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Resistance bands are all the rage — and with good reason. They’re awesome for strength training, toning, and increasing flexibility. Here’s the ultimate rundown of the top resistance bands for every fitness level and budget.
What’s a resistance band?
Resistance bands are elastic bands that are used for working out. They come in different resistance levels and various styles.
There’s a wide price range for resistance bands. Here’s a price guide to help you make the best choice for your bod andyour budget.
$ = under $10 per band
$$ = $11–$20 per band
$$$ = over $21
Material(s): natural latex
Loop bands are circular. You don’t have to tie them like a flat band. They can help increase the results you get from other exercises and help you build power. You can also use them to spice up your yoga and pilates routines.
The Fit Simplify set has five loop bands of different resistances. They range from light to extra heavy. You can switch levels around to target different muscle groups and increase strength over time.
Fit Simply’s loop bands are super durable. But if you do experience a snap, don’t worry. They’re backed by a lifetime warranty. Woot!
Material(s): commercial grade rubber
Dynapro Exercise resistance bands are awesome if you want to build muscle mass.
The handles are fully padded which makes them a great choice if you have arthritis or just prefer some added comfort. Online reviewers also say the grips won’t leave you with nasty blisters. The sturdy loops give you an extra sense of security.
You can get them as a set or individually. The set might be the better buy. That way you can alternate resistance levels for a more varied workout.
Material(s): fabric and latex
Fabric bands are great because they’re super comfy on your skin. They also absorb sweat which prevents slippage.
These booty bands are here to give your 🍑 a glow-up. The three-piece set has beginner, intermediate, and advanced bands. It also comes with a carrying case and an exercise guide to help you get started.
Keep in mind: These are basically bum and thigh exclusive. They’re not the best choice for a full-body workout.
Material(s): Rubber (latex-free)
These resistance bands are the perfect gift for the older cutie in your life. The bands compliment a seated exercise program by Curtis Adams. But they can be used without the program as well.
Why they’re awesome for older adults:
- accommodates seated and/or wheelchair workouts
- great for chair yoga
- minimal tension
- less resistance
- easy to use
Even though they’re geared for older adults anyone can use them.
Material(s): natural rubber and latex
These bands by WODFitters were designed for cross-training. You can use them to tone almost any muscle group.
At 41 inches they’re the perfect length for muscle ups and pull-ups. They can also be used on the bench press to add some resistance to your lifts.
The bands come in five color-coded levels. They have a slick rubber latex coating for extra durability. You can buy them on their own or in a bundle.
Material(s): natural latex
These bad boys are stackable. When you want to kick it into high gear you just add another band to the handle.
Bodylastics have an anti-snap core. This is extra protection against the ouchies a broken resistance band can cause. Injuries can range from a sprained wrist to a damaged eye. Yikes.
Another perk is that the set is simple to store. The whole thing will easily fit in a gym bag.
This band is ideal for lower body activation. It’s also really easy to use. Just slide the band around your legs. From there you can squat, walk, or do any lower body moves. It’ll help tighten and tone your tushy, legs, and hips.
It’s a great option even if you’re just starting out. You can build up to more advanced motions as you progress.
This band was designed to stay in place during your workout. Reviewers also like that the band doesn’t rip out leg hair. Score. Sling Shot Hip Circle Resistance Bands are available in three different sizes: medium, large, and extra large.
Material(s): natural rubber latex
TheraBands are made from natural rubber latex which is super-duper durable. That makes them the perfect bands for leg workouts. You can use them on the daily for years before they start stretching out.
In addition to your legs you can use them to tone all major muscle groups. They’re also fab if you want to increase the range of motion in your upper and lower body.
The elastic resistance band has the exact pounds of resistance printed on each band. This can help you track your progress.
More good news: They’re lightweight and portable. You can have a great workout at home, at the gym, or on the go.
Material(s): natural rubber
Don’t forget to slay that stretching, fam. Studies show stretching is key to muscle mobility, recovery, and flexibility. Valeo Resistance Tubes are fantastic for that.
Unlike other resistance bands these straps are 4-feet long. Each band offers a different tension level.
Their cushioned foam handles are easy on your hands. With a slip-free grip you can totally focus on your form. They’re also lightweight making them great for on-the-go workouts.
Material(s): cotton and elastic
The RIMSports Resistance Hip Bands are a solid choice for all fitness levels. They’ll help you tighten, train, and tone your lower body. Just slide the hip circle around your knees and go for it.
These cotton fabric bands offer different degrees of resistance. Even though these bands are targeted for the ankles, hips, legs, and thighs you’ll also feel the burn in your core. They’re also wonderful for warmups.
Material(s): aircraft aluminum and elastic
The Gorilla Bow kinda looks intimidating but it’s actually super easy to use. It’s made of an aluminum bow with detachable resistance bands. You can hook the bow up to a door frame for more versatility.
The bow is supposed to withstand up to 300 pounds of force. So unless you’re an Avenger you prob can’t break it. The frame is rigid and can’t be taken apart. But it’s lightweight so it’s still portable.
Bonus: It’s fashioned after an ancient weapon so you’ll feel like a sexy archer.
This band is a pitcher’s BFF. It’s designed to strengthen your rotator cuff and surrounding muscles. It comes with a metal clip for easy anchoring.
Incorporate them into your warm ups and cool downs to take your pitching game to a whole new level. You can also use them to condition your muscles which may prevent injuries.
Even if you’re not a baseball or softball player you can still get an awesome upper body workout with these buddies.
Perform Better Mini Band Resistance Loop Exercise Bands are a gift from the workout heavens. They weigh next to nothing and can fit in your purse, suitcase, or even a jacket pocket!
You can use them for a dynamic warmup or a solid overall workout. They’re effective for lower and upper body training. They can even help activate your core!
Before you kick your #FitLife into high gear you should keep some things in mind. Certain resistance bands can be used for a full-body workout. Others are geared toward specific muscle groups.
You also have to look out for resistance levels. Even if your philosophy is “gym is life,” super heavy bands may not be right for you. It’s all about the results you’re looking to get.
You should also check out if the manufacturer offers a warranty. Some resistance bands can get pricey. So it’s nice to have insurance if it breaks.
Other things to consider
- What’s your budget?
- What are your fitness goals?
- Do you want to bulk up, tone, or both?
- What resistance level works best for you?
- What areas of your body do you want to focus on?
Resistance bands basically work like free weights. Studies show their results are pretty similar. Both create an external resistance that your muscles have to work against. But unlike free weights, resistance bands need you to keep up external pressure at all times.
There are tons of how-to vids and guides out there. Some bands also come with instructions or videos. Once you’ve mastered the basics you can get more creative.
Slow and steady
You don’t need to go threat level midnight from day one. Start with fewer reps until you build stamina. You may also want to begin training with a lower resistance and work your way up.
Resistance bands are pretty darn safe. But there are some solid safety tips to note:
- Even the best bands can fall victim to wear and tear. Always give your bands a safety check before use. This will help you avoid a sudden snap mid-move.
- Def follow the safety protocol even if your band does have a failsafe inner core.
- Be careful with loop bands. Don’t use them for fast-paced aerobics to avoid a spill.
- Kiddos shouldn’t use them unsupervised.
Pro tip: Store them away from direct sunlight. Sunlight can wear them out faster.
Resistance bands can give your muscles some TLC if you have an injury. They can also can be the perfect addition to your physical therapy (PT).
But you should def talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness routine — especially if you recently had surgery.
Whether you’re looking to add muscle or slim down, resistance bands are a terrific addition to your fitness routine. You can use them at the gym, at home, or on-the-go. So pick out a brand that works best for you and show your muscles a good time.