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FAQs & GUIDELINES

EXERCISE BANDS
Exercise Band FAQ

Advantages/Disadvantages of Each Type of Band

Recommended Exercise Bands for General Fitness

Recommended Exercise Bands for Specialty Use

List of Exercises in Instruction Sheets

Choose Correct Resistance Level

EXERCISE BALLS
Exercise Ball FAQ

Comparison of Fitball and Fitness Ball

Choose Correct Exercise Ball Size
Inflation Methods and Instructions

EXERCISE BAND FAQ

What does the term "exercise band" mean?
Exercise band (or resistance band)
is a generic term for any rubber tubing or flat band device used for strength training (i.e. resistance training). When strength training, a resistive force is applied to your body that is greater than normal. This force can be provided by machines, your own body weight, free weights (dumbbells, barbells) or rubber resistance. Your body can't tell the difference if this force is from metal or rubber--your muscles, bones and connective tissue will respond by getting stronger. The advantages of using exercise bands include portability, ability to vary the tension to make an exercise harder, and performing exercises that cannot be done with free weights.

How long will the exercise bands last?
Our exercise bands are made of high-quality rubber that is abrasive and tear resistant, however, it's still only rubber. If you follow the guidelines on its care in the exercise chart provided (don't use on abrasive surfaces, don't stretch past recommended maximum length, etc.), the bands should last from 6 months to a few years under normal home use (what a person would do in the course of a typical strength-training program).  We warranty all exercise bands and kits for 6 months of normal home use.  

I want to use exercise bands for general strength training--which ones should I get? 
See our personal trainer's recommendations under Recommended Exercise Bands for General Fitness

I want to regain strength in a previously injured area--will the exercise bands help me?
They might. They might also make you worse. Rehab programs need to be approved first by health care practitioners--preferably a physical therapist. 

What resistances levels do I need?
See recommendations under How to choose correct resistance level

 

ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES OF EACH TYPE OF BAND

FIT-TUBE 
Description: 4 foot-long tube with plastic handles 
Advantages: Because of its long length, good for exercises that require door attachment at top of door (lat pulldown, triceps pressdown, some ab and low-back exercises). With 2 handles, can perform bilateral exercises (i.e. work both arms at same time). Lastly it is good for multi-joint lower body exercises such the squat and lunge.
Disadvantages: Because of its long length, you need to deal with excess tubing when performing chest presses, rows (mid-back). Also, it's not ideal or for unilateral exercises (exercises that use one handle at a time). Most importantly, it has limited use for lower body exercises since it is difficult to  perform isolated leg and buttock exercises.  

FIGURE 8 
Description: aprox. 1.5 foot-long tube (in a figure 8 shape) with soft handles. 
Advantages: Ideal for chest presses, rows (mid-back). Can perform both upper-body and lower-body exercises. Good for exercises that don't require a door anchor (i.e. for use at office).
Disadvantages:
Because of its short length, not ideal for exercises that require door attachment at top of door (lat pulldown, triceps press downs, some ab and low-back exercises). 

CLIP-TUBE (2 styles) 
Description: tubing with 2 clips on each end (24" clip-tube) or 1 clip and one built-in door attachment (the 24" clip-tube w/door strap). Clip(s) used for attaching handle(s) or ankle cuff.
Advantages: Can perform a wide variety of exercises similar to those done on cable-machines. Can easily add extra resistance by using multiple tubes at a time. More effective than the ring or fit-loop for lower-body exercises. Ideal for unilateral upper-body, core and lower-body exercises.
Disadvantages:
Cannot perform bilateral exercises (unless use 2 clip-tubes of same resistance level). 

FIT-LOOP 
Description:  aprox
8" diameter loop formed from a flat band 
Advantages: Targets legs, hips, buttocks. Can perform exercises lying, sitting or standing.
Stays securely on ankle, (as opposed to the Ring which can roll up the ankle). 
Disadvantages:
  Not available in ultra-heavy resistance. Cannot perform upper body and core exercises. 

RING
Description: 8” diameter tubing ring with soft handles
Advantages: Targets legs, hips, buttocks. Can perform exercises lying, sitting or standing. 
Disadvantages: Ring has tendency to roll up on the ankle. Cannot perform upper body and core exercises. 

THERAPY BAND 
Description: 5.5 inch wide by 4-foot long inch flat band (also in rolls)
Advantages: Inexpensive exercise band. Good for upper-body and some lower-body (squat, lunge) exercises.
Disadvantages: Harder to grip without a handle. 

 

RECOMMENDED EXERCISE BANDS FOR GENERAL FITNESS 

FIT-TUBE & CLIP-TUBE KIT (trainer's choice)  Ideal for those who want bands that can be used for a variety exercises. Includes instructions for 22 exercises – 12 upper body, 8 lower body and 2 core (abs/low back) and is the recommended kit for use with the exercise band book (50 exercises). 

