Resistance Training Workout: Tubing
By Robert Reames, CSCS, *D, RTS1, CPT
Tubing is elastic resistance that can be used to create simple, effective and readily available exercise resistance training programs that you can perform virtually anywhere. This mode of resistance training enables you to work all major muscle groups. You can use tubing at home, while traveling or as an added plus to your workouts at the gym.
These are, in essence, large, very durable elastic bands with handles on each end. Upon set-up of a given exercise, tubing follows the way your body moves. Unlike weight machines where your body has to adapt to the path of motion provided by the given machine, tubing provides you with "made to order" exercises that adapt to the way your body is structured.
Begin with a general warm-up, such as walking for 5-8 minutes. Follow with light stretching for shoulders, lats, quadriceps and hamstrings.
Use resistance levels that are comfortable yet challenging. Begin all upper body work with the lightest resistance and progress from that point. Begin all lower body work with no resistance and progress from that point.
Maintain normal breathing throughout each exercise. Exhale on the initial motion of the exercise and inhale on the return phase. Never hold your breath during any part of the exercise.
Activate your core stabilization mechanism (CSM) for all resistance exercises. To do this, simply draw your navel in toward the spine while maintaining normal breathing. Activate optimal posture and spinal alignment. You will get core work throughout your workout as well.
Keep your knees slightly bent for all standing exercises.
If you feel any joint muscular or joint pain, stop exercise and seek immediate medical attention.
Push-ups: 2 sets of 12-15 reps
Standing lateral raises: 2 sets of 12-15 reps
Standing tricep press: 2 sets of 12-15 reps (each arm)
Standing arm curls: 2 sets of 12-15 reps
Seated lat row: 2 sets of 12-15 reps
Squats: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Stationary lunges. 2 sets of 12-15 reps (each leg)
Ab crunches: 2 sets of 15 reps
Supermans: 2 sets of 10-second holds
Stretching of all major muscle groups
Set-up and Execution of Exercises
Works: pectoralis major, front and lateral deltoids, triceps
Execution: Begin with palms and knees on the floor with palms placed slightly outside the shoulder joint with arms fully extended. Bend elbows to 90 degrees and extend to neutral (straight). Repeat for desired reps.
Points: Activate CSM and do not lock or hyperextend the elbow.
Works: front and lateral deltoids
Execution: Stand with feet parallel and shoulder width. Place tubing underneath the middle of each foot (or one foot depending on desired resistance level). Hold the handles at your sides with elbows at a 90-degree angle directly beside you. Raise your arms to the side to just below shoulder height and return to starting position. Repeat for desired amount of reps.
Points: Keep knees slightly bent and activate CSM.
Execution: Hold the tubing with your left hand next to the shoulder joint at shoulder level towards the midline of the body. Hold the handle with your right hand. Keep approximately a 6- to 8-inch slack in the tubing. Fully extend the right elbow and return to beginning position. Repeat for desired reps. Switch to the left side and repeat.
Points: Stabilize the elbow and shoulder joint during exercise.
Standing Arm Curls
Works: biceps, brachialis, brachoradialis (elbow flexors)
Execution: Begin with feet firmly planted, knees bent approximately shoulder-width apart with tubing underneath the middle of each foot. Hold tubing handles directly beside you with palms facing out. Bend elbow to just past 90 degrees and return to beginning position. Repeat for desired reps.
Points: Keep knees bent, activate CSM and do not lock or hyperextend the elbows.
Seated Lat Row
Works: lats, rhomboids, mid trapezius, rear deltoids, biceps (muscles of the back and elbow flexors)
Execution: Begin by sitting on the floor and wrapping the tubing around both feet so that the tubing is placed in the middle of each foot coming up the outside of the legs. Then pass the tubing again through the middle of the feet coming up the outside of the leg to secure the placement of the tubing. Place a handle in each hand and make sure that both sides are equal in length giving equal resistance on both sides. Sit up nice and tall with arms fully extended holding a tubing handle in each hand. On the motion, bring your elbows back directly beside your body to just past your shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the end of the motion. Release the squeeze, fully extending the arms back to starting position. Repeat for desired amount of reps.
Points: Use a cushion or pillow to sit on for added comfort. Activate CSM for optimal positioning and back support. Sit against the wall for more back support. Keep a slight bend in the knees throughout the exercise.
Works: Quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus
Execution: Begin with feet slightly further than shoulder-width apart and tubing underneath the middle of both feet. Hold handles as close to the front of your shoulder joint as possible with elbows directly beside your body. Keep shoulders back and activate CSM. Look straight ahead. Bend knees to a comfortable range of motion (not past 90 degrees) and return to starting position. Repeat for desired reps.
Points: Keep feet firmly planted, particularly the back half of the feet. Go to a comfortable range of motion and not beyond. Make sure that both knees track directly in line between the first and second toes.
Works: Quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus
Execution: Begin with the right foot forward firmly planted about one to two feet in front of the left. The heel of the left foot will be slightly off of the floor. Place tubing underneath the middle of the right foot. Hold tubing handles as close to the front of your shoulder joint as possible with elbows directly beside your body (same as on squats). Activate CSM. Keep your shoulders back and face straight ahead. Bend right knee to a comfortable range of motion (not past 90 degrees) and return to beginning position. Repeat for desired reps.
Points: Keep knees in direct line tracking between the first and second toes. Keep knee in direct vertical line with ankle joint and do not let it come forward.
Works: rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques
Execution: Lie down on a mat facing up with knees bent and the soles of the feet on the mat. Take hands behind the head or fold arms in front of your body, depending on the comfort of your neck. Leading with the sternum, bring your upper body toward your knees. Bring your upper body off of the mat no more than 30 degrees as to not go into a full sit up. Repeat for desired reps.
Points: Keep action smooth. Make sure the motion comes from your abdominals and not the pulling on your neck.
Works: spinal erectors, low back, gluteus maximus
Execution: Lie face down on mat with arms fully extended overhead and legs straight. On execution, lift your arms and legs off of the mat as though you are flying. Hold for desired number of seconds. Repeat for desired number of holds.
Points: Keep your face toward the mat for optimal spinal alignment.
Disclaimer: All information and answers are given for educational purposes only. Your individual needs may vary. Always consult with your physician before starting or changing any exercise fitness programs and activities.