Training Tip Tuesday: Banded Pull Aparts

Have you always struggled with upper body strength but never knew how to hit those smaller muscles in your back/shoulders? Let’s talk about Banded Pull Aparts!

The “Why”

As a dancer, I’ve always admired beautiful backs and loved watching dancers utilize their back muscles while they’re dancing. It’s one of the main reasons why I love back exercises in the gym. 

A result of having a strong back is stunning port de bras which definitely levels up your dancer performance. This is why I love banded pull aparts for dancers. Because it’s an exercise that directly impacts your technique in turns, jumps, lifts. This is because it coordinates how your arms and back work in tandem. 

Ever heard a dance teacher say, “Move your arms from your back?” Banded pull aparts will help train your muscles to work this way. 

An added bonus? Banded pull aparts improve your shoulder mobility and, when combined with other resistance band exercises, pull aparts can also pump up chest muscles like the pectoralis major, correcting bad posture that results from long periods of time spent in front of a computer or desk.

The “How To” of banded pull aparts

For this exercise, You will need a resistance band of some sort.


Take a wide stance with the resistance band in both hands straight out in front of you. Position your hands so that they’re shoulder-width apart at chest level. When performing band pull aparts, make sure you keep a tiny bend in the elbow to make sure you aren’t locking that joint out.


Slowly stretch the band by moving both hands out to each side, keeping your shoulders down. When you reach your maximum distance, slowly return your arms to the starting position. 

Repeat for 10-12 reps .

Want a visual for form and a technique deep dive? Check out this video!


Flip your grip upside down for a different muscle activation!

What now?

Did this make your shoulders BURN? I hope so. If not, try using a different grip or adjusting the height of your hands- remember they should be in line with your armpits! Too high or too low and you won’t feel that burn!

Want more training tips? Follow the Dancers Who Lift Blog for weekly training tips, workouts, and other ways to level up your fitness!

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