FIT-TUBE & FIT-LOOP KIT  Popular, inexpensive kit that targets all the major muscle groups. Choose from 17 exercises – 6 upper body, 9 lower body and 2 core (abs/low back). Includes free carry bag. 

2 FIT-TUBES (different resistances)  Includes instructions for 10 exercises – 6 upper body, 2 lower body and 2 core (abs/low back). 

list of exercises in each instruction sheet
choose correct resistance leve

 

RECOMMENDED EXERCISE BANDS FOR SPECIALTY USE

Sports/Rotator Cuff
Strength Athlete/Very Strong
Office/Travel

SPORTS/ROTATOR CUFF
golf

running
baseball
rotator cuff

STRENGTH ATHLETE/THOSE WHO ARE VERY STRONG –  Multiple clip-tubes can be used at a time to create a heavier resistances.

OFFICE/TRAVEL
Figure 8
- Versatile band that doesn't require a door attachment - can perform exercises at desk.

Rail attachment - Allows the attachment of exercise bands to any sturdy rail or pole.

24" Clip-tube - Ideal for strength-training in a limited space. 

 

CHOOSE THE CORRECT RESISTANCE LEVEL 

POUNDS RESISTANCE CHART

You need to go by your current strength and fitness level, not by what you would like to be, in order to work your muscles effectively and to prevent injuries.  

extra light (fit-loop, figure 8, therapy band) - rehab, frail people
light - rehab, some women 
medium - average, untrained women, some older men
heavy - average untrained men, active women 
extra-heavy - active men, strong women 
ultra-heavy
(all bands except fit-loop) - strong men, women bodybuilder
NOTE: for heavier resistances see clip-tubes

We recommend getting at least 2 resistance levels because:
sm_blue_oval.gif (76 bytes) it's hard to accurately gauge the resistance you will need
sm_blue_oval.gif (76 bytes) your workout will be more efficient (smaller muscle groups require less resistance while larger muscle groups require more resistance).
sm_blue_oval.gif (76 bytes) you'll only have to pay shipping charge once rather than twice if you need to order a higher resistance level later on. 

We recommend an Exercise Band Kit
if you are considering getting 2-packs of more than one type of band as they are discounted  and include a free carry bag.

 

Approximate Pounds of Resistance at 100% to 200% Elongation (2x to 3x unstretched length)
what this means

fit-tube
  fit-loop  clip-tube  therapy band  figure 8  ring

EXERCISE BAND

Color pounds resistance
FIT-TUBE   CLIP-TUBE
light yellow 5 - 8 lbs
medium green 8 -11.5 lbs
heavy red 10.5 -15 lbs
extra-heavy blue 13 -19.5 lbs
ultra-heavy black 18.5 - 30 lbs
     
FIT-LOOP    
extra-light red 6 - 10 lbs.
light orange 7.5 - 11.5 lbs.
medium yellow 10 - 14 lbs.
heavy green 16.5 - 26 lbs.
extra-heavy blue 20 - 30 lbs.
     
THERAPY BAND    
extra-light red 3 - 5 lbs.
light  orange 4.5 - 7 lbs.
light-medium  yellow 6 - 9 lbs.
medium  green 8 - 12 lbs.
medium-heavy  blue 10 - 15 lbs.
heavy  indigo 15 - 22.5 lbs.
extra-heavy  violet 20.5 - 30.5 lbs.
     
FIGURE 8    
extra-light lavender 4 lbs.*
light  yellow 6 lbs.*
medium  green 8 lbs.*
heavy  red 12 lbs.*
extra-heavy blue 14 lbs.*
ultra-heavy purple 18 lbs.*
     
RING    
light yellow 8 lbs.*
medium green 10 lbs.*
heavy red 14 lbs.*
extra-heavy blue 18 lbs.*
ultra-heavy purple 20 lbs.*
*Manufacturer of Figure 8 and Ring recommends stretching tubing only to 100% elongation

Pounds resistance at 100% to 200% elongation means how much resistance the band provides at 2 to 3 times its unstretched, original length. For instance, a Fit-Tube is 4 feet long. If you stretch it to 8 feet, you have stretched it twice its unstretched length. NOTE: the pounds of resistance applies to any part of the band stretched, not just the entire length. For example, if you stretch a 1-foot section of tubing to 3 feet, you have stretched it 3 times its unstretched length. 

Still don't know what level you need?  Email our personal trainer (also a sports conditioning specialist). No general fitness questions, please!

INSTRUCTION SHEETS
2-sided handouts containing strength-training guidelines and recommendations, and exercise instructions with drawings/photos. 

