How to use an old Bicycle Tube to build Stronger Muscles


I’m pretty sure I don’t need to go into the reasons it is important to build/keep your muscles around especially as you age. Yes, including all you women out there too. Don’t worry we are not talking about “bulking up”, just staying “lean and mean”…well maybe not all that “mean”.

One of my missions as a trainer was to always help people find fitness on their own terms, and nowadays I think that also includes non-dependency on a gym.

“What?!?! A trainer saying to not go to the gym? Gasp!”

Sure, why not…heck I canceled my gym membership!

Well what I mean is that too many out there are dependent on a gym to do something, and don’t even consider other options right in front of their nose.

Have you ever said “I really want to get back into shape but just don’t have the time to get to the gym”?

Well whoever said you have to be at a gym? Do you think your muscles care where they are? Nope. In fact, would they even care if you are not using some expensive piece of equipment? Nope…again.

Why not instead consider the world as your gym, and the only equipment you need is what is already attached to you…namely your arms and legs. Doing bodyweight exercises is plenty enough to get you fit and feeling great. If you think differently then go find a gymnast and tell them how unfit they are.

Muscles do like to be challenged. With bodyweight exercises this means increasing the resistance somehow (assuming they have become too easy for you that is), aka making your bodyweight heavier. This could be from either by holding weights (barbell, dumbbells), adding to your bodyweight (weightvest) or increasing the resistance of the movement with something such as a resistance band.

OK, so how does a silly bicycle tube come into play? Recently I have been doing more bodyweight exercises and it came to me, why not find more creative (and inexpensive) ways to add resistance to my movements. Having a recent flat tire (well really the tube inside had the hole in it) with my mountain bike, I had a bike tube laying around with only a small puncture hole, and decided to see how I could use it.

Guess what, it is possible! I have used plenty of resistance bands over my years of being a personal trainer (and training myself) and the bike tube actually worked quite well.

How did I use it? Well just look at the video below and you will see how a resistance band in a loop can be used to add more tension/resistance to a pushup (and instead just use a rubber bike “tube”…not bike “tire” just to clarify). You can use the same philosophy to other bodyweight movements too like dips and squats.

So you see, something as simple as a bike tube (maybe you can find flat ones for free at your local bike shop) can help you improve your muscular strength. Note: if you can not see the video then click here for the original post.

The bike tube is just an example of how you don’t need expensive equipment specifically made for fitness (or a gym) to challenge your muscles.

Now if you really want something versatile for not only resistance but also assistance for pullups/dips then you probably do need to go with a stronger resistance band such as this one from Jumpstretch here, and they are not overly expensive.

Moral of this article, don’t use the gym as an excuse for the only place you can workout….as you can challenge your muscles (no matter what your level is) anywhere.

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