Cable Face Pull

Exercise / Shoulders

Cable Face Pull overview

The Cable Face Pull is an isolation exercise that targets the rear deltoids, upper traps, and external rotators. This movement is effective for improving shoulder health, posture, and overall upper body strength. Explore the specifications, step-by-step instructions, and variations to optimize the benefits of the Cable Face Pull in your strength training routine.

The Cable Face Pull primarily targets the rear deltoids and upper traps.

Cable Face Pull how to perform

  • Step 1: Set up a cable machine with a rope attachment at the highest position.
  • Step 2: Stand facing the cable machine and grasp the ends of the rope with an overhand grip.
  • Step 3: Take a step back, creating tension in the cable, and position your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Step 4: Start with your hands at chest level, elbows pointing out to the sides.
  • Step 5: Keep your core engaged, chest up, and maintain a neutral spine.
  • Step 6: Pull the rope towards your face by externally rotating your shoulders.
  • Step 7: Aim to bring the hands slightly above head level, focusing on squeezing your rear deltoids.
  • Step 8: Slowly extend your arms back to the starting position with control.


Perform each repetition with controlled movements, focusing on the contraction of the rear deltoids and upper traps.

Starting position

Final position

CAUTION: Rember to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Exercise Tips

  • Use a weight that allows you to maintain proper form and control throughout the movement.
  • Keep your elbows at or above shoulder height during the pull to target the rear deltoids effectively.
  • Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together at the end of the movement.
  • Control the speed of the exercise to maximize muscle engagement.


  1. Single-Arm Cable Face Pull: Perform the exercise one arm at a time for increased focus and balance.
  2. Rope Face Pull with External Rotation: Incorporate an external rotation of the shoulders during the pull for added benefit.
  3. Seated Cable Face Pull: Perform the exercise while seated for a different angle of engagement.
  4. High-to-Low Cable Face Pull: Adjust the cable to a lower position and pull upwards for a variation in muscle activation.