Best resistance bands

Fitness Equipment

The first elastic band, similar to today’s resistance bands, was created in Switzerland in 1895 and then patented in the United States a year later.

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Which resistance band is best?

Sometimes you can’t make it to the gym for a workout, or you don’t have the physical space at home for a weight machine. Resistance bands are a great way to have a workout wherever you are by providing different levels of resistance for your muscles.

Many people find that resistance bands offer an excellent workout, and can even be combined with traditional weights to provide variety and target different muscle groups. A set of Wodfitters Pull Up Assistance Bands, which offer five different levels of tension, is a top choice.

What to know before you buy a resistance band

Types of resistance bands

There are seven types of resistance bands. Fit-tube resistance bands are excellent for most exercises, and impact both upper and lower body muscle groups. There are a wide range of resistance levels for this type.

Clip-tube resistance bands have a metal or plastic clip that allows for different handles to be used. These resistance bands offer a lot of versatility for different types of exercises.

Figure-eight resistance bands are also known as bow-tie resistance bands. They are excellent for the upper body and have handles in the middle and on both loops.

Ring-resistance bands are used on the lower body, and are typically 1 foot long with handles on both ends. 

Lateral bands are also used on the lower body and have an ankle cuff on both ends.

Pull-up resistance bands are best used in a gym and intended for pull-ups using your body weight.

Flat resistance bands are typically used for rehabilitation exercises and come in subtypes of therapy bands and fit loop bands.


Light-tension resistance bands offer about three pounds of resistance and are best for people going through rehabilitation. Medium-tension bands offer 6 to 13 pounds of resistance and are a good fit for people with some level of fitness. Heavy-tension bands typically offer between 14 to 19 pounds of resistance, which is more than it might seem, and intended for more seasoned exercisers. Very heavy resistance bands are around 23 pounds, and they are intended for the most experienced weightlifters and fitness buffs. For more details, check out the Best Review summary on the best resistance bands.

Solo resistance band vs a set

It is recommended to start with a set of resistance bands so that you can experiment and determine which resistance level is best for you. You may eventually find a resistance level that is best for your workout goals.

What to look for in a quality resistance band

Door or Wall Mount

Both door and wall mounts provide a foundation upon which to attach the resistance bands. Door mounts need to be used with a securely closed door (preferably locked) to prevent injuries. Wall mounts have the resistance bands permanently attached for specific exercises.


There are many varieties of handles in regard to shape, size and texture. Look for models with softer handles that allow for more exercises to be performed.

Carrying bag

Many resistance bands come with a storage bag. Even if they don’t, a simple drawstring bag should be able to transport your bands.

How much you can expect to spend on a resistance band

Resistance bands start at around $25 for basic sets with a carrying bag. With more bands and accessories, the price is between $50-$75, while high-intensity, full-workout sets can cost over $100.

Resistance band FAQ

What do the band colors represent?

A. Each band color identifies a specific level of resistance so that you can work on different routines or target certain muscle groups. Each manufacturer uses a different color chart, but will have the specifications clearly marked with the instructions, and sometimes even printed on the bands themselves.

Are resistance bands more effective than weights?

A. The research is limited, but most experts agree that resistance bands provide a benefit similar to that of weights. It comes down to what the user prefers in terms of portability, the types of exercises to be performed, and which muscle groups are being focused on. You may want to consider combining both resistance bands and weights if you have access to both.

Will resistance bands break easily?

A. Most resistance bands are made from extra-strong rubber nylon and many have lifetime warranties. Still, over time and with heavy use, resistance bands will wear down, so you should look for signs of breaking down. Most injuries using resistance bands come from misusing the bands, not band breakage.

What’s the best resistance band to buy?

Top resistance band

Wodfitters Pull Up Assistance Band

Wodfitters Pull Up Assistance Band

What you need to know: Available in five different resistance levels, these bands are highly recommended for upper-body workouts.

What you’ll love: Bands may be purchased in single-band or multi-band packaging. Easily transported and made from 100 percent rubber latex, these bands are ideal for chin-ups, ring dips and overall powerlifting.

What you should consider: There were minor concerns about possible band tearing.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top resistance band for the money

Tribe Resistance Bands Set

Tribe Resistance Bands Set

What you need to know: This 14-piece set has everything you need for a convenient workout at home or on the road, including a helpful e-book download.

What you’ll love: Durable color-coded bands made from polymer and nylon come with cushioned handles, ankle straps, a door anchor and a waterproof carrying bag. The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty.

What you should consider: There is some concern that the carrying bag is not spacious enough for everything that comes with the set.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Worth checking out

Sports Research Mini Loop Resistance Bands

Sports Research Mini Loop Resistance Bands

What you need to know: This affordable set of five different bands offers excellent resistance for your workouts.

What you’ll love: The bands are designed to prevent slippage during workouts and come in nontraditional pastel colors. A washable carrying case provides easy transport. A workout guide and lifetime warranty are also included.

What you should consider: The highest intensity bands may not provide enough resistance for more serious exercisers.

Where to buy: Amazon

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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