What are the Different Types of Resistance Tubes?

Shelby Miller
Shelby Miller
Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Resistance tubes, alternately known as resistance tubing, are a type of portable exercise equipment. Commonly made up of a length of rubber tubing with handles at either end, they are designed for strength training and can be used at home, at the gym, or while traveling. Resistance tubes are sold by virtually all major fitness retailers, both in stores and online, and typically are inexpensive. Available types include single tubes, tubes with multiple lengths of rubber tubing between handles, reinforced double-banded tubing for performance training, and circular tubes with Velcro® straps for the ankles.

The most popular type of resistance tube, available for use in many health clubs, features a single length of hollow rubber tubing, typically 48 inches (about 122 cm) in length. On either end is a triangular loop handle, often with a padded foam grip. Users typically stand on the tubing to perform exercises like biceps curls, shoulder raises, and overhead triceps extensions as well as lower body exercises like squats. Some versions are also sold with an attachment that can affix the middle of the tubing to a door frame so that users can perform rows, chest presses, and other horizontal pushing and pulling movements.

Other versions feature multiple resistance tubes stretching between the two handles. Many have three lengths of tubing that are removable so that users can choose a single tube for less resistance or two or three tubes for increased resistance. Most of the exercises that can be performed with a single tube can be performed with multiple resistance tubes, although users may still opt for a single tube when isolating smaller muscle groups.

More advanced exercisers might opt for resistance tubes designed for performance training. One such variation features two 48-inch (122-cm) lengths of tubing joined at one end by a single loop or wall attachment. It can be utilized with a partner, who holds the joined end while the exerciser holds the handles at the other end of the tubing. Alternately, it can be affixed to a wall or pole so that the user can perform dynamic movements like reverse lunges with rows.

One additional type of resistance tube is the circular tube. A loop-shaped tube that can be placed around the ankles during lateral stepping movements or core exercises performed lying on the floor, it may feature dual ankle straps that are affixed with Velcro®. This tube is designed for use with the legs and can be incorporated into strength training, Pilates, and rehabilitation programs.

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      Man with hands on his hips