Face Pull Alternatives for When You Cannot Get to the Gym

The face pull is your favorite upper body builder because you like how it works your shoulder and rhomboid muscles. However, you have just moved to a new gym, and they do not have face …

The face pull is your favorite upper body builder because you like how it works your shoulder and rhomboid muscles. However, you have just moved to a new gym, and they do not have face pull cables. As a result, you have little idea about exercises you can do that can work your upper body similarly. This article will examine and list some suitable face pull alternatives to help you keep on developing those monster shoulders. 

The face pull

Face pulls have commonly been part and parcel of powerlifting and recently became more popular among bodybuilders. They quickly became standard in many programs as weight trainers saw them as an excellent way to build your shoulders, improve your posture, and develop your upper back and posterior delts. The exercise specifically engages your upper back near your rotator cuff and scapula. It also targets the mid-traps, rhomboids, and rear deltoids. 

Alternatives to the face pull

Here are some face pull alternatives: 

Cable Reverse Fly

The cable reverse fly is an excellent face pull alternative that isolates your rear delts and moves them across their entire anatomical motion range. The movement’s diagonal direction also mimics your muscle fibers’ direction. Using cables enables you to enjoy constant tension on the muscle you are working. An advantage you enjoy with this workout is that it allows for appropriate motion direction under resistance. Furthermore, it places constant tension on your muscles.

To perform the cable reverse fly, set the pulleys to the highest setting on a double cable pulley machine. After that, pull out the pulley’s handles, then cross your arms such that you hold the cable ends in opposing hands. Shift backward until your arms are at chest level. At this point, pull your arms back diagonally while you maintain a tiny bend in your elbows. After this, return to the starting position to complete the rep. I recommend the Rogue AB-3 Adjustable Bench to help you perform the exercise.

📖 Related Article: If you're enjoying this article you may want to also check out: Shoulder Press – Dumbbell Vs. Machine – Which Is Better?

Bent-Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly

The bent-over dumbbell reverse fly is a common exercise in gyms to target your rear delts. The exercise works through the horizontal plane the reverse pec deck does. However, the bent-over dumbbell reverse fly does not bring your arms down to the sides. You can increase the motion angle by diagonally pulling your arms out and down as you bring your elbows back. 

To perform this alternative, you will need a pair of dumbbells. With those dumbbells in your arms, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, Bring your torso forward until it is at a 30-degree angle to the floor. Ensure that you preserve your spine’s natural curvature as you lean forward. Likewise, keep your palms facing one another as you bring your arms down in front of your body. Use your shoulder joints to lift your arms (with the dumbbells) diagonally toward the ceiling. Your arms should be aligned with your hips at the midway point of the rep. Bring back your arms to end the rep.

💡 Quick Tip: If the bent-over rows are your go-to for developing your upper back, I recommend the Hex Dumbbells to help you build those ultimate shoulders

Resistance Band Reverse Fly

This face pull alternative is suitable if you do not have a double cable pulley machine in your home gym, as it helps you still perform a version of the cable reverse fly. This works by substituting cables for resistance bands to give you a cheaper alternative with similar effects. The primary difference between both fly versions is that the rep is easier at the start and harder at the finish with resistance bands. This is against your muscle’s natural strength curve. 

To perform the resistance band reverse fly, anchor a pair of bands about a few inches over your head, leaving about three feet between both anchor locations. After this, cross your arms to allow you to grasp the bands in opposing hands. Shift backward until your arms reach chest level. Bring your arms back diagonally from this position while keeping a tiny bend in your elbows. After this, return to the starting position to complete the rep. You can get the low-cost Rogue Echo Resistance Bands to go with the workout. 

The reverse pec deck

The reverse pec deck fly is a workout you can perform on specialized equipment to work your rear deltoids, trapezius, and rhomboid muscles. To perform the exercises, sit facing the machine and keep the handles at chest height. The next step is to pull the handles apart, keeping a slight bend in your elbows. You complete the rep as your upper arm aligns with your shoulder and return to the starting position.  The point of the reverse pec deck is to engage the rear delts. Because of this, you should ensure most of your movement comes from the shoulder girdle.

Standing One-Arm Landmine Press

The standing one-arm landmine press is a unilateral exercise requiring considerable strength and control. However, if you can do this exercise, you will benefit by getting your deltoids and lats stretched and worked. 
The standing one-arm landmine press requires an Olympic barbell and weight plates. I recommend the Ohio Bar – Cerakote. You also need a landmine attachment to hold the barbell in place, but you can improvise by putting the barbell in a corner. Grab one end of the bar with one hand, the hand should be just in front of your shoulders with your elbow below it and by your side. Extend your arm, and the bar, away from your body until your arm reaches full extension, pointing to the wall beside you. Ensure that you also engage your core for stability as you move. Maintain the position briefly before you return your arm to complete the rep.

💡 Quick Tip: Loadable dumbbells may be for you if you are beginning your weightlifting journey, as you can adjust them to various weight levels. I recommend the Rogue loadable dumbbells as it is the perfect combination of classy and functional

Rogue loadable dumbbells