The Fitness Trail: Maintaining and choosing resitive tubing
February 21, 2013
The other day at a client’s home, we were assessing what equipment they owned that was usable for safe and effective muscular strength training. We came across their resistive tubing which I think they had owned for decades. It was brittle, nicked and was ready to make the journey to file 13! Resistive tubing is an essential tool in your fitness tool box, but it, like any other tool, needs to be cleaned, maintained and replaced when it has become unusable. Additionally, the tubing you choose for each exercise needs to be of the appropriate length and gauge to be an effective means of external resistance.
Check out the tips this week which will help you to know when it is time to throw away your tubing and replace it as well as how to choose the appropriate tubing for each exercise. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
-First, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and care as this usually provides you with valuable guidelines.
-Beyond those guidelines, regularly clean your tubing with warm soapy water, rinse and then dry it thoroughly.
-Store tubing from a hanging position if possible. Avoid throwing the tubing into a box as this may lead to nicks in the tubing and leads to the tubing sticking together. And, the old “baby powder” in the tubing box to prevent the tubing from sticking, makes a huge mess, so avoid it-hang it instead.
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-Check the tubing prior to each use to see if there are any nicks or tears in the tubing which occurs over time. If there are, throw it away and replace it.
-Avoid placing the tubing onto sharp or abrasive objects which may tear the tubing leading to breakage.
-Regardless of whether it is tubing or any other external form of resistance, choosing the appropriate level of resistance for each exercise and body part is essential to ensure safety and effectiveness.
-Remember that every manufacturer has their own unique increment progression and usually chooses colors to delineate the level of resistance. Therefore, avoid assuming that all green tubing will be light resistance-it may or may not be depending upon the manufacturer. Check out the length of the tubing and the thickness. In general, the longer/thinner the tubing, the lighter the resistance and the thicker/shorter the tubing the heavier the resistance.
-For smaller muscle groups, such as the deltoids (i.e. shoulders), you will probably choose a longer/lighter gauge tubing. Smaller muscles are generally not as strong as their bigger counterparts which means that the resistance level will need to be lighter.
-An example would be a lateral raise, which requires the client to abduct the arm (lift it) out to the side of the body to shoulder height. Due to the necessary range of motion to perform the exercise correctly and the fact that the muscle group is relatively small, necessitates the longer/lighter gauge tubing.
-Conversely, for a lat row, the client will use shorter/thicker gauge tubing as the lats are bigger and stronger by comparison to the deltoids and consequently, these muscles will require more resistance to effectively strengthen and fatigue the muscle.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at neversummerfitness.com. , her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at skyhidailynews.com and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.