10 Best Resistance Bands Tested & Compared
Resistance bands are an excellent addition to any fitness enthusiast’s repertoire. They are an ultra-portable piece of equipment which comes in an assortment of strengths, sizes, resistances and lengths, making it perfect for anywhere one might want to use it. These exercise bands are designed to stretch, allowing a smoother movements than free weights can provide. They are a great addition to a home gym, especially if you live in a small space such as an apartment, or as a portable training tool for people that travel frequently but don’t want to compromise their training routine.
They are also perfect for people who are injured because they provide resistance only, not weight. The bands used for this are called therapy bands. Other types of bands include loop types of bands, sometimes called “giant rubber bands,” and handled tube bands. Whatever the type, they’re typically color coded to show how much resistance they provide, but not all companies use the same color scheme. If you are using the bands for therapy, make sure you follow the exercises recommended by your physical or therapist.
If you are interested in adding resistance bands to your personal collection of fitness equipment, take a look at the list of the Top Ten Resistance Bands we have comprised below. One of the options will surely meet your training or therapy needs.
10 Best Resistance Bands
Band Dimensions: They range from 1/2 inch to 2.5 inches X ~1/16 inch thick and 41 inches long.
Resistance: The resistance for this set of bands ranges from 10 pounds (red bands) to 175 pounds (blue).
Value: This is an excellent value for the bands. It should be noted that the more resistance that the band has, the more expensive it is. Unfortunately, some users may think they need to be sturdier.
- Sold individually or as a set
- Comes with an e-guide
- Helpful for use in mobility exercises
- Seller is responsive to customers
- Some users thought the bands weren’t sturdy enough/ snapped (or stretched out) after a few uses
- Some users didn’t think the grip was good enough
- No “grip” or handle
Master of Muscle
Band Dimensions: The bands themselves are 44 inches long. The clips add an extra 7 inches to each end, for a total of 58 inches. The “tubes” are all the same diameter.
Resistance: The resistance level of the bands increases in 5 pound increments. The smallest is 5 pounds (yellow) and the largest is 25 pounds (red).
Value: This is an excellent value for 5 tubes. Unfortunately, not all users were thrilled about the product’s quality.
- An entire set (vs. buying individual bands) and comes with a carrying case
- Made of rubber with antibacterial properties.
- Reasonably priced.
- Understandable/ easy to use workout book
- Excellent customer service/ money back guarantee
- Made in USA
- Some users thought the product could be sturdier
- Door stop doesn’t work (or is missing)
- Fabric is scratchy/ irritating to the skin
- Several shorter reviewers thought it would be more suited to someone who’s taller
- Ankle cuffs aren’t adjustable
Resistance: The exact resistance of these bands are not listed but simply labeled “Light,” “Medium” and “Heavy.”
Band Dimensions: The unstretched band lengths are 30 cm.
Value: This is an excellent deal for a closed loop resistance band.
- Affordable for a multiple band set
- Made of easy to clean rubber.
- Stackable to provide more resistance
- Exact resistance of each of bands unknown as it is not disclosed
Core Fitness Zone
Band Dimensions: The dimensions of the bands in the set are not listed.
Resistance: The resistance is as follows in pounds: 5 (yellow), 10 (blue), 20 (green), 30 (black), 40 (red).
Value: This set of bands is a bit more expensive than some of the other products on this list, but the price does reflect the amount of bands and accessories you receive.
- Sturdy Product/ No reports of breakage
- Easy to follow E-Book/ some beginning exercises are shown on Amazon
- Lifetime guarantee
- Comes with a carrying bag
- Instruction manual not included/ eBook not easy to find.
Band Dimensions: The dimensions are 5 foot long by 4 inches wide.
Resistance: The resistance goes 3 to 4.3 lbs. (yellow) to 4.6-6.7 lbs. (green). The more the bands stretch, the greater the resistance it provides the user.
Cost/ Value: This is an excellent value for a beginner set of resistance “therapy bands.” If users don’t think the resistance level is enough, they can always buy the company’s more advanced set. Unfortunately, they don’t come with a carrying bag; users who want a one will have to find something to put them in or make their own.
