A man doing exercise with LIT Axis resistance band

Resistance Band Shoulder Exercises: Strengthening Your Upper Body

Resistance Band Exercises for Core: Strengthen Your Midsection Reading Resistance Band Shoulder Exercises: Strengthening Your Upper Body 11 minutes Next Resistance Band Abs Workout
Last Modified:

A fit body requires an active lifestyle, so regular workouts are essential. A vital muscle group to focus on is the shoulders, as they play a crucial role in maintaining a good body posture and facilitating a wide range of upper body movements.

Incorporating shoulder exercises with bands in your workout routine can have several benefits. The shoulder area is a complex joint of multiple muscles, tendons, and ligaments. With free weights controlling the motion of movements is difficult. It also puts pressure on joints which makes it challenging to work out. However, a resistance band is a versatile and accessible training tool.

Resistance band shoulder exercises are low impact and help strengthen the shoulder muscles, improving physical performance without the risk of injuries. Targeting shoulder exercises with bands can contribute to overall upper-body strength. You can effectively target several key muscle groups, including the deltoids, rotator cuff muscles, and the rhomboids and trapezius muscles.

Read on to know which resistance band shoulder exercises you can include in your workout to strengthen your upper body.

First Do A Proper Warmup

Nothing is worse than starting a workout without a proper warm-up. You don't want to suffer from rotator cuff injuries, so a good warmup before a shoulder workout is necessary. Here are the warmup exercises to get blood around the shoulder joints running and to prevent injuries.

1. Arm Circles

A man doing arm circles

GIF source

  • Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, extend your arms out on the sides.
  • Start making small circles with your arms and gradually increase the size of the circular motion.
  • After 20-30 rotations, change the direction of the circles.
  • Do arm circles for 20-30 seconds and focus on maintaining smooth motion.

2. Banded Over and Backs

  • Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, keep your arms on your side but slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  • Holding the band in your hands, palms down, and pull the band to create tension.
  • Pulling the band apart, move it over your head down behind the hips.
  • Slowly roll back to starting position. Ensure that your elbows are extended the entire time.

3. Shoulder Rotations

A woman doing shoulder rotations

GIF source

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your arms stuck by your sides.
  • Slowly raise shoulders towards ears in a shrugging motion.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds, then roll your shoulders backward in a circular motion.
  • Rotate shoulders in one direction for 10-15 seconds, then reverse the direction of the rolls.
  • Do 10-15 repetitions in each direction.

After a shoulder igniting warmup session, you are ready for a full resistance band shoulder workout; here are the best resistance band shoulder exercises.

Resistance Band Shoulder Workout

1. Reverse Fly

A woman doing reverse fly with resistance band

GIF source

  • Standing in the middle of the resistance band, hold the opposite ends of the band in each hand such that it makes a cross in front of you.
  • Bend forward, and hinge your hips slightly. Keep your spine straight and maintain a slight knee bend as you pull the band upward.
  • Pull until your hand reaches your chest or higher. Draw your shoulder blades together as you pull the resistance band.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds before gradually returning to starting position.
  • Repeat 20-30 times.

2. Shoulder Abduction

A man doing shoulder abduction with resistance band

GIF source

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your left foot on the band.
  • Holding the other end of the band in your left hand, lift the band to 90 degrees keeping your elbow straight.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds as your shoulder muscles try to overcome the resistance band's stress.
  • Lower to the starting point.
  • Repeat 10-15 times before switching sides.

3. Shoulder Press

  • Stand in the middle of the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Pull the band handles to your chest, holding on to them with an overhand grip, your palms facing you.
  • Pull the band overhead so your arms are fully extended above your head. Hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Keep your back straight; if your back is arching, tuck your pelvis. It will help keep the back straight.
  • Gradually descend to the starting position.
  • Do 20 reps in two sets.

4. Standing Row

A woman doing standing row with resistance band

GIF source

  • Anchor the resistance band to a secure object like a door.
  • Hold firmly on the handles while keeping your forearms parallel to the floor.
  • Move your arms straight back by bending your elbows.
  • Pull the band in a controlled motion. Ensure your back is not arched or your ribs are thrusting forward through the motion.
  • Return to the starting position slowly.
  • Do 20-30 reps.

5. Single-Arm Lateral Raise

  • Stand with your left foot on the resistance band.
  • Hold the other end with your left arm, your palm facing inwards.
  • Pull the band up to your shoulder height in a controlled motion.
  • Ensure your back is straight and you're pulling from your shoulders and not the core.
  • Return the band to your side.
  • Repeat 15-20 times before switching to the right shoulder.

6. Frontal Raises

  • Stand on the middle of the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes facing forward.
  • Hold the other ends of the band with a tight grip in an overhand position keeping your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Bring your hands up to your shoulders in a controlled movement feeling the resistance in your shoulders.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds before returning to the starting position.
  • Do 30 reps.

7. Banded Face Pulls

  • Loop the resistance band at an anchor like a vertical pole or a door. Anchor the band at your face height.
  • Grab the handles of the band with your palms facing down.
  • Keeping your knees slightly bent and your torso leaning forward, pull the band towards your face.
  • In this position, your elbows should be back and out, and your scapula should be depressed.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Do 15-20 reps.

