Banded pull aparts are one of the best corrective exercises an athlete can use to strengthen their shoulders, improve mobility, and prevent upper body injury. The ACL joint in particular is common area that athletes sustain injury so I recommend including these into your warm-up and even between upper body strength training.
WHY DO BANDED PULL APARTS?
I consider pull apart’s to be a corrective exercise for the upper body.
It strengthens the muscles of the shoulders and the upper back including the trapezius, posterior deltoid, teres major, and latissimus doors, etc. So many of us spend the majority of our lives in the front chain of our body whether it be driving, sitting at a computer… hunched over all day. Overtime, this can contribute to tightness in the front body and muscles of the chest paired with weak muscles in the upper back.
To work on more shoulder mobility, check out this post: Shoulder Stability Drills
How to do banded pull aparts?
First begin with a thin band (red OTA band) in both hands with your arms straight out in front, palms facing up. Choke up on the band a bit to increase the resistance.
Next retract your shoulder blades by rolling your shoulders back and down before pulling apart on the band. Work to pull the scapula together as if you were holding a pencil vertically between them.
Watch how to do this drill here: banded pull aparts).
Be sure to do this drill slowly, focusing form. If you don’t use enough resistance on the band and just speed through these, you’re missing the point. With each rep, hold at the back for a moment to ensure you it the full range of motion.
This is a drill I’ll typically include with other upper body mobility for lifting sessions focused on bench, overhead press or working with baseball athletes. I recommend incorporating this drill into your warm-up a few times a week before your workout.
Bands have increased in popularity these past few years, and for good reason. You can use bands as resistance if you don’t have access to a gym, or you can incorporate bands into your training. Which ever you prefer, bands are an essential part of becoming an elite athlete. Iv’e compiled the most useful resistance bands that I regularly use with my athletes…