Best Fitness & Resistance Bands Reviewed
Working out with best resistance bands is an effective stepping stone between body weight exercise and using weight resistance machines. However, bands are also a very effective tool for more advanced users as they allow you to hit a muscle from a range of angles that you just can’t get with machines. With bands, you can also simulate sports movements more effectively than with cables or other types of equipment. That makes resistance bands an essential requirement for your home gym.
In this article, we discover the 10 best resistance bands on the market today, and we describe why resistance bands are so great.
In a hurry? The test winner after 8 hours of research:
Latex And Cotton Blend
Special Gripping Surface
For Lower Body
Double Stitched Joints
Lightweight And Compact
- Spawn Fitness Cotton
- Black Mountain Set
- Emerge High-Density
- Sports Research Loop Bands
- Fitness Insanity Set
- TheraBand Latex Set
- Fit Simplify Loop
- DYNAPRO Adjustable
- SPRI Ultra Toner
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Spawn Fitness Cotton
Latex And Cotton Blend
Special Gripping Surface
For Lower Body
Double Stitched Joints
Lightweight And Compact
Bag Not Sturdy Enough
These resistance bands from Spawn Fitness are different from everything we’ve listed in our resistance bands review here, and that is because they are not made only out of rubber or latex. Instead, these marvelous bands are out of a cotton and latex blend! This makes them more durable, less likely to snap, and much gentler towards our skin.Read more
There are three different sizes available, that offer three different levels of resistance. The sizes are small, medium and large, all color coded in either pastel colors or gray, black and white. These resistance bands were designed with people of all shapes and sizes in mind, and they won’t roll or bunch up when you work with them. These exercise bands are used for working on the lower body, and the special gripping surface won’t let the fly off your feet. All joints are double stitched to prevent the bands from ripping open. They are lightweight and compact and come with a carrier bag that will make them easy to transport.
2. Black Mountain Set
5 Heavy Duty Bands
Metal Clipping System
Clips May Irritate Wrists
Black Mountain Resistance tubes are a complete set of tubular bands, two handles, a resistance band door anchor, ankle strap, carry case and exercise chart. You get 5 heavy duty bands with metal clips on each end to hook onto the handles.Read more
The lateral resistance bands are color-coded, from Yellow (2-4 lbs resistance) through to Red (25-30 lbs resistance). All five tubes can be attached to the handles simultaneously, providing 75 pounds equivalent weight. The stackable nature of the tubes allows for a greater range of progressive resistance than you get from other models. You are able to easily perform descending sets to push your workouts further. Black Mountain Products guarantee these tubes for life, though the quality of their customer service is questionable.
3. Emerge High-Density
Composite High Density Latex Rubber
No Training Guide Provided
The highest quality resistance bands on the market are the Emerge brand, which provides you with composite high-density rubber that is capable of holding up to 800 pounds. These bands have been specially treated to enhance their strength, prevent tears and other breakages.Read more
These bands feel great against the skin and comfortable to grab. Each set of Emerge bands consists of 5 bands that range in resistance between 40 and 80 pounds. Bands are color coded for easy identification. Each band has a length of 41 inches. They are easy to set up and come with a handy carry bag.
Three Levels Of Resistance
Money Back Guarantee
The WODFitters resistance bands add that little bit of resistance needed to make your body perform better, to make your session tougher, and ultimately, to give you great results. These bands can also be of great help to people who are learning how to do the pull-up, chin-up, ring dips, and muscle ups.Read more
These bands can be used for a particularly difficult powerlifting session as well! These bands are made out of consecutive layers of rubber, piled upon one another, that give these bands extra sturdiness and durability. There are five different resistance levels, neatly color-coded to give you insight into what you are working with. You can get these bands either as a set or as one individual band.
