Band pull aparts is one of the best and the easiest exercise to improve your upper body muscles, doing close to no physical exercises and bad posture often leads you to a decline in upper body health. If your upper body health gets ignored that can lead you to bigger problems like pain in your shoulder, tense muscles, etc.
Band pull apart, it’s an easy exercise that is done with the help of a resistance band that helps you work out major muscles that are situated in your shoulder and upper back. Doing band pull apart will help you improve strength and flexibility in your upper muscles. It may be easy and good but just relying on it can be bad even such easy exercise can be overused, and too much of anything is and for our health. In most of the rehab, band pull aparts are included because they can be very helpful in recovering upper body strength with safety.
How to do band pull aparts
Most bodybuilders use band pull aparts in between their exercises to target the minor muscle in the shoulder and back that are often underworked while lifting heavy. It also helps in improving your body posture and overall health. Before you start exercises it can be good to light stretching, it can help you avoid unwanted injuries and it will also warm up your muscles. Remember to breathe as you exercise.
- Stand straight with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart.
- Bring out the resistance band and hold it with both arms at shoulder level.
- The resistance band should be at shoulder level, with your arms having a shoulder-width gap. This is your starting position.
- Now try to pull the resistance band apart, by moving your hand in the lateral direction by squeezing your shoulder blades.
- Now slowly bring your arms back to starting position.
- Try to do at least 20 to 30 repetitions, of 4 to 5 sets.
If the band pull aparts isn’t challenging you, try increasing the level of resistance and tension by changing your resistance band. Performing band pull aparts can also promote shoulder balance. Band pull aparts can be an exercise routine itself or you can try adding it to your workout routine, it can be a great exercise to warm up your shoulders before lifting heavyweights.
Knowing how to place band pull aparts in your workout is important, because if you’re doing them as warm-up exercise then you shouldn’t exhaust yourself but if you’re doing them as a finisher then you don’t need to do many sets.
Doing band pull aparts will help you target muscles situated in your shoulder or upper/middle back and many other secondary muscles in your arms/forearms too.
The primary muscles that will be targeted are…
- Shoulder rotator cuffs
- Rear deltoids
Rotator cuff – The rotator cuff is a common name that has been given to 4 muscles and tendons, which provides us with strength and stability during our shoulder movement. Movements include abduction, internal rotation, flexion, and external rotation.
Rhomboid – The rhomboid muscle is a large group of muscles that is situated in our upper back. The rhomboid muscles are made up of two muscles these are known as “rhomboid major” & “rhomboid minor“. The rhomboid major is thin and flat but it is twice the wider and the rhomboid minor thicker when compared to the rhomboid major and it lies superior to it. Basic upper body movements like throwing, pulling, lifting your arm are all done with the help of rhomboid muscle.
Rear Deltoids – Rear deltoids are the muscle fiber in the back of your shoulder, This muscle originates from the scapula and inserts into the humerus. Deltoids help you move your arm in any direction, it also stabilize and protects your shoulder joint from any potential injury.
Trapezius – Trapezius muscle is made up of long muscle fiber, it is a broad and large triangular muscle that extends over the back of your neck to the thoracic vertebrae of the spine and laterally to the scapula. The trapezius muscle is responsible for the movement and the posture, it helps you turn your head or lift your head up and down. Trapezius muscles control our shoulder blade during movements like lifting your arm or throwing something.
The benefits are numerous of working these different muscles. Bodybuilders often find that with heavy shoulder presses these muscles sometimes get underworked and band pull aparts can help in making it intense for them. Performing a daily routine of band pull aparts will help you avoid injuries and it will help you develop strength in the long run while also providing definition to your shoulder and back.
Benefits of Band pull aparts
Upper body strength – Band pull aparts activates your upper body muscles, strengthening your upper back is important because it helps your spine to stay in a neutral place when performing compound lifts like squat, deadlift, etc. It also provides support to your head and improves your body posture.
Anywhere – Band pull aparts only requires one piece of equipment that is the resistance band itself that makes it easy for a busy person to workout, add in some other easy exercises like running, jumping rope you can create your own perfect home workout routine.
Band pull aparts variations
Variations of Band pull aparts are just as normal and easy to do like original band pull aparts, these variations target almost the same muscle group, and sometimes new muscles are added to the group. If you get bored of normal band pull aparts you can use these variations to bring a change in your workout routine.
- Bent over pull aparts
This variation will help you achieve the mix of targeting the upper body and lower body simultaneously. Start hinging at your hips before you start with the band pull aparts, this will be your starting position. When you hinge at your hips your hamstrings will be activated which will help you build strength around your hip joint.
Hold the resistance band just like you do in normal band pull aparts, in front of your chest now start pulling it apart and bring it back. To target lower body muscles like calves and hamstrings try standing on the edge of an elevated surface like a small box, bench, etc.
2. Overhead pull aparts
It is really simple to do, it’s like normal band pull aparts but the position of the band will be above your head. All you have to do is lift your hand over your head. The resistance band should not be in front of your chest try lifting your arms as high as you can without stretching. This variation will work your upper back and shoulder while also engaging your triceps as well.
While doing this variation your traps, lats, and delts will be activated, as you pull bring the resistance band behind your neck at the end of the movement your arms will be fully extended on both sides & the resistance band stretched across the shoulder.
3. 3D band pull aparts
This variation is different than the normal band pulls apart basically, the movement is different. To perform the 3D band pull aparts, stand on one edge of the band while grabbing the other edge with your hand in front of your chest. Now slowly start to pull the band laterally at the end of the movement your arms should be fully extended while the resistance band stretches across your chest.
This variation will increase the resistance and tension if you’re unable to do it and want to make it easier for you, you can. Instead of standing on one edge of the resistance band, you can stand on the resistance band with your knees.
4. Single armband pull aparts
If you want to correct the imbalance in one of your arms, single arm band pull aparts can help you with it. The band should be positioned like you’re doing traditional band pull aparts, in front of your chest. Now instead of pulling with both arms, keep one arm stationary and start pulling with the other. Make sure to have a tight grip on the resistance band with the stationary arm.
In normal band pull aparts when you start to pull sometimes your dominant arm compensates for the weak side thus robbing your weaker arm from all the benefits. This variation will make sure that you can train your weaker arm and establish the balance of strength between both arms.
The band pull aparts are an easy exercise to do that packs a lot of benefits for our health with the luxury of being able to do band pull aparts anywhere. This exercise will help you improve your shoulder mobility and strength and if done correctly with a good workout routine it will help you get a toned upper back and shoulder. It is a good bodyweight exercise that offers versatility it can be used as a warm-up exercise or even as a finisher.