Band Tears

Band Pull Aparts (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

Band Pull Aparts (also referred to as Band Tears) are a simple, but effective rear delt exercise that just requires just a thin resistance band. They fit perfectly as a warm-up exercise or as part of a circuit or superset.

In this guide, I’ll teach you how to do Band Pull Aparts including coaching points, muscles worked and alternatives.

How To Do Band Pull Aparts

Equipment Needed

  • Resistance Band (optimally a thin red band)

Muscles Worked

  • Rear Delts
  • Rotator Cuff Muscles (Subscapularis, Teres Minor, Supraspinatus, and Infraspinatus)
  • Trapezius
  • Rhomboids

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Grab a resistance band, one hand on each end of the band.
  • Hold the band out in the front of the chest.
  • Now pull back and directly out to the side, as if you are trying to ‘tear’ the band in half.
  • Pull back until the band hits the chest.
  • Let the band retrace back to the starting position under control.
  • Repeat for the designated number of reps.

Coaching Points

The biggest key to Band Tears is choosing the proper band. Too thick of a band will make the movement almost impossible to do with proper form and too thin of a band won’t give enough resistance.


There are several benefits to doing Band Pull Aparts, including:

  1. Improving shoulder and upper back stability and strength.
  2. Improving posture by helping to correct rounded shoulders.
  3. Activating and strengthening the muscles in the upper back and shoulders, which can improve overall athletic performance and reduce the chance of injury.
  4. Helping to correct imbalances in the muscles of the upper body
  5. Providing a low-impact exercise that can be performed by people of all fitness levels.

How Many Reps?

Band Pull Aparts can be used as both a warm-up exercise and are great as a superset combo with pressing movements. I generally program Band Pull Aparts at higher rep ranges – 2 to 4 sets of 10 to 25 reps.

Band Pull Aparts Alternatives

Need an alternative for Band Pull Aparts? Here are a couple of exercises that you may be able to try out as a replacement.

Want more options? Here are my 7 favorite alternatives for Band Tears.

Band Face Pulls

Band Face Pulls are another simple but effective rear delt exercise that can be done with either a band wrapped around a rack or with a cable machine.

With either a band or a machine, set it up at around shoulder height. Grab the band with an overhand grip about six inches apart. As the name suggests, pull the band directly to the face.

Rear Delt Raise

Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise

If you don’t have bands, but you do have dumbbells (or even weight plates), Rear Delt Raises are a great rear delt alternative for Band Tears.

Grab two dumbbells, get into a good athletic position with a flat back and hinge at the waist until the torso is close to parallel to the floor. With a slight bend in the elbow, row back and wide.

More Links and Info

Looking for more upper-body exercises? Check out the Upper Body Strength section of our Exercise Library.

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