Band separators are pretty much a staple in boot camp and small group workouts. In fact, they should be a staple in any workout that involves lifting heavy weights. Here’s why:
They provide balance between the muscles of your upper body. With all the pushing that we do (pushups, chest press, planks, overhead press, and so on) we need to focus on the opposing muscle groups (rhomboids, mid-traps, rear deltoid) as well. This is also an important exercise to combat the effects of technology – working at a computer, texting on a phone and reading on a tablet have caused our chest muscles to tighten and our shoulders to round forward.
They build an important foundation for your heavier lifts. Think about a kettlebell swing or an RDL, or even a row or a goblet squat. As you are moving through your range of motion with these particular exercises your coaches will cue you to have a flat back. You may have even been the recipient of a friendly poke between the shoulder blades during class. In order to prevent your back from rounding – you guessed it – you need to activate those smaller middle and upper back muscles. Keeping your shoulder blades back and down can go a long way in preventing injury and improving stability.
They improve your posture. We focus a lot of our workouts on glutes, hamstrings, quads, abs, shoulders… burpees… and our clients see great results in these areas, from injury prevention to fat loss to strength gains. But one of the very quickest ways to look stronger and healthier is to stand up straight. Go ahead and stand up straight now. I’ll wait. Do you feel those shoulder blades squeezing toward each other? Feels pretty similar to that band separator exercise, right? So you see – this is another one of those exercises that carries over and has great benefits both in the gym and out!
The more you know!