How to Do Band Pull Apart Properly

Band pull apart is a simple resistance band exercise with tons of versatility.

No matter your fitness level, you can pair pull-apart with varying band resistance levels to make them as challenging as you need them to be.

Like other resistance band exercises, band pull apart is significantly more convenient than others that rely on gym machines or free weights.

As with any other exercise, you need to have the right form to get the most out of pull-apart and prevent possible injury.

HOW TO DO BAND PULL APART EXERCISE

Equipment needed; resistance band

Follow the steps below to perform a band pull apart;

  • Hold the band with an underhand grip a little wider than shoulder-width, keeping your arms straight in order to maintain the activation of external shoulder rotators and to keep joints safe.
  • Slightly protract your shoulders and then raise your arms overhead while creating a little tension in the band. This is the starting position.
  • Begin to pull the band apart using your upper back and shoulder muscles, while simultaneously bringing your arms down and back into scapular retraction. Let your shoulders move naturally until the retraction portion of the exercise.
  • Slowly return your arms overhead while still maintaining a little tension in the band.
  • Repeat as frequently as you can.

WHAT MUSCLES DO BAND PULL APART WORK?

The band pull-apart targets a few different muscles located on the rear.

1. ROTATOR CUFF

It consists of four muscles that facilitate arm and shoulder movements. The back rotator cuff muscles include the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and the teres minor.

The front rotator cuff muscle is the subscapularis.

2. TRAPEZIUS/TRAPS

Is trapezoid-shaped and superficially located across the upper back extending from where the occipital bone protrudes, down to the thoric vertebrae, and laterally to the spine of the scapula.

3. DELTOIDS

These make up one of the three heads of the shoulder.

In addition, it helps to stabilize the shoulders in general while providing compensatory forces during the abduction (moving arms away from the midline of the body) of the arms.

4. RHOMBOIDS

Composed of two muscles that help form the shoulder girdle which are the rhomboid major and minor.

These muscles lie deep to the trapezius and the major is positioned inferior to the minor.

BAND PULL APART BENEFITS

Enough good things can’t be said about the benefits of this exercise. Here are several that you should know about if you didn’t before.

1. IMPROVED SHOULDER MOBILITY AND STABILITY

The band pull-apart takes the shoulders through a larger range of motion beginning from the overhead position and finishing with the arms posteriorly adducted thus improving mobility and stability.

2. SCAPULAR STRENGTH AND STABILITY

The ability to maintain the scapula in a strong retracted position is an essential component of being able to perform heavy compound exercises safely and effectively.

Band pull apart re-educates rear muscles to function properly through constant repetition while practicing this against enough resistance to train you.

3. STRONGER ROTATOR CUFFS

Band pull apart activates rotator cuff muscles. It’s much safer than internally rotating your shoulders which can, and often does, cause shoulder problems down the road.

4. BETTER POSTURE

Band pull apart makes shoulder muscles to have sufficient function and strength to help you consistently maintain proper posture.

When we’re always hunched over with our heads down into our smartphones or laptops, the postural muscles weaken.

ALTERNATIVES TO BAND PULL APART

You can alternate between band pull apart and the following alternatives to make sure you build as much functional strength in your upper back and shoulders as possible.

1. VARIABLE GRIP PULL-APART

You can change up your grip for various benefits when you’re doing band pull-apart, or you can alternate between all the possible grips to build versatile grip-strength for a variety of lifts and situations.

2. OVERHEAD PULL-APART

If you want to bring your biceps into the picture a bit more, try this variation. It’s just as simple as the original but it adds new movement.

3. INCLINE PULL-APART

This variation is similar to the overhead pull-apart except the starting position has you holding the resistance band up and away from your torso rather than directly overhead.

Your palms will tilt move toward the ceiling as well. Most importantly, you have to put one foot forward with its knee bent like you’re halfway through a lunge.

4. LATERAL PULL-APART

. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can put a loop band around your legs above the knee to give your glutes, quads, and hamstrings an extra challenge.

The starting position is exactly the same as a basic pull-apart.

Bear in mind that you’re going to take a lateral step that’s a bit larger than your normal stride, so if you start with your feet too wide, making that movement might be a bit difficult.

BAND PULL APART MISTAKES TO AVOID

Some people frequently undermine the effectiveness of their band pull-apart. Keep these tips in mind when you go through the exercise so you can maintain proper form:

1. DON’T ROUND YOUR SHOULDERS

Many people try to fight the resistance in the band by moving their shoulders forward or hunching the thoracic spine, which runs between the shoulder blades.

Keep your spine neutral for band pull-apart.

2. RELAX YOUR SHOULDER BLADES

The shoulder blades will be taken through their whole range of motion in one direction during this exercise.

Lots of people lock their shoulder blades into place when they do pull-apart, but that prevents them from being able to go through their natural range of motion leading to neck and shoulder pain.

3. ARM POSITION

The start and end positions of the arms are important for this exercise. They should be on the same level throughout.

Any movement that requires them to go up or down is probably not right unless you’re doing a variation that specifically has the arms overhead or elevated over the shoulders.

CONCLUSION

Like other resistance exercises, band pull-apart is a great warm-up and easy to do pretty much anywhere whenever you have time for a quick exercise.

You don’t have to limit them to the warm-up or cool-down period, though.

You can also use them to fill in your daily routine or as part of a larger resistance band workout routine to build strength and muscle mass.

Use the band pull-apart variations in this guide to change things up and keep your body from adjusting to the pull-apart motion.

Whatever your fitness goals, the band-pull apart is a great addition to your workout plan.