best resistance bands to buy

5 Types of Resistance Bands & Which is Best to Buy

April 09, 2019

There are many different types of resistance bands on the market, but as with many things in life, not all were created equally. Firstly, you have different kinds of resistance bands with different resistance levels. Secondly, you have quality of bands to consider. Thirdly, you have different price points.

In this article, we will discuss the various kinds of resistance bands, the purposes of each, and which type of resistance band is the most versatile and our personal favorite. We will also discuss the various price points and how to determine the quality of the bands you intend to buy.

5 different types of resistance bands and the benefits of each

1. Power Resistance Bands (aka Loop Bands)

best kind of resistance bands

Power resistance loop bands are essentially like massive rubber bands. They are a continuous flat loop that can be used for a variety of purposes.

You can use loop bands for bodyweight assistance (pull ups, dips, muscle ups, etc.), bodyweight resistance (push ups, bear crawls, box jumps), full body workouts (squats, presses, thrusters, etc.) physical therapy (people suffering from leg, knee and back injuries and help in recovery from torn MCL and ACL, knee replacement, patella and meniscus rehab), warm ups, static stretching (increased the stretch and new stretching positions you’d otherwise have trouble getting into), and you can couple them with weights for added resistance (squats with bands, bench press with bands, etc.). Furthermore, you can anchor them to a pole/bar for pulling and pushing exercises and rehabilitation exercises (i.e. rotator cuff).

All in all, they are super versatile, allowing you to work through all three planes of motions, and power loop bands can be used for every aspect of training, whether it’s athletic focused or bodybuilding focused.

Sizes/Resistance:

On average, sets of power resistance bands will offer 5-175 pounds of resistance.

Benefits of Loop Bands:
  • Hypertrophy
  • Muscle endurance
  • Explosiveness
  • Muscle strength
  • Balance and Coordination
  • Stability
  • Burning fat
  • Flexibility
  • Mobility and Increased Range of Motion
  • Rehabilitation
  • Low impact on joints
  • Multiplanar exercises and unilateral movements

2. Tube Resistance Bands with Handles

types of resistance bands

Tube resistance bands have handles that attach to both ends and they are made to mimic gym machine and dumbbell exercises. They easily anchor to the door or a bar/pole.

They are good for chest presses, curls, back rows, shoulder presses and other exercises that involve pressing and pulling. They are also good for programs like P90X. It’s possible to hit all of your muscle groups with tube resistance bands so they are great for those who don’t have access to a gym or those who like to train outdoors and they want something simple and easily portable.

Sizes/Resistance:

On average, sets of tube bands will offer 10-50 pounds of resistance.

Benefits of tube resistance bands:
  • Muscle strength
  • Hypertrophy
  • Muscle endurance
  • Improve Range of Motion
  • Burning fat
  • Rehabilitation
  • Low impact on joints

3. Mini-Bands (aka hip circle bands) fabric and non-fabric

which kind of resistance bands should I buy?

Mini bands are like Power Resistance Loop Bands but much smaller, thinner, and wider. New designs come with a fabric covering the bands for added comfort and to stop the band from rolling up, which is a common occurrence with the very light resistance mini bands. Mini bands can be used for increasing strength and stability in your lower and upper body. They are best for lateral movements.

By placing them just above your knees or at your ankles, you can get great hip and glute activation. They are also good to use while weight training. Mini bands can help you stabilize, activate your core, maintain proper form, and get that extra activation and tension in the hips during lifts like squats, hip thrusts and leg extensions.

As with most resistance bands, mini bands can target shoulder complexes effectively as well, and they are a good tool for shoulder and elbow stabilization.

If you are into calisthenics, mini bands work well to prime correct form for movements like handstands and muscle ups.

Essentially anyone who goes to the gym these days will see mini bands being used in a variety of ways. This is proof of their effectiveness and versatility.

Sizes/Resistance:

Sets of mini bands are usually stated as light, medium, heavy, and extra heavy. This should be approximately 5-50 pounds of resistance. 

Benefits of mini bands:
  • Warm ups
  • Toning
  • Hip and shoulder activation
  • Maintaining and priming proper form
  • Muscle strength and endurance
  • Stability
  • Low impact on joints
  • Rehabilitation

4. Light Therapy Resistance Bands

different types of resistance bands

Therapy bands are very long (up to 7 feet) and thin, light 'free bands', meaning they do not loop (although you could tie them in a knot to create a loop).

Therapy bands are made for people who are regaining strength after an injury and elderly people who want a very low impact workout.

They are also effective when combined with Pilates and fat burner workouts, where all you need is a little added resistance to get a really good burn. Many women use light therapy bands in this way for muscle toning.

Another way to use them is during warm ups for dynamic stretching and static stretching at the end of a workout. These types of bands can help you increase the stretch and improve mobility/range of motion.

Sizes/Resistance:

On average, sets of therapy bands will offer 3-10 pounds of resistance.

Benefits of therapy resistance bands:
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle toning
  • Muscle strengthening (for beginners or people with muscle weakness)
  • Flexibility

5. Figure 8 Bands

benefits of resistance bands

Figure 8 bands are shaped exactly as the name suggests. They have soft handles at the top and bottom of the figure 8 shape. They stretch as far as you’d need them to, to be able to target both your upper and lower body. Figure 8 bands can be used similarly to mini bands for lateral movements, and similarly to tube resistance bands to mimic machine and dumbbell exercises. They are best used for pushing and pulling exercises in the sagittal and lateral plane of motion.

Sizes/Resistance:

On average, sets of figure 8 bands will offer 8-20 pounds of resistance.

Benefits of figure 8 bands:
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle toning
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Muscle endurance
  • Stability through unilateral movements.

Best types of Resistance Band & Why:

The best type of resistance bands in our opinion, and for good reason, are Power Resistance Bands (Loop Bands). They are the most durable, and they are surely the most versatile in terms of uses and resistance level.

Resistance Band Exercise Examples:

Full Body Resistance Band Exercises

Rehabilitation (Shoulder) Exercises with Resistance Bans

Resistance Band Bear Crawls

Resistance Band Assisted Pull Ups 

Resistance Band Stretching Exercises (advanced)

Resistance Band Mobility and Stability Exercise 

Resistance Band with Weight Training Exercises


You can literally do everything that you can with the other bands (possibly with the exception of some mini band exercises) with a set of Heavy Duty Loop Bands.

That being said, if you strap the band to an anchor or pole, you can get those lateral hip movements in, with the same effect as a mini band, as seen in this video...


If you want to add handles or an ankle strap to them, all you need is a carabiner clip. In fact, you can tie them up without the clip as well.

These resistance bands can be used in all aspects of your training. It’s definitely worth buying a set. They will be the greatest non-consumable asset in your workout bag and you can take them anywhere and everywhere (gym, park, vacations).

In addition to power resistance bands, mini bands would be great to have as well. Mini bands are our second favorite type of resistance band. 

Loop Bands Resistance Level 

Note: A single band will offer resistance in varying amounts. For example, a small band may range from 5-15lbs of resistance. It all depends on how you hold or anchor the band.

Power Resistance Band Price

For our loop bands at SET FOR SET, you can get a set of three bands, which are really the only bands you’ll need, for under $30. It’s a cheap investment for something that offers so many benefits.

Quality of Resistance Bands

You want bands that have continuous layering. The process of manufacturing bands with continuous layers aids in preventing any type of breakage or tearing for long term usage. Our bands at SET FOR SET are extremely durable and will last a long time. Furthermore, because of the high-quality latex and the manufacturing process, our resistance bands can stretch up to 2 ½ times their original size.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email at support@setforset.com



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