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The Best Resistance Bands

F8 studio/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated December 2021

Resistance bands can be an excellent alternative to traditional free weights. They're much lighter, more portable, and easier to store, but they still offer the same workout benefits. These are our top picks for resistance bands.

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  Best Set Best for Leg Day Most Versatile Best for Recovery Best for Pull-Ups
Resistance Bands Set
Resistance Bands for Legs and Butt
Resistance Bands Set
Resistance Bands Set of 3
Pull-Up Assistance Bands
Our SummaryThis complete set allows you to make the most of your workouts wherever you are.Shape and strengthen your lower body with these resistance bands.A large guide of exercises helps you utilize the several options available in this complete band set.Add a resistance band to your stretching to improve your mobilityReach your training goals with extra assistance or resistance.
ProsFive levels of resistance, handles, door anchor, ankle straps, workout guide, stackable weight, 100% natural latex, color-coded.Three levels of resistance, only meant for lower body workouts, nonslip, don't pinch or roll.Five levels of resistance, handles, door anchor, ankle straps, workout guide, stackable weight, 100% natural latex, gradient-coded.Allows for greater range of motion to increase flexibility, gentle muscle activation and mobility, color-coded, three levels of resistance.Four levels of resistance/assistance, 100% natural latex for durable use, will help make gains in both bodyweight and powerlifting exercises.
ConsShorter length.Stronger resistance similar models, rubbing can irritate the skin.Shorter length.Not meant for high-intensity exercises.No handles, not meant for some traditional resistance band exercises.
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The Best Resistance Bands

young woman working out at home with a resistance band on her thighs
F8 studio/Shutterstock.com

Many people find that resistance bands are easier on their joints, allowing them to reap the benefits of strength training while putting less strain on their bodies. Others prefer to use resistance bands as an addition to certain workout moves in order to increase the tension and resistance for a more challenging workout. Some find they are a helpful tool with active recovery, increasing mobility, or reintroducing exercise after an injury. Whatever you use them for, resistance bands are a worthwhile investment and addition to most workout routines.

Buying Guide for Resistance Bands

A woman holds resistance bands while resting on the floor in tennis shoes and leggings.

Why should you buy resistance bands?

Resistance bands are an effective and portable way to add resistance to your workout and mobility routines. Adding resistance to stretches or bodyweight movements is a gentle way to increase the intensity of your workouts. They are gentle on your joints, but they deliver desirable results. With many different ranges of resistance, beginner or seasoned athletes can find bands that take their workouts to the next level.

What should you consider when purchasing resistance bands?

  • Type: Some resistance bands can be used for any part of the body, while others are designed specifically for the legs or upper body. Make sure you pick the right type of resistance band for your needs.
  • Customization: Some brands of resistance bands have handles or grips that can be removed and swapped out. Some bands themselves adjust to give you a tougher or easier workout.
  • Strength: Resistance bands are almost always color-coded to show their equivalency in free weights; a red band, for instance, might correspond to lifting 20 pounds. The color coordination varies by brand and company, so double-check before buying to get the weight that’s right for you.
  • Sets: If you plan on using your resistance bands for long-term strength building, investing in a set of resistance bands may be a wise choice so that you don’t have to keep buying a new resistance band every time you need a heavier weight.

How do you care for resistance bands to make them last?

Resistance bands are very easy to maintain, but simple steps for care can make them last longer and perform better. If you wrap them around a bar for assisted pull-ups or tricep pulldowns, be sure to unwrap them and just hang them. This simple step will let your band rest instead of sticking together and possibly causing breakage. If you want to clean them, use a wet wipe for spot cleaning and then dry them off. Hanging your bands is the ideal way to store them.

Our Picks for the Best Resistance Bands

Best Set

Whatafit Resistance Bands Set

This complete set allows you to make the most of your workouts wherever you are.