- Easily gripped wide product
- Compact/ doesn’t take that much room
- Great for physical therapy & stretching exercises
- Offers a variety of stretchiness
- Made of latex which some are allergic to / has an unpleasant odor
- Not everyone is happy about the quality/ resistance level. Doesn’t come with a carrying bag
- Not Easy to clean
- No “handles”
Band dimensions: The bands in this set are 52.5 inches long.
Resistance: The resistance starts at 5 lbs. and goes up to 25 pounds. The weight increases in 5 pound increments between bands.
Value: At full price this is the most expensive item on the list. On sale it’s a considerably better, if average deal.
- Anti-Snap technology
- Lifetime guarantee
- Comes with as a set and included eBook
- Not all users find the product’s quality adequate
Band Dimensions: As the resistance increases, the width of the product increases. The yellow starts off at 1/4 inch, whereas the orange is 3.75 inches wide. Each band is 41 inches long.
Resistance: The bands range from 2-15 pounds (yellow) all the way to 70-175 pounds (orange). This set offers the widest variety of resistance of any set on this list.
Value: These bands are an excellent value for those who want to start off with a small amount of resistance and build up, or conversely, want to use the resistance bands to help with pull ups and wants to gradually reduce the amount of help given. The deal could be better by having an entire set for one lower price.
- 60 day unconditional money back guarantee
- Wide range of resistance
- Sold individually or as a set
- Material holds up well under use
- No handles / grips
- Material is slippery (one user suggests using chalk to solve this)
- Some thought material is stinky / Cheaply made
Band dimensions: Each bands is 3.6 feet/ 43.3 inches, though the diameter/ circumference of the tubing is different for each level of resistance.
Resistance: The resistance ranges from 2 lbs. for the lightest bands, all the way to up to 75 lbs. for the strongest bands.
Cost/ Value: This is an excellent value for a single tube. It should be noted that the more resistance that an individual tube has, the more expensive it is.
- Sold Individually
- Has an instruction booklet with it
- Comes in a variety of resistances
- Comes with handles
- Some users think it’s too short
- Not everyone thought the product (or the handles) were sturdy enough
- Does not “snap back” into shape after use.
Band dimensions: Each band measures 41 inches.
Resistance: The bands offer a range of resistances. The lowest range is 1 - 8 lbs., whereas the highest is 35 - 100 lbs.
Cost/ Value: These are an average deal for “rubber band” resistance bands. As the resistance goes up, so does the price.
- Sold singly.
- Wide arrange of resistance levels
- Company responsive to questions
- No handles, nor designed to be used with any
- Some thought product was overpriced
Band Dimensions: The band for the upper body is 31”, whereas the one for the lower body is 52”.
Resistance: The resistance on these bands isn't listed, although, according to the company’s website, users can choose the resistance level they need.
Value: This is one of the more expensive products on this list, especially considering there’s only 2 bands in this set.
- Has wide, comfortable handles
- Bands themselves are wide
- Different sizes for different exercises
- 100% Satisfaction guarantee
- Handles are cheaply made & may come off.
- Made of latex
- No carrying case included
- No instructions are included with the bands
After reading our list of the 10 Best Resistance Bands, we hope that you have a better understanding of how this piece of fitness equipment can enhance your training program. Refer to this list to make sure your purchase the resistance bands that meet your needs.
The Criteria We Used to Evaluate the Best Resistance Bands
If you are interested in strength training, you aren’t required to use a squat rack or other equipment offered at your local gym. You don’t even have to use dumbbells or a kettle bell! Resistance bands can help you build strength without taking up a lot of space or having to lift tons of weight.
There is a set of metrics we applied when choosing the resistance bands that made our list. The metrics we used are based on product research and reviews about the weight scales that are available on the market, as well as questions that are commonly asked about resistance bands. Each of the key factors in creating our list of the best resistance bands is explained below.
How many bands are in this set?
They say variety is the spice of life. This is especially true when it comes to your fitness routine. If you keep doing the same workout over and over again, eventually you will stop seeing results. And, when you stop seeing results, you get frustrated and tend to stray from your fitness routine. Nobody wants that to happen!
In our search for the best resistance bands, we took into considering the variety offered by each product. The more bands offered together means you will have a greater variety of resistances to choose from. This will allow you to change your workouts to meet your needs and increase progression toward your fitness or therapy goals.
