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Work Out While Traveling with SPRI Original Xertube Very Light Tubes
Mar 6, 2004 (Updated Nov 11, 2004)
by Jo Levy
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Versatile, easy to use, inexpensive, portable.
Cons:This lightest yellow may not offer enough resistance for many people and many exercises.
The Bottom Line: I'm giving this 4 stars rather than 5 because it is so light it has its limits for use. Otherwise it is an excellent product.
I decided to review SPRI Products Original Xertube Very Light SPR0001. I take a 1-½ hour weight training class each week and several weeks ago I noticed that the tubes my gym have are made by Spri. We also use "no name tubes" but Ive been using the Spri brand and really like them.
Recommend this product?
What are Xertubes?
Louise, our instructor, used the yellow ones today which are the lightest. In other words they offer the least resistance. What I mean by that is if you pull on them, they will be the easiest to pull of all the colors. Each color has a different resistance. I am only reviewing the very light tubes since that is the product listed.
Louise happened to mention that of all the tubes she has used she thinks the Spri brand is the best. She also told us to remember that colors vary by brand so just because Spris lightest are yellow doesnt mean another brands yellow will be. I asked her if there were any way to tell how much resistance a tube has. She told me that some brands, particularly those offered in body building magazines, often will say light = 20 pounds but in both the Spri brand and Reebok Resistance Tubes the resistance is not known.
It really isnt necessary to know. It might save some time if you are in a class though and dont know what color to use. Also if you are buying them, it might be hard to know what color to buy. Hopefully this review will help you with the decision.
I love owning and using tubes or resistance bands as they are also called. They create tension and can be used anywhere. They are inexpensive and perfect for traveling with. One tube will cost you less than $10.00.
The tubes allow me to target a muscle group and mimic many dumbbell, cable and barbell exercises. If you order them online you will get a free instruction chart.
As I said in a previous review, if you have ever been in physical therapy there is a good chance you have used a resistance tube or band of some sort. It is possible that it wasnt one with handles. Physical therapists often use strips of tubing or flat bands. These are less expensive than buying those with handles. If you were buying resistance equipment such as this, I would recommend spending the extra money and getting ones with handles. You can use them for more exercises and use them more efficiently.
I love the handles on the Spri. The space is a good size for both a foot and hand. The handles, which are made out of a strong flat rope like material, have another handle on the top on which you hold the tubes. These are very soft and pliant making them very comfortable to hold.
The tube itself is hollow making it extremely flexible. They are quite strong and even in a gym they seem to hold up really well. Im sure that if you were to buy them you would have them for a lifetime unless you damaged them accidentally.
Unlike Reebok, whose handles are different colors, the Spris handles are all black but the tubes are different colors. All tubes I have seen with handles are about 4 feet long. If for some reason you want something very long or much shorter there are various tubes that can be bought that come in shapes or you may just want a flat band. I am still recommending you go with ones with handles.
When I wrote my Reebok review I was comparing them to the no names at the gym. If you go to read that you will notice that I think the Reebok are far better than the no names. I like the Spri better than Reebok if for no other reason than there are more levels of resistance from which to choose.
I also said that I do not train men. I feel even the extra heavy tubes that we have in the gym or that can be bought will not give enough resistance for many men who have been training for awhile. You can go in a store and try them out. I also have a band by Altus. That is very different, though the concept is similar, to the tubes. My husband uses the Altus but doesn't use the Reebok Tubes. Yesterday I took him into the aerobics room where classes are held. We were super-setting rows using the tubes and push-ups. I gave him the tube with the most resistance and it didnt offer enough for him. So I cannot recommend Spri brand for men unless they are very weak (Seriously, perhaps you have been ill) or for a young person.
The yellow, extra light would be for a beginner or to use for a particular body part, for example shoulder work. I will get into that in a moment
The tube is made of latex. The tube is inserted into the handle with a rivet around it. The tube comes through the handle a bit. I cannot imagine the tube ever coming out of the handle. The Spri tubes are very well made.
Xertubes offer an incredible workout for virtually every part of your body. There is no body part that cant be used with a tube. The reason you might want various intensity levels is the same as the reason that you may use 20-pound dumbbells for dumbbell curls but only 10 pounds for tricep kickbacks.
My final thoughts:
There is no doubt Spri makes a great tube. The extra light is perfect for many. We did a chest exercise and several shoulder exercises. I found the extra light to be adequate and Ive been working out longer than many of you have been on the planet. However we did one exercise where the resistance was not strong enough but I didnt switch since no one else did! I would need to have more than the extra light in my house to get an adequate workout.
I have found that using tubes can be safer for clients than dumbbells. It is more difficult to use momentum rather than muscle when doing a bicep curl, making it better on your back and using better form. I have found that using the tube eccentrically (on the downward motion, for example in a bicep curl) is much easier to control using tubes than dumbbells. For someone just beginning or someone who doesnt work out consistently this is a great way to get them back into proper form. Make sure your tube doesnt have any holes or worn spots. This is how it can snap and break and you could get hurt.
I am presenting a couple of exercises you can do when using your tube. These are what we did today in class. Please check with your doctor before you start any exercise program.
This is for your chest area. Stand in the middle of the tube and hold a handle in each hand. Bring them up to chest level and cross your hands. With your shoulders down lift the handles up toward your chin and then back down again. If done properly you will feel these. If you feel them in your neck you arent doing them correctly. Although the position of this is much different, it feels to me very much like a cable crossover that you might do on a pulley so you could substitute what I just explained if you were traveling or if you work out at home. I found the yellow tube to be adequate. I could have gone to more resistance but I did feel these.
Shoulders are very intricate body parts. They are prone to injury so please use a lighter weight when working your shoulders than you might otherwise. We did several exercises for our shoulders today. Put one foot in the middle of the tube and hold the handles in each arm. If you bend over a bit and pull the handles out and back you will essentially be doing a reverse fly. If you stand up straight and lift the handles with a slight angle to your arms you are now doing a lateral raise.
I found the yellow band to be too light for this tricep exercise. I hope this gives you an idea of what levels you might need. Generally my triceps can handle a lot more weight than my shoulders and even my chest. Step with one foot in the middle of the tube. Hold the handles next to your waist with your hands facing up. From that position bring your arms (just from your hand to your elbow) straight back. You are now doing what is called a kickback in dumbbell terms.
Feel free to leave me a comment or question.
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