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Get a Full-Body Workout with Rubber Tubing and Bands

Apr 23, 2014

Get a Full-Body Workout with Rubber Tubing and Bands

April 23, 2014

Rubberized tubing and bands are some of the most versatile pieces of equipment out there today. Much like TRX straps, a pair of sliders, or your own bodyweight, they are all you need for an effective and efficient full-body workout.

Tubing and bands are great tools to help with multiple goals:

-Strength training
-Power work
-Endurance training
-Rehabilitation movements
-Flexibility exercises


It’s safe to say that everyone is familiar with tubing. Most have plastic handles and can be used to perform a variety of exercises. Stand on them, wrap them around a pole or machine, have your trainer hold them; they can work the entire body with countless exercises. Tubing comes in a variety of resistances and is color-coded to indicate the various resistance levels. Lighter-resistance tubing is typically more common in rehab settings to facilitate stability and activation exercises, while heavier-resistance tubing is more often used to develop strength and power. SPRI and Perform Better are two popular manufacturers of tubing.

Tubing is a great solution for workouts on the road. Throw one or two in your suitcase and you’ve got everything you need to get a great session in without taking up any valuable suitcase space. You can wrap tubing around the bedpost, doorknob or the heater in the hotel room, provided they are sturdy enough. Alternate between a bodyweight movement and a tubing movement and a full-body workout is yours in 30 minutes.

Example Workout

A. Bodyweight Jump Lunges

B. Tubing Rows

*Alternate between the two movements for 2-4 rounds, 20 reps each

A. Bodyweight Squats

B. Tubing Torso Rotations

*Alternate between the two movements for 2-4 rounds, 20 reps each

A. Bodyweight Burpees

B. Tubing Squat & Overhead Press

*Alternate between the two movements for 2-4 rounds, 20 reps each


Much like tubing, bands come in a variety of resistances and can be used for a wide range of goals. Unlike tubing, bands typically do not have any handles; however, they can be used in the same manner for most exercises. I will use both tubing and bands interchangeably, depending on what I have at my disposal.

I do tend to use the bands for more explosive and power work, especially with the bigger and stronger athletes that I train. I’ve found they tend to be more durable and, therefore, can be used for this more explosive type of training. Resisted sprints, crawling, plyometrics and rotation work, are just a few examples of advanced band work. Some folks mistakenly believe that, unless we are lifting heavy steel and loading up the bar with plates, we can’t overload the system and get stronger. Get some 2-½-inch-thick bands and have them perform sprints, dynamic rows and rotations, and they will quickly realize the power of the rubber.

By Doug Balzarini

Doug Balzarini, C.S.C.S., MMA-CC, is the owner of DB Strength, which provides fitness training, education and resources. He is the strength & conditioning coach for Alliance MMA, where he works with UFC Champion Dominick Cruz, Bellator Champion Michael Chandler, Phil Davis, Brandon Vera, Travis Browne, Ross Pearson, Alexander Gustafsson & others. Prior to starting his own business, Doug worked at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach & operations director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). He has completed graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU & has obtained multiple certifications: ACE, NSCA-CSCS, MMA-CC, TFW Level 1, TRX instructor training, RIP training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, & FMS training. He has produced 2 DVD projects on strength training for combat athletes, appeared in many fitness videos/articles, & was a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” FOX TV show in 2012. For more information please visit


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