Bally’s Total Fitness Pilates Resistance Tubing provides you many of the benefits of a gym full of fitness equipment without breaking the bank or taking up space in your home. Not only can resistance training help you strengthen many different muscle groups, but it can improve your overall posture as well. Elastic tubing may actually be more effective than fitness machines in activating certain muscle groups.
Try these exercises for a well-rounded strength workout using the Bally's tubing.
This exercise targets the middle trapezius muscle, which retracts your shoulder blades and helps prevent a slouched posture.
How To: Extend each of your arms in front of you at shoulder level and hold one end of the tubing in each hand with your palms facing inwards. Slowly pull your arms apart and towards your sides as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Make sure you don’t shrug your shoulders as you do this. Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds before returning to the starting position.
Lat pull-downs target the latissimus dorsi muscle. This broad, flat muscle works to rotate the trunk and move the shoulder in several directions.
How To: Secure the middle of the resistance tubing by closing it in the top of a door. Raise your arms just above shoulder level and hold on to each of the handles. Pull the tube down and back as your bend your elbows and bring your shoulder blades together. Maintain this for 1 to 2 seconds before releasing the tension.
Side-stepping activates the gluteus medius muscle, which provides stability to your pelvis when you walk or run.
How To: Stand on the tube with your feet shoulder width apart. Cross the band in front of you and hold a handle in each hand at chest level. Keeping the tubing taut and your trunk erect, step to the right side with your right foot as you increase the tension. Then, slowly bring your left foot inwards until you return to the starting position. After doing a set of the exercise leading with the right leg, repeat it to the left side.
This exercise is a great way to activate your gluteus maximus, which helps to support the low back and extend the hip.
How To: Get onto your hands and knees and grab each of the tubing’s handles as you wrap it around the bottom of your right foot. Engage your abdominal muscles and kick your right foot away from your body as you straighten your leg in the air. When the leg is in line with your spine, keep it here for 1 to 2 seconds before bringing your knee back to the ground. After finishing a set on the right side, do the same thing using your left leg.
Cross-overs target your obliques. These abdominal muscles rotate and side-bend your trunk while lending stability to the spine.
How To: Secure one end of the resistance tubing at shoulder level in a door. Get into a tall kneeling position with your body perpendicular to the door and your outside knee in front of you. Extend your arms out at shoulder level and hold the other handle with each hand. Slowly rotate your trunk away from the door making sure to keep your elbows straight and your posture tall. When you are unable to continue turning without moving your hips, return to the initial position. After doing a set, repeat the exercise in the opposite direction.
This exercise targets the transversus abdominis, an important core muscle that lies deep within the abdomen and supports the lumbar spine.
How To: Fasten one end of the tube in a door at chest level. Stand with your left side closest to the door and step away from it until the tubing is taut. Hold the other handle with each of your hands and begin with it against your chest. Engage your stomach and punch the handle straight out in front of you without allowing your trunk to rotate. Hold your arms extended for a second or two before bringing the handle back in again.
When using the Bally’s Total Fitness Pilates Resistance Tubing for strengthening exercises, perform three sets of 15 repetitions of each exercise daily. If any of the exercises cause you to experience increased pain, discontinue it and speak to your doctor or physical therapist about possible substitutes.