What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Today I’m going to show you one exercise that I promise is going to change your life. Literally, because you’re going to do it every, single day. But it’s going to take you no more than a minute. Maybe a minute and a half to knock this thing out and start making big, big improvements in a lot of different areas. Number one: if you have bad posture, rounded shoulders, we’re going to fix that. Number two: if you have strength imbalances, it’s going to go a long way toward fixing that. Number three: if you have some weaknesses on some of the bigger lifts, and you can’t figure out – we’re retraining you as you add weight to that bar. I’m going to show you how to do that, and why this is going to have such a big impact. Finally, maybe you have some mobility issues. Your shoulders just don’t have the mobility that you wish they would. This is going to help that as well, by doing this every, single day. Again, you probably think “Jeff, you never advocate anything every, single day.” I’m telling you, you can do this every day because it’s not an overload or strength exercise.
It’s going to strengthen you, but it’s done with very light resistance with the use of one, single band. More so, you’re going for better mind-muscle control over muscles that are inherently weak and ignored. What the exercise is, it’s a band pull apart. Before you say “Oh, I’ve done band pull aparts. I knew the answer here. No big deal.” Actually, I don’t know if you’ve been doing band pull aparts exactly right. That’s the key. Doing these the right way is going to help you get all those benefits we just talked about. First, what do you not want to do? When you do a band pull apart you don’t want to simply grab a band overhand like this and then pull them apart. That’s what it really is, right? It’s a band pull apart. But that’s the wrong grip. By going in this overhand position you’re internally rotating your shoulder with this elevation to do and perform the exercise. That’s the first thing you guys should know by now. I don’t advise you to do it. Anytime you can get the external rotation of your shoulder, you’re going to be putting yourself in a better position long term.
We don’t get enough external rotation. We don’t activate the rotator cuff often enough. So, by simply taking this underhand grip here, we have to get into an externally rotated position of our shoulder to perform the exercise. The second thing a lot of people do is just bang away at 100 reps of this. Just keep doing 100 reps of these every, single day, or 150, or 200 reps. Higher reps. I’m discouraging you from doing that because that’s not what the real goal is here. Likely, the muscles that need to have all this retraining done are not being done properly. Just doing the high rep totals of bad rep quality is not going to fix the problem. Lower rep totals of good quality is going to help you go a long way toward fixing that stuff. High quality, low reps if needed, but consistency is the key. The next thing you want to make sure you’re doing here is, maybe not just doing straight band pull aparts. Straight to the back. All you’re working on there and focusing on is one function of the shoulder blades.
That is their ability to protract and retract. Some people say “Isn’t that the whole point of doing band pull aparts? To work more on the retraction ability of your shoulder blades?” I would argue, ‘not really’. Not really. We get a lot of retraction work when we’re doing any type of rowing or back work. What we need to work on more is our ability to develop the strength in the lower traps, to develop the strength in our shoulder blades and the stability while we’re doing upward elevation, and downward elevation. As barbell athletes, the same way we have to press up, overhead we need to be able to get up and over. We don’t want to keep everything down here at the level of our shoulders. We need to be able to get the arms up overhead. And to do that, it requires upward rotation of the shoulder blades and scapula as you go up, and then downward rotation on the way down.
More importantly, stability and strength through there. So, what you want to do is take that underhand grip on the band, try to get your elbows in tight, and your hands out a little bit wider. Right away, we get a little external rotation by having the hands wider than the elbows. Not just starting out here or keeping everything directly in line. A little bit wider on the hands than on the elbows. Then when we go and do our pull apart, we don’t just stay here in this plane, even with the shoulder. Instead, we want to go up high from here, and then pull down, and back.
Up and high, down and back. You can see when I go up, you can clearly see the upward rotation of the shoulder blades there, and then the downward rotation back toward each other with the rhomboids still working. So we haven’t really sacrificed the activity of that retraction of the shoulder blades by having us go up over our head, into this upward rotation and downward rotation.
Again, because I have my hands outward and I’m pulling this way, we’re getting external rotation, activating the rotator cuff, we’re getting those lower traps to stabilize during that rotation, and we’re still getting that protraction/retraction on the shoulder blades. Why is it such a big deal? Why is it so important? Because again, when we talk about strength and imbalances it’s always going to be dominant front side to back side. I don’t care how much you do on the back side, and how much pulling you think you’re doing; I can always tell you’re not doing enough. Doing this just once a day, 20 to 30 reps, high quality is going to go a long way toward helping you fix this issue. The next thing we talked about is mobility. A lot of times we can’t get shoulder mobility because our arms are naturally internally rotated. So, when you actually develop the strength in the external rotators a bit more they help the glenoid-humeral joint for the humerus to sit a little lower with more room inside the socket.
So, I can actually start to see improvement of mobility just by strengthening the right muscles. Instead of having that delt to rotator cuff dominance and imbalance. We want to fix that, too. Then when it comes to the fact that we need to have overall better posture, anytime our shoulders are going to be more rounded because of all this dominant frontside work, we can fix that, so they sit backward a bit more because we’ve strengthened the muscles on the backside.
Instantly, you’ve got better posture. Guys trust me on this one. High quality reps, every, single day, with just the band. You’re not going to be overloading to the point where you’re breaking down muscle tissue. There’s not a high eccentric component here. There’s no heavy weights being used here. It’s muscular reeducation at its best and it’s something you really need to work on. If you guys found this helpful make sure to leave your comments and thumbs up below. I always said here, guys, “If you want to look like an athlete, you’ve got to train like an athlete”.
Athletes need to be overhead. They need to be able to do things overhead without having to worry about their bodies betraying them in the process. Start working on the things that a lot of other people don’t think matter that much, and I’m telling you, it’s going to go a long way toward developing the entire, complete physique. That’s what we always focus on at ATHLEANX.com. Guys, all of our programs are available over there. They’re going to help you not just look like an athlete, but train like one in the process. All right, guys. I’ll be back here again in just a few days. Leave your comments and thumbs up below.
Let me know what else you want me to cover and I’ll do my best to do that for you in the days and weeks ahead. All right, guys. See you soon. .
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