Here it is, the third installment of our upper body stabilisation series of exercise tutorials. In this installment, we highlight our version of the Cable Rope Facepull.
Our version of the Cable Rope Facepull is an exercise designed to strengthen both the scapulae retractors and the external rotators. There are numerous benefits for fighters in strengthening these small muscle groups, the following are a few examples:
* balancing out the musculature between the anterior pushing muscles (pectorals, triceps, anterior deltoids) and the stabilising musculature
* strengthening the shoulder stabilising musculature to ensure healthy and balanced alignment of the shoulder joint through full range of motion
* enhancing the ability to defend against upper body submission attempts (eg: armbar, kimura, americana)
* enhancing the ability to decelerate punches, enabling more efficient motor skill through the end range of a
punch, and as a result...
* enabling the fighter to generate more force through more efficient punching movement
* preventing degenerative issues with the connective tissue throughout the shoulder joint
* preventing injury to the shoulder joint by making it as strong and stable as possible to withstand the hard knocks of the combat sports
Begin by setting the cable to the height of your sternum, and take a supinated (palms facing upward) grip of the rope. Next, retract and depress the shoulder blades as hard and as far back/down as possible.
Then simultaneously flare the elbows out wide, externally rotate the shoulders, and pull the rope above your head as far towards the back of your head as possible.
Throughout the movement, make sure you have braced your abdominals while maintaining a neutral lumbar spine position, as well as keeping a neutral neck/head position.
Our version of this exercise is a more advanced and challenging version than the more conventional examples commonly seen these days. For this reason, begin with a light weight and slowly build the resistance from session to session. The aim here is to isolate the stabilising muscles of the shoulder, not to lift a huge amount of weight. Leave your ego at the door, and enjoy all the benefits this exercise will bring you!
Many thanks to coach Nadia Piazza, Unknown sponsored boxing athlete Matt Cleave, and videographer extraordinaire Teresa McNair.