If you think getting under some heavy metal is the only way to get fit, then it’s time to try resistance tube exercises. Resistance tubes are long elastic tubes, typically with handles on each end, that create tension when pulled apart. This tension challenges the muscle in similar ways to strength training with free weights, but for a lot less money and while taking up a lot less space.
Resistance Tubes and Strength
Personal trainers, fitness experts, muscle heads, and even us SlendHer folks are quick to sing the praises of strength training. Why? For starters, the benefits of building muscle are a lot like the old milk marketing campaign: “It does a body good.”
Building muscle can help you perform better if you’re trying to gain a faster 5K time or increase your bike-riding distance. If you’re looking to lose fat, the more muscle you have, the more efficient your body can be at burning calories–even while resting. If you just want to look good naked, muscle will be your body’s BFF, making baring it all much more bearable.
The Benefits of Resistance Tubes
If you’re already using free weights, weight-training equipment, or your own bodyweight to tone and build muscle, great! Unless a doctor says otherwise, there’s no reason to abandon the fitness regimens you know and love. With that said, the body is often at its best when you switch things up and throw it something new. Adding in resistance tube exercises can do just that.
Resistance tubes are also a great option if you’re completely new to strength training, travel a lot, don’t want to join a gym, or all of the above. Available for less than $50, products such as the Black Mountain set, King Athletic kit, and Bodylastics collection all include a range of tensions tubes, handles, door anchors, ankle straps, and more. This allows you to customize the resistance similar to selecting dumbbells in a weight that’s right for you. And since it packs up slim, it’s easy to workout anywhere–be it at home in teeny tiny New York City-style apartment or in your hotel room when on the go for work. Want to exercise outside on a sunny day? Tubes can take you there.
Resistance Tube Exercises to Get You Started
Now that you’re fully convinced to give resistance tubes a try, below are a few exercises to get you going.
Squat Press: For this full-body exercise, hold the resistance tube handles in each hand. With your feet hip-width distance apart, stand on the center of the tube so that your hands are equidistant. Hold the handles at your shoulders with your palms facing away from the body. Sink your butt back and down into a squat, and then stand up pressing your arms up and overhead. Return hands to shoulders to complete one rep. Complete 3 sets of 8-12 reps. Note: If your tube isn’t long enough, tie or connect two tubes of the same tension together to create a longer version.
Standing Chest Fly and Press: Hook, tie, or loop a resistance tube to a stationary post so that it’s at about chest height. With your back to the post and a handle in each hand, follow this multi-part movement.
- With your arms out wide at shoulder height, bring your palms toward one another with extended arms, stopping so that your fists are straight out in front of your shoulders.
- Turn your palms toward the floor and bend your elbows, bringing your fists slowly into your chest.
- Press the handles forward.
- Rotate palms toward one another and open arms slowly to the starting position.
Complete 3 sets of 8-12 reps, using slow and controlled movements throughout.
Flutter Kicks: Work your core by slipping your feet into the handles, or using the ankle straps around each foot. Lying with your shoulders and lower back flat on the ground, lift your legs about six-inches off the ground. Take hold of the center of the resistance tube, creating tension on your legs, and flutter kick your feet up and down. Throughout this movement, squeeze your bellybutton in toward your spine to engage your abs. If this is too intense, or if your lower back is popping off the ground, perform the flutter kicks higher off the ground. Complete as many flutter kicks as you can in 30 to 60 seconds.
If you’re already well-versed in weight training, try swapping in resistance tubes for exercises you’d normally do with barbells and dumbbells. Just look for ways to anchor the tubes, be it beneath your feet, underneath your shoulders while lying on your back, or around a stationary post. Be creative and your body will never get bored!
What is your favorite resistance band exercise? Share with others in the comments!