Fit-Tube
Clip-tube w/door strap & 24" Clip-tube

Figure 8

Fit-Loop/Ring

FIT-TUBE      
Squat - buttocks, back of thigh, low back (gluteals, hamstrings, erector spinae)
Lunge - front and back of thigh, buttock (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals)
Kneeling Crunch - abdominal muscles
Trunk Extension - low back (erector spinae)
Chest Press - chest, front of shoulder, back of arm (pectorals, anterior deltoid, triceps)
Front Pulldown - mid-back (latissimus dorsi, lower trapezius)
Row - mid-back (rhomboids, middle trapezius)
Lateral Raise - middle of shoulder (medial deltoid)
Bicep Curl - front of arm (biceps)  
Tricep Pushdown - back of arm (triceps)

CLIP-TUBE W/DOOR STRAP & 24" CLIP-TUBE (2 charts - 1 chart for upper-body exercises and 1 chart lower-body exercises.

Upper-Body Chart (for use with handle)
Chest Fly - chest, front of shoulder (pectorals, anterior deltoid)
Reverse Fly - back of shoulder (posterior deltoid)
Kickback - back of arm (triceps)
Preacher Curl - front of arm (biceps)
External Arm Rotation - rotator cuff (infraspinatus, teres minor)
Internal Arm Rotation - rotator cuff (subscapularis) 

Lower-Body Chart (for use with ankle cuff)
Hip Extension - buttocks, back of thigh (gluteus maximus, hamstrings) 
Knee Lift - hip flexors (iliopsoas, rectus femoris)
Leg Curl - back of thigh (hamstrings) 
Leg Extension - front of thigh (quadriceps)
Leg Crossover - inner thigh (adductors)
Side Leg Lift - outer thigh (abductors)  

FIGURE 8  
Lunge - front & back of thigh, buttocks (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals)
Hip Extension - back of thigh, buttocks (hamstrings, gluteals)
Trunk Extension - low back (erectors)
Side Crunch - abdominal muscles
Chest Press - chest, shoulder, back of arm (pectorals, deltoid, triceps)
Row - mid-back (rhomboids, middle trapezius)
Pushdown - back of arm (triceps)
Arm Curl - front of arm (biceps)
External Arm Rotation - rotator cuff (infraspinatus, teres minor)
Internal Arm Rotation - rotator cuff (subscapularis) 

FIT-LOOP/RING
Seated Leg Extension - front of thigh (quadriceps)
Seated Leg Press Out - outer thigh (abductors)
Rear Leg Lift (standing)- back of thighs, buttocks (hamstrings, gluteals)
Side Leg Lift (lying)- outer thigh (abductors)
Leg Crossover (lying) - inner thigh (adductors)
Leg Curl (lying) - back of thigh (hamstrings)
Leg Extension (lying) - front of thigh ( quadriceps)

 

 

EXERCISE BALL FAQ

What does the term "exercise ball" mean?
"Exercise Ball" (aka stability ball, swiss ball, etc.) is a generic term for a durable vinyl ball with an inflation diameter of about 2 or 2 1/2 feet. Originally used for low-back and abdominal exercises (and still it's most popular use) the exercise ball is now used for yoga and pilates, as well as a replacement for an office chair. Before purchasing an exercise ball it is critical that you choose the correct size.

What is an exercise ball made of?
All balls are made of plastic vinyl, but some are burst-resistant and others are not. No ball is puncture-proof, however, burst-resistant balls are made of a tougher, specially-designed vinyl that when punctured, will slowly deflate (versus non-burst-resistant that can rapidly deflate). Non-burst-resistant balls are shiny and slick, while burst-resistant balls are slightly textured (non-slick). NOTE: we carry 2 styles of balls--Fitball and Fitness Ball--both are burst-resistant. See comparison chart.

What is the weight capacity of an exercise ball?
Our FitBall and Fitness Ball are rated to 600 lbs.

How do I know what size to get?
Please see choose correct size

How do I inflate an exercise ball?
Please see inflation methods and instructions

Can I repair a ball if it is punctured?
Manufactures do not recommend repairing exercise balls.

COMPARISON OF FITBALL AND FITNESS BALL

Please use the chart below to compare features of the Fitball and Fitness Ball. Although there are very minor differences in texture and firmness (as with any product made by different manufacturers), the bottom line is that the Fitness Ball is just as durable and reliable as the Fitball. And it comes with a plug puller. Some people prefer a brand name ball are willing to pay premium price. Others would rather get a generic ball at a lower cost. 
NOTE: The Fitball is perfectly round while the Fitness Ball isn't. Our trainer says this is actually an advantage as it provides 2 slightly different diameter sizes on which to perform exercises. If this doesn't answer your question, please email our personal trainer.

