Are you planning to jumpstart your journey to fitness but dislike the idea of bulky weights? Resistance bands are portable pieces of workout equipment ideal for both at home and on the go. They aren't just great for toning and building muscles but also work well with cardio, flexibility exercises, and physical therapy.
We've done our research and poured over reviews to choose the ten most highly recommended and rated resistance bands. The top one is Fit Simplify's Resistance Loop Exercise Bands, made for a full-body workout. We've also included a buying guide to help you pick the best resistance band for your needs.
I am a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Director of Aquatics. I've worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor since 2009, and personal and group fitness training since 2012. Over the years I've taught and worked in a variety of formats on both land and water. I believe that knowledge in fitness is key to growing stronger, working toward your goals, and preventing injury along the way.
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So, what's the benefit of owning resistance bands? Esther says, "Resistance bands are a great exercise tool, particularly when it comes to corrective exercise work. I personally use them for a lot of core and glute work.
But as a dancer and injured athlete, I've used TheraBands for strengthening my feet, larger bands for assisted pull ups and overhead presses, and tube bands for shoulder strengthening. Resistance bands are a good staple in any gym or as something extra to carry with you in your gym bag."
There are two main concerns regarding choosing the right resistance band: the type of band and materials. Once you've figured out the type of band based on your goals and fitness level, you can get started with resistance training!
Resistance bands have different benefits, lengths, and resistance levels. Make sure to pick one that match with your fitness goals and level! Otherwise, you may end up with a product that just sits on the shelf.
This type of band is flat, thin, light, and long. The average resistance is between three and seven pounds, and the length can go up to seven feet. It's usually the cheapest among all types of resistance bands; however, it’s not that durable when it comes to overstretching the material.
It's best suited for beginners, kids, or older adults for physical therapy or low-intensity workouts like yoga and pilates. They're also great for beginners who wish to tone their muscles.
I've used therapy bands a lot in physical therapy for my knees, feet, and shoulders. I used them as a dancer as well to strengthen my feet and prep for work where I'd be wearing pointe shoes.
Therapy bands are also great to give you an extra tool to help stretch muscles when you need a little extra help reaching, such as when you lie down to stretch your hamstring muscle in the back of your leg, or tension, such as a passthrough stretch for your shoulders.
Tube resistance bands usually come with foam grip handles. These prevent slipping and make it more comfortable for your hands and wrists while working out.
The average resistance is around 10 to 50 pounds, and it works well with upper body workouts like bicep curls, shoulder presses, or tricep extensions. For lower body workouts, moves like deadlifts, lunges, and leg extensions are good choices for utilizing tube bands.
Tube bands are helpful because you can hook them around a variety of things to use them almost anywhere. With handles on the ends, they're great for upper body work, but also for resistance when working on core exercises.
These are really common in gyms, so it's easy to try out exercises with tube bands before buying them. What's nice about sets with interchangeable tubing is that you can increase resistance by using multiple tubes together.
This type of band is for those with a moderate to advanced fitness level since it has a high level of resistance, up to 175 pounds! It can be used for total body workouts, but it is most often used for pull-ups.
One thing that you should be aware of with a loop band is the risk of injury. Since it has a high resistance, it might be difficult to lift in certain workout positions. This can easily cause wrist injury, so make sure to use this resistance band with caution.
Larger loop bands are very versatile and can be adapted for many types of exercise. They're great for assisted pull-ups, but they have a multitude of uses for full-body resistance as well.
You can use them normally for overhead presses. Or, you can loop them around your waist for resisted cardio work and resisted single side strengthening like side steps to work your glutes. Larger loop bands can also be used just as easily for upper body work as tube bands.
A mini loop band is flat and small but also wide. It usually comes in a set with a variety of resistances from five to 50 pounds. This style is best used for toning and gaining muscle, especially for your legs, glutes, and hips.
Some of the popular workout moves that use mini loop bands are leg raises, squats, standing hip abductions, and lateral shuffles.
Mini loop bands are used the most for lower body and glute work. They're great stabilizers if you struggle to keep your knees aligned doing glute bridges, side steps, or squats.
