Resistance tubing is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in the fitness industry. And also one of the least expensive exercise equipments around. Incorporating tubing into your fitness program is easy and effective, as long as you know where to anchor the tubing and how to keep good form. The following exercises focus on the core—and not just the abs and back muscles! Before you begin, check tubing for tears or areas of weakness, to avoid breakage.
This exercise uses an external anchor, but you can also anchor the tubing under one foot for a low-to-high reach across the body.
• Secure tubing on bar, fitness equipment or any stable object that will not tear it.
• Start with legs together, close to anchor, hands together, arms extended. Tension is equal on both sides. .
• Take one or two steps from anchor, driving arms away with 180-degree trunk rotation. Arms do not bend at elbows, but rather from shoulder area, while torso rotates away from anchor.
• Low anchor moves arms and body from low to high. Mid-level anchor rotates straight across. High anchor goes from high to low. The further away you push, the more resistance you feel.
• Add a leg movement, such as lunge, lateral side lunge or shuffle.
• Keep movement powerful and under control at all times, especially on return motion.
• Alternate sides by turning around and facing opposite direction, with same anchor.
Knee Tuck and Arm Extension
• Lie on floor with knees up, lower legs parallel to floor.
• Place tubing around one foot; use other foot to squeeze tubing between feet, keeping it secure.
• Work upper body and lower body separately to start: Extend arms overhead or do shoulder press; return to start. Extend legs away from body, keeping back secured to floor; return to bent-knee position.
• Alternate between arms and legs, or extend both arms and legs simultaneously.
• Start on all fours, tubing secured to one foot and anchored at halfway point under opposite knee.
• Hold second handle in hand opposite foot anchor.
• Lift and lower opposing arm and leg simultaneously or in alternating fashion, with tubing secured under knee. Anchoring tubing under knee increases intensity for arms, shoulder, back, glutes and legs.
• Switch sides.
• Sit on floor in V position, tubing looped around both feet.
• Hold handles with either one hand or both hands.
• Point toes away from body to avoid losing anchor.
• Keeping tension constant, lift legs and contract abdominals, balancing on buttocks.
• Rock from side to side, abduct legs, contract abs, or just hold.
• Stand with legs wide, tubing secured under foot arches.
• Hold both handles, one on each side of legs, tubing fully extended. You should feel tension pulling down on arms.
• Bend sideways, keeping good posture.
• Add different rhythms, such as two or more on each side. Keep knees slightly bent and squeeze buttocks.
For more information on tubing exercises and other exericses, contact Maurie Cofman, CMES, CES, TBMM-CES, Personal Trainer, Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Health Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist in the St. Louis, Brentwood, and Clayton, MO area.