The Rope Face Pull – in a list of under-rated exercises, the rope face pull is right up there.

It is an incredible movement for almost everybody as it accomplishes so much on its own and doesn’t take a whole lot of time to incorporate into your routine.


Here’s why it’s great:

Corrective –

The face pull primarily works the rear delts, rhomboids, and rotator cuff muscles.

All of these muscles are incredibly important for keeping correct posture which will help to prevent injury and developing postural issues such as upper cross syndrome by keeping the back muscles strong and tight enough to pull your shoulders back.

Strengthening the rotator cuffs and rear delts will eliminate shoulder pain for many people, and greatly reduce the risk of developing it in the future.

As shoulder pain is such a common gym injury, it is important to work on this.


Aesthetic –

Face pulls are also a very good muscle builder for the often-overlooked rear deltoid.

For good-looking, impressive shoulders, it is a nice round shape that you need to achieve, and this cannot be done without building up all 3 heads of the deltoid.

The reason that face pulls are often a better way to build the rear portion of your shoulder than other options – such as reverse flies – is because it incorporates the entire rear deltoid muscle function.

The function of the rear deltoid is to move the elbows back on a horizontal plane, but it also plays a role in external rotation which the face pull specifically utilises and strengthens.

It is this, and the fact that you can progressively add weight to keep challenging the muscle that makes the face pull such a good muscle builder for the rear deltoid.


Here’s how you do it:

Step 1 – Set the cable to face-height and secure the rope attachment.

Step 2 – Place your hands over the rope so that your thumbs are at the bottom end, with your palms facing the floor.

Step 3 – Initiate the movement by pulling your elbows back and out to the side of your body, so that they’re in line with your shoulders. At the same time, lift your hands up so that they’re in line with your forehead.

Step 4 – Hold this fully contracted position for 1 – 2 seconds, allowing yourself to get in the correct position and feel the muscles working. Do not let your elbows drop below shoulder height.

Step 5 – Slowly reverse the movement in a controlled way, not allowing the weight to drop.


Give this great exercise a try in your next workout! If you need any help or advice with this, feel free to grab me in the gym, or email me on

Ash – TFD Instructor