How Resistance Tubing Exercises Are Used in Physical Therapy

resistance tubing exercises

Physical Therapists have a number of primary goals: to promote a patient’s ability to move; to reduce a patient’s pain; to restore a patient’s functional abilities and to prevent disability. Although they deal with a wide variety of body structure and mobility problems, one of the common treatments related to getting patients back to health is prescribed resistance training.

Resistance training is any exercise that causes muscles to contract against an external resistance. This type of exercise restores or increases muscle strength, which could be a goal on its own or part of a plan to stabilize joints, increase a range of motion, and facilitate improved function.

Varieties of Resistance Training

Resistance training can take a number of forms. There are static isometric exercises (performed without moving your joints, which helps to strengthen muscles without aggravating specific injuries or conditions). There are isolation exercises focused on individual joints or muscle groups. And there are multi-joint exercises that engage multiple muscle groups, mimicking everyday movements.

Resistance exercises are typically performed with weights or with elastic resistance tubing. Resistance tubing exercises in Physical Therapy are popular for a number of reasons:

  • Resistance tubing is inexpensive, especially compared to traditional weights
  • Resistance tubing is lightweight and portable
  • Variable levels of resistance are easy to obtain with tubing, making exercises more or less challenging as needed
  • Resistance tubing exercises can duplicate any exercise performed with traditional weights
  • In addition to strength training, resistance tubing exercises can also be performed to help with flexibility and range of motion

Example Resistance Tubing Exercises

Note: the examples below show resistance tubing anchored to PrePak’s Exercise Rail System, but these resistance tubing exercises can just as easily be performed by anchoring the tubing to any standard door with a web anchor strap.

Shoulder Press. Work the deltoid, supraspinatus, subscapularis, triceps, and upper trapezius with this classic multi-joint exercise.

Standing Elbow Flexion. A single-joint exercise for working the biceps. Variations include bilateral (both arms) or unilateral (one arm) flexion.

Knee Extension: Resistance tubing and an ankle strap work the quadriceps muscles.

Standing Hip Extension: Exercise for the gluteus maximus and hamstring.

Scapular Stabilization: Combining multi-joint work with an isometric finish, this resistance tubing exercise helps to stabilize the scapula while working the middle trapezius, rhomboid major, and posterior deltoid.

This is just a small sample of resistance tubing exercises recommended by Physical Therapists to help their patients gain strength and restore and maintain functional abilities. Countless other exercises and variations are possible with resistance tubing for just about any muscle in the body. To learn more about our products visit our contact us page to learn more!