Why You Should Read This Article - An expander (cable set, chest expander, strands) can, when wisely used, get you a strong, solid and fit body. If you study this article, and then apply the information faithfully, you will be on the right road. By following it you will earn yourself results you will be proud of.

What Is Strandpulling? - Strandpulling is an activity of stretching out strands (such as rubber tubings, flat rubber bands, or steel springs) for the purpose of getting strong, solid and fit. The more you stretch out the strands, within its safe limits, the greater the resistance.

Who Has Used Standpulling Successfully? - Fred Rollon was one of the greats of strandpulling. In the early 1900s, he was a product of strandpulling. There were others who got results as well.

In 1989, I wanted to see what I could accomplish with just using an expander. There wasn't, at that time, a great deal published directly on strandpulling. Based on what I found workable, I published in 1990 my Professional Cable Course. I was its first product. Through the years I have updated it. This article is based on my manual.

General Information - I did not do anything extreme or unusual. I never used steroids. I ate a balanced diet. I usually worked out every day. There were times I worked out every other day or 3 times a week. I didn't train if I was tired or when I felt I didn't get enough rest from the last workout. If I was tired, but still wanted to work out, I did a shorter workout. I did not work out for 4 or 5 hours a day, or do other unusual things.

Keep Your Workouts Fun - Make stretching the strands fun. Then find ways to keep it fun. If you enjoy and have fun doing an activity, you will continue to want to do the activity. And you will keep doing it. By continuing to do workouts that you enjoy, you will start to also notice gains. Old Wise Saying - The best exercise is the one you will actually do.

Be Consistent - It does you no good to work out like a maniac for 1 week, only to lose all interest and enjoyment. You will simply not workout anymore.

Progressive Intensity - Strandpulling follows the principle of progressive intensity. If you increase, little by little, the intensity of your workouts, you will improve. Intensity can be increased in a number of ways. Increasing the pace of your workout, the repetitions per exercise, or the number of strands used per exercise are 3 examples.

Various Ways To Do The Same Exercises - I will be showing you some basic exercises you can do with your expander. It is a simple workout routine. Before I explain these exercises, let me give a few examples of ways to do these exercises. Keep in mind that what follows are only a few suggestions out of many different ways you could do your exercises. For instance, you could do all your exercises for the first body part, then move on to another body part. You may, instead, do 1 exercise for the first muscle area, then 1 exercise for the second muscle area, etc., until all your muscles have been exercised 1 time each, at which point you could start with the first muscle area again and, in sequence, work all your muscle areas for a second time around. You could also combine sections of the following examples in various ways. With experience and desire, this will be clearer to you. You may have plenty of ideas already. If you are new to the game (or even if you are a veteran of workouts) please study the following examples.

Example #1 - Rotate through your exercises, 1 time through, until each muscle area has been worked. Then rotate through again. Do each exercise for - say about 10 to 20 repetitions. Try to go for the goal of working at a rapid pace, with little or no rest between exercises. Put on some fast music you enjoy hearing or dancing to. Work to its pace. Try to get your work done (eventually) before the compact disk has finished playing.

Example #2 - Decide to do 2 to 3 sets for muscle area in a workout. Start with curls. Do 10 reps. Now take off a strand and do another 10 (or whatever you can do). Then (if you had 3 strands on your expander) take off another strand and do as many curls as you can. Then go to the next muscle area. Repeat the above.

Example #3 - Do the same above, but in reverse order. For example, with 2 strands on your expander, do as many curls as you can properly. Say you do 15. Now add another strand and do as many as you can. Let's say you do 6 more. Then finally (if you wish) add a third strand and do more curls. Let's say you can only do 1 and a half. You could, on the last half movement, hold it for as long as you can, until your arm quits on you.

Example #4 - Do 1 or 2 sets of very high reps. Perhaps 35 to 100 reps. You don't even have to count. Just do your repetitions until you can't stretch out that expander any further. Just get into the pace of the music (if you have music playing) and keep going. You might get that burn feeling in your muscles. Keep fighting through it, if you can. Then go to the next exercise for the next muscle area. You might, after doing all your muscle areas, repeat for another go around. You might be too tired to continue. If so, end your workout.

Apply the above information to the following exercises. This workout is a good, basic workout routine.

Note - If you are familiar with using weights, you will notice that you can figure out how to do the same exercises that you have used a barbell or dumbbells for, with the expander instead. An example is the Upright Rows for your shoulders. Just look in the many references on bodybuilding and you will get ideas for future workouts.

Warning #1 - Always consult your physician prior to starting an exercise program. If you haven't worked out with strands before, don't start with a lot of resistance. Start with less strands and do more repetitions. Once you get a good feel for expander workouts, you can always increase the intensity.

