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Published Oct. 5, 2021

Resistance bands first came into favor in the early 1900s as equipment for muscle rehabilitation exercises. And while the bands are still used widely in physical therapy today, resistance bands have also become widely popular in fitness and strength training, particularly in home gyms, due to their inherent flexibility and versatility. While exercise bikes are great, resistance bands pack a lot of punch without a large price tag or storage space requirements. The bands are great for anyone looking to build muscle, burn calories, perform full-body conditioning, or even perform basic stretching while fully protecting the joints. 

While those early resistance bands were constructed from standard surgical tubing, there are many more options on the market today. Many of the best resistance bands for working out are made from latex rubber or fabric, and some even come with handles that can be clipped on for further adaptability. In addition, most bands come in sets that are typically color-coded to indicate various resistance levels, making them perfect for users with a wide range of fitness skills from beginner to intermediate and advanced. 

In addition to being a great addition to any home gym, resistance bands are also ideal for traveling since they’re lightweight and easy to transport. For anyone who thinks resistance bands might be an ideal addition to their home fitness equipment, we’ve rounded up some of the best resistance bands on the market, so you’ll be stretching and flexing in no time.

How we picked the best resistance bands

In evaluating products for this guide, we researched more than 50 different types and brands of resistance bands with a range of price points. Ultimately, we based our decisions on user ratings, and we chose the products with the most overall satisfactory customer reviews. All too often, products have deceptively high star ratings, only to have the same complaints surface time and time again. Of course, even the most high-quality bands will wear out over time, but there is a difference between a handful of isolated negative reviews and genuine product design flaws.

Another crucial factor we took into consideration was the range of user fitness objectives. All of the products listed in this guide are practical for beginners through advanced athletes, but not all the best resistance bands are created equal. For example, those looking to strengthen their lower body may prefer fabric “booty” bands, while heavy-duty latex bands with handles might be a better fit for someone looking for an upper- or full-body workout. We selected a variety of products sure to meet a wide selection of unique and individual goals. Here are our picks for best resistance bands:

Best resistance bands overall: VEICK Resistance Bands Set

Why it made the cut: Ditch those dumbbells and still get a full-body workout with the best resistance bands, which come in five resistance levels or can combine to a total of 150 pounds.

Specs:

  • Material: Natural latex rubber
  • Resistance levels: 5
  • Number of pieces: 11

Pros:

  • Portable and easy to store
  • Bands may crack or break over time
  • Natural latex that stretches further

Cons:

  • Weights may not be completely accurate

Get a full-body workout with minimal equipment using the VEICK Resistance Bands Set. Included are five 48-inch long colored exercise bands in increments of 10 through 50 pounds, along with convenient handles, ankle straps, and a door anchor that can be easily attached to doors and furniture for multiple workout scenarios. Or combine all five bands for the maximum resistance of 150 pounds with the reinforced metal carabiners.

The bands are also versatile enough to be compatible with various workouts, from Pilates and yoga to strength training, power weight programs, and stretching. In addition, they store easily and conveniently in a cloth pouch when not in use, making them the perfect alternative to dumbbells—especially for small homes and apartments where extra space may be at a premium.

Some users have found that the bands have a tendency to crack or break over time—particularly when it comes to the lower weights. However, users also reported that customer service is excellent and the company has been quick to send out replacement bands. A small handful of reviewers questioned whether the various weights are accurate, so we recommend starting out light and working your way up.

Best resistance bands for building muscle: Iron Infidel Resistance Bands

Why it made the cut: Train smarter and harder in your home gym with the best resistance bands for building muscle. This durable, results-driven set of tactical resistance bands that are built as tough as you are.

Specs:

  • Material: 100% natural latex
  • Resistance levels: 5
  • Number of pieces: 5

Pros:

  • No nonsense tactical colored bands
  • Perfect for all strength levels
  • Made from odorless 100% natural latex

Cons:

  • Bands can be slippery to hold

Those serious about seeing results will love these Iron Infidel Resistance Bands, which are great for both men and women of all strength and fitness levels. Unlike many inferior competitor brands of latex rubber resistance bands, not only do these sharp-looking tactical bands not look like “a box of crayons,” but they are also natural and odor-free.

With five different resistance levels, the highest ranging from 60 to 150 pounds, you can change resistance levels as your strength increases or as you meet your personal goals. These bands are also highly versatile. Simply pair with weights for added resistance, or attach at different heights for a variety of exercises at home or in the gym. They’re great for assisting with deadlifts, bench presses, shoulder presses, and squats, as well as for stretching and flexibility. The bands take up only a fraction of the storage space of dumbbells and other strength training equipment.

Though these bands don’t come with handles, those can be purchased separately, as some customers have noted the bands themselves can be slippery to hold. Alternatively, a decent pair of workout gloves can also help resolve this issue.

Best resistance bands for glutes: Vergali Fabric Booty Bands

Why it made the cut: Transform your booty with the best resistance bands for glutes. This high-quality, fabric resistance band set specially designed for strengthening and toning your lower body.

Specs:

  • Material: Poly-cotton and latex fabric
  • Resistance levels: 4
  • Number of pieces: 4

Pros:

  • High-quality fabric for comfortable workouts
  • Non-slip rubber grips keep bands in place
  • Training guide and workout videos included

Cons:

  • Not ideal for some plus-sized users

For the ultimate lower body workout, these Vergali Fabric Booty Bands will strengthen your hip, thighs, and butt like nothing else on the market. Four resistance levels with a maximum of 60 pounds will help take your squats, lunges, clamshells, fire hydrants, and more to the next level. They’re also great for beginners and even come with a training guide and online workout videos. Simply start with the light and medium bands and work your way up to the more advanced bands to slowly build strength as you burn.

