The band pull-apart exercise is a peculiar resistance exercise among weightlifters and physical rehabilitation experts. This is because of its reputation for strengthening and rehabilitating the shoulder girdle or deltoid muscle group. Many people prefer the exercise for this reason, but it may be challenging to do it for one reason or another. If this is you, this article will help you by examining some of the best band pull-apart alternatives you can do.
The primary reason many weightlifters prefer to perform an alternative to the exercise is the band pull-apart’s relatively low intensity, which is common with resistance bands. As a result, more advanced weightlifters may find that using resistance bands, whether intensively or not, is ineffective for proper muscular hypertrophy.
The band pull-apart works the posterior deltoid head of your shoulders in isolation, and you can perform it with the low-cost Rogue Echo Resistance Bands. However, the alternatives to the exercise do not need to engage only your posterior shoulder muscles. Here are some weight-based alternatives to the band pull-apart exercise:
Rear Deltoid Rows
The rear deltoid row is a compound free-weight exercise that develops your upper back muscles. In addition to this, it works the posterior deltoid. The exercise is an excellent alternative because you can easily integrate them into many pull-day workout programs without significantly interrupting the workout flow. Rear deltoid rows are ideal alternatives for weightlifters, athletes, or bodybuilders unsatisfied with the band pull-apart lower intensity. Like other row exercises, the rear deltoid row also engages your traps, biceps, rhomboids, and lats.
Performing the exercise is pretty straightforward. You get a bench or other flat surface and rest one arm and leg on it to support your body while your other leg stays on the ground. Assuming this position will see you bend your upper body almost parallel to the bench while your other arm holds the dumbbell and hangs away from your body. Pull the dumbbell towards you to begin the rep, bending your elbow as you draw the weight closer to your chest until your elbow bends at a 90-degree angle. Pause briefly and then extend your arm downwards back to complete the rep.
Rear Deltoid Dumbbell Fly
The rear deltoid dumbbell fly or the rear delt fly is another ideal replacement for the band pull-apart. This is primarily attributable to their similar intensity, muscles recruited, and biomechanics involved. Furthermore, rear delt flys are generally easier on the shoulder joints, unlike other free-weight substitutes to the band pull apart. As a result, it can also function as a rehabilitative exercise, except for people who have treated rotator cuff injuries.
The rear deltoid dumbbell fly is also flexible and can be used by or for athletes, physical rehabilitation patients, and regular weightlifters who can not get a resistance band. Additionally, if you use the band pull-apart primarily to improve your posture, you will reap similar benefits with the rear deltoid dumbbell fly.
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To perform the exercise, you grab a pair of dumbbells, keep your feet at shoulder-width length, and bend your upper body from your hips to bring it as parallel to the ground as possible. Open your arms to your side and keep them extended, with a slight bend at the elbow. Keep your arms extended, bring them together, so they meet under your chest, pointing to the ground, then return your arms to their starting position to end the reps. You can cop a pair of Hex Dumbbells for the exercise.
💡 Quick Tip: Performing these exercises requires maintaining a solid grip, so I recommend the Rogue Mechanix Gloves V2 for extra grip and comfort.
Rogue Mechanix Gloves V2
Cable Face Pulls
For weight trainers who use the band pull-apart to correct their posture, the cable face pull is an excellent alternative. This is because the exercise trains the trapezius muscle while developing your posterior deltoid head. As a result, it reinforces biomechanics like external shoulder rotation, scapular retraction, and cervical spinal curvature near the neck’s base. Face pulls have become popular among powerlifters and bodybuilders because of these features.
To perform the cable face pull, you simply have to grab the cable handles with alternate hands, so they cross in front of you when you pull them. Pull the cables toward your face to perform a rep to begin the rep, keeping your shoulder and rear arms stable. Your rear arms should not extend beyond the line of your back and shoulder before you return your arms and the cable to the starting position to complete the rep.
The reverse pec deck
The reverse pec deck fly is an exercise you can only do on specialized equipment to train your rear deltoids, rhomboid, and trapezius muscles. To perform the workout, sit facing the reverse pec deck machine and station the handles at chest height. The next step is to draw the handles apart, leaving a slight bend in your elbows. You finish the rep as your upper arm aligns with your shoulder and return to the starting position. The reverse pec deck’s goal is to recruit the rear delts. Because of this, you should ensure most of your motion originates from your shoulder girdle.
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Standing One-Arm Landmine Press
The standing one-arm landmine press is a one-arm exercise requiring significant strength and control. However, the exercise will stretch and work your deltoids and lats if you can manage to perform the exercise. The workout needs an Olympic barbell and weight plates, so you can check out the Ohio Bar – Cerakote. You also require a landmine attachment to keep the barbell in place, but you can improvise by sticking the other end of the barbell in a corner.
💡 Quick Tip: Loadable dumbbells may be for you if you are starting to your weightlifting journey, as you can adjust them to various weight levels. I recommend the Rogue loadable dumbbells as it is the perfect combination of classy and functional
Rogue loadable dumbbells