Have you ever thought about joining a band? During a workout, that is. If you have been resistant to investing in exercise equipment, hesitate no longer because resistance bands and tubes are well worth the money. These economical space savers travel well and add muscle to your workout routine. It’s like having a portable gym in the palm of your hand, briefcase or overnight bag.

In my experience, flat resistance bands are best for Pilates-style workouts. The flat shape wraps easily around my feet, hips and ribcage for all those fun Pilates moves. I find that resistance tubes equipped with handles are more suitable for more athletic-type workouts. I appreciate the handles during lunging bicep curl and squatting triceps curl combos and feel they wear well under my sneakers. This may not be scientific, but the choice all comes down to my feet: I reach for the bands during barefoot sessions and the tubes when my workout requires sneakers.

10 Minute Solution Pilates

Bands and tubes are inexpensive purchases on their own. However, you get a better value when you purchase a DVD which includes a band or tube. After years of service, my last band was in need of replacing. I recently purchased the newly released 10 Minute Solution: Tighten and Tone Pilates from Collage Video. I paid a total of $12.98 which included shipping. A resistance band is included along with an awesome 54 minute DVD, and I can honestly say it is tightening and toning this girl’s bottom line. I have also seen 10 Minute Solution DVD’s for purchase at my local Target and Wal-Mart.

I was lucky enough to snag The Firm Light Resistance Cord, which comes with a 30 minute workout DVD, at TJ Maxx for $5.99! The DVD may be purchased with a light, medium or heavy tube from Amazon, while The Firm and drugstore.com offer it with the light tube only. I love this total body toning and cardio workout, and feel like I work every muscle in just 30 minutes.

You can try a portion of The Firm workout along with a selection of my other favorite band and tube workouts below.

Theraband Arm Pilates Workout – Five Foot Fitness

Whitney Dayberry takes us through a 10 minute resistance band arm workout. Whitney promises, “no planks” in this session but that doesn’t mean she lets us off easy. I find Whitney’s upbeat attitude infectious. Resistance band and exercise mat required.

10 Minute Toning Walk II (at home cardio workout)

Jessica Smith welcomes us into her home for this 14 minute resistance band workout. During a recent trip I threw my band in my suitcase and this workout was perfect for my hotel room. Jessica’s adorable dog, Peanut, joins us during this cardio and toning session. Resistance band required.

Upside-Down Pilates Resistance Band Lesson 56

Audrey Hayashi leads us through a 22 minute Pilates resistance band workout focused on the abdominals. The workout is filmed in a Pilates studio and is accompanied by a pleasant instrumental soundtrack. But don’t let the soft music and the instructor’s gentle cueing deceive you, as this is one tough core workout. Resistance band and exercise mat required.

Total Body Band Thin in 10

Jessica Smith again gets us sweating in this 10 minute resistance tube workout. I first discovered this workout on the VOD channel, Sportskool. Hearts are pumping during this time-efficient total-body toning workout. The only drawback to this fitness studio workout is that Jessica’s dog, Peanut, does not join us. Resistance tube and exercise mat required.

The Firm: Fat Burning Cardio Sculpt

Tina Smalley leads us through a 12 minute segment of the 30 minute resistance tube workout mentioned above. The cast is comprised of The Firm instructors so the demonstrations are flawless and the physiques are inspirational. You could take a break during the 30 second ad on this Hulu video, but I say just keep going. Resistance tube and exercise mat required.

Fit For Duty: Resistance Band Training

Company, March! We work out with fit service members as instructor MSgt Mike Skaggs teaches us how to increase our strength with resistance tubes in this 25 minute workout. I used a lally column in the basement for the final “partner” abdominal exercise and kept crunching through the break. This workout helped me answer the question, “Joanne, are you fit for duty?” “Sir, yes, Sir!” Resistance tube required. Confession: these tough guys don’t use an exercise mat for the floor work but I did.

See you next week for another New Year, New You Workout Wednesday.

Are You Workin’ it Out With Me?

Let us know how you’re doing in the comments or on social media!