Seated Face Pull is a great compound exercise that primarily works on the shoulder muscles to be specific the rear deltoid, the upper back muscles and upper arm muscles.
The exercise is one of the best for muscle hypertrophy and upper body strength. It focuses more on upper body movement and centration while pulling the cable machine.
Seating allows you to add more weights than when standing because you have better contact with the ground and your spine and torso stabilize better. Still start with lighter weights until you master the technique.
HOW TO DO SEATED FACE PULL PROPERLY
You will require a cable machine with an attached bench or a rowing machine with a fixed bench, both will work just fine.
For any present injuries, ask for assistance from your trainer/gym instructor with the workout.
How to do it:
- Sit on a low pulley row machine that has a dual attachment, preferably a rope attachment.
- If the bench has a padded footrest, you can place your feet there firmly, if not, ground your feet firmly on the floor.
- Hold on the rope attachment in an overhand grip, straighten your back and extend your arms completely. This is your starting position.
- Exhale as you pull the rope attachment towards your chin while sticking your elbows outwards completely. Your upper arms should be parallel to the floor.
- Hold the position for a count of 2 while squeezing your back muscles and making sure your rear delts have fully contracted.
- Release the cable tension slowly in an inhale and return to your starting position.
- Do the technique in a smooth and controlled motion. Your torso should be stationary at all times.
- Do 2 sets of 6-10 reps. Rest after each set.
WHAT MUSCLES DO SEATED FACE PULL WORK
REAR DELT (POSTERIOR DELTOID)
The whole of the deltoid muscle gets to feel the tension and movement of the workout but the rear deltoid muscles works extra time because of the form and technique of the workout.
Being the primary target of the workout, the muscle functions as the horizontal abductor of the shoulder joint and helps in moving the arms backwards and outwards.
With consistency and a good form, the muscles increases in strength and endurance when working out or doing other activities.
Acting as a spine stabilizer, helping with your posture, the Traps muscles assists in arm movements and keeping the spine neutral and back straight at all times.
Being a wide muscle, this makes it easy to activate and strengthen the muscle with the technique. Squeezing and contracting the Traps increases strength and muscle definition.
When pinching your shoulder blades together while doing the pulling technique, it is termed as a scapular retraction, which is the main function of the rhomboid major muscle.
This helps develop and strengthen the rhomboid muscle effectively.
The biceps is a large muscle located at the front of the upper arm serving the purpose of supporting and stabilizing the arms when working out the arms.
With the pulling motion, the biceps contract and help with the arm flexion when bending at the elbows. The movement may have minimal impact but the muscles still contract, which helps in strengthening it.
SEATED FACE PULL BENEFITS
UPPER BODY STRENGTHENING AND DEVELOPMENT
Seated Face Pull exercise builds strength and muscle mass in the shoulders, upper back muscles and upper arms. This increases upper body endurance while working out and even add more reps.
The exercise tones and defines the muscles giving you a strong look and a confident posture. With muscle hypertrophy, you are less susceptible to injuries from workouts or daily activities.
The stronger the muscles the better.
INCREASE GRIP STRENGTH
With your torso and back stationary, all the strength and energy for pulling is from the arm and shoulder muscles. The hands tighten their hold more and increase muscle contraction and activation which helps in muscle strength growth on your hands.
A straight back and a stable torso is all you need to improve on your posture when constantly working out. Tightening the back muscles pushes the torso forward, which gives you a confident posture.
ALTERNATIVES TO SEATED FACE PULL
WIDE GRIP BENT OVER ROWS
As an alternative for Seated Face Pull, wide grip bent over rows is a better and effective workout because it explodes the back muscles and muscle development is faster and better.
How to do it:
- Hold a barbell with a wider than shoulder-width distance in an overhand grip. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.
- Hinge at the hips and lean forward until your torso is roughly parallel to the floor. Your arms should be hanging straight. This is your starting position.
- Bend at the elbows, pull the bar towards your chest and stick your elbows out in a shoulder level.
- Hold the position and make sure to squeeze your back muscles to contract the muscles fully.
- Extend your arms back to your starting position.
- Do 2 sets of 6-10 reps.
DUMBBELL REVERSE FLYS
There are various variations on how to do this work out; we will do the classic variation.
How to do it:
- Grab two medium weight dumbbells.
- Hinge at the hips and tighten your core.
- Hold the dumbbells by your side and slightly bend your knees. This is your starting position.
- With a slight elbow bend, raise the dumbbells outwards as high as you can and squeeze your back muscles and rear delts.
- Slowly lower your arms back to your starting position and repeat.
- Do 2 sets of 8-10 reps.
SEATED FACE PULL MISTAKES TO AVOID
A mistake punishable by increase in reps. Keep your back straight so that you can build a strong straight posture and a healthy spine.
SWINGING YOUR UPPER BODY
Swinging shift the focus from the target muscles to other muscles, which is not bad but let us concentrate on the actual target muscle for the workout.
Leaning backwards kills your back, for lack of a better term. This is because the pulling tension all shifts to your back, which is not stable nor neutral. This can lead to a stiff back or a painful back pain.
You will notice once you sit up straight, you feel comfortable and your back is free of excess tension.
Seated Face Pull is a great compound workout for muscle hypertrophy and strengthening.
The rear deltoid is the most unutilized delt among the 3 delts and working it out increases shoulder strength and balance.
A strong upper body is an increase in endurance during working out which leads to faster progress in your workout program.