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Resistance Band Face Pull Exercise

The resistance band face pull exercise is a great movement that will help to develop and strengthen your anterior and rear deltoid (shoulder muscles). The trick to getting the most out of the resistance band face pull exercise is to make sure your shoulders and upper torso are set up properly.

Ideally, you want to make sure your shoulder joint (mainly your AC joint) is open which will allow your supraspinatus tendon to move freely within the joint, un impinged. To do this, you need to retract your shoulder blades back and down using your back muscles and puff your chest outwards. Your shoulders must remain in this position for the duration of the movement. Once your shoulder girdle is properly positioned you can get the most benefit from the face pull while keeping your shoulders safe.

I use the GoFit resistance band system. I highly recommend these resistance tubes since they are super versatile which will allow you to perform a wide range of exercises and can fit in most doorways. For more information on the GoFit resistance band door anchor system, see this page here.

Ready Position

Start position

Contracted Position

Position for the resistance band face pull exercise

Place the resistance band anchor near the top of the doorway (right above the top door hinge). Grab each of the handles in both of your hands and take a few steps backwards until there is tension in the resistance bands. Your arms should be fully extended in front of your chest. Stand straight and retract your shoulder blades back and down while puffing your chest out and proud. Take one more step back with either your left or right leg to help with your balance.  

How to perform the resistance band face pull exercise

While holding onto the handles, slowly move your arms back, pulling towards your face and at the same time bend at the elbow until your hands are close to a 90 degree angle (near your ears). Hold for a brief pause and slowly allow your arms to descend back to the starting position. Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions.  

Once you’ve finished the exercise, walk the resistance bands back to the door (do NOT release them while you are in the exercise position!).


Breathe in as you pull your arms towards your face and breathe out as you return back to the start position.   

Important points for the resistance band face pull exercise

·         Do not allow your shoulders to move forward. This will round your upper back and move you into an incorrect exercise posture.

·         Stand straight and keep your head level. Pick a spot on the wall and keep your eyes on that spot for the duration of the movement.

·         Don’t look down as your perform the resistance band face pull exercise as this will cause you to move your shoulders forward.

·         Be careful as you move backwards (you don’t want to trip on anything)

·         Remember, keep your arms close to a 90 degree angle in the fully contracted position (when you pull all the way back and your hands are near your ears).

Video for the resistance band face pull exercise

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Over his 30 plus years of experience, Blake Bissaillion has worked with nationally ranked body builders, power lifters and fitness professionals. In this time he has picked up volumes of applied knowledge that he openly shares with his clients. Mr. Bissaillion’s objective is to help as many beginners to weight training and fitness to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals while getting into their best possible shape. Mr. Bissaillion owns and operates Belly Be Gone, a fitness company that offers fitness and nutritional guidance and products.

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