Tip: The 3-Way Band Pull-Apart

Do 25-40 reps before rows and deadlifts to activate the entire posterior shoulder girdle and prepare your body for heavy pulls.

Preparing your shoulders for heavy lifting should involve more activation work and less mobility work, especially through the upper back and scapular musculature. This variation of the band pull-apart activates the entire posterior shoulder girdle from multiple angles.

Just take the traditional pull-apart and diversify the angles of pull. This will emphasize the activation of certain scapular musculature and it'll be closely matched to the main training movements of the day. Just keep it simple and focus on three different angles:

  1. Start by elevating your arms and pulling apart from your forehead in the first overhead position. Do 8-12 reps.
  2. Move the band down in front of your neck and knock out another 8-12. This angle should feel very familiar as it's close to the traditional pull-apart line of pull.
  3. Finish off at the height of your lower sternal notch just below the chest.

The first position, at forehead height, integrates the function of the upper trap with the shoulder blades. The second angle, in front of the neck, moves the scaps in more of a straight protraction while placing an emphasis on thoracic spine extension. The final position targets the lower trap and will help you smooth out movements of the shoulder blades into upward and downward rotation.

Do It Before Rows and Deads

Doing 25-40 reps per set can be pretty challenging, so use a band resistance that'll allow you to use good form and get a pump. Focus on quality over quantity.