Workout Articles & Tips

Resistance Tube Workout: Total Body in 9 Moves

By Danny Wallis Personal Trainer & Online Fitness Coach

June 29, 2015

Resistance tubes are a fantastic way to workout. They are light, cheap to buy, easy to operate and incredibly versatile. Whether you are a workout veteran who wants to mix it up or a complete beginner who just wants to start a light exercise programme at home; Resistance tubes are an inexpensive and great way to workout at home, the hotel room, at the gym or in the park… You can use them literally anywhere.


Resistance tubes are predominantly designed to strengthen the body by adding load to the muscles which then builds both strength and muscle tone. For those new to exercise, this is a good thing – The outcome is a firmer, leaner body with far less wobbly bits than you had before.

Depending on how you perform the exercises, you can also use them as a form of cardio vascular exercise to help boost your fitness and burn enough calories to help you feel just that little bit happier for the upcoming summer season.

I am going to show you 9 exercises using the resistance tubes and how to best put them into a structured workout to define your entire body. This is a strength and conditioning workout – Ideal if you are looking to tone, tighten and shape your muscles.

First of all, let’s go through the exercises so you can get to grips with the techniques.

Single arm chest pressSingle Arm Chest Press (For Chest, Shoulders, Arms & Core)

Anchor the resistance tube to something sturdy like banisters or the handle of a locked door. Stand with your back to the tube holding the handles in one hand. Place opposite foot to the arm you are using forward and stand in a strong, wide long stance. Push inward and forward with the resistance tube as if you are stretching the arm in front of the chest, like a punching movement. Maintain a strong core to ensure that your body doesn’t twist whilst maintaining a study upper body stance.

Squats & RowsSquat to Row (For Legs, Back & Arms)

Stand with the resistance tube attached about chest height in front of you. Hold both handles with the arms outstretched. Maintaining a straight back; Squat down so your thighs are parallel to the floor. As you stand up, engage your core and squeeze your buttocks (Glutes), pull the handles towards you by pulling your elbows back behind you, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Keep the movement slow and controlled.

Pullover with cablesPullovers (For Chest & Back)

Lay flat on a Swiss-Ball or the floor with your legs bent and feet flat. Engage your core so the areas underneath your belly button pulls inward towards your spine and squeeze your glute muscles (buttocks) as this will help strengthen your back and stabilise your spine and pelvis.

Start with the resistance tubes in front of your chest with your arms straight, then stretch away from the body letting the arms lengthen before pulling the bands back to the start position.

Wood Chops (For Core / Abs)

Attach the resistance tube to a secure fixing between waist and chest height. If you can’t find one offering the appropriate height, attach it to a locked door handle and kneel upright. Stand tall and engage your core with the tube resistance coming directly from your left (or right) side.

Hold the handles with both hands, keeping the elbows straight and work hard to keep your pelvis still/ facing forward. Using the waist; Twist a full 180 degrees (or as much as you can) turning the chest to face the opposite direction from the way the band is pulling. Control your movement on the way back and keep the core engaged.

Split squats & twistsSplit Squat & Twist (For Core & Legs)

This one will work your legs, bums and tum whilst stretching you at the same time. Stand in a long reasonably wide stance. Again the resistance from the resistance tube should be coming from your side, so attach the band to a locked door handle or banister.

If you have your right leg forward, we are going to be twisting to the right and, therefore, the resistance tube should be on your left (vice versa with the left leg forward). Stand tall with the core engaged holding the band in both hands. Lower the back knee toward the floor. This will work your front leg and stretch your back leg in the upper thigh area.

While you are in the lowered position, keep the core engaged then fully twist the waist maintaining straight elbows. The movement should come from your core, not the shoulders. Return slowly, straighten both legs and repeat.

Prone KickoutProne Kick-Out (For Legs & Glutes / Buttocks)

Go into a hands and knees position securing the band handles underneath your hands and the band underneath one foot with the knee bent.  Slowly and carefully, kick backward and upward fully extending the knee and squeeze on your buttock / glute muscle. Maintain a flat lower back.  Hold that position for a second or two then slowly return to your start position.

Lateral RaisesLateral Raises (For Deltoids / Shoulders)

Stand on the resistance tube with a wide stance to increase intensity or a narrow stance to decrease the intensity. Stand tall and engage the core to support your back. With the palms of your hand facing downward, slowly lift the hands out to the side with the arms ‘soft’ (slightly bent).

Concentration Curls

Concentration Curls (For Biceps / Front of the Arms)

Sit on a Swiss-Ball or chair and hold one end of the resistance tube in place with your foot. Take the handle and place your elbow resting on the inside of your knee with the arm fully extended. Curl the arm upward without moving the knee or changing the position of the elbow.

Tricep Superman KickbacksSuperman Kickbacks (For Triceps / Back of the Arms, Core & Legs)

This is a great exercise which will work the back of your arms and, in addition, your legs and bum. Firstly, attach the resistance tube to something roughly knee height. A heavy table leg should do it.

Go into a hands and knees position holding the handle of the tube in one hand. Engage your core, extend one leg backward and upward and then hold the leg in the air, stationary. Lift the opposite side elbow toward the ceiling.  To work the muscle; Extend the elbow backward to work the back of the arm ensuring the elbow stays still and stable throughout the exercise.

Ok, now you have an idea of the technique, you are ready for the workout. Complete the circuit twice (more if you are used to regular exercise) but perhaps start with one round if you are a complete beginner to assess how you feel afterward. I would advise starting with this workout two to three times per week.

The idea is to complete 20 repetitions per exercise before moving directly on to the next exercise with as little rest time as necessary.  This will ensure you gain the maximum calorie burn possible.

Resistance Band WorkoutClick here to download the workout as a PDF: resistance-band-workout

Did you complete the whole workout? Did it push you enough? How did you feel afterward? I hope you enjoy the workout and I would love to hear your feedback.  Your comments also help and support other readers so please do get involved and share your experiences, success stories and questions.

Don’t Have a Resistance Tube?

If you like to idea of working out at home with a resistance tube, make sure you visit my ‘Resources’ page.  I have links to all my favourite recommended equipment and the bands I now use, are the best I have found so far.

Please don’t forget to subscribe for all my new posts delivered FREE to your inbox as I publish them.

About the author

Danny Wallis is a Personal Trainer, Sports Therapist, NLP Life Coach and Nutrition Advisor, with over 20 years experience in helping people achieve their goals.

Danny Wallis

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