Complete UK Buying Guide to the best resistance bands.
We all know that to work our muscles and build strength, we have to apply resistance while using our muscles. There are many different ways of doing this, but free weights, weights machines, and body weight are the most common.
But what do you do when you don’t have access to a gym full of weights, or when your own body weight is not enough to provide the resistance that you need?
Enter resistance bands.
There are bands that are designed to provide the same resistance as lifting weights, but the resistance is supplied by an elastic band rather than a heavy weight. This means that, unlike most weights, resistance bands are light, portable, and affordable. They can also sometimes be used in ways that free weights can’t. For example, you can attach resistance bands to your ankles and use them to add resistance to specific movements such as kicks.
Resistance bands can also be used to isolate and work into small muscle groups, such as those in the ankles and wrists. Their versatility means that they are often a great choice for building up strength in physiotherapy.
Resistance bands are a highly versatile workout tool. But because of that, there is a huge variety of ways in which you can use them, and there is a huge range of options on the market. So, how do you know which ones are right for you? We are here to help.
In this article, we will share our top resistance band recommendations of all types. We will also take you through the different types of resistance bands and what they are best used for. We’ll also share some of the main benefits of using resistance bands, and answer some of the most asked questions about them.
Best Resistance Bands
FitBeast Resistance Bands
This is a set of five pull-up style resistance bands, that offer different resistance levels to work for different muscle groups. While they are of the style designed to assist in pull-ups, they come with accessories to make them more versatile. Specifically, they come with a door anchor and grip pads to make gripping the band more comfortable.
The set ranges from the lightest band, offering just 5-15 pounds of resistance, to the most durable, which can offer 50-125 pounds of resistance. All the bands are made from anti0snap material and roll up for easy storage. Get access to the FitBeast online Personal Trainer Course when you buy your bands.
- Pull-Up Bands
- Five bands from 5-125 pounds of resistance
- Door anchor and grip pads included
- No snap material
- Access to FitBeast personal trainer app
Fit Fortar Resistance Bands Set
This is a tubular resistance band set that comes with bands of 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 pounds of resistance. Use all five at once to work up to 150 pounds of resistance. The set comes with all the accessories you need for a full-body workout including ankle straps, handles, and a door anchor.
Each resistance band is 140cm long from hook to hook but folds down to be stored in a small carry bag, making them ideal for travel. This kit is built to last with 100% natural latex tubes and stainless-steel carabiner attachments.
- Tubular Resistance Bands
- Set of 5 from 10-50 pounds, up to 150 pounds of resistance
- Door anchor, ankle straps, and handles included
- 100% natural latex and stainless-steel constriction
- Travel-friendly size and storage
Resist Fit Complete Resistance Band Set
Looking for a resistance band for every eventuality, this complete set should meet all your needs. It combines a set of five tubular bands with five fit loop bands to offer a complete home gym set.
The tubular bands range from 10-50 pounds and can offer up to 150 pounds of resistance at a time. The foot loops range from just 2 pounds to as much as 30 pounds to work the legs and glutes.
Accessories include handles, ankle straps, and door anchor, and the whole kit can be stored in a neat carry bag if you are traveling.
- Combined tubular and fit loop set
- 5 tubes 10-50 pounds, up to 150 pounds total
- 5 fit loops from 2-30 pounds
- Handles, ankle straps, and door anchor included
- Carry bag included
ITNP Looped Resistance Bands
This ring resistance band is easy to use and it is easy to adjust the weight for different exercises, just choose the right loop for the resistance you want. It is a versatile tool that is easy to quickly integrate into dynamic workouts.
The band is made from eco-friendly natural latex that is durable and feels good against the skin. Ranges from 5 to 35 pounds in resistance.
- Ring Resistance Bands
- 5-35 pounds resistance with one band
- Eco-friendly natural latex
- Versatile and easy to use
- 8 resistance options
YNXing Agility Training Resistance Bands
If you are looking for resistance bands that you can use while performing complex aerobic movements, then this agility training system may appeal. It is a belt that holds resistance bands, which you can then attach to your ankles and wrists. The connections are durable, but the straps are designed to be comfortable while you are working out.
It matches 40-pound arm resistance bands with either 30 or 50-pound leg bands for different exercises. Ideal for martial arts training.
- Specialty resistance set
- Ideal for martial arts training
- Best with arm and leg resistance straps
- 40 pounds on arms and 30-50 pounds on legs
- Safe and secure system
Gritin Resistance Bands
This is a set of five fit loop bands ideal for working the leg muscles and glutes. Each look has a diameter of 60cm. Made from premium quality latex, the bands are smooth and designed not to irritate the skin, even when you get sweaty.
These bands are designed to retain their shape and not permanently stretch, no matter how much you use them. They are highly portable and come with their own bad for storage and transport.
- Fit Loop Bands
- Set of Five varying resistances
- 600mm x 50mm
- Premium latex
Suright Flat Resistance Bands
This is a set of three therapy-style flat resistance bands ideal for physiotherapy and recovery, but versatile enough to use in a variety of workouts. The bands offer 15, 20, and 25 pounds of resistance respectively, making them ideal for working into small muscle groups.
While the thin elastic is comfortable to work with, it won’t tear or snap and is made from natural latex that has no odor and is safe on the skin. Can be used for resistance, or support, for example getting into certain yoga postures.