5. Sports Research Loop Bands
100% Heavy Duty Latex
5 Levels Of Resistance
Will Not Fray Or Crack
Not Long Enough
Sports Research Resistance bands are a set of five mini bands made from heavy duty latex rubber. These bands are two to three times the strength of comparable mini bands on the market. The five levels of resistance are light, medium, heavy, x-heavy and xx-heavy. These resistance bands are anti-wrinkle and anti-slip. Each band is 12 inches long and two inches in width. The lightest band is ideal for rehab and stretching work, providing a resistance of about 30 pounds.Read more
This Sports Research resistance band set can be used both for individual work and an additional resistance for conventional weight resistance exercises. They are also great for stretching prior to beginning your resistance work. They are very good quality and you will have no problems with fraying or cracking on your Sports Research purchase.
6. Fitness Insanity Set
Set Of 5 Bands
4 Training Guides
Not For Hardcore Training
Fit Insanity resistance bands come as a set of five color-coded professional bands. Each band has high-quality steel clips on the ends for handle attachment. Your total combined resistance is 150 pounds. Each band is 1.2 meters long and has its equivalent weight clearly marked.Read more
Your purchase comes with four exercise guides to give you all the training choices you’ll ever need. You also get a door anchor, heavy duty handles and a pair of ankle straps. It all comes in a cool waterproof carry bag.
7. TheraBand Latex Set
Flat Rubber Latex
Color Coded Bands
The TheraBand Resistance Band Set provides you with a range of resistance levels. The bands are flat rubber made from 100% latex. The resistance bands are color coded so you can immediately identify the resistance level.Read more
These bands are very durable and do offer a challenging level of resistance. In order to preserve the life of the band, it is recommended that you store it in a self- sealing the plastic bag when not in use. The length of the TheraBand Resistance Band Set allows you to double it over when you need more resistance, such as when you are doing leg presses. You don’t get any accessories, such as a door anchor or exercise chart, but the price is very competitive. This is a solid, reliable form of exercise.
8. Fit Simplify Loop
Heavy Duty Bands
5 Bands In Each Set
No Door Anchor
These 12 x 2-inch heavy duty resistance bands are made from 100% natural latex rubber, meaning that they are completely TPE free. Each set provides you with 5 bands of varying resistance levels. This makes them the ideal workout solution for beginners, intermediate and advanced trainers.Read more
Your purchase comes with a very smart and practical carry bag. FitSimplify bands are stringently quality tested before being shipped to you. That gives you greater assurance that you are getting the best. FitSimplify also provides you with a very well written training guide – and they have great after sales service. By the way, your purchase is covered with a lifetime guarantee!
9. DYNAPRO Adjustable
55 Inches Long
The DynaPro resistance bands are available in a set of three or individually. There are five levels of resistance with the bands, ranging from light to super heavy. DynaPro is a US-based company with the stringent manufacturing quality so you can be assured of the quality of this product.Read more
DynaPro tubular bands are made from high-quality latex rubber. Each band is approximately 55 inches long. This is considerably longer than most brands on the market, providing more workout versatility. The handles feature soft, comfortable cushioning and the ankle straps are also cushioned for comfort.
10. SPRI Ultra Toner
Patented Figure 8 Design
Soft, Comfortable Handles
Also For Seated Position
Professional Grade Quality
Only One Level Of Resistance
The SPRI Ultra Toner is a Figure 8 type loop resistance band that features soft rubber handles on each end and thick rubber protective sleeve around its middle. It is available in a range of color-coded resistance levels, from ultra light (lavender) to super heavy (purple).Read more
The patented figure-8 design used by SPRI offers a unique way to hit your muscles that intensifies the effect of your training. It is especially effective for double arm exercises such as upright rows and shoulder presses. The exercise bands are not gravity dependent, meaning that you can move through any plane of movement. You can even use it while sitting down if you have limited mobility.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Using resistance bands is intuitive and simple, and it shouldn’t confuse you that much, but if you are a beginner we understand how you may be confused by the concept, which is why we are writing about this in the first place.
One reason why resistance bands are so popular is that they can add resistance to almost any type of exercise. Resistance bands work almost the same way as weights do, but instead of gravity giving you the challenge, the tension is what you’re fighting with instead. This way you can create tension whenever you move your muscles, instead of feeling the burn only when you move the opposite way of gravity.
