Face Pull Alternatives: Benefits and 9 Different Types

Face pull alternatives is an exercise that  is targeted at the muscles of upper back and shoulders which are the posterior deltoid muscles, the rhomboid muscle, the trapezius, the infraspinatus and the teres minor muscle. It is performed with a cable pulley machine.  On the cable pulley are ropes attached and it is with this that the weights are pulled towards the face.

The face pull alternatives  explores the various ways this exercise can be achieved without using  the cable pulley and this article will be bringing a lot of insight on that. While face pull requires a machine, the alternatives may not require one and can even be done at the comfort of the home.


If performing the face pull is not  achievable, there are lots of  other face pull alternatives that could work just fine and give you the desired results. Where the cable pulley is not available you can still carry out the exercise with resistance bands. All you need will be a stable point where the band can be connected to serve the different modifications for this exercise.

The good thing is most of these face pull alternatives could be performed at home,  some while seating and even with the use of dumbbell. The face pull alternatives includes the following:

Face Pull Alternatives
Face Pull Alternatives
  • Seated shoulder press with band
  • Hand release push-ups
  • Band pull apart wide grip inverted rows
  • The resistance band upright row
  • Cable reverse fly
  • Lateral raise
  • Over head shoulder press
  • Push-ups.

The Seated Shoulder Press With band

Face pull alternatives exercise like the seated shoulder press with band is aimed at promoting shoulder health and joint stability. Thus, it is a good alternative for the face pull.  A resistance band is used in this case to provide tension to the muscles. 

How to perform the seated shoulder press with band.

  • While being seated, place your feet in the middle of the band.
  • Hold the band at each end with an overhand grip.
  • Raise your hands as high as possible and stop for a while.
  • Gradually return to the beginning and repeat the exercise.

Hand Release Push-Ups

This exercise targets the chest and shoulder region especially the deltoids. The result is a strong and solid torso. It is best done with a gym mat.

How to perform the hand release push-up

  • Take the position for a push up on the floor. Ensure  your  core is engaged and then lower yourself towards the ground.
  • Once your chest and stomach touches the floor, remove  your hands and place it back on the floor. This happens in  short space of time so you must be  quick and agile.
  • Push yourself  back to the starting position and repeat.

Band Pull-Apart

Band Pull-Apart Is one of the best face pull alternatives exercise. It can be done to warm up the shoulder joints before working it. It focuses on the rhomboids, trapezuis and rear deltoids  and needs only a resistance band to be performed.

How to perform  band pull-aparts.

  • The band should be held at shoulder width with the shoulders externally rotated.
  • Keep your shoulders down, raise your chest and tighten your abdomen.
  • Pull the band apart as you move your arms to the side as far as possible.
  • Return to the initial position  and repeat.

Wide Grip Inverted Rows

This exercise involve moving your body to and  from a fixed barbell. When doing a wide grip inverted row exercise, the upper back is the focus. The rhomboids and deltoids are fully engaged to  bring about  movement of the barbells.

How to perform the wide grip  inverted row

  • Place a barbell on a rack usually at the level of your waist and ensure it is secure.
  • Get underneath the bar and lie face up.
  • Using and overhand grip, grab the bar and spread the width to be a little wider than shoulder width. Your body should be in a straight line
  • Pull yourself towards the bar so that your chest touches it.
  • Lower yourself back to the ground and repeat.

The Resistance Band Upright Row

The resistance band upright pull is a face pull alternative that can be performed even at home. The resistance band is the only apparatus that you need. It is very easy to do and works very well for the shoulders.

How to perform the resistance band upright row

  • Stand in the middle of a band loop with your feet at hip-width.  Ensure it is long enough.
  • Create an X with the handles and hold with an overhand grip.
  • Pull the bands towards your face with your elbows lifted up away from your sides
  • Lower the band to its original position slowly and repeat. 

Cable Reverse Flys

This exercise is a perfect alternative for face pull, it focuses on the rhomboid muscle of shoulder  and upper back region. It enhances shoulder strength and stability. It is performed with a dual cable.

How to perform the cable reverse fly

  • The cable pulley is set to be at shoulder height.
  • Stand in between the cable and grab the cable handles. The left cable handle with your right hand and the right cable handle with your left hand.
  • Move a little backwards and  set your feet  shoulder width apart.
  • Your elbow being bent, pull the cable outward and backwards till your  shoulders and arms are in the same level.
  • Draw back the cables to the initial position and repeat.

The Lateral Raise

Face pull alternatives such as the lateral raise done using dumbbells. It can also be achieve with a resistance band. It targets the shoulder muscles.  The main focus for the lateral raise is the stretch and muscle contraction not necessarily weights. Also it is best done  at slow and controlled timing to get the best results.
How To  Perform The Lateral Raise.

  • Take a set of dumbbells and stand straight with the feet  shoulder width apart and slightly bent knees.
  • Hold the dumbbells with an overhand grip at the sides and slightly away from your body.
  • Slowly raise the dumbbells till shoulder level. Your wrists must not go above your shoulder level.
  • Lower the weight back slowly to the original position and repeat.

Overhead Shoulder Press

The overhead press is a routine exercise that only works the muscles of the back but also builds the muscles in the upper body. These include the deltoid muscles, the pectoral muscles the trapezuis and the triceps. It is also a major weight lifting exercise but dumbbells can be used as well. It  can also be done in a seated position; this will rather work the shoulders ant triceps.

How to perform the overhead shoulder press

  • Grab the bar at a width slightly wider than that of the shoulder.
  • Lift the bar and step back. It should be at the level of collarbone.
  • Brace your abs, your head tilted to the back raise the bar up above your head.
  • At this point your head can be returned to its neutral position and your hands locked overhead. Also ensure your back is not bending.
  • Lower the bar  to your shoulder and tilt the head back to make room.

It can also be done sitting.

  • With the dumbbells, the deltoids are worked alongside the shoulders.
  • Stand in an upright position with a  dumbbell in each hand.
  • With an overhand grip, raise the dumbbell to the shoulder level.
  • Raise the weights above the head in a controlled motion and pause.
  • Lower the dumbbells to the shoulder level and repeat.


Face pull alternatives like push up works the muscles of the arms, shoulders and back. Pull-ups require a secured a pull up bar. This exercise can be also done at home provided the necessary equipment is in place. They increase the strength of the arms and shoulders, gives good grip and works on the back muscles. It also requires a lot of strength to carry out.

How to perform pull-ups

  • Grab the pull-up bar with your hands at shoulder width. Ensure that your palms are facing your face.
  • Your arms should be extended above you and your  back bent a little.
  • Pull up yourself so that the bar is just below your chin.
  • Slowly return to your starting position and repeat.


1. Face pull alternatives is considered as an important exercise for  building shoulder health and stability

2. Face pull exercises is necessary for  increasing  shoulder health , scapular strength and stability. The main target of face pull and its alternatives is the shoulder muscles mainly the  posterior deltoids and some of the rotator cuff muscles.

3. Face pull exercises improve performance in other exercises. Some of the face pull and face pull alternative serve as warm up exercises for more complex exercises.

4. It improves body posture.

5. With constant practice, face pulls can fix some imbalances in the muscles.


From this article we can explore various exercises that is face pull alternatives, their benefits and how they are performed. Face pull alternatives are other workable exercises that can be done at  home even without  the use of machines.


1. “Face Pulls Alternative? Here’s 5 To Boost Your Gains” gym-pact.com/face-pulls-alternative
2. “Face Pull Alternatives (12 Best Substitutes For Home Gyms)”

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