While these resistance band shoulder exercises give your shoulder muscles a full workout, if you are recovering from an injury, you have to be careful.

You should include shoulder rehab exercises with bands to regain the strength of your shoulders before you start with a complete workout.

Shoulder Rehab Exercises with Bands

1. External Rotation

A man doing external rotation with resistance band

GIF source

  • Secure one end of the resistance band to a door at your waist height.
  • With one hand, hold the other end of the band with your palm facing upward and your elbow bent. Your forearm must be resting in front.
  • Gradually twist your forearm out to the side. Take your time and pull the band slowly as far as comfortable.
  • Do not twist or flex your wrist; keep it stable.
  • Hold for 3 seconds before returning to starting position.

2. Internal Rotation

A man doing internal rotation with resistance band

GIF source

  • Anchor the resistance band to a secured position at your waist height. You can use a rolled-up towel for support between your elbow and waist.
  • Keeping the elbow bent and palm facing up, hold on to the band while there is no tension in the band.
  • Slowly move your hand/forearm across your body as far as possible, keeping your wrist stable.
  • Hold the position for 3 seconds before your return to starting position.

3. Band pull-apart

A woman doing band pull-apart exercise with resistance band

GIF source

  • Stretch your arms out in front of you, holding the resistance band.
  • Keep your elbows slightly bent and your spine straight.
  • Pull the band apart as far as you can comfortably.
  • Draw your shoulder blades together when pulling.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds before returning to starting position.

Benefits of resistance band shoulder exercises

Experts agree that shoulder exercises with bands offer numerous benefits beyond strengthening the shoulders. As resistance bands are incredibly versatile, they allow the targeting of several shoulder muscles by mimicking their movement patterns. You can easily target the anterior (front), lateral (side), and posterior (back) muscles with resistance band shoulder exercises.

Resistance bands provide progressive resistance, a highly effective way to strengthen the shoulder muscles, such as deltoids, rotator cuff muscles, and scapular stabilizers.
Joint stability is another benefit of using resistance bands, as they can easily target the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. This can reduce the risk of shoulder injuries, such as dislocations and impingements.

Resistance band shoulder exercises are also great for addressing muscle imbalances due to poor posture or overuse.

Safety tips for resistance band exercises

Shoulder injuries can result if you do not prioritize safety when doing resistance band shoulder exercises. It is why it's necessary to take precautions.

  1. Choose the appropriate resistance: Resistance bands are available with varying resistance. You must pick the right one. As a beginner, start with lighter bands and gradually progress to higher resistance levels as your shoulder strength improves.
  2. Maintain proper form: Maintaining good form is essential for optimal muscle engagement and to reduce the risk of injury. Pay attention to your posture, alignment, and range of motion.
  3. Control the band tension: Ensure that you always maintain control of the band tension. Allowing the band to snap back quickly can result in muscle strain or joint stress.

Supercharge your resistance band shoulder workout with LIT AXIS

LIT AXIS is a revolutionized version of traditional resistance bands. It is a fully connected fitness system that monitors and manages your strength, symmetry, and recovery.

LIT Axis

With traditional resistance bands, measuring your progress is challenging, but LIT AXIS's built-in smart device technology tracks everything from time under tension to reps and muscle imbalance. Moreover, with premium data and personalized coaching, you can always get the form right and accurately track your progress.


Your fitness routine must include shoulder exercises for optimal body strength and physical well-being. With resistance band shoulder exercises, you can improve your overall upper body strength irrespective of your fitness level.

Incorporate the shoulder band workout we shared in this guide to target all shoulder muscles, including deltoids, rotator cuff, and rhomboids/trapezius, and effectively enhance your shoulders' strength, stability, and joint movement.

Frequently asked questions

Can resistance band shoulder exercises replace traditional weightlifting exercises?

No. Resistance band shoulder exercises are a great addition to your workout routine but may offer a different load and muscle activation level than traditional weightlifting. However, shoulder mobility exercises with bands are excellent for achieving a well-rounded shoulder workout.

How often should I perform resistance band shoulder exercises?

The frequency of resistance band shoulder exercises should be based on your fitness level and recovery capacity. As a general guideline, a shoulder band workout 2-3 times a week is enough for most people.

Can resistance band exercises help with shoulder rehabilitation?

Yes, shoulder rehab exercises with bands are part of clinical rehabilitation programs. Due to their controlled and progressive motion, resistance bands are good for helping injured shoulder muscles regain strength and a full range of motion.

Can resistance bands help prevent shoulder injuries?

By strengthening the muscles around the shoulder joints, resistance bands help improve overall shoulder stability. This enhances joint integrity, which prevents injuries.

Where can I get resistance bands for shoulder exercises?

Resistance bands for shoulder exercises can be bought directly from sporting goods stores and online retailers. Your gym also provides a resistance band for workouts. Remember to choose high-quality bands like LIT AXIS for the best results.
A man doing workout with LIT Axis

Join Our Mailing List

Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered to your inbox.