However, they can also be looped around the wrists for resistance in exercises like walking planks. I've also used smaller loop bands for resistance around the neck to work on muscles that are often neglected and weakened from looking at computer screens and phones all day.
There are three main types of materials used in making resistance bands: latex, synthetic latex, and fabric. One is the most elastic, the other sunlight-resistant, and the last is safe for your skin.
Most of the resistance bands we see in the market are made from latex, which is also known as “rubber resistance bands.” And though it might take a number of years, since latex is a naturally occurring rubber material, it’s biodegradable.
Latex resistance bands provide high elasticity, perfect for physical therapy, stretches, and strength training. It's suitable for all ages and all fitness levels as well. It can also be used for total body workouts, focusing on both small and big muscle groups.
However, latex can cause skin allergies in some people, resulting in itching, hives, or other allergic reactions. Also, latex isn’t resistant to UV rays and can become brittle when not stored properly and lubricated periodically. We recommend keeping the bands away from sunlight and stored in their case when not in use.
Latex resistance bands offer the most resistance, are stronger, and are eco-friendly. However, they are prone to drying out faster than other materials and cannot be used by those who are allergic to latex. Be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight if your resistance bands are made of this material.
Synthetic latex is also known as “thermoplastic elastomer” or “TPE” and is made from petroleum. If you’re allergic to latex, TPE is a good option because it’s an allergen-free material. It’s also resistant to UV rays, so it’s ideal for outdoor use during summer and higher temperatures like a hot yoga studio.
However, it provides less elasticity than latex. Since TPE is an artificial product, it’s also non-biodegradable. So, if you're concerned about the environment, this may not be the best choice.
If you plan on sharing resistance bands or making them available in a gym for a variety of people, this would be the best option. However, the synthetic material is not as durable and does not offer as much resistance, so it's more prone to losing shape faster. Synthetic material is also not as eco-friendly.
Fabric resistance bands are a combination of fabric and latex. Unlike latex and TPE, fabric bands have a larger variety of designs. The main advantage of fabric is it doesn’t slip easily, meaning fewer instances of the band rolling out of place. Plus, it feels smoother and more comfortable on your skin.
Fabric is less elastic than latex, so it's not suitable for a higher resistance training level. However, it works great with major muscle groups like hamstrings, trapezoids, and lateral muscles.
In general, fabric resistance bands are best for beginners. With fabric bands, there are usually fewer options for resistance levels compared to other materials. If you want a variety of resistance bands in one set, consider a different material.
Plus, unlike latex and TPE, fabric tends to attract more dirt and can be difficult to clean due to its texture. However, they won't pinch your skin, they offer a bit more resistance since they don't stretch, and they're quite durable compared to latex alternatives.
Fabric bands tend to be thicker, more comfortable, and aren't prone to tearing. However, you can only find small loop fabric resistance bands. In addition, they can offer too much resistance to some because they're so thick. This also makes them harder to use with versatility. However, if you only plan on using them for lower body work, they're a great option!
If you choose a resistance band that comes with handles, make sure that they're comfortable to hold. Some come with interchangeable handles, which allow you to switch from one to another band for a different level of resistance.
Most handles are made of rubber. Some are covered with foam grips to protect the hands, while cheaper resistance bands may only come with plastic handles.
You should check the size of the handles too! To be safe, check a lot of reviews on what other people say. You'll be able to see how others felt regarding the size and comfort of the handles.
If you are getting tube bands or an interchangeable set of tube bands, they will come with handles. Most tube bands have plastic handles, but some sets have softer handles with a textured grip to make them easier to use. One thing to also check for in an interchangeable set is smaller attachments so that you can work on grip.
It might be difficult to choose the right type of band, size, and weight resistance, especially if you’re a beginner. If this is the case for you, we suggest getting a variety set. It'll give you a wide range of exercise options.
Since there is a variety of weight of resistances in one set, you can utilize them in cardio or strength training. In general, each weight resistance has its own unique color in a set, so you'll be able to find the one you're looking for quickly!
