  • Squeeze those shoulder blades.

  • Externally rotate.

  • Get the rotator cuff involved.

  • Let the traps pull and help.

  • We want to make sure the real race is being won by the rotator cuff in this exercise.

  • Not by the rear delt in some sort of row.

  • That's a different exercise.

  • The benefit of this exercise is driven by the rotator cuff.

  • If you can't do that there are a couple of modifications that will help you.

  • The first one to reinforce that is to get down on the ground.

  • If I get down here and perform this, if I lead with the elbows my hands don’t come

  • anywhere close to the ground.

  • So, what I can do is come down here and make sure my hands, or at least the nubs of the

  • rope, make contact with that ground, and my elbows are elevated here.

  • I squeeze for a second or two, and I come back up.

  • Down, and I hold and squeeze.

  • Don’t let the hands drift.

  • Keep them down in contact with the ground.

  • It's not just a great way to feel this, it's a great way to do the exercise.

  • But another variation you can do as an alternative, to add more to this exercise than what I've

  • shown you recently, is by adding a raise of the arms at the top.

  • So, I get back here, and then I raise the arms up, and I come back down.

  • What this is doing is adding the lower traps to the equation here.

  • We're already hitting almost everything in our back.

  • The lower traps are really important for creating stability of the scapula as we raise our arms

  • up over our head.

  • So, we don’t want to ignore that.

  • If we can build that in with a simple raise of the arms at the end here, holding isometrically

  • in that back position, why wouldn't we do it?

  • It's a bit more complicated.

  • It does require a little more strength, but it's one that you want to explore if you can.

  • The last two things are about how you would program this from a weight perspectiveas

  • sets, that type of thingand also how frequently.

  • Weights.

  • I mentioned before, not so heavy that it's pulling you forward, but not so light that

  • the exercise becomes ridiculous.

  • People will think this is a corrective exercise and they'll come in and get limp here.

  • This is not helping.

  • This is not helping.

  • What you do is make sure you're using enough weight to create strength benefits.

  • You're trying to strengthen weak muscles that are being compromised by over dominate, anterior

  • chain muscles that have put you in this position.

  • These need to get stronger.

  • So, choose a weight that is a resistance that's challenging for you.

  • But most importantly, it's the set-rep structure.

  • If you're going to do 10 to 12 reps of these, make sure it's 12 sets of 1, or 10 sets of

  • 1.

  • That's the mentality.

  • Every, single one of them has to be a good, solid contraction here.

  • Squeeze, hold, raise up if you're going to, come down, and rest.

  • Reset.

  • Come back.

  • High quality repetition.

  • Come up, down, and through.

  • That's the key to the effectiveness of the exercise.

  • It's the quality.

  • In terms of how frequently you want to do this, you would work it in as I've said before

  • in a video, every workout.

  • At the end of every, single workout.

  • I don’t care if you're working your legs, or you're working your back, or you're pull,

  • or push, or whatever.

  • You can benefit from a couple of sets of face pulls here.

  • You're not going to over train with these.

  • It's just addressing a weakness, and the postural effects that this weakness has on you through

  • a little more regular frequency.

  • Guys, I hope you've found this video helpful.

  • This tutorial is meant to be complete, so you actually get this right.

  • If you're going to be doing these as often as I recommend, if you place the important

  • on this exercise that I recommend, I've got to make sure you get it right.

  • If you're looking for plans where we place as much care in the selection of all our exercises,

  • it's not just what you do but how you do it; head to ATHLEANX.com and look at all our programs.

  • They're setup based on the goals you're trying to achieve.

  • In the meantime, if you've found the video helpful leave your comments and thumbs up

  • below.

  • Let me know what else you want me to cover and I'll do my best to do that for you.

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