What are the Differences between Resistance Bands and Tubes?

Resistance Bands and tubes are used for flexibility training. Resistance tube and resistant bands are similar but they are different products. Either one is available in various strengths and lengths. Both are used in similar exercises. Resistant tubes and bands are a popular training tool due to the low cost, portability and effectiveness

Resistance Bands and Tubes

The Differences

  • Resistant bands are flat pieces of elastic, usually latex, which are several inches wide. Non-latex brands can be purchased from some manufacturers. Bands come in 3, 4, and 6 foot pre-cut lengths.
  • Resistant tubes are round pieces of elastic with a hole in the middle to create a tube shape. Most measure less than 1 inch in diameter. Tubes come in various lengths ranging from 3 foot to 8 foot lengths.
  • The wide flat construction of resistance bands does not make for good handles, although there is a limited variety which includes handles but they are more expensive.
  • Handles are typically found on resistance tubes. There are many different styles of handles, some are removable and can be switched from one tube to another.
  • There are more configuration options with resistance tubes than with resistance bands. Flat bands can be tied into loops and double loops.
  • Figure eight shaped tubes, loops, and 8 foot C configurations are available for purchase. There are resistance tube and handle combinations which permit up to three tubes at a time to be uses.
  • Resistance bands can be uses only on wood, carpet, or a smooth surface. Coarse surfaces are better with resistance tubes.
  • Resistance tubes are considerably more durable than resistance bands due to their thickness; however, a small tear can result in the tube breaking faster.
  • Resistance tubes are molded and unable to withstand any aggressive pressure. They are ideal for light upper torso or for rehabilitative exercises.
  • Resistance bands will adhere to the body better than resistance tubes. Tubes roll and slip making some exercises difficult to do. Hooking on the feet is difficult, as they do not stay in place well. This can be a problem with reactive training.
  • Nylon resistance tubes have a firm stopping point which keeps overstretching from occurring. This could be a back injury waiting to happen. The body may naturally run and stretch out further without adherence to the tubes, leaving the tubes to snap.
  • There is a price difference between resistance bands and resistance tubes. Typically, it costs around 20 percent more for a resistance tube that has equal tension.  This is due to the added handles and door straps included in kits.

Equipment Care

Either option is effective and low in cost. Always check the exercise tools before use for tears, nicks or worn spots. Replace the equipment if there is a damaged surface. When using either resistance product in the pool, wash the chlorine off with a mild soap and water solution and allow it to dry before storing. Florescent lighting will cause the color to fade and can damage the bands and tubes.

Accessories are available for resistance bands and resistance tubes.  Door anchors will attach either tubes or bands to the top or bottom of a door. Straps are also available to attach either bands or tubes to stationary objects such as wall hooks, furniture and stationary poles. Gyms and fitness centers will often use standing racks to secure tubes and bands for workouts

The Benefits of Resistance Bands and Resistance Tubes

When the gym isn’t an option, using portable resistance bands or tubes is one of the best ways to firm and tone muscles anywhere and at anytime you want to exercise. These versatile exercise tools can perform a wide variety of effective exercises which are compatible with any fitness level. They are an exceptional method to build functional strength, and facilitate the ease of daily activities.

They are convenient and flexible and are similar to a free-weight training program. The bands or tubes are going to provide various levels of range of motion resistance when stretched to enable full body exercise in a multitude of directions. They also help build core strength.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends using resistance bands to increase coordination, improve balance and create exercise variety. It is highly recommended to incorporate a well-rounded physical activity program into your lifestyle to improve muscular fitness, cardiovascular endurance, overall health and agility. Before working out, consult a health-care provider to determine which exercises are best for you.

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