Sets with versatile bands and grips are great for those who need a good portable set, or even to build a more diverse range of resistances. You should confirm whether it's included in the band set or purchased separately, but check for a door-stop attachment so you can bring it anywhere."
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Resistance Loop Exercise Bands｜5 bands
Natural Rubber Latex Perfect for Full Body Workouts
Resistance Bands Set｜5 bands
A Set of Tube Bands for Strength Training
Booty Bands｜3 bands
Non-Slip Fabric Toning Bands With a 100% Money Back Guarantee
Resistance Bands Set｜3 bands
Latex-Free Bands for Low Impact Training and Sensitive Skin
Pull Up Assistant Bands｜4 bands
Multi-Purpose Pull Up Bands With Different Tension Levels
Xertube Resistance Bands
Try a Single Tube Band to Focus on the Upper Body
Super Exercise Band
An Extra-Long Exercise Band Best for Physical Therapy
Heavy Resistance Bands for Advanced Levels
CLX Resistance Band with Loops
A Good Alternative to Weights With a Modern Grip Design
A High Tension Band Perfect for Your Glutes and Legs
This is the perfect resistance band set for a total body workout as it includes five different levels of resistance. The bands are made from 100 percent natural rubber latex. You also get a travel carry bag, online workout video, and workout eBook!
It'll be easy to find what level of resistance you need since they come in different colors and are clearly labeled. Try using the light resistance band for stretching or the heavy one for lower body workouts!
Some reviewers claim that these bands are thin and not durable, while a few were unhappy with the shorter length and rubber smell. Other reviewers support the claim that they're very elastic and are great for stretches. Users said they could be added to other types of workouts like toning, cardio, and strength training, too! Reviewers also find these bands ideal for physical therapy.
These medium to heavy resistance bands are ideal for toning and muscle building. The tensions range from 10 to 50 pounds. However, you can combine them if you want heavier resistance, giving you a maximum resistance weight of 150 pounds!
They're made with high-quality, double-layered latex. You'll also get non-slip handles, ankle straps, a door anchor, a travel carry bag, as well as an instruction guide to support your workout. On top of that, they come with a lifetime warranty!
Some reviewers said the bands tore after just one month of use, while another concern is that the ankle strap can cause skin irritation. On the other hand, others say they're easy to use and portable. The grip handles are comfortable to hold and allow reviewers to focus during workouts. For many reviewers, the durability and versatility make these a must-have item for their home gym!
This set of three mini loop bands focuses on toning your legs, butt, and thighs. The various tensions are suited for all fitness levels and many types of workouts. Also, you can get a full refund if you aren't satisfied with the product.
All bands are the same size but different in fabric density. As a result, they tend to require more effort to stretch than latex bands; thus, they work well for lower body workouts. Since they're made with fabric, they don't roll up or slip during workouts either.
A few reviewers say the size is quite big for slender people, but most say they're excellent bands for toning their legs and glutes. They like that the range of resistance isn't too weak or too strong. Also, users said they're made with a soft material comfortable on the skin!
These bands are a good substitute for latex bands, especially if you have sensitive skin. Highly elastic, latex-free resistance bands allow you to move more freely in all directions. They're often used in physical therapy, sports injury rehabilitation, and mobility and flexibility exercises like yoga, barre, and pilates.
Some reviewers were disappointed that their bands snapped after a couple of months. Plus, a few had concerns that these aren't 100 percent latex-free, so buy with caution if you have a severe allergy.
On the other hand, many reviewers say that it's a must-buy product for physical therapy, especially for shoulder rehabilitation. Many purchased these after getting a recommendation from their physical therapist! Plus, some reviewers liked that they have no odor.
If you're looking for a tool to improve your pull-ups, you might want to consider these bands. They're made with latex, which is elastic and eco-friendly. For beginners, we suggest you start with the heavy resistance bands to assist your lifts.
You can also use the light resistance bands for physical therapy, yoga, and pilates! In addition, you can also get a free replacement within 24 months after purchase in case the band is damaged.
