The Best Resistance Bands

Resistance bands certainly are not new to the world of health and fitness, but their popularity continues to increase. When they first appeared, resistance bands were mostly the tools of physical therapists who used the stretchable bands to help increase mobility and flexibility in their older and rehabilitating patients. Today, the right set of resistance bands can replace a gym membership and transform your body and well-being. With all the options on the market today, it can be hard to know which set may be right for you. So, we put together this list of a few of our favorite resistance bands to help you make your choice.

Aleath Resistance Bands Set

Hop on the bandwagon

Whether you're stretching, rehabilitating, or strength training, this set will come in handy.
Best Overall

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Athletes, yogis, travelers, and folks rehabilitating an injury seem to love this set of resistance bands from Aleath. This bundle comes with a variety of bands equipped with clips at the end which can be attached to the included handles to perform resistance exercises. Each band offers a different level of resistance ranging from 10-30 pounds, and they can be stacked together to provide even more resistance. Versatile enough for bodybuilders and athletes as well as those simply looking to increase mobility, this set is a great all-around option.

Pros:

  • Also includes a door anchor
  • Sweat-proof and slip-resistant handles
  • When stacked, they offer a combined 100 pounds of resistance

Cons:

  • The components are not of the highest quality
  • They’re very affordable, but they may not last for years and years

Gymbee Resistance Bands for Legs and Butt

A leg up on the competition

For anyone looking to tone legs and glutes, Gymbee provides an excellent solution.
Best For Women

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Some resistance bands are designed for more specific workouts. Such is the case with this option from Gymbee, which consists of three strong bands that provide various resistance levels ideal for lower-body exercises. The bands are constructed from high-quality elastic. This material, combined with the unique, wide design of the bands, results in less pinching or sliding than you have with other bands, which is particularly important for resistance workouts for your legs.

Pros:

  • Good price considering the quality of the material
  • Great for those looking to tone lower-body muscles
  • Won’t slide and punch as much as other bands

Cons:

  • Not ideal for upper-body workouts
  • Not useful for mobility stretching

Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercises Bands

Resistance isn’t futile

This set provides the perfect range of motion and resistance for physical therapy exercises or simply working out at home.
Best Combo Bands

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This five-pack set of resistance bands from Fit Simplify will assist you with a lot more than pull-ups. Thanks to the wide variety here, you can use these bands in so many different ways. From range-of-motion movements and classic stretches to isometric workouts and rehabilitation exercises, this set has it all. For many people, this little-bit-of-everything approach works best. And on top of that, the cost value is nearly unbeatable with this pick.

Pros:

  • Bands are color-coded and labeled so you know which resistance level each one offers
  • Very affordable, so if this is your first set of resistance bands, you’re not risking much by investing in this
  • Storage bag included

Cons:

  • Quite slippery when wet

Vergali Fabric Booty Bands

Affordable and adorable

This four-pack set is great to use during squats, hip abductions, and more.
Best Set

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These bands are ideal for those looking to strengthen and tone their glutes, quads, and hamstrings. They’re designed to be looped around your thighs to provide resistance while you perform lower-body exercises like squats. Offered in a pack of four, each offers a different level of resistance so that you can progressively increase the difficulty of the movement. This isn’t to say that these bands will only work for leg-based exercises, either; with enough creativity, you can perform exercises just about every muscle group in your body with this set.

Pros:

  • They still in place during exercises without rolling up the legs
  • Offered in cute colors
  • Great for men and women

Cons:

  • We wish the sizes were more inclusive

Hoocan Resistance Bands Set

When size matters

Ideal for rehabilitation work, these extra-long bands are affordable and effective.
Best Long Bands

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If you’ve ever gone through a physical therapy regimen or you practice pilates at home, then you’re likely familiar with these flexible resistance bands. The system is simple: there are no handles, grips, clips, or door mounts, so you simply wrap the ends of the band around your hand and start your workout. The bands are “stackable” if you want to add more resistance, and they can be tied onto a doorknob for stability if you prefer. Best of all, they’re easy to take on the go for group yoga sessions, pilates, or wherever you can find the space to use them while traveling. And thanks to their extra-long length, they can accommodate all types of exercises and stretches.

Pros:

  • Length makes them quite helpful for rehabilitation exercises
  • Very easy to clean
  • Quite affordable

Cons:

  • Though each band is a different color, they all provide the same level of resistance

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I should get the clip-on “cable” style of resistance bands or the elastic kind?

People making the conversion to resistance bands after having a long-term gym membership seem to prefer the clip-on, cable-style band. The grip of these bands uses the same kind of handle as most machine weights in gyms, so the transition just feels more familiar. It’s also easier to stack weight with cables, as you can apply more resistance to a single handle. Those who have been through physical therapy or don’t want to attach a system to a door might prefer elastic-style bands. They’re also lighter weight and more compact; therefore, they’re easier to carry.

I don’t go to the gym but I want to get in shape. Can I start my program with resistance bands? Will it be as effective as the gym?

Yes and yes. Not only can you get a great workout with resistance bands, but you can also get the kind of free instruction you won’t find at the gym. There are a variety of excellent training videos on YouTube that you can watch at home to learn how to optimize your resistance band workout, so you don’t have to feel all self-conscious about getting started with your fitness routine in a public place.