In order to boost your strength and muscular endurance without weights, tubing is a safe and effective option that can provide the same benefits.
Read on to learn about the benefits of using resistance tubing/bands and a few exercises you can try to get you started in your own personal tubing routine.
Resistance Tubing vs. Weights
Tubing, which involves stretching a length of rubber hose, is a perfect option for older adults and those who are beginning resistance training after a lengthy period of being sedentary. It’s also good for those who lack access to weights, who want a break from conventional weight training and those who wish to stay toned while traveling.
Rubber tubing is very convenient, in that it takes up little space and is easily portable from place to place. Rubber tubing is also very durable and versatile; you can do a huge range of exercises that target not only the arms, but also the legs, back, and buttocks. You can manipulate the bands for almost any exercise. The more tension you put on the bands and the tighter the stretch, the more “weight” you are lifting.
Tubing is very inexpensive. The recommended 12-foot length of 3/8 inches to 1/2 inches diameter tubing costs about $20. It’s available from sports/fitness stores, medical supply houses and even large-scale retail stores. Tubing with handles allow for the most versatility. A word of caution, though, is to check the tubes for nicks, holes and tears before exercise; if so, replace the tubing to avoid injury.
A good schedule to maintain for exercising with resistance bands is three 30-minute sessions each week. Each session should begin with 10 minutes of stretching, followed by two sets of 10 repetitions per exercise. You can then progress to three sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise after the first three weeks.
Typical Tubing Exercises
You can do any of the following exercises using the resistance tubing/bands for leaner, but stronger muscles:
Chest Press – To do this exercise, lie on your back with your legs bent at the knees and feet flat on the floor. Anchor the tubing under your shoulders and place your elbows on the floor at chest height with your hands above your elbows. Exhale and stretch the tubing to arm’s length and inhale as you slowly return to starting position.
Half Squat – To do the half squat, stand on the tubing at its midpoint with your feet shoulder-width apart. Holding the handles, extend your arms straight down at your sides. The bands should be fully stretched. Look straight ahead with your abdominal muscles tight and your chest up. Inhale as you slowly squat until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and exhale as you slowly return to starting position.
Seated Calf Press – To do this exercise, sit on the floor. Straight your right leg and loop the tubing around the arch of the right foot. Keep the left leg bent, with the foot flat on the floor. Hold the handles in both hands at chest level, and exhale as you point the toes of the right leg. Inhale as you return to starting position.
Repeat, switch and do the exercise on the other leg.
Resistance tubing saves you the trouble of having to purchase a gym membership and go to the gym everyday to lift weights. It is just more convenient and cost-effective, and just as powerful as using free weights