These types of exercises are great when you do not have the time to go to a gym, when you suffer from joint issues, or if you just want to add some variety to your regime. You can either use regular bands, that are just long, rectangle shaped strips of latex or rubber that must be tied down or held tightly to be used and tube bands that are similar to jump ropes, with handles at the end for convenience.
If you want to use the resistance bands properly, you must determine how much resistance you need in the first place. You can always start with the least amount of resistance and work your way up. You will know how strong your band is by looking at their colors. Usually, the darker the band is the heavier it will be, but just in case consult the guide from the manufacturers to be completely sure. The lighter bands offer 3-6 pounds of resistance, medium bands offer 8-10 pounds, and this is usually a good starting point, heavy resistance gives you 10-15 pounds to work with, and extra-heavy resistance challenges you with 16 pounds or more.
You can also adjust the position of the band to make the workout tougher or easier. The looser the band sits around your hands o the anchor, the easier the exercise will be. This is because it will have room to stretch, and you won’t have to work so hard to pull it. If the band is tightened up and firm, you will really have to do your best to even nudge it in the first place. If you feel like your band is too easy to use, there are several ways you can try to make it harder. You can tie a loop around the palm of your hand, or wherever you have it wrapped around to make it shorter, thus making the exercise harder. You can even step on the band, which will again shorten it. And you can try moving away from the anchor, tightening the band. So you see, the length and tightness of the band determine how much you’ll have to work for the gains.
You should use controlled movements until you master the band completely. This is because you need to maintain perfect form in order to stay injury free. Do not rush through a movement just to get it over with! It’s better to do fewer movements, but with perfect form, than to do more reps but with poor posture.
Also, you must make sure that your form is strong because otherwise the band might slip out of your hands or under your feet and hurt you. You must learn to tie a basic anchor knot if you want to use the band properly! This is because many movements will require a stable point for the band to be tied around. You can tie the knot around a tree, pole, or even a doorknob. The knot must be able to withstand your weight. You can increase and decrease the resistance by shortening or extending the knot.
These are the basics of using resistance bands. As your experience grows, you will learn more and more tips and tricks on how to use the bands, and we are certain that you will be a pro in no time!
You may also start to wonder just how effective can a single strip of elastic rubber actually be effective. Well, we are here to tell you that they are actually very effective tools for building muscles!
Resistance bands will tense your muscles, acting just like regular weights do. They can also be used literally anywhere you go, since they are portable and simple to use, and do not weigh a ton. They are safe and effective and usually recommended by doctors and physical therapists for faster injury recovery.
As we mentioned before, bands come in various different types, both equally effective. Most basic bands are flat, and others are tubular, guarded by a protective material. Some bands have handles, for easier maneuvering. The weight you can work with ranges from 3-4 pounds, to over 200 pounds, so don't worry about the bands not giving you a challenge once the weight starts to go up!
Like we said before, resistance bands create tension which you have to work against in order to pull the band towards you. This will make your muscles contract, which enhances both bone and muscle growth. Some experts even say that the bands are better than free weights, because as you stretch the band the tension grows, so you can actively change the number of “pounds” you are working with.
The resistance bands can also be modified very easily to your own needs and preferences, as opposed to working with weights, where you have to maintain just one pose to feel all the benefits. Tennis players even use the resistance bands to strengthen their backhand!
Resistance bands are not created using a huge variety of materials. They are almost always made out of rubber, latex, a blend of the two, and rarely cotton.
Resistance bands are actually made at the same time and in the same place as latex and rubber tubing are made, both for medical and food industries. This way people conserve extra energy when making the bands, making them even environmentally friendly! The bands are created when liquid latex gets pushed into a special type of tube mold or is rolled into a sheet. This sheet, or tube, then hardens over time, then it gets painted, so you know the resistance level you are working with.
There are two types of latex rubber used to create resistance bands. Firstly, we have natural latex, which comes from rubber trees native to Southeast Asia, and is harvested from underneath the bark. Synthetic latex is created by humans, using petroleum oil as the base. These two types do not differ so much - they will both be effective workout tools, and will be hardy and durable.
