People are always looking for an alternative to going to the gym, and while I do not advocate using resistance tubes a a complete substitute for any gym workout, you still can get a lot of benefits from having one lying around, and using it appropriately. You simply wont get the adaptations from using it like you would lifting heavy weights, because in most cases you can’t mimic the exact movements you need, with an appropriate resistance level (although you can still have yourself a pretty tough workout!!). However, you certainly can get benefits, and you can use them to help enhance your training considerably. I prefer to look at them as a complement to your exercise program, rather than a complete supplement.
Here are a few ways that I like to use resistance tubes in my training, and what I think they are most useful for.
Without a doubt there are a lot of positives for using resistance tubes in your rehabilitation. You can adjust the resistance to what you need and you are able to isolate specific necessary muscles. Resistance bands allow you to produce concentric and eccentric contraction in any range of motion. They are ideal to start a rehabilitation program with, great for ailments like a pinched nerve in shoulder. Most commonly you will see them being used in shoulder rehabilitation. They are ideal to do internal and external rotation exercises, scapular retractions and can help to teach stability. Here is an example of an external rotation exercise using resistance tubes.
Another great place you can work with the resistance band and is common in the rehab setting is the ankle. Sprained ankles need a lot of strengthening to get back to full capacity, and the resistance band is a way to provide external pressure that not many other means provide in the initial stages. You can produce dorsi flexion, plantar flexion, and both eversion and inversion. These are very necessary for ankle rehabilitation. Here is an example of eversion:
Some people like to vary their warmups, and resistance bands can provide a really good means at getting warmed up quickly and effectively. You can do all kind of exercises on them with a low resistance, to make sure that you muscles are ready and warm. Check out this video on a very interesting and I am sure quite tough lower body warm up that will get you ready for almost any lower body session, it’s quick and effective, what else do you want?
You can use resistance tubes as a means to overload and get extra benefits from your training. people often use contrast exercises performed directly after the set of whichever exercise they will do. For example if you want to overload and get some power gains for your shoulder (like we use in vball), after you do a tricep pullover, stand up, grab a resistance tube, and do some fast overhead swings. The resistance helps to get some gains, but you are working fast. You can also use it to fatigue even more after a set if you want. Whatever your goals are, you can use the resistance bands as a contract method to increase your adaptations.
No Time For The Gym/ Alternative Workout
Like I said earlier, I don’t like the idea of using resistance bands as a whole workout, however, as a way to ensure you get a workout when you don’t have access to a gym, or if you are feeling bored and needing an alternative, you will certainly still get a lot of benefits from using resistance tubes. Check out this video, 50 great exercises.
Make Stuff Harder/ Lift More Weight
You can overload the exercise with resistance tubes. Look how I use it here with push ups.
Also check out how this guy uses it to get a bit of help out of the bottom of the bench press, I would like to think a spotter will do this job (and would prefer you used a person), but thought I would put it up for interests sake!
Our bodies often need a recovery day, check out sports recovery for a bit more information on this. Resistance tubes provide you with the ability to ensure you get a workout done, but with a slightly different stimulus. Do a different session on days you need a rest, but you still need to work out. The difference in stimulus will really help the body recover, but you will keep doing the movements you need.
Not the first thing you will use it for, but you can get a lot of stretching self help with a resistance tube lying around. Check out this article to find more stretches with resistance tubes. This is an example of a hamstring stretch.