Some reviewers disliked the poor quality, saying the product arrived damaged. However, others support the claims that they work great for pull-ups as well as stretching. The length and thickness are ideal for many users. Also, many say they're sturdy, easy to clean, and can be used for a long time.
If you don't want to get a whole set of resistance bands just yet, try buying a single band. This versatile band comes in a variety of resistance options (very light, light-medium, and heavy) and has plastic handles.
It's perfect for upper body workouts that focus on your core, shoulders, back, and arms. However, you can combine both upper and lower body workouts together, such as lunges or squats, with this resistance band. You'll also be provided with a free workout guide!
Many reviewers have concerns about the safety of this product. The band and handles don't stick together very well, so it could cause injury if not used carefully. However, many people say it is a high-quality product. They say it's a good substitute for dumbbells and can be used for a total body workout.
This non-latex, seven-foot-long band is best suited for physical therapy. It allows you to move easily from all angles. By using it regularly, you'll develop flexibility, strength, and better balance. Moreover, it comes with a door anchor that you can use to support different types of exercises like chest presses, tricep extensions, standing rows, or lateral leg lifts.
Some reviewers claim that it breaks easily and doesn't last long. However, the longer length means that just one band can fit all types of workouts. Plus, it has a smooth texture without a sticky feel. Some say it's perfect for shoulder workouts! Last but not least, they liked that the customer service provides quick responses and support.
Unlike other mini loop bands with lower resistance levels, these bands offer heavy resistance from 20 to 60 pounds! They're made especially for more advanced levels of exercise or anyone who wants a challenge. These rubber bands are elastic, portable, and great for lower body exercises.
If you think they're too heavy, there is another set available that offers lighter resistance. This set is for beginners and can also be used for rehabilitation as well as easy exercises. Free online workout videos and an ebook also come with both sets!
Reviewers say these bands have a bothersome strong rubber smell. Another issue is they can roll up and down during workouts. Other reviewers support the claim that they're good for toning and building lower body muscles. They like that these thick bands are compact but have a high tension level.
This versatile loop band is a good alternative to weights. It comes in many resistance levels and can be used for total body workouts. It's a five-foot band without handles. However, the special design allows you to choose an open or closed grip.
It's a good non-latex option for someone who is allergic to the material but wants something that functions similarly. However, you might find it has a stronger odor when compared with latex bands.
Some reviewers say the resistance is not as heavy as they expected. Some people say it snapped quite quickly after purchase. However, a lot of people like it's easy to hold, even without handles. Moreover, it requires less time for workout prep, unlike a traditional loop, users said. Not having to tie knots saved them time!
If your goal is to strengthen your glutes and legs, this band will perfectly suit your needs. Instead of spending a lot of money buying a whole set of bands, you can buy just one band to fulfill your workout goals.
This is an extra heavy resistance band for intermediate and advanced fitness levels. This band is quite small, so it might not work well for those with larger frames. Some people also find it difficult to use since the level of resistance is too high for them.
On the other hand, many people like this product because it's really effective and can quickly see the results! It's made from a good fabric that doesn't cause any skin irritation as well. Many people say this is the best band for effective lower body workouts and highly recommend it.
Esther says, "Keep in mind that resistance bands are like rubber bands. They are tight and stretchy, but over time they will loosen and could break, dry out, or stretch out to the point where they need replacement.
Unlike dumbbells or weight plates, they will need to be replaced over time. However, the versatility that resistance bands offer can help shake up a normal routine or add something new to the mix. Be sure to look up some creative uses for whatever types of bands you decide to get."
Portable exercise equipment is convenient for all fitness levels and styles of workouts. Plus, these can be great for bringing outdoors, to the gym, or on the road! Besides resistance bands, you might be interested in other portable exercise products. Check out our other highly-rated suggestions!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: Fit Simplify｜Resistance Loop Exercise Bands｜5 bands
No. 2: Whatafit｜Resistance Bands Set｜5 bands
No. 3: Arena Strength｜Booty Bands｜3 bands
No. 4: TheraBand｜Resistance Bands Set｜3 bands
No. 5: INTEY｜Pull Up Assistant Bands｜4 bands
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