 

FEATURES FITBALL FITNESS BALL
made of burst-resistant vinyl
600 lb. weight capacity  
2250 lb. weight capacity  
brand-name ball made in Taiwan  
generic ball made in China  
available in 55cm, 65cm, 75cm
available in 45cm and 85cm  
includes color exercise poster  
includes plug puller and 
needle-pump adapter
 

 

CHOOSE CORRECT EXERCISE BALL SIZE

Please read all the information carefully before selecting a ball. A few minutes spent reading now might save you the time and money of having to return a wrong-sized ball later...and pay to have another shipped!

The general rule for choosing the correct exercise ball size for core (abs/low back) exercises is to have your knees and hips bent to 90 degrees (thighs parallel to floor) when sitting on the ball. This is the minimum ball size--some people prefer a larger ball, where hips are higher than knees. Don't go by photos of models sitting on balls. Typically they sit on a ball much larger than they would train on as it photographs better.

Consider how you will use the ball and your body characteristics (see below). Also, keep in mind that if you are a novice exerciser and/or have poor balance, a larger ball will provide more stability and support, thus making exercising easier (muscles won't work as hard).  

To avoid being disappointed that your ball is smaller than you expected, test out the ball size before ordering. Most people underinflate a ball because it is so firm (like a rock) inflated to its maximum diameter. To see if a 55cm ball is right for you, place a mark on a wall about 20 inches high (16 in. for a 45cm ball), and squat next to it. Consider that you will sink down a few inches (depending on your weight and amount of inflation). This is approximately how tall the ball will be when sitting on it. Get a larger size if you don't like this height! 

GENERAL GUIDELINES:

Your Height Ball Size (max. height/diameter)
less than 5' 0"  45 cm (18 in.)  read before ordering
5' 0" to 5' 5" 55 cm (22 in.)  read before ordering
5' 6"- 6' 1" 65 cm (26 in.)
6' 2" - 6' 8" 75 cm (30 in.)
6' 9" and up 85 cm (34 in.) 
Note: Only the Fitness Ball is available in 45cm & 85cm sizes

A LARGER BALL MAY BE NEEDED IF YOU
sm_blue_oval.gif (76 bytes) have long legs for your height
sm_blue_oval.gif (76 bytes) have back problems
sm_blue_oval.gif (76 bytes) are using the ball for stretching, yoga, or as an office chair  

An exercise ball is VERY firm at its maximum diameter.  If in doubt, go with a larger ball (you don't have to inflate it to the maximum diameter). This means getting a ball one size larger than the chart suggests if you are near the upper range. 

Using an Exercise Ball as an Office Chair  Please read complete notice

If your desk height is 29-30 inches and you are of average height and weight, the 65cm ball is the preferred size. However, consideration must be given to the height of the chair seat you will be replacing, keeping in mind the ball will sink down when you sit on it. The amount of sinking depends on your weight and how much you inflate it. (The ball will be firmer, i.e. sink less, when inflated closer to its maximum diameter.) A general guideline is to get a ball with a max. diameter that is at least 4 inches greater than your chair height. Additionally, if you under 5'3" a 55cm ball may be more appropriate, or if you are over 6'3"a 75cm ball may be more appropriate. If in doubt as to what size to get, check with others who use a ball as an office chair--we can't make any guarantees that the ball size you order for an office chair will be right for you. 

INFLATION METHODS AND INSTRUCTIONS

sm_blue_oval.gif (76 bytes) hand pumps for air rafts
sm_blue_oval.gif (76 bytes) electric air compressor with cone-shaped nozzles 
sm_blue_oval.gif (76 bytes) NOT a needle pump (for inflating basketballs, volleyballs, etc.) unless you purchase a fitness ball, which includes a needle-pump adapter. The fitball doesn't include the adapter.  

If you have any doubt about how to inflate your ball, buy an air pump for only $3 more.

EXERCISE BALL INFLATION INSTRUCTIONS

1.  remove plug from ball
2.  insert pump
3.  inflate to proper diameter (see below)
4.  remove pump
5.  replace plug

The Ball Will Be VERY Firm At Its Maximum Diameter (as printed on the ball). Also, it will get harder to inflate as you approach the maximum diameter. 

You don’t necessarily have to inflate the ball to the maximum diameter. To find the minimum diameter for you, sit on the ball. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor (i.e. hips and knees in alignment). It's OK for your hips to be higher than your knees, but not lower.

If you would like to return your ball, make sure it doesn’t come in contact with any handouts, newspaper or other printed material. The ink will permanently mark the ball and then it cannot be refunded. Also, balls with marks or scratches cannot be refunded.

Note for Fitness Balls: the small plastic packet contains additional inflation and care instructions, plug puller, spare plug, and inflation adapter for a needle pump (type used for basketballs, volleyballs, etc.) You can screw the needle off the pump, then screw on  the adapter to inflate your ball).

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