What are the Differences Between Resistance Bands and Resistance Tubing?

resistance tubing

When it comes time to set up a home exercise gym, the primary concern for most of us is probably where to put it. If you’ve got a spare bedroom or basement or space in your garage, go wild. Buy that weight set and squat rack, wheel in a treadmill and Peloton bike, hang those pull-up bars from the rafters. For the rest of us, though, who need to push a couch out of the way every time we do a HIIT workout, we’re going to have to consider things more carefully. Fortunately there are lightweight, portable options like resistance tubing and resistance bands that can give us a great workout in even the smallest of spaces.

Resistance Tubing Belongs In Every Home Gym

And for those who do have the room and the budget for a fancy home gym, you’ll want to throw in some resistance tubing as well. For one thing, resistance tubing makes for a great change of pace for strength training when compared to traditional weights, both in the types of exercises you can perform and in the portability they allow — because some days you just feel like flexing outside.

But What’s the Difference Between Resistance Tubing and Resistance Bands?

We often use the terms interchangeably, but there are some differences. Generally, tubing and bands are lengths of flexible, stretchable latex, available in a range of resistance levels. The heavier the resistance and the more you stretch them, the more resistance you feel.

(When compared with traditional weights, tubing and bands provide progressive rather than continuous resistance, meaning that the start of a rep is relatively easy, but it gets much harder toward the end.)

As for resistance tubing vs. resistance bands, the bands are flat ribbons while the tubing is a long, hollow tube — sort of like lasagna vs. uncut penne pasta.

While the bands are somewhat easier to grip than tubing because of their wide shape that conforms to your hand, resistance tubing often comes preassembled with handles to make it even easier.

Likewise, some exercises may call for wrapping the resistance tubing or band around your body (across you back, for example, or under your foot). This can sometimes be more comfortable or stable with a wider band. In contrast, though, tubing often comes with anchor straps that allow you to attach the tubing to a door or anchor point on a wall, making it very versatile for a wide range of additional exercises.

Finally, there’s a variation of resistance bands that are available in small loops. These are great for abduction exercises of the legs. Picture the loop wrapped around your ankles as you move one leg away from the other. Similar abduction exercises can be performed while standing on resistance tubing, but setup can be a bit more awkward:

What Exercises Can You Do With Resistance Tubing and Bands?

Typically resistance tubing is used for strength training to build, tone, and maintain muscle mass. But tubing is also a great aid for stretching and can even be incorporated into cardiovascular exercises.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re focused on at-home rehabilitation for an injury, or you’re just working out for general strength and fitness. And it doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve got an elaborate gym setup tucked away in your apartment. Staying active at home is convenient and easy when you incorporate resistance tubing or bands into your workouts.