Then we have cotton resistance bands. These bands are not created solely out of cotton - instead, the cotton is blended with latex, since you won’t get the resistance just by using cotton bands. Also, cotton is not durable and will tear if you pull on it too hard, so using latex is a really important step here! These bands may be even sturdier than regular ones, and you can manipulate them just like you would manipulate regular latex bands.
They are also color-coded since cotton soaks up color very well. The only problem might be cleaning the bands. Cotton absorbs moisture like crazy, but it also holds onto it, not wicking it away. This will make your bands dirty and smelly fast, so it’s vital that you keep them clean! You can do that by popping them into the washing machine, if it’s safe, or by washing them by hand.
Truth be told, resistance bands are quite sturdy, lasting one to two years, or even more if you take care of them. This makes them a worthy investment, and a valuable fitness companion. We will now let you know a few tips and tricks that explain how you can extend the life of your bands even more, so you have even more time to work together. Take these tips to heart and follow them diligently and we are sure that you will use the bands for a long time.
If you want your band to last a really long time, switch to using two bands! This will reduce wear and tear damage, and doesn’t let the bands snap. When you use two bands instead of one, it will reduce the strain the bands feel when you work with them, because you won’t need to stretch one band so much, yet you will still get the same level of resistance.
Usually, resistance bands come in a set, so it’s going to be easy for you to find the right combo of bands to use at the same time. If you want, you can even use three, four or even five bands at the same time, for extra protection. But some people don’t like handling more than one resistance band at the time, and it really can be a hassle if you’re not used to it.
The bands may tangle and loop, and they can get torn this way too, so use two or more at the same time if you are already used to them. The good news is that more than one band will not create any issues for exercises performed with a band, and you can easily work with 10 bands at the same time if you like, the movement will be unchanged.
You don’t have to worry about your bands rusting over, that one’s for sure, but water damage is a real danger to your bands. Water can cause chemical changes at the top layer of the bands. This is because most of the bands are made out of rubber, which corrodes slowly over time when exposed to water. The colors can even start to fade over time, and your bands can develop white spots. This is when you should pay special attention to your bands when you use them, as they may be more prone to snapping. Keeping the bands dry shouldn’t be such a problem. Most of the times, you won’t be in direct contact with the bands, and they will be protected from water and sweat with handles or clothing. Sometimes, your feet and hands might still come into direct contact with the bands. This happens when you need to stand on the band to keep it in place, or when you need to hold it tightly in your arms. The bands can even press against your torso and upper and lower body as you perform the exercises. So you must keep your body dry before actually getting down to business with the bands. Dry yourself off with a towel before grabbing the bands, and if you sweat during the exercises with the band, make sure to keep a towel nearby to dry off your skin and the band.
Growing attached to one certain band as time goes by and making it your favorite is normal, and it will most probably happen to you. The band could provide you with ideal tension and comfort, and this is simply why you must make sure to keep the band safe. Switch up the bands, use a different level of resistance, or use two, as we mentioned before. Do not stretch the bands too far! Usually, no exercise will require you to stretch the band out so much that it snaps. Just in case, you should not stretch the band more than two times its length!
Resistance bands, although they are simple rubber strips, can actually have a bunch of features, making them much easier to use. Every band set you will buy will be color-coded, and those colors will tell you with how much resistance you are working with, which is quite important for your progress.
Resistance bands are always tested by the manufacturers, where they check the resistance levels and convert it to pounds, giving you insight into how much pounds you are actually working with. This is done by attaching the band to an anchor attached to a scale, stretching it, and then reading the results at the beginning of the stretch, then once again when the band is stretched out to the max. Then the average is calculated from all the readings and is used to determine the pound equivalent.
Usually, most of the band manufacturers will use the same colors to code the resistance, so that people can always know just with what they are working with, even if they do not recognize the brand.
Yellow is used to mark the easiest resistance band level that anyone can work with. These bands are great for physical therapy when you are recovering from an injury, or for working on small muscles on the body, like the rotator cuff in the shoulder, and it can even help with chronic conditions like the tennis elbow.
Green and red follow each other and provide us with light to medium tension. These bands are used if you want to set your reps to a big number. People often use these bands to work on their biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
Dark blue, or sometimes even green bands are the heavy hitters. This level of resistance is the best when you want to work on strength training and powerlifting, like when you use the bench press, perform squats, lunges, push-ups and so on and so forth.
