Tag Archive | resistance bands

Exercise Tubes – Pros and Cons

exercise-tubingAs planned, I added exercise tubes/bands to my fitness regimen, in late January. I’d never used a tube before, only the flat bands. I know that the tubes (picture left) are also called bands, which is why I wrote “tubes/bands” above, but from this point on I will only refer to them as tubes. The ones I purchases were 20lb., which was a mistake; I should have bought the 15lb. tube. I can’t do the harder tube exercises, because I don’t have the strength to pull the tube above my head, if I’m standing in the center, but what I can do (and will discuss in a different post at a later time) has been quite effective for overall strengthening and toning. I like the tube far better than the bands I have used in the past, but I have had an unpleasant (to say the least) experience with the tube that I don’t think would have been possible with a band, which is why I want to warn others. To keep things in perspective, I want to share both the good and bad things I have learned about exercise tubes. Following are my Pros and Cons for this exercise equipment.

First,

The Pros:

  • Exercise tubes are very effective at toning muscle groups and building strength
  • They take up very little space
  • Light-weight and easy to transport, if need be

The Cons:

  • If you lose focus while the tube is held taught you could hurt yourself … badly
  • Should not be used in a space where you are in close proximity to others, because you could hurt them badly, and probably get sued for medical expenses, pain & suffering, etcetera

The pros are what make the tubes worth using despite the cons. I learned the hard and painful way why one should maintain focus while using an exercise tube. I was in the midst of doing lunges when I slid my foot back a couple of inches, without lowering my arms enough to make the tube slack first, and the tube swiftly rolled from under my foot and smacked me in the face. Thank God, I closed my eye in time, but it still hurt like hell. And even though it didn’t hurt much that first day, it was a little swollen and very achy the next day, and continued to be achy with no swelling for four more days.

I now take using the tube very seriously, and make certain to minimize any distractions. This means placing my cell phone on “flight mode” and turning the ringer off on my land-line (that’s what voice mail is for), and telling anyone who happens to be at home with me at that time not to bother me while I workout. So far, this has worked for me. I still worry about being blinded by the tube. I can still remember the pain and my eye has had some vision issues off and on since, but I’m mindful and pray that I will not make the same mistake twice.Β  Fingers crossed. πŸ™‚

New Goal for 2015

keep-calm-and-set-new-goals-257x300I’ve decided to challenge myself with a bigger goal: 14,500 minutes. Nearly 3,000 minutes more than my narrowly missed goal for 2014. This will encourage me to make more time to workout all through the year, because I will have a bigger number to hit.

I also plan to switch from resistance bands to tubes; I just have to decide which weight I need to advance to the next level. I’ve also been considering returning to my calisthenics routine, with some tweaks. Perhaps, only the standing exercises, to start.

I will post again after I’ve decided on my new schedule.

October Goal Achieved and Exceeded!

kept-calm-and-reached-100-goalIf you read my last post, you know that my goal was 1800 minutes of exercises by October 31st. Well, I have reached 1905 as of this morning. Yay! πŸ˜€

I am so proud of myself, because I wasn’t sure if I’d make it. I had to skip a few days this month, due to last minute plans/emergency, sickness and Murphy’s Law, even this morning I had to cut my workout short, but I still managed to surpass my intended goal.Β  I can only hope that I have the stamina and will to reach another 1800 minutes or greater by the end of November.

Tomorrow, I start from scratch. I plan to do what I did this month and stay on schedule as much as possible. No one can control every thing in life, but I will concentrate on controlling what I can. Continue exercising earlier, to help avoid interruptions. Interruptions are what interfered the most with my Summer workouts. Going to bed earlier and getting up at the same time every morning has also helped. I feel less lethargic in the mornings. Also, still drinking green tea. It is a great energy booster, especially when I walk for long periods.

I should mention that, in addition to exceeding my goal, I also switched to the blue resistance band two weeks ago, then I got cocky and upped my sets to 3 sets of 30 reps this week. Now, my resistance routine is kicking my butt! I am so tired afterwards I can hardly believe it. I never would have thought that one extra set of the same moves could make such a huge difference. That is why I decided to wait on the dumbbell routine and also adding a 4th set to my Broomstick workout. I need to get used to the blue band and extra set first. Maybe in a couple of weeks.

My November goal is, of course, 1800 minutes, but I’m hoping to exceed my goal once again.Β  I also hope to introduce dumbbells back into the mix. If I can do both of those things I will be very happy. πŸ™‚

Will post again when I have made any significant changes.

One Goal Reached, Two Not

goalMy goal for July was to walk 1000 minutes, and do my resistance band and broomstick workouts 16 times. While I reached my walking goal and even exceeded it once again (1079 minutes), I failed to achieve my other two goals. I was short three days for the resistance band workout, and short two days for the broomstick workout.

