Exercise highlight: The face pull
Most of us live a sedentary lifestyle that does not promote good posture.
Right now, I'm in a terrible postural position, typing this very sentence. That's pretty meta.
The answer we most often hear is that we need to exercise. Great! But telling someone with bad posture to exercise is like telling someone who just had their heart broken to "get over it"... Duh! But how?
How do you get over someone as perfect as Megan? Err… I mean, how will exercise fix your posture?
You need a targeted approach. Specifically, one target. Specifically, one exercise.
The answer to your postural woes.
I've talked about the beautiful balance between push and pull exercises and how you can customize that relationship here to create a more balanced strength training program.
For many people, one training session a week isn't enough to combat decades of staring at a computer screen like depressed Charlie Brown.
Welcome to the face pull.
It's a pull exercise sure, but it has the unique distinction of hitting those smaller back muscles like the rhomboid and rear delts that often get overshadowed by the lats and traps.
The face pull directly targets those muscles that actually help you keep your head and shoulders back.
The great thing about it is it's self-limiting and generally not fatiguing...So you can do it at the end of almost every workout.This is one of the exercises that is leading the fight against the effects of sedentarism.
What weight to use.
Take a squared stance and bend your knees slightly. If the weight is too heavy, this stance will cause you to fall over.
Your goal is for your hands to beat your elbows to your face on every pull as you pull the resistance to the double biceps position. If your hands can't beat your elbows, or if they can't even get to your face, the weight is too heavy.
Those two factors will keep the weight light enough so that you don't load up the exercise to a point where your upper traps and lats take over and completely destroy your ability to work your rhomboids, teres minor, infraspinatus, and less used lower and middle traps.It's those small guys that have the greatest impact on your shoulder health and posture.
How to perform it.
Set up a resistance band or cable machine at your face height.
Grab the rope or band with your thumbs facing in towards each other.
Pull the implement to the bridge of your nose until you reach the double biceps position. You should feel like someone who is super serious about hitch-hiking
ENSURE your hands get there first. If your elbows get to the ending position first, you're wrong.Just like with most rows and pulls your shoulder blades are leading this exercise. As you pull back, your shoulder blades should be getting closer and closer together. When your arms are fully extended in front of you, your shoulder blades should be completely apart and separated.
When to perform it.
Literally all the time. Perform three sets of this guy at the end of every workout until you win a Quasimodo look-alike competition for having back muscles so huge that you resemble the caretaker of the bells of Notre Dame.
If you're sore, refrain. If you are actually doing this exercise properly, it is hard to work to the point of chronic DOMS in your minor upper back muscles.Add this to the end of all your Mighty Fit Plan sessions. Consider it a cool down.
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