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Band Pull Aparts: Sculpt Your Shoulders and Back

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Band Pull Aparts: Sculpt Your Shoulders and Back

Band pull aparts are a fantastic resistance band exercise that effectively works out major shoulder muscles, alongside upper back muscles. This training helps to build muscle strength, as well as to give this area a much-desired shape and tone.

Bodybuilders commonly use band pull aparts in between shoulder press sets because the exercise helps to target parts of the back and shoulders that are often missed when performing heavy shoulder presses. This exercise can be performed well on its own, or as part of a more extensive resistance and pull up band workout routine.

Here's how to shred your shoulders and back with band pull aparts!

How to do band pull aparts

Band pull aparts are a great way to strengthen both shoulder and upper back muscles while also helping to improve your posture and overall fitness.

You can perform this great exercise on its own, or as part of a more in-depth resistance band circuit. Use this technique as a great warm-up if you're getting ready to shoulder press weights, or integrate them in between heavier weight lifting exercises.

We recommend aiming for at least 15 reps at any one time, but you can up this number as your technique and strength improve. Resistance bands work well because you can also increase the level of resistance and tension that you're working against. Start with a low strength resistance band, and as you feel improvements, begin to use more resistive bands.

Remember to start your training session off with some light stretching to avoid unwanted injuries and cardio to get all of your muscles warmed up and ready for training!

Performing the resistance band pull-apart exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keep your resistance band held out with both hands, at arm's length, in front of you.
  3. Keep the band at chest level and keep your arms shoulder-width apart.
  4. Pull the band apart, moving your hands and arms laterally away from your shoulders.
  5. Keep the band at chest height throughout the movement, and return your hands to the start position when they have reached their full extent.
  6. Repeat the exercise for 15 repetitions.

Suppose you need to modify this technique exercise, loop one end of the resistance band around your upper back, and only pull apart on one side of the band. Keep your upper back and shoulders straight throughout the entire exercise. Perform slow, deliberate movements that work against the tension, for the best results.

There are many more exercises to pull shoulders back too, and you can create a more detailed workout that incorporates both resistance bands or traditional weights that will help you build your shoulder and upper back muscles.

What muscles do band pull aparts work?

Band pull aparts primarily target the shoulder and upper back muscles. Many more secondary muscles in the back and arms will be worked as well.

The primary muscle groupings targeted are the following:

  • Rear deltoids
  • Rhomboids
  • Trapezius
  • Rotator cuffs

There are many benefits to working these muscles. Athletes and bodybuilders find that muscles that are often missed by shoulder presses get a more intense workout with band pull aparts. This improves strength training in the long run, adds definition to the shoulders and back, and helps to avoid chronic injuries.

The muscles targeted are also everyday muscles that are too often neglected by our normal sedentary lives. Performing a regular routine of band pull aparts will help you to avoid injuries while lifting or reaching, while the exercise also promotes good posture and overall balance.

The final say on the band pull apart exercise

Band pull aparts are a fantastic way to work out your shoulder muscles as well as your upper back muscles. It makes for an excellent warm-up if you're getting ready to lift heavier weights, while it's also a fantastic exercise for defining and broadening your shoulders.

Why not include banded pull aparts in your next strength training or resistance band circuits?

Katherine Holden

Katherine Holden

Katherine is a CrossFit expert with humble origins. Starting out on a ranch, ever since she was nine, she spent most of her life roping and competing in team roping. After finding bodyweight exercises interesting she sought after a career in CrossFit and dedicated her life towards achieving the body of her dreams. Today Katherine is a personal trainer that loves to travel the world and change the lives of her clients.

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