In my defense, having friends and family pop over without calling first was the biggest problem. No sooner would I begin a workout when someone dropped by unannounced, and I didn’t get a chance to finish. The other problem was their hanging around for HOURS. No offense to my friends and loved ones reading this, I do enjoy your company, but if I had known you’d be stopping by I would have tried harder to make time for exercise earlier in the day (which is difficult because of work/school). And when you stay till it’s almost dinner time, I’m hungry and I just don’t have the energy to exercise by the time you leave, because I’ve spent all my energy entertaining you. Again, no offense.

From now on, I will have only one or two fitness goals at most. Three is just too much anyway.

My August goal is to do both the resistance band and the broomstick workouts at least 16 days this month. I will still be walking, of course, but there will be no set goal.

I almost forgot to mention that I also changed the resistance band routine to 3 sets, just like the broomstick routine, weeks ago. I would like to add that I exercised more this month than I did last month, despite not reaching two of my three goals for the month of July. So, I don’t feel too bad about the two failed goals. I do feel a little bad about it, but life happen, things come up. Fortunately, I have almost the entire month off. Classes don’t start back up again until the 21st or 22nd. So, I will have more time to workout. Yay! πŸ™‚

I’ll post again when I have made any new changes. I’m considering introducing free weights/ dumbbells this month. And maybe even creating that new calisthenics workout. I definitely want to do that before fall officially begins. By Winter, I hope to be back to the old Calisthenics & Abs routine, stronger and better than ever.

May 2013 Goal Reached!! New Goal Set

I reached my goal of 900 minutes and exceeded it! πŸ™‚ 950 minutes total walking time for the month of May. Despite my schedule and work load I intend to find a way of getting in even more exercise in June.

Also, I switched to the medium resistance band, and it has been somewhat hard, but not extremely so. I am definitely getting stronger and the moves that I am using are very firming. However, I am still looking for new moves that are doable with the type of bands I have and don’t require Herculean strength.

My new goal for June is 1000 minutes of Walking. That averages out to about 33 minutes a day. I know I won’t be able to do it every day, but I can walk an hour when possible and 30 minutes minimum the rest of the time, to reach my new goal.

When I update my fitness routine(s) I will post again.

My Half-Assed Resistance Workout

Resistance BandsIf you read my previous post – the post before the last post, you already know that I have returned to using resistance bands. I’m still using the weakest one, from before. I think it best to create a FULL resistance workout before changing to the medium resistance band. Which may be soon.

Note: The bands depicted in the image to the left, are not the type I use. In fact, I have a deep fear of using the multi-piece kind (the kind with handles attached), because if they come apart while in use, you can be severely injured. That could also happen if you let go of the one piece variety, BUT I totally trust myself to hang on to the ends of the one piece variety. I would have no control over whether the handle came apart from the multi-piece kind. 

Below are the resistance band moves I have been doing thus far (some names are merely descriptions, because I don’t know the proper name for the move):

“Y” to “T” Pull – I stand with legs hip length apart, my arms above my head, the band wrapped around each of my hands so that it is taut and my arms and body form the letter Y. Then I pull until the form the letter T.

Chest Presses / Extensions – Since it’s easier to show than to tell. See the video below, and keep in mind that the middle of the band was directly against my back (tube bands are used in video).

Cross Chest Extensions – Same as above, except arms cross over each other as they are extended outward.

Resistance Arm Lifts – Middle of band under feet, holding both ends with each hand, bend arms upward as if doing a dumbbell curl.

Resistance Squats – Middle of band under feet, feet hip length apart, bands tightly grasped on both sides, squat down and lift up.

Standing Leg Presses – I have a video that demonstrates the move, however, I do mine while standing. But the principle remains the same.

That’s all of them. Only six moves. Which is why I call it my “half-assed resistance workout”. For each, I do 2 sets of 15 and I repeat the list. I do them before I go for my walk, which is why I only do standing movements. I intend to add more movements, as I find them. But for now, these suffice. My upper arms are definitely stronger with the bands (after a short time) than they were with months of the Calisthenics & Abs Workout alone. My upper arm barely jiggles anymore.

I will update this list as I progress and add more sets, repetitions and movements. Also, I will be posting my second Walking Playlist for you. It’s become a favorite, as it has a lot of fast-paced, fun music. So, look for that to be posted soon.

Resistance Band Workout

Stretches / Warm-up (at least 5 minutes)

Side Twists – 50

 

Standing Side Leg Lifts – 2 sets of 30

Squats (band pulled to hip height) – 2 sets of 30

Forward Pulls – 2 sets of 30

Leg Presses – 2 sets of 30

Side Leg Lifts – 2 sets of 30

Single band chest flys – 2 sets of 30

Single bands back flys – 2 sets of 30

 

Side Twists – 50

Stretches / Cool down

 

It feels pretty intense with the new band, and it’s very effective. Enjoy!