How to Buy Exercise Bands and Tubes
Rubber exercise bands and tubes are an extremely versatile way to strengthen your muscles. They are great for traveling and are inexpensive — you can buy three or four bands for $15 or $20. Even if you own weight machines or free weights, you might want to throw in a few bands for variety.
Bands are flat latex strips about 6 inches wide and about 3 feet long, some with handles attached; you hold onto each end or tie the ends around something sturdy, like the leg of your sofa. Tubes come in a variety of sizes and are shaped like very flexible garden hoses, usually with plastic or rubber handles attached. You’ll probably like bands for some exercises and tubes for others.
You can buy bands or tubes with plastic or rubber handles — a real plus for getting a firm grip on an exercise. Some bands or tubes have built-in ankle and thigh straps. Theraband and LifeLine make nifty band kits that come with a travel bag and several door and bar attachments, priced from $30 to $60. Spri and DynaBand also make quality bands.
Because some bands don’t come with instructions, you might consider purchasing a couple of DVDs with band workouts. The following instructors offer quality band workouts: Lynn Brick, Jodi Cohen, David Essel, Donna Richardson, Keli Roberts, and Tamilee Webb.
Two cautions regarding the use of bands: Check frequently for holes and tears by holding your bands up to the light. When a band is damaged, replace it immediately. And never try to use regular office rubber bands — even thick ones — for exercising. You’re just asking to be snapped in the face.