When you want to get a workout, but you really don't have time to go to the gym, just pull out your resistance tubing and do stretches for a full-body, strength-training session right at home. Choose the tubing strength that is right for you. The lightest colors provide the least resistance and the darkest colors provide the most resistance. Optional handles and door anchors add versatility to this exercise tool.
A five- to 10-minute warm-up increases your body's elasticity by as much as 20 percent and gets the synovial fluids flowing in your joints, according to Mark Dickey, NASM Elite Trainer. Do aerobic activities, such as bicycling, running or dancing until you begin to perspire.
Do 10 to 12 repetitions of each of the following upper-body exercises. Secure your resistance tube at a location that allows you to sit with the tube at chest height. With your back to the anchor point, take a grip in each hand and bend your elbows to bring your hands up to shoulder height. Turn your palms down or facing each other. Advance forward until there is slight resistance on the tube. Do chest presses by extending your hands forward. Return to starting position slowly. Turn to face the anchor point. Do seated row presses. Take the grips in your hands with your palms facing each other and your arms outstretched. Pull the grips toward your chest. Return to starting position. Keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles tight. Do military presses. Stand on the middle of the tubing. Hold the grips with your palms facing forward and your hands at your shoulders. Slowly extend your arms straight up. Return to the start position. Work your triceps with extensions. Bring the tubing up behind you on the left. With your palm facing forward, grasp the handle in your left hand. Your elbow should be bent and your arm should be close to your head. With your right hand, press your left upper arm up as far as it will go without discomfort. Pull the resistance tubing straight up. Return to starting position.
Work your quads, hamstrings and glues with squats. Stand on the tubing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the handles at shoulder height. Bend your knees and press your hips backward, as if to sit. Pause. Return to the starting position.
Don't forget to stretch to prevent soreness. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Reach up as far as possible. Lean forward from the waist and touch your toes. Repeat three to four times. Lie on your back and pull your knees into your chest. Go onto all fours and extend your arms out in front of you, resting your forehead on the floor. Rock back and forth gently. Stretch for at least five minutes as you cool down from your resistance-tube workout.
Check your resistance tubing for worn or frayed areas before use. To prevent excessive wear and tear, do not use your resistance tubing on concrete or asphalt. Wear athletic shoes while performing resistance tube stretches, and do exercises slowly and deliberately for the best results. Consult your physician before you begin a new physical activity.
- American Council on Exercise: Resistance Tubing Workout
- University of Pittsburgh: Physical Activity Resource Center for Public Health: Resistance Training
- ShareCare: How Should I Choose Resistance Tubing?
- Sharecare: Should I Do Aerobic Exercise Before or After Resistance Training?
- MayoClinic.com: Aerobic Exercise
For Judy Kilpatrick, gardening is the best mental health therapy of all. Combining her interests in both of these fields, Kilpatrick is a professional flower grower and a practicing, licensed mental health therapist. A graduate of East Carolina University, Kilpatrick writes for national and regional publications.