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Shoulders Cable Rope Face Pull 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Strength


Shoulders Cable Rope Face Pull
Shoulders Cable Rope Face Pull

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type


Required Equipment

Cable Machine

Fitness Level













The Shoulders Cable Rope Face Pull is a resistance training exercise designed to target the muscles of the shoulders while engaging secondary muscle groups, including the traps and upper back. Utilizing a cable machine, individuals grasp a rope attachment and perform a pulling motion towards the face, effectively activating the rear deltoids. This exercise contributes to shoulder development, emphasizing the often-neglected posterior shoulder muscles. The cable provides continuous tension throughout the movement, promoting muscle engagement and enhancing overall shoulder strength. Incorporating the Shoulders Cable Rope Face Pull into a workout routine aids in achieving balanced shoulder development and improving upper back strength.

How to Perform

  1. Begin the Shoulders Cable Rope Face Pull by adopting a split stance, ensuring a stable base, and extend your arms straight in front of you with a pronated grip on the rope attachment.

  2. Inhale deeply and initiate the movement by pulling the rope towards your face, focusing on keeping the elbows elevated throughout the motion. This action engages the rear deltoids, targeting the shoulders effectively and involving the traps and upper back in the process.

  3. Maintain a controlled pace as you slowly lower the rope back to the starting position, emphasizing the eccentric phase to maximize muscle engagement. This controlled descent contributes to overall shoulder development.

  4. Repeat the Shoulders Cable Rope Face Pull for the desired number of repetitions on both sides, ensuring a balanced and comprehensive workout for the targeted muscle groups.


  1. To maintain proper form and prevent excessive leaning or arching of the back during the exercise, adopt a half kneeling stance.

  2. Throughout the pulling motion, keep the elbows elevated and the cable at eye level to effectively target the shoulders, traps, and upper back.

  3. Emphasize the contraction of the rear delts and avoid protruding the head forward towards the cable to ensure optimal engagement.

  4. Set the cable at face height instead of the top of the machine; this adjustment prevents overactivation of the lats and preserves the benefits of scapular upward rotation.

  5. Maintain control throughout the entire range of motion, avoiding reliance on momentum for a smoother and more effective exercise.

  6. In the absence of a rope attachment, adapt by using two regular handles or a band, allowing for a similar workout experience.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid Leaning Back or Arching the Back:

    • Mistake: Leaning back or arching the back excessively can compromise form and place unnecessary stress on the lower back.

    • Tip: Maintain an upright posture and refrain from leaning back during the exercise to prioritize the engagement of the target muscles.

  2. Elbows at a Lower Position:

    • Mistake: Allowing the elbows to drop too low during the pulling motion can shift the emphasis away from the shoulders, traps, and upper back.

    • Tip: Keep the elbows elevated at or above shoulder level to ensure proper activation of the target muscles and maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.

  3. Inconsistent Rope Height:

    • Mistake: Setting the cable at inconsistent heights, especially below face level, can compromise the targeted muscle engagement.

    • Tip: Consistently set the cable at face height to optimize the focus on the shoulders, traps, and upper back without compromising the range of motion.

  4. Jutting the Head Forward:

    • Mistake: Protruding the head forward towards the rope can lead to improper neck alignment and detract from the intended muscle activation.

    • Tip: Keep the head in a neutral position, avoiding forward jutting, to maintain proper spinal alignment and direct the focus to the targeted muscle groups.

  5. Excessive Speed and Momentum:

    • Mistake: Performing the exercise with excessive speed or using momentum can reduce the effectiveness of muscle engagement and increase the risk of injury.

    • Tip: Execute the movement in a controlled and deliberate manner, focusing on the contraction of the shoulders, traps, and upper back throughout the entire range of motion.

  6. Incorrect Cable Height:

    • Mistake: Placing the cable too high on the machine may recruit the lats more than the intended muscles, diminishing the benefits of scapular upward rotation.

    • Tip: Set the cable at face height rather than the top of the machine to maintain the targeted focus on the shoulders, traps, and upper back while preserving proper biomechanics.

  7. Neglecting Alternative Handles or Bands:

    • Mistake: Failing to adapt when a rope attachment is unavailable may limit exercise options and compromise the workout.

    • Tip: In the absence of a rope attachment, use two regular handles or a band to ensure you can still perform the exercise effectively and target the desired muscle groups.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.


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