Another thing to consider isn’t necessarily the number of bands sold together, but whether or not the manufacturer has other resistance band sizes available. This not only means your set will be consistent in terms of make, but it also eases the purchasing process for you.
What sizes are these bands?
Resistance bands come in a variety of sizes. This can determine on which areas of the body it can be used. It can also affect whether or not the band offers the appropriate amount of resistance. Shorter bands are usually used by wrapping them around your ankles or wrists. Longer bands have a bit more variety, as they can be manipulated around your body or an anchor (like a pole). This allows for a greater variety of exercises to be performed.
Luckily, if a band is too long, it can usually be shorted by knotting it or using a shortening mechanism. Although this will make the band more useful, it does not guarantee that the resistance will be as expected. Make sure you follow the instructions, exercise book, or recommendations from your physician on how to perform exercises with the bands your purchase.
What resistance do these bands offer?
Resistance bands can be created to offer different amounts of resistance. A wide range of resistances makes the set of bands more versatile and allows you to differentiate your workout to meet your individual needs. Additionally, a set with multiple resistances can be used by a greater amount of consumers, making it a more universally-friendly product.
Like free weights, heavier bands tend to be used for larger muscle groups, like the legs, chest, or back. Smaller resistances are generally used with smaller muscle groups, like the arms. Lower levels of resistance may also be recommended as a starting point for a therapy or rehabilitation program. Make sure you follow the advice of your physician when choosing a resistance band for a therapy routine.
What accessories come with these bands?
Resistance bands are a stand alone fitness tool. Aside from the band and your body, the only other “accessory” you might need (and it isn’t even required) is an anchor, like a pole, chair, or railing, to perform certain exercises.
However, many resistance band sets are sold with accessories. These include storage bags, handles, instruction booklets, and even e-books! Any tool or accessory that helps increase your knowledge of how to use a fitness tool or of fitness in general is a plus in our book!
Other Important Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Resistance Bands
- Storage Space
Resistance bands are small. They are compact. You can throw them in a bag or bucket and easily tuck them away, out of sight. This means that they are great for people that live in small spaces, like apartments, or that just don’t have enough space in their house for home gym equipment.
Even though they are easy to store, make sure you will actually store them somewhere. Resistance bands, if left out and about, make great toys for kids and dogs alike. You should also have a space to store them where you normally work out so that you actually use them on a regular basis.
- Your Fitness Needs
If you are just beginning to work strength training into your fitness routine, resistance bands may be a great way for you to begin. They offer you a way to work and tone your muscles without loading on tons of weight. They are also a smaller financial commitment that purchasing an entire home gym or squat rack set if you aren’t quite sure if you will work out consistently and get your money’s worth out of the equipment.
However, if you are used to weight training consistently, resistance bands may not offer you the type of challenge your muscles needs. Even with this in mind, they may offer you a way to work your muscles lightly on a rest day, while you are injured and taking it easy, or as a way to get a better stretch after a tough training session. So, resistance bands are truly a tool that can benefit athletes of all fitness levels.
- Doctor Recommendations
If your doctor, based on your health and fitness needs, has made recommendations as to how you should participate in physical activities, listen to him or her. If resistance bands are what he or she recommends you use to strengthen your muscles, use them! They have a lot to offer fitness enthusiasts of every level.
If you are injured and your doctor recommends building your strength up with resistance bands, don’t be stubborn and go back to the free weights. You will put yourself at great risk for either re-injury or worsening your injury. Grab a set of resistance bands- there is no shame in taking care of your body so you can get back to your normal routine as quickly as possible. Prior to shopping for the bands, ask your doctor to recommend a level (or levels) of resistance as well as exercises to complete, which will help you buy the correct length band.
Q: What are resistance bands made of?
A: Resistance bands must be made out of stretchable, flexible material that is also durable. When being used for exercise or therapy, they undergo quite a bit of pressure and stress, and like any other fitness gear, you want them to last a long time so you can get your money’s worth. With this in mind, most resistance bands are made of soft rubber or latex. These materials can be manipulated easily to create different lengths and resistances.
if you have a latex allergy, make sure to read all product information before making your purchase. You definitely don’t want to buy a set of bands made out of latex and risk an allergic reaction.
Q: How do I select the right resistance band?
A: This depends on your health and fitness needs.
