In order to minimize upper trap activation in this exercise i stretch my upper traps before doing face-pull

I break down this exercise two different motion.

1-First I pinch my shoulders

2-Do external rotation and sqeeuze my shoulder blades and rear delts.

How to minimize upper trap activation on facepull?Which form is the best minimizing upper activation?

1 Answer 1


If you don't want to use your traps during a face pull you have to stop pulling together your shoulders and if you do that then it's no more a face pull.

The face pull has many variations, but all of them have one thing in common; they are not rear delt isolation exercises, every face pull is a big compound movement that works many joints and muscles, they are the squat of your upper back.

if you want to isolate your shoulder try rear delt swings or rear delt kickbacks.

Edit : As for variations with less upper trap activation,try standing high pulley face pulls. In this variations the movement actually starts with the lower trapezium and the rhomboids.

  • Thank you a lot.As a beginner I was thinking that face pull is a rear delt and external rotation isolation exercise.Which variation is contain less upper trap activation?Lean back or keep straight ?
    – generator
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 18:53
  • I do some research on this topic and i find this. video:youtu.be/2Vprklw8cu8?t=386 6:26 6:37 Is it correct form for rear delt isolation and upper trap minimization?In this video the research says that "Upper traps are more active during standing exercise".I can't understand why upper trapezius more active standing exercises.
    – generator
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 21:36
  • 2
    when the arms are elevated you engage pulling motions with the lower trapezium and you don't use at all your upper trapezius, when your arms are horizontal you use your upper and middle trapezius but mostly your middle trap. The lying variation uses less overall lower, middle and upper trapezium muscles because the shoulders are already stabilized by the ground so it's another good option.
    – Esrien
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 22:35

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