11 Best Face Pulls Alternative Exercises For Better Posture And Shoulder Health

The face pulls can improve your shoulder health and posture. But you need an expensive cable machine for it. We will, in this guide, look at the best at-home face pulls alternative exercises which hardly require any equipment

man exercising with a rope

Looking for some cable rope face pulls alternative exercises? Then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ve gathered the top 11 alternatives to the face pulls that need minimal equipment.

face pulls alternative - man exercising with a rope

The face pulls is an often-overlooked exercise. It engages the shoulder and back muscles for shoulder health and better posture. But not everyone can perform the exercise in the comfort of their home. You need a cable machine which is very expensive and needs regular maintenance for the exercise.

That’s why I’ve gathered the 11 best face pulls alternative exercises for you to try at home. Read on to learn more about at-home alternatives to face pulls.

11 Best Face Pulls Alternative Exercises That Can Boost Your Upper Back Training

Band Pull-Apart

best face pulls alternative exercise - man doing band pull apart  exercise

The band pull-apart is the best alternative for face pulls. It doesn’t require any equipment. It trains your shoulders and you can easily incorporate it into your regular exercises. You can do it in between sitting periods and as a warm-up exercise too.


  • Targets the rhomboids.
  • Activates shoulder stabilizer muscles.
  • Builds upper body strength.
  • Good for helping with compound exercises.
  • Can be easily incorporated into your routine.
  • Good for a warm-up exercise.

Level: Beginner

Equipment Required: Resistance band.

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Begin by grabbing the resistance band, keeping an overhand grip that’s about shoulder-width wide.
  • Now, raise your arms so that the palms are about shoulder-level.
  • Pull the shoulder blades back and down.
  • Grab the band and stretch it out in front of your chest.
  • Slowly release the band so that it’s back in its starting position.
  • Repeat for 8-12 reps.

But, instead of pulling the band straight across the chest, pull it diagonally and in other angles as well. This variation to the band-apart face pulls alternative exercise will help to build your upper body strength.

Hand Release Push-Ups alternative exercise for face pulls

woman doing push ups

Hand-release push-ups work like regular pushups, except they also engage the rhomboids, deltoids, and even the mid-traps. They’re one of the best face pulls alternative exercises to add to your training. And they require minimal or no equipment.


  • Works your rhomboids and posterior deltoids.
  • Also targets the mid-traps.
  • Easy to do for beginners.
  • Requires little to no equipment.

Level: Beginner

Equipment Required: Exercise mat (optional).

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Kneel on the floor and have your palms flat on it. Keep the palms a bit wider than your shoulder width. Position your fingers so that they’re pointing forward.
  • Now, slowly walk your legs behind you, keeping the spine as straight as can be.
  • By now, you should be in the pushup position. The only difference is that your hands will be at your shoulder level with your elbows bent. Start with your chest lowered to the floor.
  • Pull back your shoulder blades and lift the palms off the floor just a few inches. It is important to keep the spine straight at this point.
  • Now, place your hands back onto the floor or the exercise mat.
  • Push yourself up, much like in a regular pushup, so that you’re back to your starting position. In this stage, it’s important to make sudden explosive movements when extending your arms. This way, you overcome inertial and activate the muscles more.

Band Face Pulls Alternative Exercise

resistance band face pull

The band face pulls alternative exercise is one of the best face pull alternatives to the regular exercise. These work out the same muscle groups but don’t require the same equipment. And hence, they’re a lot easier to do in your home gym. You only need a resistance band for your training.


  • One of the best face pull alternative exercises that uses no equipment
  • Targets the rhomboids.
  • Focuses on your core muscles.
  • Helps with maintaining stability and balance.

Level: Beginner

Equipment Required:

  • Resistance band.
  • Anchor point (pole or any sturdy object).