If you are purchasing the bands as a fitness tool with the main intent of building muscular strength and/or increasing flexibility, it is important to know your level of fitness. Light bands are intended for people with low fitness levels. Medium bands are for people of average fitness, and heavy bands are for people with above average muscular strength.
If you are using the bands as part of therapy and recovery, ask your medical professional for a resistance recommendation. This is your best bet in preventing injury and being on the road to a safe and healthy recovery.
Another factor to consider is the exercises for which you will be using the bands. Resistance bands come in a variety of lengths, and some even have handles. The type of band determines what exercises can become part of your routine. Shorter bands are usually used around the end of your extremities, i.e. your hands, feet, and ankles. Longer bands are generally used to work out larger muscle groups like the legs, chest, and back, and can be stretched and manipulated more easily.
Q: What types of exercises can one do with resistance bands?
A: The options are endless! Below are a few examples of exercises you can do with resistance bands:
- Front Squats: Stand on the resistance bands with feet shoulder with apart. Hold the ends of the bands behind your shoulders, by your ears. Squat straight up and down, being sure to keep your heels on the ground.
- Bent Over Row: Stand on the band with your feet shoulder width apart. While holding one end of the band in each hand, hinge forward at the waist. Bend your elbows and pull the bands straight up, pinching your should blades together.
- Standing Chest Press: Anchor or wrap the band around a column or pole at chest height. With one end of the band in each hand, step away from the column until no slack is left. Place one foot slightly forward to steady yourself, and press arms straight out from your chest.
- Lateral Raise: Place one foot in the center of the band and grab one end in each hand. With arms down by your sides, lift arms until at shoulder height, then release. Note: Keep your arms straight, but don’t lock your elbows!
- Bicep Curl: Squats: Stand on the resistance bands with feet shoulder with apart. Hold each end of the band in one hand with palms facing up. Bend your elbows at waist height, and bring your palms toward your shoulders.
- Reverse Crunch: Anchor or wrap the band around a column or pole so it is just a few inches above the floor. Wrap the bands around both feet, lie on your back, and move yourself away from the anchor until there is no slack. With hands at your sides on the floor, pull your knees toward your shoulders while contracting your abs.
Note: All of the above exercises are meant to be performed with long bands. Handles are not required, but may make some of the exercises easier or more efficiently executed.
Q: Can I build muscle while using resistance bands?
A: Yes. Resistance bands provide progressive tension, which works with your range of motion and repetition of exercises. Resistance is greatest at the end of a motion when the bands are stretched the most, because this is when the tension is greatest.
If your goal is to build muscle, you must make sure that you are using the appropriate amount of resistance. Your goal should be able to complete 10-12 reps of each exercise during each set performed. You also need to make sure that you are utilizing proper form for each exercise. Finally, perform your resistance band strength routine on non-consecutive days. Muscles need to rest in order to grow!
Q: Do my resistance bands need to have handles?
A: No. Handles on resistance bands are completely a personal preference. Some users find that they allow them to have better grip and control while using the bands during strength training or therapy. On the other hand, some users find the bands to be limiting in terms of range of motion, or if they have a condition like arthritis, actually make the resistance bands more difficult to use.
Q: Can I injure myself using resistance bands during my training?
A: Just like with any other piece of fitness equipment, you should always follow the instructions for use. If you don’t you risk injury.
Additionally, if you are injured or recovering from an injury, you should heed the recommendations of your doctor or therapist. If you use an inappropriate resistance or perform an exercise that is not appropriate for your current physical capabilities, you can also risk becoming injured or worsening a current injury.
Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:
We utilize many different resources while trying to provide the best information to our readers. Some are scholarly or clinical sources, some are information provided by medical and dietary professional, and some sources are even other sites which may specialize in information that is relevant to our topic.
- Resistance Bands for Strength Training – Set of 2, Manufacturer Website, May 09, 2017 ,
- 33 Resistance Band Exercises you can do literally anywhere, Informational Fitness Website, May 09, 2017 ,
- Core Fitness Zone Resistance Band Set Review, Informational Fitness Website, May 09, 2017 ,
- How to Determine What Size Resistance Bands to Buy, Informational Fitness Website, Jul 21, 2011 ,
- 33 Resistance Band Exercises You Can Do Literally Anywhere, Informational Ratings Website, Feb 13, 2015 ,