- Thinking of adding some resistance training to your regular workouts?
- Planning a vacation or a long road trip and want to keep up with your exercise regime but clearly can’t take a set of dumbbells in your luggage?
- Moving to a dorm or apartment where you won’t have room for your weight rack?
- Want to work out while watching TV?
Resistance bands are a great option that will give you plenty of variety to still exercise pretty much your whole body, but with the added convenience of being lightweight and portable for an effective equipment-free workout. They’re inexpensive, easy to use, take up almost no space, and are incredibly versatile strength training tools. They can be used for home workouts, physical therapy, at the gym and while traveling.
But wait, aren’t resistance bands one of those “As Seen on TV” products for little old ladies sitting at home in their chairs? Although fitness bands are used for physical therapy with people of all ages and skill levels, they are also used by power lifters and cross fitters. If you’re looking to use them as a serious type of fitness gear, just be sure to get a good quality brand that offers greater resistance, not a cheap set that will soon snap and break. (That being said, you should always inspect your bands for wear or damage prior to every workout. Because if they did ever snap back at you, that could hurt!)
Resistance bands come in flat, loop, tube, and braided styles. Braided bands have a woven rope-like construction for added strength and durability. Tube bands often have handles and are ideal for strength training exercises. Loop bands don’t have handles and are made in a continuous loop, like a giant rubber band. Flat bands lie flat and are not looped, nor do they generally have handles. They may not look like much, but they’re certainly better than nothing and may actually be fine for your purposes. These are the kind that you will most find in physical therapy facilities, because they can buy them on a bulk roll and cut pieces off for whatever length is needed.
There are a multitude of different brands of resistance bands out there. We’ve done the work of combing through them to find the best assortment of options that should work well depending on your needs. So if you are interested in adding resistance bands to your personal collection of fitness equipment for your daily exercise regimen at home or on the go, take a look at the list we have compiled below.
TheraBand Resistance Band Set – These non-latex flat therapy bands are commonly used for rehabilitation but you can also use them for progressive workout routines from beginner to more advanced levels. The bands are color coded according to resistance level and are all the same size (4 in. wide x 5 ft. long) for added convenience. Choose the beginner set with yellow, red, and green bands or the silver, black and blue advanced set. If you’re not sure if resistance bands are for you, these are an excellent value so give it a try. They’re cheap and effective for temporary use, but if you use them a lot they do tend to tear and break. They don’t come with a storage pouch, but you can probably find something around the house to put them in, or if you know how to sew maybe you can make your own.
Black Mountain Products Therapy Exercise Bands – These flat bands come in a set of yellow, blue, and green bands providing three levels of resistance. Black Mountain stretch resistance bands are 6 inches wide x 5 feet long. They are ideal for exercising core muscles and strength training. The set includes a door anchor, carrying bag, and starter guide. They are a great value for the price, and made of a high quality rubber that is 99% latex-free. All Black Mountain therapy stretch bands have a manufacturer Lifetime Warranty.
– If all you want is something really simple and cheap for the short term, this pretty blue band might do the trick for you. The flat latex 6.5-inch wide / 26-inch long belt-like band has two comfortable easy-grip polypropylene handles for a firm grasp. Create a personal gym anywhere with exercises illustrated right on the band itself! It’s not heavy duty by any means, but it would be good for a light, quick and easy workout in front of the TV or while traveling. If the handles rip off, you can still use it, but it’s a lot shorter than other flat fitness bands. On the other end of the spectrum, if you want an extra long band, check out the 7-foot long latex-free Super Band which comes in 10 different tensions.
Limm Resistance Bands – There are five resistance levels to choose from in this colorful looped set. Each band is 12 inches long and can stretch even more. If the different colors aren’t enough on their own to help you remember the resistance level, each band is also marked. The bands are made of a natural latex material, free from odors. Comes with bonus e-books, instruction manual, online videos, and carry bag.
AmazonBasics Resistance and Pull Up Band – Even Amazon has its own brand of resistance bands, and with the AmazonBasics name you know it’s going to offer both quality and value. These bands have several resistance variations for beginner, intermediate, and advanced users alike. Band measurements vary depending on the specific resistance level. Each band is constructed of thick, durable rubber which is how they can get by with making the lightest band only a half inch wide. If you’re used to the thin latex kind, you may find these to be a bit stiff with a slight rubbery odor.
WODFitters Titanium Pull Up Assistance Bands – These 41-inch loop bands come in five resistance levels ranging from the lowest resistance group of 35 pounds to the highest of 175 pounds. Made of TWO layers of thick, tough rubber, they can be used for a challenging power-lifting session. They can also be used in assistive rehab, to correct muscle imbalances, and to increase your range of mobility. They are sold individually, or as four- or five-band sets. They tend to have a strong rubber smell, but they are super heavy duty quality and the company offers a lifetime guarantee.
321 Strong Exercise Resistance Bands – This manufacturer boldly prints the weight equivalents on the side of the bands, so you always know you have the right resistance. You can purchase these bands individually or as a set. Made of natural latex rubber, they are 82 inches of band formed into a 41 inch loop, 4.5 mm thick, and with various widths. They come with a bonus e-book that shows you how to use them.
Fitness Insanity Resistance Band Set – This set comes with five color-coded bands that are clearly marked with the equivalent weight for the amount of resistance in each band so that you don’t have to guess. They come in 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 pound strengths. You can use them individually or stack them for up to 150 pounds of resistance. Each tube is double layered anti-snap technology and made of high quality natural latex to maintain its resistance for a long time. They have metal clips that allow you to attach cushioned handles, which are ergonomically designed to keep your hands comfortable throughout the workout. In addition, this set comes with a door anchor, ankle straps, workout guide, waterproof carrying bag, and a 100% lifetime guarantee.
DYNAPRO Resistance Bands – If you’re looking for gym-quality fitness bands, consider these professional bands made of 100% natural commercial grade rubber. You can buy them individually or as a set. There are five resistance levels. In addition to the light and medium resistance levels, they come in blue which offers extra heavy resistance, and black which offers extremely heavy resistance that’s ideal for experienced users. The D-shaped handles are designed for premium comfort, especially when performing repetitive movements. This set is not too expensive for a good quality. Included in your purchase is access to a free workout resource, blog, and private community.
SPRI Braided Xertube – Four tubes woven together with contrasting colors in a braided rope-like construction makes for a strong, safe design while giving the Xertube a unique appearance. The heavy-duty, high quality, professional grade material also has greater resistance to abrasion and wear. If it can withstand the rigorous demands of commercial use, it will certainly last a long time at home. The Xertube is color coded so you know what tension you are working with. The handle plug, protective sleeve, and grommet reinforcement features help to make the Xertube one of the most durable and reliable resistance bands on the market. Use indoors or out, wrap them around, under or over. They come in very light, light, medium, heavy, and ultra heavy resistance levels, each of which is sold separately, so you will have to figure out which one is right for you. Made of natural latex rubber.
Resistance bands are an excellent addition to any fitness enthusiast’s repertoire. They are great for a home gym, especially if you live in a small apartment, or as a portable training tool for people who travel frequently. If you are using the bands for therapy, make sure you follow the exercises recommended by your physician or therapist. Note that there are differences among manufacturers as far as color coding goes, which means that one blue-colored band may be light resistance, and another blue-colored band might be heavy resistance. Also, keep in mind that the best resistance bands for your current fitness level are likely to change over time. While the lightest band is plenty for a beginner, you’ll find yourself needing more resistance as you get stronger.
Do you use resistance bands? How have they worked out for you? Please comment!