Accommodating Resistance With Tubes & Bands Part 1

Today, there are more training tools available for personal trainers than ever before. How to determine which equipment is best to use? Well, it really depends on the situation.

Let's take resistance training, for example. As far as I'm concerned, free weights are highest! Every time I am asked about what I like about this machine or that machine, my answer is always the same: get yourself a simple barbell and dumbbell set with an adjustable bench and forget about the rest. Period.

Many trainers are in a situation where space and budget are limited, and free weights may not be the best option. Remember that resistance can come from many different sources.

One such source that is quite popular in the field of personal training includes resistance tubes and bands. These are portable devices that are relatively inexpensive and quite versatile. You can perform almost all exercises with tubes and they even come in different resistances (they are usually color-coded for that reason.)

With so many advantages, resistance tubes look like the perfect training tool … with the exception of a small problem: Using elastic and one end is fixed, it creates resistance patterns that do not ideally match the torque angle curves because the body bands increase resistance fairly linearly over the entire range.

Well, the answer to that is simple: tubing encourages the disproportionate development of accelerators against the winners, and that my friends can lead to harm. In fact, out of 16 cases of rotator cuff tendonitis reported by the national synchronized swim team in Canada, everything except one case was corrected by eliminating tubing and using dumbbells instead.

Hose exercises are quite popular in the rehabilitation setting to train the rotation cuff muscles, but obviously there is a big difference between using dumbbells and elastic.

To take it one step further, when dumbbells external or internal rotation, the dumbbells exclude a greater overload in the bottom position and the tubes provide greater overload in the top position. You can combine the two during a set (ie holding both a dumbbell and a tube) or use a cable to provide a relatively even overload all the time. however, there are two problems with these methods:

  1. Assuming you have access to a cable device (many home clubs do not), most weight stacks start at £ 10 which is far too heavy for the average person.
  2. It is difficult to adjust for individual leverage and fatigue, but there is a way to …

This is the concept of accommodating resistance and it is so versatile with a tube or band – it can be used on almost any exercise!

Here's a little trick I learned from late Dr. Mel Siff. In principle, the concept is simple: use a training tube or band and have a partner follow the tube pattern to accommodate strength (ie give more or less resistance if needed.) Just remember to keep the movement smooth. When applying passive resistance, it is not a competition!

That's all there is.

With this new technology, a serious lack of training with elastic is corrected. Suddenly, more benefits and less disadvantages!


  • No sophisticated equipment is required.
  • Can produce a more even strength.
  • Can increase time bias (TUT) to desired length – finish the set when a particular TUT is achieved.


  • Requires a training partner.
  • Lack of objectivity (this can be compensated somewhat by recording tube size and distance from the hand position.)


Let us examine some shoulder movements using accommodating resistance with tubes.

Holistic Health Practitioner and Neuromuscular Therapist, Paul Chek, have a well-known motto: "First Isolate Integrate Then!" So with that said, let's start with some isolation exercises.

isolation Exercises

Some authorities feel that sub-capillary is the missing link to unlock the true strength of the upper extremities and improve shoulder strength and health. Many therapists often claim that these muscle samples are weak and should then be trained. Well, the reason for this is mainly due to poor posture, or more specifically rounded shoulders (ie a kyphotic posture) that are so widespread in today's society. This is a case of a dense and weak muscle.

Due to an extreme amount of internal rotation, the subscriber (a humerus internal rotator) becomes extremely tight and facilitated. Because sarcomas (actin and myosin) experience full interdigitation, it becomes difficult to get on with the contract. To reinforce these fibers, they must first be placed in an optimal position in order to be able to deal with each other. You achieve this goal with appropriate stretching and myofascial release (eg A.R.T.). Only after this has been achieved, abonapularis should be trained with resistance.

Another muscle that tests weak is infraspinatus, an external rotator of the humerus, but for various reasons than above. It is usually long and weak – actin and the myosin filaments are not in optimal position for maximum force output. This special rotator cuff muscle has often appeared in new literature due to the lack of shaft external rotation in many strength training programs that create a muscle imbalance.

Robert Lardner, a European physiotherapist trained by, among others, Janda, reveals an interesting concept for rotator cuff exercises:

"Capturing a dumbbell requires flexion of the arm muscles. The flexion muscles are so strong that these phasic (flexion) muscles will override the extensor (tonic) muscles. So all the guys lying on their sides really make a bicep / brachia the way it is right To train these muscles The best way is to get your hand open with your fingers and spread the resistance on your wrist, either through a rubber band or a cable.

It can really be more effective to perform many of the exercises listed in this article with an open hand. Try it and see if you can notice a difference.

Let's move on to another common shoulder movement, the pullover. Many coaches prescribe this exercise to correct a wing formula. Guess what? That's the wrong setting!

To effectively remedy this situation, serratus front, rhomboids and middle / lower trapezuis should be trained. The pullover is not effective against these muscles; in fact, the specific muscles (particularly latissus dorsi and subsapularis) that cause wing scapulae (Polquin, 1997).

In addition, the dumbbell threshold is often performed over a bench. This method invites for abdominal hernia and overload of the shoulder joint (especially if the trainean has tight shoulders!) A better way is to perform the exercise on a descent bench or on the floor as described below to avoid maximum overload on the shoulder joint in extreme extension. In other words, by shortening the range of motion, it is safer for the shoulders. Also, avoid bridging your back by pressing the spine in the bench or floor and keeping the core tight all the time. Therefore, the abdomen must act as stabilizers during the movement.

integration Exercises

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) pattern is a series of movements developed by Herman Kabat and presented in a classic text by Knott and Voss. Although many trainers and therapists perceive PNF as a form of stretching, it is much more than that – it involves a series of spiral movements that cross the body's midline. Thereby, all planes are crossed: vertical / horizontal extension / flexion, abduction / adduction and inner / outer rotation occur in a movement.

By using accommodating resistors with straps and hoses, you remove a larger deficiency in connection with elastic resistance to give a more even strength throughout the range of motion. Instead of a rather subordinate training tool, you now have a powerful weapon at your disposal!


  1. Chek, P. Program Design: Selecting Reps, Set, Loads, Tempo and Rest Periods. Paul Chek Seminar, 1995.
  2. Korfist, C. Weakest Link Theory. Intensity Magazine, 2002.
  3. Poliquin, C. Poliquin Principles. Napa, CA: Dayton Writers Group, 1997.
  4. Siff, MC, Verkhoshansky, YV. Supertraining 4th Edition. Denver, CO: Supertraining International, 1999.