How to Do a Circuit Workout with Resistance Tubing

If you’re looking for a way to add some variety to your workout, circuit training is a great option to shake things up. During circuit training, exercises are completed sequentially with little or no rest in between.

Circuit training can be a mixture of cardio segments alternated with strength training, or a mixture of high- and low-intensity cardio moves. Completion of every workout segment is considered one circuit.After the completion of each circuit, you may rest for one minute, rehydrate, and then (if you are up for it) complete another circuit.

Choosing Your Resistance Tube

Exercise tubing, commonly referred to as resistance tubes, were first used by physical therapists to gently build strength in patients recovering from injuries or surgeries. In recent years, they have been readily available in sports and department stores.

Resistance tubing comes in different resistance levels, ranging from lightweight beginner tubes to a heavier rubber tube for the advance exerciser. To choose the right band for your fitness level, you should be able to complete an entire circuit having your muscles feeling fatigued, but not pushed beyond their limit. It’s best to start with a lower resistance tube and to work up to the higher ones. Luckily, they are also inexpensive exercise tools.

Benefits of Training with Resistance Tubing

Resistance tubing provides resistance during both phases of the exercise movement — flexion and exertion — causing your muscles to work twice as hard. They also have the added benefit of putting mild stress on your bones, which increases their density and can help ward off some of the injuries associated with aging.

The following workout combines segments of cardiovascular exercise (for which you will not use a resistance tube) with strength training exercises using resistance tubes. It’s important to remember to move continuously through each segment to keep your heart rate up and to burn the maximum amount of calories.

The Circuit Workout

Begin the workout with a five- to seven-minute warm-up. You can do this by walking, jogging lightly, or stepping side to side. Once your large muscle groups — the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes — are warm, you should do a mild stretch prior to starting the circuit.

Start with a Cardio Segment

Start your workout by jogging in place at a moderate pace for one minute. If you have room to move, you can also jog around a room.

Resistance Segment: Squats with the Resistance Tube

  1. Hold an end of the tube in each hand.
  2. Stepping on the tube with both feet, placed hip-distance apart, bring your hands up to shoulder-height.
  3. Keep your chest lifted, bend your knees, and then squat down, making sure to keep your tailbone pointing behind you. It’s important to keep your knees over your ankles and avoid having them come out over your toes.

Cardio Segment: Side-to-side Jump

  1. Standing with your feet together and knees slightly bent, jump to the right landing softly.
  2. Then quickly jump to the left,.
  3. Continue jumping side-to-side for one minute.

Resistance Segment: Rear Deltoid Squeezes

  1. Grasp the tube in each hand so your hands are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart (you won’t be holding the handles). Extend your arms in front of you and raise them to shoulder-height.
  2. Squeezing the shoulder blades together, pull your arms apart until they are extended out to your sides, in line with your chest and shoulders (like an airplane’s wings).
  3. Return to your starting position and repeat the movement.

Cardio Segment: Burpees

  1. Begin in a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you.
  2. Jump your feet back into a push-up position.
  3. Immediately jump back to the squat position.
  4. Then jump up as high as you can.
  5. When you land, get back into your starting position. Repeat this move for one minute.

Resistance Segment: Lateral Lifts

  1. Standing with your feet hip-distance apart on the tube, grab a handle in each hand. Bring both arms straight out to the side and up to shoulder-height.
  2. Once your arms are at shoulder-height, “pulse” your arms, quickly bringing them halfway down and then back up repeatedly for up to a count of three. Then return your arms back down to your sides.
  3. Continue this exercise for one minute.

Cardio Segment: Squat Jumps

  1. Lower yourself into a squat, pointing your tailbone behind you and keeping your chest lifted. Keep your knees directly over the ankles during the squat
  2. Jump up into the air, raising yours arms overhead, and then land softly with bent knees (bending your knees will help absorb the impact of your landing).
  3. Repeat for the jumps for one minute.

Resistance: Bicep Curls

  1.  Stand with both feet on the tube. The wider apart you place your feet, the more difficult this exercise will be.
  2. Holding a handle in each hand, the backs of your hands should be resting against the fronts of your thighs. Bend your elbows until your arms form 90-degree angles, and then keep your elbows tight to your waist.
  3. Keeping your elbows at your waist, slowly lift your hands up toward your shoulders. Then slowly lower them back to your starting position.
  4. Continue doing bicep curls for one minute.

Cardio Segment: Mountain Climbers

  1. Begin in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders or slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Quickly bend your right knee and bring it forward to your chest. Then quickly bring it back and as you move your right leg back, simultaneously bring the left knee forward in the same manner.
  3. This move should be done in quick motions, mimicking how fast your legs would be moving when you run. Repeat for one minute.

Resistance Segment: Rear Lunge with an Overhead Press

  1. Standing with you right foot on the center of the tube, hold a handle in each hand, bend your elbows, and bring the handles up to shoulder-height (your palms should be facing upward).
  2. Lunge back with your left leg as you extend both arms up into an overhead press. You front knee should be directly over your ankle during the lunge.
  3. Return your left leg to its starting position and then repeat the entire exercise, coming in and out of the lunge, for 30 seconds. Then repeat with your right leg.

Repeating the Circuit

This routine allows you to keep your heart rate up while interspersing short, sculpting segments. Because each circuit is only one minute long, your heart rate will maintain its elevated, fat-burning level. Beginners may wish to keep the length of each circuit segment shorter (around 30 seconds). As you get used to this type of workout, you can increase your circuit segments to one minute per exercise. Intermediate and advanced exercisers can do two to three circuits, making sure to take at least a one-minute rest and rehydrate between each complete circuit.

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