Standing Banded Row

The standing banded row is an easy to perform shoulder and upper back exercise that works:

  • Scapular retraction
  • Scapular protraction
  • Shoulder external rotation
  • Shoulder extension
  • Thoracic extension isometric

Training these motions helps to keep your shoulders and upper back strong and healthy, while building body awareness so you can differentiate motion between your:

  • Shoulder joints
  • Shoulder blades
  • Upper back

Knowing how to differentiate movement in these areas of your body helps you to perform exercises with correct form.

The standing banded row only requires the following equipment:

Want better shoulder mobility? Download Day 1 of our Shoulder Mobility Program for free:

How to Perform this Exercise

To correctly set up this exercise:

  1. Loop a band around a pole or similar object at sternum height
  2. Grab the band underhand, slightly narrower than shoulder width
  3. Step back until your arms are fully reached forward and there is a little bit of tension in the band
  4. Bend your knees, eyes forward, head in neutral
shoulder exercises sidelying 1

Starting Position

How to Perform this Exercise:

  1. From the starting position, slowly pull the band toward your belly button
  2. As you pull toward your belly button, pull your hands slightly apart from each other
  3. Stop when you touch your belly button
  4. Slowly return to the starting position
shoulder exercises sidelying 2

Finishing Position


  • Aim for your belly button (you are probably going to pull above your belly button)
  • Check to make sure your head and neck are relaxed
  • Keep an athletic position - knees and hips slightly bent, core engaged
  • Allow your shoulder blades to move freely
    • Shoulder blades glide backward as you pull the band backward
    • Shoulder blades glide forward as you move your hands back toward the starting position
    • Keep your upper back in the same position (no rounding) the entire time you are doing the exercise

How Often to Perform this Exercise: Sets, Reps, Frequency

This exercise is programmed throughout our Shoulder Strength and Performance Program as well as our Shoulder Mobility Program.

The way you program this exercise for yourself or your clients will depend on what you are trying to get out of it.


In the Shoulder Strength Program, it is performed 1x weekly at the end of a pulling day as a finisher with 3 sets of 15 reps and progresses in volume in future weeks.

In the Shoulder Mobility Program it’s placed at the end of shoulder extension mobility day to actively work through the new range of motion. This is done for lower reps with less desired intensity.

General Programming

As a starting place, perform this exercise 2x/week for 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps resting 60-90 seconds between sets.

From there, you can:

  • Increased the number of sets for capacity
  • Increased the number of reps for capacity
  • Use a heavier band for strength
  • Superset with an exercise like a dumbbell row
  • Decrease the rest time to work on endurance
  • Increase the rest time to work on strength

Want better shoulder mobility? Download Day 1 of our Shoulder Mobility Program for free:

What to Read Next

Commonly Misunderstood Words in Movement and Mobility

Commonly Misunderstood Words in Movement and Mobility In this post I will be sharing my thoughts on common words used in the movement and fitness world with a focus on how to better define them conceptually, and where applicable, mathematically. Each day...

read more
How to Stretch Shoulder Extension

How to Stretch Shoulder Extension

How to Stretch Shoulder Extension Learn how to stretch your shoulder extension Want better shoulder mobility? Download Day 1 of our Shoulder Mobility Program for free: Option 1 For many people, option 1 will be the best option, especially if...

read more

Get all our latest articles sent directly to your inbox