The face pull and straight arm pull down are two exercises that are commonly missing from the average gym program. Most people will incorporate a seated row and lat pull down / chin up, but when it comes to building a bigger, stronger back and shoulder, the face pull and straight arm pull down are a must.

The straight arm pull down is a closing arm movement (with arms straight) that focuses on engaging the lats and serratus. It can be performed standing or seated and there are a variety of different variations that can be adopted by changing the start position and cable attachment. In the video below you will see a seated straight arm pull down that incorporates a full range of movement.

The face pull involves external rotation of the shoulder girdle at 90 degrees of abduction of the arm and engages all of the posterior shoulder girdle muscles. Changing the attachment point (low, mid or high) and the pull pattern and attachment lets you create a number of different variations to load up the shoulders and back. In the video below you will see osteopath Heath Williams performing a high cable rope face pull.

When implementing these into your program, aim for higher rep ranges (lower load) over 3-4 sets. Aim to add these into your program at least once per week, twice would be better.

If you are currently dealing with minor aches and pains associated with training, make sure you touch base with us at Principle Four Osteopathy. We can assist you in modifying your training program and/or reviewing technique to ensure you get the best out of your training sessions.

Principle Four Osteopathy is located at 178 Collins St Melbourne City CBD 3000. Bookings can be made online @ or by calling us on 0396709290.