Have you been looking for a way to strengthen your shoulders without much hassle? Two words – resistance bands! Sure, training with weights has its benefits, the most common being significant muscle gains given the right workouts. However, what you want is a simple, convenient and flexible way to achieve your goals and that’s why we’re here. Your shoulders are the most movable joints in your body, and as such they are more prone to injuries. Resistance bands are a particularly effective and safe option for working on your shoulders compared to alternatives like strength training. Why? Keep reading to find out.
How To Do Shoulder Exercises
If you’ve been looking for the best resistance band shoulder exercises to try out at home or in the gym, then you’re in luck. This article gives you some of the best shoulder strengthening exercises and resistance bands can help you pull it off. However, first things first: To avoid injuries when doing these exercises, it’s crucial you understand how to do shoulder workouts properly.
While it’s true you can use your bodyweight to build stronger bones, equipment like resistance bands give an added advantage. For starters, they increase the range of exercises available to you therefore potentially accelerating your results. They also provide the extra challenge which can also fast track the whole muscle gain process through muscle hypertrophy (2).
If your goal is to increase your overall shoulder size, then you’ll probably need to choose moves that target each part of your deltoid muscles through multiple angles. When you target your rotator cuffs alongside your deltoids, you can build your stability, strength and mass simultaneously (1).
That being said, here are some guidelines you should observe while working out to minimize the risk of injury:
- Start with bands of lower resistance then progressively move on to higher resistance bands.
- Use slow, steady and controlled movements. Rocking, swinging and relying on your momentum only increases your risk of injury.
- Perform each workout in sets (1-3) of about 9-15 reps or as instructed by your trainer.
Shoulder Exercises With Resistance Band
That being said, here are the top 11 resistance band shoulder exercises you can try at the comfort of your home or a gym- if you fancy one!
This move works on your shoulder muscles. For proper posture ensure your spine stays elongated, your abdominals are always engaged and your shoulder blades stay down. Here’s how you do it:
- Start by standing in the middle of the band and holding one end in each hand.
- Next, place both your palms on your thighs.
- Now steadily raise your arms directly in front of you, and stop once you’ve attained shoulder height.
- Briefly pause then slowly return to your starting position.
This move works on your triceps, pecs and anterior deltoid muscles. Here’s how you do it:
- Start by stepping on one end of the resistance band with both feet spread shoulder-width apart.
- Now pull the other end of the band toward your chest while holding it in an overhand grip. Your palms should face away from you while doing this.
- Next brace while pressing the band up overhead. Ensure your palms are fully extended above your head. You can prevent your back from arching during this move by tucking in your pelvis.
- Finally, bring the band down as you return to your starting position.
Band Pull Aparts
This move works on your rhomboids, rear deltoids, rotator cuffs and trapezius muscles. Here’s how you do it:
- Get into your starting position by holding one end of the loop using your overhand grip, shoulder-width apart. Ensure that your arms are fully extended in front of you while you keep your hands next to each other.
- Now steadily separate your hands, moving them to either side while spreading the band apart. Make sure that both your hands remain at shoulder height, your chest up and shoulders down.
- Once the band is spread as far as possible, carefully and slowly bring the back to your starting position.
This move works on your lats, low and middle trapezius muscles. Ensure you draw your shoulder blades together when completing the move. Finally, always keep your neck relaxed and avoid hunching your shoulders. Here’s how you do it:
- Start by anchoring the resistance band around a secure object like a door knob.
- Now grasp the handle of the band in each hand. Ensure your elbows are bent and your forearms stay parallel to the floor.
- Move your arms towards the sides of your ribs then slowly return to your starting position.
Overhead Band Pull-Apart
This move works on your triceps, shoulder and upper back muscles. Here’s how you do it:
- Get into your starting position by holding the band directly above your head.
- Now carefully pull the band apart while lowering your arms to shoulder height. Your hands should be pressed out to your sides. Maintain this position for a few seconds.
- Carefully and slowly return to your starting position.
Single-Arm Shoulder Press
This move works on your pecs, triceps and anterior deltoid muscles. Here’s how you do it:
- Get into your starting position by standing on the resistance band with one foot. This foot should be on the same side that you’re planning to press first.
- Now hold the band with one hand. Ensure that your elbow stays down and your wrist is directly above you. Your palms should also be facing forward and while the band remains behind your arm.
- Next, press upwards while making sure your core remains engaged. Hold this position at the top.
- Finally bring it back down in a steady controlled motion.
Banded Reverse Fly
This move specifically works on your rhomboid muscles. Here’s how you do it:
- Get into your starting position by standing in the center of your resistance band. Ensure that your feet are shoulder-width apart and hold the ends of the bands in each hand.
- Now slightly lean forward with your torso, making sure that your back remains straight.
- Next bring your hands up as you pull the resistance band from the floor. Your arms should be stretched out wide during this movement.
- Now pull up as far as possible as you maintain a tight position.
- Hold this position for a second at the top then slowly lower the bands. This completes one rep.
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Banded Face Pulls
This move works on your rhomboids, rear deltoids and middle trapezius muscles. Here’s how you do it:
- Get into your starting position by looping one end of the band around a vertical pole, at face height.
- Next, hold the other end with both hands close together and palms facing down. Ensure your knees are slightly bent and your torso is leaning forward.
- Now separate your hands as you pull the band toward your face. Make sure your elbow is back and out and capulla depressed.
- Slowly bring the band back to your starting position.
A lateral raise is an easy resistance band for seniors that can be done with minimal risk of injury. This move works on your upper back, shoulder and core muscles (3). Additionally, it can be used to improve your shoulder mobility. Here’s how you do it:
- Start by standing in the middle of the band.
- Now with your palms facing inward, hold the band in each hand.
- Raise your arms to the side while maintaining a slight bend in your elbows.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, keeping your arms slightly higher than shoulder height.
- Slowly return to your starting position.
This move works on your rhomboids and trapezius muscles. Here’s how you do it:
- Start by standing in the middle of the resistance band, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Grab both looped ends of the band in each hand. Ensure that you’re maintaining a nice and upright posture.
- Next, shrug up your shoulders and hold the top position for one second.
- Lower your shoulders back to the starting position. This completes one rep.
This move works on your upper back, trapezius and deltoid muscles. Here’s how you do it:
- Get into your starting position by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart on one end of the loop.
- Hold the other end in front of you in an overhand grip using both hands. Your palms should face your body.
- Pull up the band with your hands making use of its tension as resistance. Continue pulling towards your face making sure your elbows are high. Your core should also be engaged and avoid arching your back in a bid to pull up the band.
- Bring the band back down and repeat.
The Bottom Line
Resistance band exercises are an excellent way to build strength. You can bring your resistance band with you anytime and anywhere. This tool is versatile, inexpensive, and simple to use. So, if you are looking for simple yet effective upper body workouts, resistance band shoulders exercises are the way to go.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- BUILD MUSCLE IMPROVE HEALTH: BENEFITS ASSOCIATED WITH RESISTANCE EXERCISES (2014, lww.com)
- How Do Muscles Grow? (n.d., unm.edu)
- Muscle Activation During Selected Strength Exercises in Women with Chronic Neck Muscle Pain (2008, oup.com)