Elastic Tubing Exercises

The American College of Sports Medicine reports that elastic tubing and resistance bands, once used to train older adults in nursing homes, now crop up in a variety of applications, from agility drills to plyometric exercises like squat jumps. You can also put elastic tubing to work in conventional strength-training exercises, giving you a full-body workout with a piece of equipment that literally folds up to fit in your pocket.

Hip Abduction

Hip abduction primarily works your glutes, a three-muscle group comprising the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus muscles. To do hip abduction with elastic tubing, sit down in a chair and either tie the tubing in a snug loop around your mid-thighs or wrap it around your mid-thighs and hold the handles together to keep it from unwrapping. Spread both knees apart against the band’s resistance, then slowly return to the starting position.

Hip Adduction

Hip adduction works your adductors, the muscles on your inner thighs. To do hip adduction with elastic while seated, tie the elastic tubing in a loop around your left thigh and a table leg or other sturdy piece of furniture that won’t shift when you pull on it. Sit in a chair, legs spread, with your left side facing the item your band is anchored to. Scoot your chair away from the anchor until you feel tension in the band, then bring your thighs together against the band’s resistance. Do a full set of repetitions on your left before switching the band to your right.

Chest Press

The chest press works your chest, arms and shoulders. To do a chest press with elastic tubing, hold one end of the tubing in each hand and drape the rest of it around your back so that it crosses your shoulder blades. Your elbows should be bent, hands directly in front of your elbows, all at shoulder height. Adjust your grip on the tubing until you feel tension on the band, then press your hands forward until they’re extended directly in front of you at shoulder height. Slowly return to the starting position.

Bent-Over Row

The bent-over row works your back, arms and shoulders. To do a bent-over row with elastic tubing, hold one end of the tubing in each hand. Step forward with your right foot, placing it on the middle of the tubing, and hinge forward from the hips. Keep your abs tight to stabilize your torso and, if necessary, support yourself with your right hand on a sturdy chair back, the wall, a bench or railing. Pull your left hand up and back as if you were starting a lawnmower, but with a smooth and controlled motion. Keep your shoulders and hips level throughout the motion, and keep your elbow close to your body. Complete a full set on your left before repeating on the right side.

About this Author

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney\’s print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.