Warning #2 - Always check over your expander before use. Check the handles and strands for any wear and tear. If in doubt, put on a new strand and throw out the strand you don't feel safe with. Ensure handles and strands are well connected. Ensure everything is secured before stretching your expander. I suggest wearing a tee shirt, so the strands don't irritate your skin. Be careful when pulling expander near eyes.

Basic Strandpulling Workout

Arm Curl For Biceps

expander curl

1. Palm up, back straight, arm straight.

2. Curl by moving lower arm up to shoulder.

3. Lower down to the leg.

Triceps Press

Tricep Press

1. Upper arm straight up, lower arm down, palm facing away from back.

2. Lower arm moves up to a straight up position, ensure upper arm still.

3. Lower down to starting position.

Shoulder Press

Shoulder Press

1. Elbow out to the side (see the difference between shoulder and triceps press).

2. Whole arm moves upward until straight up.

3. Lower to starting position.

Chest Crossing

Chest Crossing

1. Palm of hand towards body, (see drawing).

2. You want to stretch that expander as far as you can, across your body. It's fine to twist upper body at end for a greater expander stretch in working chest muscles.

Back Pull

Back Pull

1. Palm toward your body, be sure leg out enough so you can get a good stretch by expander.

2. Pull across body. OK to twist upper body as far as can go. Really stretch expander. Make your back work. Reverse direction, to get back to the starting position.

Note - You might try actually grabbing the strands themselves and doing the exercise. Say about a third or so down the strands. Now pull. Notice you have more resistance.

Note - These are the type of things to experiment with. Anything you find of interest should be noted in your notebook.

Waist Crunches

Waist Crunches

1.Leg up. Palm down.

2. Pull down to outside of your waist. Raise arm near starting position. Now pull down to other side of your waist. (See drawing.) Be sure you keep cable tension on your waist muscles when you are raising your arm, as well as when you are lowering your arm.

3. Raise arm back to starting position.

Note - Move leg in the opposite direction to arm pulling. For instance, when you are pulling down to outside of body, move leg over to inside of body. The main point is to find angles that work your waist. Keep that expander stretched. You may find a slightly different angle that works for you better.

Note - You may find that your waist is getting enough of a workout from other exercises - that has one end of the expander on a foot, and the other in your hand(s) - both stretching in opposite directions (perhaps using a twisting motion during the exercise as well).

Leg Press

Leg Press

1. You can use one hand or two. Leg is in a curled starting position.

2. Press your leg outward. You will feel your upper front leg muscles working when you do it correctly.

3. Reverse the motion back to starting position.

Lower Leg Press

Lower Leg Press

1. See drawing. Pull on cables to stretch it out. Get foot pointing towards your shin.

2. Move foot from ankle. Stretch out cable so foot pointing away from shin. You can, for extra stretch, lean upper body way back and pull hard on expander. Make that lower leg work.

3. Keep lower leg working. Pulling cable way back, get foot pointing towards shin again.

Back Of Leg Swing

Back Of Leg Swing

1. See top drawing.

2. Swing back your leg. Don't jerk. You can, with your arm(s), pull on expander (stretching expander more) to make leg work harder.

3. Return to original position. Make sure you keep leg working all the way back to starting position.

Optional Finish - You could continue your swing until leg is stretching expander out in front of your body. This way you have a much longer swing for your leg. This means you swing the leg as far back as possible and then control the swinging leg to as far up in front of your body as possible.

Note - Remember to stretch expander handles in opposite directions to make your legs work harder.

Alternative Way - You could also do the above exercise with more of a kicking motion (instead of a swing). While you are at it, try kicking to the back, front and to the side. Good for upper leg. Make sure you pull the handle, which your hand(s) are holding, in the opposite direction to work more muscles and get a greater pull.

You Can Do It! - You really can get a strong, solid and fit build by doing strandpulling. I am willing to help you if you wish. If you are interested in checking out my site for my Professional Cable Course, it is located at: Professional Cable Course Home Page

Strandpulling Discussion Board - You might want to check this discussion board out. This discussion board has lots of useful information. It has a friendly and caring group of strandpullers who share their knowledge with those who have questions, as well as with each other. You can get to this discussion board by going to: Strandpulling Discussion Board

You can also e-mail me at:

Keep In Touch - If you have any comments, questions, or wish to share your successes about strandpulling, please contact me. Strandpulling can be a wonderful way to get and keep in shape. You certainly can make solid gains. I am here to help you make your goals. Have fun and win! Hope to hear from you.

Fred Crivello