Pros: This set includes five different resistance bands ranging from 10 pounds to 50 pounds. Each band is a different color, making it easy to identify which weight you’re using. The set includes a door anchor, handles, ankle straps, and a carrying bag to keep it all together. This complete system allows you to exercise every major muscle group in a variety of movements to keep your workout varied and effective. You can even stack the weights in any combination, reaching a total of 150 pounds. The bands are made of 100% natural latex. The set comes with workout suggestions to help provide education and inspiration for how to best use the bands.

Cons: These aren’t as long as other resistance bands, so they may limit some exercise variations.

Bottom Line: This set offers the weight options and movement versatility to feel like you’re working out in a complete gym nearly anywhere you are. The durable latex can withstand several intense workouts in a variety of movement patterns.


Best for Leg Day

Te-Rich Resistance Bands for Legs and Butt

Shape and strengthen your lower body with these resistance bands.

Pros: Specifically designed to train your glutes and legs, these three resistance bands target your muscles to create tone and sculpted muscles. Made from soft cotton with built-in latex grips, the bands won’t pinch, roll, or snap while in use. The set has three different resistance levels, making them suitable for challenges over time and targeting both large and small muscle groups. They’re easy to take with you and come with a mesh bag for even greater convenience.

Cons: This band still has latex on the interior, which may cause some irritation for users. The lightest resistance is more intense than other sets, so it may be harder for beginners than expected.

Bottom Line: These bands are designed to strengthen your glutes and leg muscles, and they do it well. The three levels of resistance allow you to challenge yourself over time and target both big and small muscle groups.


Most Versatile

HPYGN Resistance Bands Set

A large guide of exercises helps you utilize the several options available in this complete band set.

Pros: A sleek gradient of grey distinguishes the levels of resistance in this band set. It comes with handles, ankle straps, and a door anchor for greater versatility. The bands are five different levels ranging from 10 pounds to 50 pounds. The bands are also stackable, meaning you can combine them to increase your resistance even more. Many people appreciate the comprehensive exercise chart for greater workout variety.

Cons: These aren’t as long as other resistance bands, limiting some exercise variations.

Bottom Line: The exercise chart is a major draw to those looking to make the most of this set at home. The resistance variety and accessories make it easy to get a full-body workout, and the chart provides extra direction and motivation to get the results you want.


Best for Recovery

URBNFit Resistance Bands Set of 3

Add a resistance band to your stretching to improve your mobility.

Pros: Ever feel like you just can’t get a good enough stretch? These resistance bands can help you get a better stretch, helping your muscles recover better. Recovery is crucial whether you’re healing from an injury or just recouping after a challenging workout. These latex bands come in three levels to help you get the best stretch and exercise for your needs and goals. It comes with a guide that is available as a PDF or app for portable reference wherever you go.

Cons: These are better suited for gentle workouts rather than high-intensity workouts. The resistance levels are less intense, so they aren’t ideal for building lots of strength.

Bottom Line: These resistance bands are made for gentle stretching and increasing mobility rather than building muscle. If you buy them with that in mind, the bands are effective for reaching greater depth in stretches and expanding the range of motion in joints, which is excellent for recovery.


Best for Pull-Ups

WSAKOUE Pull-Up Assistance Bands

Reach your training goals with extra assistance or resistance.

Pros: These bands can assist in movements like pull-ups if you don’t have the strength on your own. Since this pack comes in four different levels, you can gradually decrease the amount of assistance you need until you can do one unassisted. Another purpose of these bands is to add resistance to barbell exercises. They can also be used for more traditional resistance band exercises. Made of 100% natural latex, they provide durable tension without an off-putting odor.

Cons: Since these bands don’t have handles, they can be tough on your hands. Their purpose is more for pull-up assistance or adding resistance to barbells, so some of the more traditional resistance band exercises may take some trial and error to achieve proper setup for smooth movements.

Bottom Line: These bands are an effective way to build strength for both bodyweight and barbell exercises; however, if you’re looking to use them for more traditional resistance band exercises, they can take some getting used to.

Final Thoughts

Resistance bands are a great way to add gentle-on-the-joints intensity and workout variety. They’re easy to pack and take with you almost anywhere. Whether you want to bring them on vacation or to the office for a lunch break workout, check out these resistance bands to add to your routine.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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