The shoulder muscle is one of my favorite areas to train. The shoulder has several muscles that attach to the scapula, humerus, and clavicle. The largest shoulder muscle is the deltoid, which consists of the anterior, middle, and posterior fibers, giving the shoulder that nice rounded-look. There are other muscles — the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis — that form the rotator cuff and are vital in the dynamics of the shoulder movement.
Other muscles involved in shoulder movement are the deltoid, supraspinatus, coracobrachialis, serratus anterior, pectoralis, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, teres major, and rhomboid major among others. The shoulder area is one of the most mobile spheres in the body. The wide range of motion permits great rotation, abduction, and adduction. Simultaneously, this versatility makes the shoulder area more prone to injury.
One of the shoulder areas that, sometimes, gets neglected is the rear delts -- the back of the shoulder. This is problematic since all the areas of the deltoid (anterior, middle, and posterior or rear) need to be exercised in order to allow for shoulder mobility, stability, and to prevent injury.
One exercise that you can add to your routine is the face pull exercise, which targets the back of the shoulders. The face pull is a very effective rear delt exercise and has many advantages. Incorporate it into your weekly routine. Perform 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions or 8 reps if you are aiming to get stronger.
Benefits of Face Pulls
- They help deal with imbalances and prevent injuries as most people concentrate on the anterior and lateral heads of the deltoid and the chest, not the rear deltoids.
- Working the rear delts helps avoid poor posture and a “hunched forward” appearance.
- Face pulls are versatile and easy to do. You can use cables or a barbell to pull the weight straight toward your eye area.
- They help increase overall shoulder strength as the rear delts can assist in other movements.
- Working the rear delts helps avoid a “hunched forward” appearance and poor posture.
Avoid Face Pulls Mistakes
- You should perform the face pulls form properly so you can feel the rear delts -- the backside of your shoulders, not your back or biceps.
- If you move the weight towards your chin or neck, point your elbows down instead of out, or don’t keep your palms facing away from your face, you are performing face pulls with improper form.
- Try to avoid very heavy loads. The rear deltoid is a small area and if you put too much weight, you may end up using momentum and working other muscle groups to lift the load.
Video: How to Do Face Pulls with Barbell
A rear delt workout can be completed with seated bent-over rear delt raises and bent-over rear lateral raises. You can also perform the following shoulder exercises to finish your delt workout: Shoulder Presses, Front Raises, and Later Raises.
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