Ode To Resistance Tubing For Boot Camp Workouts
One of my favorite ways to train – whether in boot camp, my own personal workouts or with clients – is using Resistance tubing. It’s an awesome piece of equipment. Many folks know it for its use in rehab, but it is incredibly versatile and can, and should, be used in fat loss workout design as well.
To show you my love for Resistance Tubing, I decided to write an ode.
I have to warn you…
I don’t like poetry and have never written a poem, except maybe way back in middle school English class when it was forced upon me. Please don’t judge me if you’re a lover of poetry
O Resistance tubes! How much I do loathe thee,
For whence you are used, you often make my arms want to flee.
The arms you see do burn oft,
But have no fear because, you see, those arms yearn to work.
O Resistance Tubes! How much I do love thee,
For when I use you, I do declare, my abs do feel like newbs.
The core, oh the core!
Every time the tubes are used, the core screams “More! More!”
For when the tubes are used, the core is always working,
Even when it’s the legs that are being tore.
Okay, I’m done.
Before I go further, I want to let you know that this month’s issue of LSV Inner Circle is up and ready for members and it’s awesome (but I admit I’m incredibly biased)
Now on with the show…
I understand quite well that I am not a poet and should never again attempt to write an ode to anyone or anything.
Hopefully that was fun. At least it’s something different in this world of fake made-for-TV celebrity weddings.
I really do love using resistance tubes in program design and especially in boot camp workouts.
They’re easy to use, easy to transport and give you a hell of a workout.
The really great thing is they’re deceptive.
The exercise you’re doing can feel incredibly simple in the beginning, sometimes too simple, but when you get to rep 6 or 8, the burning sets in, your muscles begin to revolt and your core goes into overdrive to keep you from falling on your face or butt.
The core action is one of my favorite things about tubes, and I scream it from the roof-tops in boot camp and when training 1-1 clients, because they turn virtually every exercise into a core/abs exercise. They do it by working the endurance/stabilization component of the abs (think planks) rather than the active flexing component (like crunches).
Take the simple Chest Press as an example.
To do the chest press using resistance tubing, you simply anchor the tube to the wall or door, face away from the anchor point and step away a few steps (how far you step depends on the tubes used and your strength/fitness level).
Your feet should be staggered and your upper body should be strong and straight with your chest up and out, shoulders relaxed, stomach braced and facing forward (don’t look at your feet). You should then bend from the shoulders and elbows so your hands are at your shoulders – you should look like you’re doing a push-up, but standing up.
From here, proceed into a regular chest press by pressing the tubes in front of your chest, pause and then SLOWLY return back to the starting position.
Your core comes into play by keeping your body upright. If your core wasn’t engaged, you would fall on your butt because the tubes – if they’re extended far enough –want to pull you back. So your core gets an unbelievable workout just by keeping you from flinging backwards.
Another great thing about tubes is the different type of action they provide on your muscles.
Did you notice I put “slowly” in all capitals earlier? I did that because the tubes will try to shorten as quickly as possible (just like a rubber band), but you must fight them on this by going S-L-O-W when you return to the starting position. If you let the tubes do all the work, you remove all the benefit and take a lot of the greatness of tubes out of the exercise.
When you use dumbbells, or do a bodyweight exercise, the weight stays relatively stable in that it doesn’t increase or decrease…the weight is the weight, however with resistance tubes, the farther you stretch them, the tougher you have to work.
Let’s go back to the chest press example. As you press your hands in front of your chest, the exercise will become more difficult because you are stretching the tubes and this makes the “sticking point” of the exercise different than it would be if you were using dumbbells, barbell or your own bodyweight.
Another cool thing with tubes – besides making every exercise an abs/core exercise and working your muscles a bit differently than other modes of resistance – is that they make moving from one exercise to the next incredibly easy. If the workout is designed in a certain way, you could possibly use the same tubes for every exercise and the only difference would be how far you are from the Anchor Point.
For instance, the chest press may take you farther away from the anchor point than a Rear Fly, and a Lunge with a Row may take you farther than a Triceps Extension.
This makes the total workout time go down drastically, which for busy folks like you and me, is a huge benefit.
Tubes are also crazy easy to transport, which takes the excuse of not exercising while traveling out of the picture. I’ve designed loads of programs using resistance tubes for my traveling clients and they love it.
That’s a bit strong…they probably don’t love it, but they do it because they know that if they don’t there will be hell to pay when they return. There’s nothing worse than working hard in boot camp and then having to take a short break and coming back out of shape because you didn’t train while away…tubes take that problem out of the picture.
Hopefully all that rambling about resistance tubes coerced you into trying a new wrinkle in your workout plan.
Tubes are easy to find, aren’t terribly expensive and incredibly versatile and should be included in virtually every workout program. One quick note about the price – don’t go cheap because the old adage of “you get what you pay for” holds true with tubing. Go too cheap and they’ll snap on you like drunken frat guys…which is never a good position to be in.
I like Lifeline Fitness resistance tubes (and I don’t get paid for telling you that), but you can find them all over the web at sites like Amazon.com.
Rather than ending this with another poem, I’ll recap the benefits of resistance tubes…
- Turn every exercise into an abs/core exercise
- Many exercises really train the low back
- The resistance levels change as you press/pull which makes the exercise different at different points
- They make your muscles burn like crazy – in a good way
- Incredibly versatile
- Make for really quick workouts because you can move from exercise-to-exercise rather quickly
- Easy to transport which makes them the perfect option for folks who travel
Alrighty, I’m out.
Talk to you soon!
P.S. – As I mentioned earlier, this month’s issue of the LSV Inner Circle is ready if you’re a member, and as per this article, it’s all about Resistance Tubes! I had fun designing the program this month and use a 2-12-2 method for the program and it’s virtually all tubes. You’ll see from the videos that these puppies kicked my butt and if they kicked my butt, you’re really going to enjoy them!
If you’re a member, click here to download the program and check out the videos.
If you’re not a member, you should really get on board and join the cool kids because all the cool kids are LSV Inner Circle members and you know how powerful peer pressure is. No bullying, just slight nudges to get with the in crowd and become a part of the cool clique. Click here to check it out and join