A great addition to your fitness toolbox – resistive tubing
April 22, 2011
There are few fitness tools that provide the wide variety of uses that resistive tubing does. It is light-weight and compact so it travels and stores well, it is versatile, it can be tethered or anchored easily and it is inexpensive. Therefore, adding resistive tubing to your fitness tool box is a smart choice. Follow the tips below to ensure you purchase the right type of tubing for each specific use. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Resistive Tubing Types
There are dozens of resistance tubing variations. However, the following three options should provide you with the basics:
Tubing with handles – this type of tubing is probably the most versatile. The handles vary, some with padding, some more rigid but the benefit to the handles is that you have something specific to hold rather than the tubing itself which can be problematic. With all resistive tubing types, length and thickness of the tubing will determine the level of resistance. The longer/thinner the tubing, depending upon how it is utilized (i.e. how and where it is anchored/tethered/held), usually provides the user with “less” resistance. The shorter/thicker the tubing, again, depending upon how it is utilized, will usually provide the user with greater resistance.
Examples of Uses – Tubing with handles
The Fitness Trail An example of using longer or thinner gauge tubing would be shoulder flexion (i.e. front raises) for the anterior deltoids. This is a small muscle, performing a long lever/large range of motion exercise, and therefore, requires less resistance to create momentary muscle failure.
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The Fitness Trail An example of using shorter or thicker gauge tubing would be tethering the tubing to an above-the-head secure anchor point and performing high-to-low rows (i.e. shoulder extension/scapular retraction) for the latissimus dorsi. The lats are a large superficial back muscle and require a significant amount of resistance to create momentary muscle failure.
The Fitness Trail An exception to the two above examples would be utilizing tubing with handles for exercises such as lunges or squats. Even though the lower body muscles are large/strong, in order to anchor the tubing on your shoulders to create the resistance required, you may need tubing with less resistance.
*A note regarding tethering tubing – make certain that the tether point is securely anchored for safety and that it is positioned properly to ensure a direct line of pull. Also, avoid leaning away from the tubing with your body weight because it is not meant to “hold” body weight like a TRX Suspension System. (You can purchase anchor straps specifically for tubing which will fit into door jams and other secure tether points.)
The Fitness Trail Figure 8 Tubing – (i.e. it is shaped like the figure “8”) is great for upper body work (i.e. pectorals/trapezius/latissimus dorsi/triceps).
The Fitness Trail Ankle Cuff Tubing – preferable for lower body work, particularly hip abduction and hip extension exercises. It can be utilized standing, side lying, quadruped, supine or prone, providing tremendous versatility which is not easy to achieve with other forms of external resistance (i.e. ankle weights, body bars, and dumbbells) all of which require a specific anti-gravity position to be effective.
Where can you purchase resistive tubing?
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness LLC in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her website http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.