Are Band Pull Aparts Better Than Face Pulls For The Rear Delts?

band pull aparts
August 17, 2023 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “are band pull aparts better than face pulls for the rear delts?”. Both band pull aparts and face pulls are very effective exercises for building up the rear delts and upper back.

This article will explore whether band pull aparts are the superior exercise. You will find the content useful and informative. Hopefully, it will help to inform your decisions in the gym when it comes to performing band pull aparts.

Are Band Pull Aparts Better Than Face Pulls For The Rear Delts?

Both exercises will build up your upper back and help to keep your shoulders healthy. Everyone should be performing at least one of these exercises regularly.

Face pulls do target slightly more muscle mass than band pull aparts. The face pull will hit the rhomboids, upper trap, rear delts and external rotators. It is more effective for building up the traps than people think.

Band pull aparts are very effective for working the rear delts. They will target the rear delts to a greater degree than face pulls. A lot of people are lacking when it comes to rear delt development. Band pull aparts will help a lot in this regard.

Overall, band pull aparts are better for isolating the rear delts. You will get a great contraction and they are similar to machine rear delt flyes. Face pulls work more overall muscle in the upper back but don’t isolate the rear delts as well. 
band pull aparts

Importance Of Rear Delt Work

The rear delts are very often overlooked and neglected by people. Many gym trainees work the show muscles too much. These are the muscles that are on display regularly like the chest and arms.

Unfortunately, this can create muscle imbalances and ruin your physique. By training the rear delts hard you will improve your shoulder health and also have a better upper back.

If you perform low bar back squats, you will also have a better shelf for the bar to rest. This will help make heavy back squats less painful and allow you to be more stable during the squat.

Band Pull Aparts Are Underrated

Band pull aparts are a really underrated exercise. I actually perform some band pull aparts in every workout that I do.

I find that this exercise is great at pumping blood into the rear delts and will keep your shoulders feeling really good. I make it a practice to perform lots of band pull aparts before heavy pressing exercises.

I also do a set of band pull aparts at the end of most sessions. I really like this exercise and find that it gives me a great pump. You can make band pull aparts harder by moving your grip in more.

You can also use heavier bands. I wouldn’t recommend using very heavy resistances on band pull aparts. They are better suited for moderate intensity training. You should manipulate the exercise by using different tempos and changing your grip position.

Face Pulls Are Great For The Upper Back

Face pulls are a great exercise for building up the entire upper back complex. This exercise will work a lot more than just your rear delts.

You will hit your upper traps pretty hard as well as your rhomboids and rear delts. I notice that my traps get more sore after face pulls than they do on band pull aparts.

Therefore, the face pull is a great exercise for working the traps. You can hit the traps harder by using a slightly lower pulley position when performing face pulls.

This will introduce a great rowing component to the movement. I would recommend the face pull for the same purpose of improving shoulder health.

However, face pulls are also a terrific exercise for building up the upper back complex. The upper back is really difficult to overtrain. This is great as it means you can perform a lot of volume when working this area.

I wouldn’t advise using really heavy loads on face pulls. This is because you don’t need to, you are better off with moderate weight and going for higher reps. You want to pump a lot of blood into the upper back and work your traps well.

Going too heavy on face pulls can also increase the risk of injury. You are more likely to strain the delicate rotator cuff muscles.

Previously I have talked about why you may be feeling face pulls a lot in your traps.

band face pulls

Don’t Do Band Pull Aparts Wrong!

Whilst band pull aparts looks like a very easy exercise to do, many people still butcher the movement.

They do half or quarter reps and shorten the range of motion artificially. Sticking your chest out and leaning back will shorten the range of motion, but you won’t get the same benefit.

To work your rear delts better you really need to execute band pull aparts with the proper technique. Keep a neutral lower back position and don’t stick your chest out.

This way when you pull the band apart you will get a greater range of motion and you will perform more work. When you bring the bands together you want to ensure that there is no slack left in the band. Make sure to keep constant tension throughout the range of motion.

Start with doing quality sets of five to six reps frequently throughout your workouts. Once you are able to do these easily you should shoot for higher rep sets.

Final Thoughts

Are band pull aparts better than face pulls for the rear delts? The truth is that they are more effective for the rear delts.

You can isolate your rear delts a lot better with band pull aparts. Face pulls work more total musculature in the upper back complex. You will find that your traps get worked more with face pulls.

Why not do both though? Both exercises are great for shoulder health and longevity. They will also fix your posture and prevent your shoulders from rounding forward.

If you have any comments on band pull aparts please leave them below. As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!

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