A Resistance Band Shoulder Workout You Can Do On the Go

Improve your posture and arm swing with these five exercises.

To maintain a tall running posture—which can pay off in performance thanks to stronger form and potentially better breathing—it’s smart to work your shoulders. Targeting this area also allows for a better arm swing to propel you forward.

While you could use dumbbells to hit these muscles, a resistance band makes for an affordable and portable way to get it done. Enter: This resistance band shoulder workout.

The Benefits of a Resistance Band Shoulder Workout for Runners

“Strong shoulders contribute to maintaining overall running mechanics,” Amber Rees, senior instructor at Barry’s in New York City and co-founder of the Brave Body Project and creator of this workout tells Runner’s World. “Strengthening the shoulders and back will keep your shoulders from rolling forward and enhance your running posture. This will also optimize your arm swing, which can elevate speed and running efficiency.”

While a resistance band workout might seem limiting, Rees shows you the versatile and challenging moves you can do to strengthen your shoulders from every angle, with just this one piece of equipment. Plus, because it’s so light and takes up little space, you can throw a resistance band in your travel bag and do this workout from anywhere.

How to use this list: Beginners can complete two rounds of these exercises, practicing each move for 50 seconds and resting for 10 seconds in between each one. More advanced runners can complete each exercise for 3 sets of 10 reps.

In the video above, each exercise is demonstrated by Rees, a certified trainer, so you can follow proper form. You will need a resistance band with handles. An exercise mat is optional.


1. Pull-Apart

resistance band shoulder workout, pull apart
Amber Rees

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended straight in front of body and raised to shoulder height, holding a resistance band with both hands, palms facing floor. Engage core and pack shoulders down and back. Pull fists away from each other, forming a T with arms. Slowly return to start. Repeat.


2. Bent-Over Y Raise

resistance band shoulder workout
Amber Rees

Start by holding one end of the resistance band in each hand and stepping on the band with right foot. Place hands down by right knee. Then, pull resistance band up vertically to shoulder level, forming a Y shape with arms. Keep a slight bend in elbows. Slowly lower arms back down. Repeat.


3. High Pull

resistance band shoulder workout
Amber Rees

Step on the resistance band with both feet, feet hip-width apart. Cross the band in front of you and hold a handle in each hand, arms down in front, palms facing you. Bending at the elbows, use both hands to pull the band up towards chin. Elbows should reach up toward ceiling. Slowly lower arms back down. Repeat.


4. Overhead Press

resistance band shoulder workout
Amber Rees

Start kneeling with toes tucked and the resistance band underneath both feet behind you. Grab a handle in each hand. Bend elbows and lift arms to shoulder height, palms facing away from you and arms forming a goal post shape. With elbows in line with shoulders, press the band straight up overhead, extending elbows. Slowly lower arms back down to shoulder height. Repeat.


5. Plank Walk

resistance band shoulder workout
Amber Rees

Start in a high plank position with the resistance band on the floor, grabbing it with both hands, placed shoulder-width apart. Body should form a straight line from head to heels, with shoulders right over wrists. This is your starting position. Lift right hand to step it out to the side, pulling on the band. Then return to starting position. Lift left hand to step it to the side, pulling the band. Then return to starting position. Hips should stay steady the entire time. Continue alternating.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Quick Workouts