- Therapy Bands
- Set of three, 15, 20, and 25 pounds
- Natural latex, no odor and skin safe
- No tearing or ripping
- Use for resistance or support
Types of Resistance Bands
There is a huge range of different types of resistance bands on the market. Below are some of the most common types that you are likely to come across.
These bands are generally used to apply light and adjustable levels of resistance to support exercises focused on rehabilitation and slowly rebuilding strength in specific muscle groups. These tend to be light, thin bands made from thin elastic.
They will either be loops or straight bands that you loop around something and hold in your hand. These are often used for small muscle groups, such as the ankles or wrists. You perform limited range of motion resistance and rotational exercises.
These bands are generally meant to take the place of weights in weight-bearing exercises. They are small elastic tubes that will end in some kind of ring attachment that can be linked to either a handle or an ankle or wrist cuff.
You hook the tube of your desired resistance around something, and then use the handles or coughs to perform pulling or pushing resistance exercises with the band acting in place of weights. For example, you could lie down and use the resistance band to complete a bench press.
These are often considered a portable resistance training toolkit for when you are traveling or training at home.
Pull Up Band
The pull-up band was initially designed to help you complete pull-ups. Rather than adding resistance, the elastic of the band gives you some lifting support as you pull your body weight up towards the bar.
They hook over the top of the pull-up bar and then around your feet and ankles. You can stretch the band out with your body weight relatively easily, but as you pull up since the band wants to return to its original state, it gives you a mild extra push.
Many people use these as alternatives to tubular bands, hooking them around something and using the resistance to work the muscles. They work equally well in the capacity but lack the attachment and accessories to facilitate this kind of exercise.
Ring Resistance Bands
This type of resistance band looks like a chain of loops. These loops can be gripped, or put around your ankles, and you can change the resistance of a single bang based on which loop you choose to use.
These are popular with martial artists and dancer. They might put the band on their ankles while performing their routines to add resistance to build strength in the specific motions that they use.
Fit Loop Bands
These are much smaller, thicker bands, usually around nine inches in length forming a loop. These are designed to fit around your thigh, knees, calves, or ankles specifically to work your leg muscles.
Use them to keep knees in place while performing squats or add resistance around the thigh while doing side steps. You can also use them to add resistance while lying on the floor and doing leg or knee raising exercises.
There are a variety of other specialist alternatives to these common types of resistance bands. For example, boxers often use bands that attach to a belt, so it provides resistance in the arms as they execute their punches in training.
If you do a specific sport, it is possible that someone had designed a resistance band approach that may work for you, so it is worth doing a little bit of research.
Benefits of Resistance Bands
Safer on the joints
While resistance bands are often used as an alternative to weight training, they can actually be safer than weight training by offering the same level of resistance with less strain on the joints. This means that you can apply more resistance, while being less likely to injure yourself.
Resistance through the full exercise
Due to the nature of free weights, there are often moments during the execution or a movement where the weights don’t apply any resistance, and therefore your muscles aren’t actually working, for example, the top of a bicep curl. While the resistance on bands, you are still working against the resistance of the band at these top points in the movement. This can help stimulate better strength adaptations.
Develop core strength
While the weights machine does a lot of the work for you at the gym, when using resistance bands, you need to use your core to get the band into place and hold it there and stop it from snapping back. This means that your core gets a workout throughout your entire exercise program.
Resistance bands can be used to maintain alignment and improve the execution of exercises, even in combination with weights. This is most often seen in movements such as hip thrusts, bench presses, and back squats.
Studies have shown that combining resistance bands and free weights can improve neuromuscular performance threefold.
Speed and agility
Resistance bands can be used when you want to combine strength training with speed and agility, something that can be very difficult to do with free weights. This is most commonly seen in martial arts for kicking and punching. But resistance bands can also be used by dancers, pitchers, and anyone else who works into full range of motion.
Inexpensive and portable
Weights tend to be heavy and expensive, while resistance bands are affordable, light, and don’t take up much space. This makes them an excellent alternative for people who don’t have access to the expensive equipment associated with the gym.
Are resistance bands really effective?
Yes, while resistance bands may look insubstantial when compared to your favourite kettlebell, they can add just as much resistance to the muscle as free weights.
Can you really build muscle with resistance bands?
Yes, resistance bands add the type of resistance to muscles that allow you to build and grow your muscles. They may even do so more effectively than free weights in some circumstances as they provide resistance throughout the full range of motions. With free rights, the tension is often removed at the peak of the exercise, whereas with resistance bands, this is when your muscles are working their hardest, potentially enhancing your gains.
What are the disadvantages of resistance bands?
The main disadvantage of resistance bands is that it is much harder to quantify and measure gains, and therefore to ensure that you are building up resistance and performance over time.
Resistance bands are a great tool for adding tension to the muscles when you work out. They are ideal when you don’t have access to the gym, but should be considered as so much more than just an alternative to free weights. Resistance bands can be used to work agility and mobility, and are ideal for recovery and physiotherapy exercises.
But the research suggests that, even if your goal is to improve your bench press, resistance bands can help you get there faster by improving execution and applying resistance through the full range of the exercise.
There is a place for resistance bands in almost any type of workout.
- Elastic Resistance Training – Strength and Conditioning Research
- Acute Effects of Combined Elastic and Free Weight Tension – The Sport Journal
- The Great Debate: Free Weights vs Resistance Bands – Muscle Prodigy
Last update on 2023-11-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API