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Around the Worlds and Band Pull Aparts: Your New Frenemies

This simple at-home/wherever workout with a single band will serve to open up your shoulder girdle, stretch your delts, biceps and pecs, build the work capacity of your upper back and get those shoulders burning! One day, I unwittingly combined the around the world mobility exercise with some band pull-aparts. It was... effective. Now it’s your turn!

First is the around-the-world. It is also sometimes called a shoulder dislocate but that makes it sound far too scary. Some people do this with a PVC pipe or wooden dowel rod. We will be using your workout band. The band will allow you to push range of motion in this mobility exercise according to your needs.

To begin the around the world, hold the band with a wide grip and locked out arms. Your arms will be pointing toward the ground so the band will be resting across your thighs or hips.

Description: A man standing tall, holding an exercise band at hip level with wide grip and locked out arms.

Keeping your arms locked, reach out and around your body in a large arc until your hands are now pointing towards the sky.

Description: Evan begins moving the band around his body, keeping his arms locked and grip wide.

Description: Evan's hands are now reaching upward, arms still locked and wide.

Continue this arc around the back of your body, allowing the band to stretch as necessary. The band will eventually make contact with the back of your thighs or glutes. Reverse the arc to bring the band back to the start position. There’s one!

Description: Evan's arms are now on the backside of his body, arms long and locked out, with the band touching the back of his thighs.

Some key points for this exercise:

- Stand tall the whole time, don’t try to duck under the band.

- Don’t bend your arms especially on the way back around. A lot of people get half

the work in this way and skim the back of their head.

- Be sure your grip is wide enough to enable you to do the movement well with just

enough challenge but not so wide you don’t get the stretching benefits.

- If your band has handles or extra band beyond your hands, be careful not to swing

it around too violently and lose a tooth.

The Band Pull Apart

Starting with the typical band pull apart, stand tall with arms at shoulder height, with the band taut and arms locked out in front.

Description: Evan standing tall in the first position of the band pull apart.

Now, stretch the band by pulling your hands in opposite directions, keeping your arms parallel to the ground.

Description: Evan pulls the band in opposite directions, keeping arms long and parallel to the ground.

Staying in control, return back to the start position. It is important not to let the band snap you back to the starting position!

Some tips for this exercise:

- Pull your shoulder blades together as you pull the band in to more adequately

work your upper back muscles

- Don’t let the band go loose at the start position

- Keep your core tight so you aren’t tempted to arch the spine into the band’s path

If ye be brave, here are two alterations to the BPA to change the difficulty.

Variation #1: High to low pull

Change your start position to about forehead height. You will still end at chest height. Be sure you don’t pull in an arc or arch your spine to account for this. A straight line from point A to B will better work your low traps muscles and keep extraneous shrugging out of the equation.

Description: In variation #1, the start position starts above the forehead. Notice Evan's neutral spine and flexed core.

Description: Evan pulls the band apart, ending at the chest as before.

Variation #2: Bent Over BPA

For this variant, your arms will follow the original path. However, you will be bent over toward the ground. Again, it is very important to keep your spine straight, even more so now that gravity is trying to round you over. These ones were an unfortunate discovery by my brother and I. They’ll do the trick real quick.

If you just aren’t able to hinge over with a straight spine YET, you can also do these facedown on a bench. The range of motion won’t be as large so go ahead and do extra.

Description: In a bent over position, Evan holds the band in the same position, out from the chest with arms locked.

Description: Evan pulls the band apart, keeping his torso facing the ground, arms out wide and locked.

Now that you have the ingredients, here is the recipe:

5 around the worlds

10 band pull aparts

Repeat for 3-5 rounds until real spicy.

Have fun!



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