Purple, black or silver are the colors used to mark champions. These colors are for the most advanced users, ideal for building strength and muscle mass. You can use them when you do squats, deadlifts, heavy shoulder presses or anything where your reps will stay low.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Resistance bands were brought to the world by Gustav Gossweiler, who thought of this brilliant invention in 1896. This makes resistance bands more than 120 years old! Gustav referred to the resistance bands as “universal gymnastic apparatus”. He claimed that his tools were easy to use, that they could be used for a huge variety of exercises, and that they are portable and easy to store away.
The exercises performed with the bands then are very similar, if not the same to the exercises we do now, showing us just how brilliant the bands really are. The only difference is that now the bands are even sturdier and last a long time, thanks to the better quality of rubber. Today, many athletes rely on bands to keep them fit and healthy, and their popularity is only gaining traction!
Other Factors to Consider
The best exercise bands on the current market are the Emerge range of high-density composite high-density rubber bands. These bands are extremely durable with a maximum carrying capacity of 800 pounds. The bands are color-coded according to the resistance level provided. Unlike most competitors, the equivalent poundage resistance is boldly printed on the sides of the band. They are extremely portable so you can take them anywhere.
Our second best workout bands are the Rogue Monster band, which provides the range of resistance to be used as a stand-alone exercise and to be added to squats and bench presses. Made in the USA, these bands are extremely rugged and hard wearing.
The Sports Research Bands range also impressed us, offering top quality bands that range up to 200 pounds in equivalent weight.
Our third favorite is the Black Mountain range of bands, which provide 5 stackable tubes, two handles, a door anchor, ankle strap, exercise chart and carry case. Black Mountain also provides a lifetime guarantee.
So, that was our line-up of best resistance bands. Our favorite band was the Emerge Pull Up Resistance Band, which is made from heavy duty latex rubber and provide resistance between 40 and 80 pounds. This makes them suitable for both beginners and advanced lifters. We were also very impressed with the Sports Research Bands, with up to 200 pounds of resistance and very sturdy, stretchable bands.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What should I consider before using resistance bands?
You should first note that both the flat bands and the bands with handles are super easy to store away and carry in your gym bag. The handles on the tubular bands make performing some exercises easier, like bicep curls. The bands can either be attached to an anchor, or you can stand on them or squeeze them with your hands. You should also remember the color code if you want to use the proper resistance levels!
q: Can I hurt myself by using resistance bands?
If you are not careful enough, you can potentially hurt yourself. Some exercises require you to stand in the band, and your feet may slip, causing the band to bounce and hit you. These injuries are not serious, but they are still annoying! Sometimes, you need to attach the band to an anchor. This anchor can be unstable, and again the band can slip and hit you. Also, if you perform the movements with the bands the wrong way, you risk damaging muscles, ligaments, and tendons, causing serious pain.
q: Which resistance band should I use?
This all depends on your current fitness level. If you are just starting out, you will, of course, go for bands with lighter tension. If you go hard before you are ready, you risk delayed onset muscle soreness, which is the last thing you want when you are just getting warmed up to the idea of working out. Fitter individuals will benefit more from medium to heavy resistance bands, as they will bring a fresh way of working out to the table. A very powerful lifter can also benefit from super resistant bands, because the bands will challenge the muscles to work in different ways, promoting growth and strength.
q: Can I lose weight by using a resistance band?
Resistance bands are supreme tools for weight loss. beginner resistance bands can be used for movements with a high rep count, like squats and lunges. These movements are definitely what you should be doing when you want to burn fat! Heavier bends will build muscle too, so not only will you be getting rid of the fat, but you will also gain muscles along the way!
q: How can I use resistance bands with a door?
The door is a great place to anchor your bands at in the comfort of your own home! Most bands come with a loop that has a big bit on one end. You should close the door on the lump, creating an anchor point that holds the band securely while you stretch and the band as much as you like. If your band does not have this loop, you can use a D-clip or a carabiner all the same!