Unlike many latex rubber bands that pinch your skin, these bands are constructed of high-quality fabric to make your workouts more comfortable. Non-slip elastic grips also ensure that the bands stay in place for the duration of your training, whether used with bare skin or tights, to eliminate the hassle of having to readjust in the middle of a set.

The only downside to these bands is that they only come in one size, and some curvy or plus-sized users feel that they’re too small to be used for a range of different workouts. Before purchasing, you may want to make sure that the bands will be large enough to accommodate the types of workouts you want to do. A few others have lamented that they wish the bands had higher weight resistance, but they’re still a solid option for a basic leg and butt band set.

Best fabric resistance bands: Arena Strength Fabric Resistance Bands

Why it made the cut: Enjoy a full range of movement with the best fabric resistance bands—designed with comfort and fit in mind for both men and women.

Specs:

  • Material: Cotton
  • Resistance levels: 3
  • Number of pieces: 3

Pros:

  • Ideal for both men and women
  • Sized to fit perfectly above the knees
  • Comfortable fabric design

Cons:

  • Fraying and unraveling after use

Everyone from beginners to CrossFit enthusiasts will get an excellent lower body workout with Arena Strength Fabric Resistance Bands. The bands come in three standard sizes—light, medium, and hard—ideal for warm-up muscle activation, rehabilitation, and all-over total body strengthening. There are also sets specially geared to both men and women, though it’s worth pointing out that the bands themselves are the same, and the only difference lies with the colors and packaging.

Unlike some other brands, these resistance bands are also consistently sized so that the “hard” bands are no smaller than the “light” bands, and all are designed to fit perfectly above your knees. They won’t stretch or lose their durability over time and are triple-stitched to ensure against breaks.

Though some users noticed that the bands started fraying or unraveling after consistent use, the manufacturer stated that a “very small batch of defective bands” had been eliminated from their stock and that all affected customers had been contacted about replacements. One issue that has not been resolved, though,  is that a few customers said that their bands came with an odd smell, and it’s unclear whether that smell will dissipate over time. It’s something those who are sensitive to odors may want to consider before purchasing.

Best resistance bands set: Taimasi 23-Piece Resistance Bands Set

Why it made the cut: Save money on costly gym fees with this 23-piece resistance band set that comes with a wide variety of equipment to get an all-around workout right from home.

Specs:

  • Material: 100% natural latex bands
  • Resistance levels: 5
  • Number of pieces: 23

Pros:

  • Five levels of sturdy resistance
  • Anti-snap sturdy metal carabiner clips
  • Instant cooling towel for quick relief

Cons:

  • Hand grips are small

For a complete home gym setup in one convenient package, the Taimasi 23-Piece Resistance Bands Set has got you covered. In addition to five resistance bands that can be used alone or stacked in any combination of intensity from 10 to 150 pounds, the set also comes with a range of accessories. These include a braided steel wire jump rope, figure-eight exercise band, handgrip strengthener ring, door anchor, cushioned soft-grip handles, and more.

The anti-snap tube bands are made from 100% natural latex, with sturdy metal carabiner clips to hold attachments in place or double up multiple bands. Along with all the great workout gear included in the set, there’s also an instant cooling towel to prevent you from overheating during even the most intense workouts.

Customers love the set’s versatility so much that the only minor complaint is that the hand grips are on the smaller side and can chafe the skin, which can be avoided with a pair of workout gloves.

Things to consider before buying resistance bands

There aren’t too many serious considerations to weigh when deciding whether resistance bands are the right home workout product for you. Due to their affordability, compact size, easy storage, and range of activities for different fitness levels, even the best resistance bands on the market are a fairly low-stakes investment. But here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Your fitness goals: Are you looking to start a new workout regimen, or are you a seasoned fitness buff looking to take your home workouts to the next level? Most sets come with a range of resistance levels to meet a wide variety of fitness goals, from beginner to advanced. Also, there are many different resistance bands on the market geared to different types of workouts. In other words, the best resistance bands for glutes and lower body strengthening may not be the best resistance bands for pull-ups or for building muscle, and so on.


Band material: Decide whether you prefer resistance bands made of fabric or latex. Though latex has traditionally been the more popular material for fitness bands, the best fabric resistance bands tend to be more comfortable, particularly on bare skin, and they stay in place better. However, fabric bands are often designed for lower body workouts, so your choice of material may depend on which muscles and areas you plan to target.

FAQs

Q: Do resistance bands help build muscle?

In addition to helping rehabilitate muscles after an injury, resistance bands are great for building muscle. By providing constant resistance, they create tension to help your muscles tear to build both comprehensive strength and muscle mass.

Q: Are resistance bands better than traditional weights?

Resistance bands are better than traditional weights in that they maintain tension on the muscles throughout the entire movement of an exercise to promote overall, superior muscle growth. And unlike dumbbells, resistance bands are also more affordable, portable, and versatile, and can be easily stored even in small spaces.

Q: What weight resistance band should I use?

What weight resistance band you should use depends on your general fitness level and goals. The best resistance band sets come with various weights so you can customize your fitness needs as you grow stronger, from beginner to intermediate and advanced. It’s important to listen to your body so as not to overdo your workouts and potentially injure yourself.

Final Thoughts

For all-around versatility and adaptability of use, our pick for the best resistance bands is the Taimasi 23-Piece Resistance Bands Set. Even those with the tightest amount of living space should have ample room to use the various accessories right at home, and the door anchor transforms virtually any doorway into a home gym. However, those with more advanced fitness goals may better appreciate the Iron Infidel Resistance Bands due to their overall ruggedness and durability. In addition to being a great way to exercise at home, they’re also an excellent accessory to pack up and bring along to your local gym or CrossFit studio to enhance traditional workouts.

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