This Resistance Band Shoulder Workout Releases Tension And Improves Your Posture

Woman performs band pull-apart with a resistance band
The band pull-apart is the first move in this resistance band shoulder workout (Image credit: Wes Santos)

Effective shoulder workouts do not need to take a long time. For most of us, a short workout can work wonders for our shoulder strength, while also going a long way to improving posture wrecked by spending every working day sitting at a desk.

This quick resistance band shoulder workout will help your posture and avoid injuries in the future. It has been put together by Wes Santos, a level 3 PT and founder of Instate Fitness, and you only need a long looped resistance band to do it. If you don’t have one of those already, check out our round-up of the best resistance bands.

“Aim to perform these exercises a few times a week,” says Santos. You can always go for two rounds as your strength improves, because it only takes a few minutes out of your day to do a round. If you have more time and are looking to make bigger gains in your shoulder strength, then this bodyweight shoulder workout is a good next step, and we also have home shoulder workouts that use dumbbells if you have those to hand.

Resistance Band Shoulder Workout

1 Band pull-apart

Woman demonstrates two positions of the band pull-apart exercise with a resistance band

(Image credit: Wes Santos)

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“The band pull-apart is one of the most undervalued exercises out there,” says Santos. “The pull-apart targets muscles in the upper body including the rear delts, upper back and traps. These muscles play an important role in holding your shoulder in the correct position—the weaker these muscles are, the more likely you are to hunch your upper back.”

Hold a resistance band with your hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing down. Raise your hands to shoulder height with your arms extended. Exhale and pull the band apart until it hits your chest. Reverse the movement to the start, controlling the movement. Don’t allow your elbows to bend to ensure your upper-back muscles are working, rather than your triceps. 

2 Band dislocate

Woman demonstrates three positions of the banded dislocate with a resistance band

(Image credit: Wes Santos)

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“This is another fantastic exercise that will get you out of that inwardly rotated position caused by too much time on your phone and laptop,” says Santos. 

Stand holding the band with your hands shoulder-width apart, hands in front of your thighs and palms facing you. Brace your core by sucking in your bellybutton and creating some pressure in your core. Raise your arms overhead, then move them back and down so the band ends by your bum. Pull the band apart as far as you need to as you lower the band. Return to the start, keeping your arms locked throughout.

3 Banded face pull 

Woman demonstrates two positions of the banded face pull with a resistance band

(Image credit: Wes Santos)

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“Banded face pulls can be a game-changer if used in a circuit like this one and performed properly,” says Santos. “The aim of the face pull is to develop shoulder and scapular stability, and improve the strength of the upper-back muscles.” 

You can perform this seated, standing or in a split stance. Attach the band to an anchor point. Hold the band with your hands around 10cm apart and your palms facing down, and move away from the anchor point so the band is taut. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, imagining you are trying to hold a £10 note between them, then pull the band towards your eyes, ensuring your hands stay apart. Return the resistance band to the start under control. Don’t let your body cave in—keep your chest proud throughout. 

Lucy Gornall

Lucy is an experienced health and fitness journalist, and was formerly health editor for TI Media’s portfolio of women’s titles. Lucy qualified as a level 3 personal trainer with Train Fitness in 2016, and also holds qualifications in pre- and post-natal fitness, as well as in nutrition for exercise.