Tubing and Bands For Resistance Exercise

by Rich Weil, M.Ed., CDE

Resistance exercise is any activity that causes your muscles to contract against external resistance. It could be free weights (dumbbells and bars), weight machines, calisthenics (like your own body weight), and simple devices like elastic tubing or bands. The benefits of resistance exercise is increase strength, tone, shape of your physique, better control of blood sugar, improved body image and self-confidence, fall-prevention, increased bone density, an increase in metabolic rate, and more. Muscle burns calories, so you want as much of it as possible. Plus, when you lose weight, you can lose as much as 35% of your weight from muscle (e.g., lose 100 pounds, you can lose 35 pounds from muscle). Resistance exercise while you’re losing weight helps preserve muscle.

Check out tubing or bands if you are looking for a simple way to do resistance exercise at home. They are inexpensive and versatile (you can do lots of exercises with them even in a chair) and a great way to get started with resistance exercise. You can start with a set of three for about $20, and come in colors to denote the tension. If you have not been working out and are feeling like you are weak then start with the lightest and the next two levels up, since as you get stronger, you will need the stronger resistance. If you order them make sure to order the strap that allows you to attach the tube or band to a door (very important), and if you want to work your legs, ask for leg straps. Here are some vendors that sell them (there are many online so shop around).

www.performbetter.com/catalog/default.asp
www.power-systems.com

I prefer tubing with handles. It is sturdier and does not shred or rip as easily or frequently as the bands. But both work.

Here is a site with great tubing and band videos http://www.body-mind-strength.com/resistance_tube_exercises/resistance_tube_exercises.html

And here is an article I wrote with more information than you will ever need to know about tubes and bands! http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=78846

Pump yourself up! (:->)

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