Step-by-Step Guide

  • First, find a strong and sturdy anchor point. The anchor point can be any pole or column that is sturdy and won’t break during exercise. It should also be at least as high as your head.
  • Secure a resistance band of either medium or low strength to this anchor point. The band should be secured such that it’s at about head level, right below the chin.
  • Grab the band and walk backward so that your arms are fully extended.
  • Now, pull your elbows up so that they’re at about shoulder height and pull the band back towards yourself. Pull the band right up to your face or your either of your ears.
  • Gently release the tension in the band by extending your arms in front of you.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps.



Pull-ups are all-in-one exercises that work your back, arm, and shoulder muscles. They are also one of the best cable face pulls alternative exercises.

You can easily perform pull-ups anywhere in your house with a secure pull-up bar. However, pullups could be quite hard to do.


  • Works out the back muscles.
  • Strengthens the arm and shoulder.
  • Provides a stronger grip.
  • Helps in reducing mental health issues.
  • Reduces resting blood pressure as well as arthritis.

Level: Intermediate

Equipment Required: Pull-up bar

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Place your hands on your pull-up bar, keeping them about shoulder-width apart. Your palms should be facing towards you.
  • Extend your arms above you and bend your back just a bit.
  • Gradually pull yourself up until the bar is just below your chin.
  • Lower yourself slowly back to your starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps.

It helps beginners to first hang down from the bar with their arms fully extended to stretch their muscles first. Then, you can begin to pull yourself up gradually and go through this alternative to rope face pulls.

Shoulder Press with Band

shoulder press with band face pulls alternative exercise

The shoulder press is a versatile face pulls alternative exercise performed either seated or standing. It targets your arms, shoulders, lats, and even your deltoids. And it’s great for increasing pressing power without any weights.


  • Targets the shoulder muscles.
  • Can help improve strength in your lats and deltoids.
  • Strengthens the arm muscles.
  • Better tension than a cable pulley machine.

Level: Beginner

Equipment Required: Resistance band

Step-by-Step Guide

  • While standing, step in the middle of the band with your feet.
  • Grab the ends of the resistance band with your palms facing away from you. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Pull the band upward gradually so that the band comes up to your shoulders and even higher.
  • As soon as the band reaches the very top, stop for 2 seconds, lower the band.
  • Lower the band back down to its starting position. In this position, there should be little to no resistance in the band.
  • Repeat for 8-10 reps.

External Rotation face pulls alternative exercise

 dumbell upright shoulder external rotation face pulls alternative exercise

External rotations are a face pulls alternative exercise that works the two external shoulder rotators. The rotators are responsible for providing your range of motion. When these muscles are stabilized, they help increase your range of motion. Additionally, they lend strength to the shoulder for daily tasks.


  • Strengthens the external rotators.
  • Good for those with movement issues.
  • Provides a better range of motion.
  • Relieves shoulder pain and joint issues.
  • Stabilizes muscles.
  • Low-stress exercise.

Level: Beginner

Equipment Required: Resistance band or Dumbbells

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Grasp a dumbbell with any of your hands
  • Raise the dumbbell to the side of your head. Bend your elbows ensuring your arm and forearm are at 90 degrees.
  • Without moving your upper arm, rotate your foreman externally until it is at right angles with the floor.
  • Reverse and rotate the dumbbell in the opposite direction.
  • Repeat for 8-10 reps
  • Switch the dumbbell to the other hand and go through the process


woman doing the superman exercise

The superman is a bodyweight exercise that requires no equipment. It strengthens the muscles in your shoulders, lower back, and core, leading to all-around body strength. This exercise uses your body weight to strengthen your core. It is also an effective face pulls alternative exercise that can help move your upper back training to a different height


  • Targets the shoulder muscles.
  • Works out your lower back muscles.
  • Strengthens your core.
  • A good full-body workout.
  • No equipment is required.

Level: Beginner

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Lie down on your stomach on the exercise mat or any other soft surface and extend your arms out. Pretend like you’re Superman and flying through the city.
  • Now, slowly lift the arms and legs from the floor. If you do it correctly, your core and back muscles should get engaged as well as your glutes.
  • Keep lifting your extremities until you can no longer do so.
  • Pause here for 2 seconds.
  • Relax and go back to your starting position.
  • Repeat for 8-10 reps.

