Spending all day sitting at a desk is a shortcut to all kinds of health issues. The symptoms of slouching are commonly felt in your lower back, but pain will also work its way up into your shoulders if you don’t fix that poor posture.
The band pull-apart is an excellent way to do just that. It’s an easy exercise that can be done anywhere, even in front of the TV in the evening, and working it into your daily routine will do plenty to combat the problems your desk-bound lifestyle is causing your upper back and shoulders.
After a few weeks, your shoulders will be happier than ever before, and keeping up a band pull-apart routine should make it more comfortable to maintain better posture at your desk. Having a stronger upper back should also reduce any neck pain you might have from slouching over a screen.
How To Do The Band Pull-Apart
Stand up straight and hold an exercise band out in front of you at around chest height. Your hands should be shoulder width apart. Then pull the band apart, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Then return to the starting position. Try to get through 30 a day. You can change the resistance of your band if it’s too easy or hard.
Band Pull-Apart Variations
Three-level band pull-apart
If you’re using the band pull-apart to activate your muscles ahead of a workout it’s worth doing the exercise at several different heights to ensure all your back and shoulder muscles are worked by the move. Start with a band pull-apart done at just above head height, then move down the standard band pull-apart position at the top of your chest and then go lower with the band around the bottom of your rib cage for a final set.
Diagonal band pull-apart
This is another great warm-up move before any upper body workout, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of shoulder exercises. Hold the band so one hand is above your shoulder and the other is around the level of your stomach, then pull them apart diagonally. Do a full set of diagonal pull-aparts in that position, then reverse the positioning of your hands for another set.
No home gym is complete without a set of resistance bands, which are cheap, portable and have a variety of uses. You can use them for strength sessions, to help rehab any injured areas, and to warm up before a weights workout. A set with three to five bands of different resistances won’t cost you more than £15 and you’ll never run out of different ways to use them, especially if you check out our round-up of the best resistance band exercises for all levels of gym-goer.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.