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Face Pulls & Nailing Form to Correct Scapular Issues

Sounds pretty awesome & am glad you felt good with it :slight_smile:

i can’t visualise what you are doing though haha i think it’s my dumb brain, without photo or video i can’t put it all together. it’s sounds like you are getting into positions to have tension against external rotation ?

I did some chest supported rows last night & i had no pain & today i feel soreness in good places. i definitely think the stable scaps is a better all round approach than the retract pre pull

also found this cool video on lateral raises & external rotation

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I suppose it says to work up to 30s hangs…but it was also written (I think) for older people. What happens at 31seconds that damages shoulders? I can’t imagine much. Too much of anything isn’t good, sure. But I have gone up to 1.5min when I started and it felt great. Maybe no more than 2 min? YMMV

I don’t know, I was just following what I read. I regularly do 30 seconds hangs, 2 mins a day, and its great. Maybe that was just for maintenance.

@steigs @FlatsFarmer are you talking something like this?

He shows a move that is like a pull apart but more of a rotation, this is what I pictured when I read the description.

If this is not it then this move is great any way!

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That is a good video.

The move I’m talking about is more like this.

Horizontal Band, Horizontal Handle.

With handle at shoulder height, at arms length out to your side, overhand grip. (description and pics don’t match.)

Then turn the thumb up/engage serratus, just like in the mercy for a gladiator motion.

Really, really focus on a straight arm, rotation of the upper arm and good scap tilt as you twist.


already replied to other thread, i guess it was your journal? (am replying in email)

That’s it.

When this guy does a face pull you can see his shoulders shrug up, and the traps dominate the movement. The negative or eccentric is uncontrolled, and there is no tension on the scap stabilising muscles. The wrists never get above the elbows, so he’s not getting much external rotation in his shoulder. You can see him arch hard at the lower back and stick out his ribs to cheat. And still not get a full ROM.

Now check out the way the Master Blaster does it.

Was the first video done poorly on purpose? That was some deliberate retraction at the start.

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The poor dude has such poor pelvic tilt and posture, poor scap control and trap dominance that he probably doesn’t even know he’s doing it. It looks like no big deal, but imagine what that kid will look like under barbells.

Retraction then depression is (incorrectly) cued Constantly. In face pulls, rows and everything else. It shows up as excessive trap shrug and heaving in rows. Making it 2 moves always messes it up. Proper scap tilt and posture from the start is what is important. Everything works together after that. Could you imagine if you pressed in that strange, 2 motion way?

the first guy was basically me till FlatsFarmer intervened!!

On the second vid, surely the bending of the wrists to that extreme is not good?? also didn’t realise poliquin was dead.

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ps… when you do the thumbs up move, do you just point up till you pointing thumb to ceiling? i’ve found that i can rotate a little further & get my serratus to feel like it’s cramping, helps with me getting my mind connected. That combination of pelvis neutral, core locked & serratus turned on has changed my life, seriously.

She can lift anyway she wants! Seriously though, the short rope almost forces that wrist position. If she were to Eagle Talon grip the knobs at the end of the handle, or use a longer rope or 2 rope handles at once she could probably get straighter wrists.

It’s crazy how much round shoulders make you loose the neutral pelvis. Or how much APT makes your shoulders slump.

Lately I’ve been trying to turn my hand all the way palm up, almost trying to get thumbs pointing behind me. Just trying to go a tiny bit farther each time.

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haha the youtube comments were exactly as i thought they would be!!!

Completely crazy, really getting a grip on this has really made me notice how rare good posture is!!

ahhh perfect, that’s what i have been striving for, seems to go hand in hand with that serratus firing hard

Here’s a new one

I tried these Monday night before working back and Tuesday night before dumbbell bench. I was a little squirrelly and not 100% sure I was hitting what I was supposed to hit, but they felt pretty good. They made dumbbell benching feel really stable.

Another one to do with dumbbells or a band or laying on an incline bench. Or doing the top half with Blast Straps or TRX handles.

Apologies reviving an old thread but was directed here by flatsfarmer, the information provided has been invaluable!

I’ve tried that gladiator mercy thumbs up drill and felt my serratus for the first time, scapula is definitely not flat against ribs, but this is the only time I feel it contracting. It’s almost impossible to hold the scapula where it should be via the serratus even when just standing. Is this likely due to my scapula being like this for years and is the answer simply to repeat this drill until I can hold the scapula like this for other exercises mentioned, or should I try them anyway? (Incline shrugs, rear delt cable extensions, etc etc).

I just don’t want to start off on the wrong foot again! Appreciate the replies!

Don’t apologise for reviving, glad you found it.

I was basically a guinea pig for flatsfarmer & in my opinion it’s a case of accruing time doing those drills. There were times where i doubted & got frustrated because it wasn’t happening.

But when you do the drills consistently you will get there, for me it was a case of finding the most productive drills & splitting them up throughout the day. I did mine AM & PM

I think it will be a case of creating new motor patterns to the point the old patterns (which are inhibiting your serratus for example) disperse.

My plan the last few weeks have been the AM/PM split already, so integrating these in won’t be an issue.

Generally AM is a single set for inhibited muscles (upper and lower) and a single set of stretches for tight muscles in a superset fashion (so pec stretch followed by face pulls, hip flexor stretch followed by glute bridges, etc). PM is normally a “real” workout, 3 sets of weighted exercises with stretches as above, and 1 day off. The volume is low and the weights are abysmal so recovery is not an issue at all.

I guess with this new scap information, I’ll do away with upper body rows etc and replace them with exercises that will be easier to at least try to maintain scap positioning, I figure doing it twice daily will help ingrain these new movements, as mentioned.

I’ve already missed almost a decade of training and I feel like I’ve lost out on my best years, so if this takes 6 months, so be it! The difficult part now is finding exercises where I can hold the scapula in the correct position and hopefully working those will help me master new exercises with the same plan.

Sounds like you are making positive moves, i wouldnt worry about missing out on best years, just focus on making today your best day you can. All you can control is now.

If you chase it you will get there, definitely keep updated!