Single-Arm Resistance Band Lateral Raise

man exercising with suspension trainers

If you want to target your shoulder, then this face pulls alternative is perfect for you. The single-arm resistance band lateral raise is an exercise that engages only the shoulder and does not stress your joints.


  • Isolates the shoulders for targeted development.
  • Improves balance.
  • Good for people with shoulder pain.
  • Low-stress exercise.

Level: Beginner

Step-by-Step Guide

Equipment Required: Resistance band

  • Place your right (or left) foot in the middle of the resistance band. You’ll be working one side of your body at a time.
  • Take a small step forward with your other foot. Make sure to keep your back straight and not arched.
  • pull the resistance band to the side of your body. Keep your elbows slightly bent but not too much. Raise your hand till your arms are entirely parallel with the ground.
  • Stop for about 2 seconds and then come back to the starting position slowly.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps.

One-Arm Resistance Band Press

man exercising with a exercise band

This resistance band press is a great substitute for weight exercises. It primarily focuses on working out the shoulders. But the deltoids and the lats get engaged as well. This exercise also improves your range of motion and encourages you to balance out your other side.


  • Works out the lats and deltoids.
  • Primarily focuses on the shoulders.
  • Easy to do with home-gym equipment.
  • Extends your range of motion.
  • Perfect substitute for weighted exercises.

Level: Beginner

Equipment Required: Resistance band

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Place your right foot in the center of your resistance band.
  • Grab the resistance band in your right hand and hold it so that your elbow is at a 90-degree angle. Make sure that the arm is sticking out to your side, not in front of you.
  • Now, pull the resistance band up, fully extending the arm.
  • Gradually bring the band back down to the starting position, maintaining the same elbow positioning.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps.

TRX Face Pull

trx inverted row alternative exercise

The TRX face pulls alternative exercise works pretty much as a regular face pulls except with a TRX Suspension Trainer. This exercise adds a new element of resistance to the regular exercise.


  • Adds more stress than a regular face pull.
  • Improves coordination between muscles.
  • Helps you get in control of your body movements.
  • Has all the benefits of a banded or cable face pull.
  • Level Intermediate

Equipment Required: TRX Suspension Trainer.

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Safely anchor your TRX Suspension Trainer onto an anchor point.
  • Grab the two handles with your hands and walk a certain distance from the anchor point. You should maintain an overhand grip. The further you walk, the more resistance.
  • Lean back so that your arms are fully extended. Keep your back straight.
  • Now, pull yourself up so that your body is perpendicular to the ground. Your elbows should bend, and your hands should come up to your chin/face level.
  • Slowly fall back into your starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps.

Lateral Raise

lateral raise with dumbbells

The lateral raise helps strengthen the shoulders and extend your mobility. Additionally, it provides better flexibility of the joints and muscles. The lateral raise is another face pulls alternative exercise that can help improve your shoulder health and give you better posture.


  • Strengthens the shoulder muscles.
  • Extends your range of motion.
  • Improves muscle and joint flexibility.
  • Targets the deltoids and traps.

Level: Intermediate
Equipment Required: Resistance band or Dumbbells.

Step-by-Step Guide

  • For this face pulls alternative exercise, you can either use a resistance band or dumbbells. With dumbbells, it might help to start with a lower weight.
  • Start in the standing position, keeping your feet about shoulder-width apart. Have a slight bend in your knees.
  • Hold the dumbbells with an overhand grip.
  • Raise the dumbbells out from the side of your body so that your arms are parallel to the floor.
  • Slowly move back to your starting position.
  • With a resistance band, it might help to start with one side at a time.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps.

What Are the Benefits of a Face Pulls?

The Face pulls is a highly effective exercise that isolates the shoulders and the back. It increases shoulder strength and the range of motion of your scapula. Working these muscles help you in physically demanding tasks such as pulling and reaching. Additionally, face pulls work out the core muscles as well, making it a full-body workout.

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