Face Pulls

Reading the article on push ups, face pulls and over head shrugs I noticed that face pulls were favoured instead of rows for scapula function ie. scap retraction without the function of scap downward rotation which we get enough of with all the row variations. Face pulls will retract the scapula whilst the scapula is rotated upwards.

However, when ext rotation of the humerus is necessary with face pulls how can enough weight be added to provide enough stimulus for the function of scapula retraction? It surely cant and so face pulls cant be used in place of rows.

Would rows to the neck instead of the chest be suitable to allow for scap retraction without downard rotation? Face pulls could then be used for their main function of rotator cuff training.

Any comments welcomed.


I don’t know… if u want to do the face pulls and overhead shrugs do them. If u don’t know how much weight to use start light then add weight. This are not 1RM, or 3RM type of exercises, is an “assistant” exersice so I would recommend you keep up at 5+ reps.

Play with it, play with the reps and weight, give it a couple of weeks, maybe 3, and see how it affects you.


I’d say do strict bent over rows or pendlay rows and hit that exercise the hardest. Then for an assistance exercise do face pulls. As for the weight being used on face pulls, it’s obviously the amount you can do while still using proper form.