Want healthier shoulders, better posture, and a bigger bench press? Do band pull-aparts.
In a world of constant sitting and looking at computer screens, many fall victim to protracted shoulders and slouching. You're probably slouching right now as you're reading this.
A simple solution: Accumulate 100 band pull-aparts throughout the day. Do it 4-6 days per week.
The upper back and rear delts respond amazingly well to high frequency, high volume training. A great way to add pull-aparts is to sprinkle them in throughout your workout, like doing 20 reps between sets of compound lifts.
Or just do them anytime, anywhere. Keep a band handy and you can even accumulate your 100 reps while at work on a non-training day.
I recommend keeping the arms lower while pulling the band to the sternum to maximize muscular activation, but that's just my personal preference. Just avoid slack in the band and keep it tight. Keeping constant tension on the muscles is what matters most.
Here are four practical and effective variations:
1. Band Pull-Apart, Thumbs In
You'll definitely feel these in the rear delts and upper back. Sets of 20-30 reps work perfectly.
2. Band Pull-Apart, Thumbs Out
This variation targets a bit more deltoid/rotator cuff while also bringing in the biceps/brachialis. Again, sets of 20 work well.
3. 3D Band Pull-Apart
Never has a mini-band been more humbling! This variation provides a great 1-2 punch for the front delts and upper back/rear delts. It can easily serve as a stand-alone exercise for shoulders.
4. Sword Draws
This single-arm variation strengthens the upper back/rotator cuff muscles and adds some variety. Sets of 15-20 reps for each side does the trick.