Caring for Your Tubing - Ed McNeely, MSc., Strength & Conditioning Lead
Now that we have been forced to train at home many have turned to band and tubing exercises to replace the weights and racks we have used in the past. Tubing can be a great alternative when training at home, you can replicate most of the exercises that you can do in a gym and even add a few new ones. Given the need for social distancing and the fact that many fitness equipment stores are sold out of home gym type equipment, taking care of your tubing is essential if you want it to last until we get back to normal.
Modern exercise tubing has come a long way from the surgical tubing that was used years ago, there is a wider range of resistances available, stretchability is greater and the tubing lasts longer. While tubing is very safe it is not indestructible and over time will wear out or break. To get most use form your tubing there are some simple maintenance steps you can follow:
1. Inspect your tubing before each use
- Nicks and cuts will decrease the strength of the tubing and lead to breakage. If you notice a cut in your tubing it is time to for a replacement. Do not store your tubing in a box with sharp objects or tools and keep it away from sharp corners if you are tying it to benches or attaching it to door frames. If your tubing has handles inspect the grommets where the tubing is attached to the handle, this is the point most likely to break.
2. Store in a warm place
- Tubing can become brittle if stored in the cold. Avoid using tubing when it is cold, allow it to warm up for 20-30 minutes before it is stretched. Storing tubing in the cold can decrease the life of the tubing. If you live in parts of the country that are still experiencing winter keep your tubing in the house, not the garage or the trunk of your car.
3. Wipe it Down
- Always wipe your tubing down with a clean wet cloth after a training session. The salts and oils on your skin and in your sweat can dry the tubing, making it brittle. A wet cloth with a little soap will remove the slats and extend the life of your tubing. Some cleaners and disinfectants can weaken rubber so read the label carefully before using it on your tubing and if you are not sure stick with water.