best resistance bands to buy

5 Types of Resistance Bands & Which Are Best?

October 13, 2020

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

First we will go over the 5 different types of bands and their finer details and benefits, and then we will go over which is best.

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, shoulder 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 free 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:

Power resistance bands are all 41 inches in length and 0.18 inches in thickness. The differences between the sizes is the width of the band. The width determines the level of resistance. 

The width of the bands range from 0.25 to 2.5 inches. So, if you had all the different sizes, you'd have roughly 5-175lbs of resistance. 

For reference, here are SET FOR SET's bands sizes and resistance levels:

#1 Yellow (1/2"): 5 to 30 Pounds (41" x 0.5" x 0.18")
#2 Black (7/8"): 20 to 55 Pounds (41" x 0.85" x 0.18")
#3 Blue (1 1/4"): 35 to 70 Pounds (41" x 1.25" x 0.18")
#4 Green (1 3/4"): 45 to 115 Pounds (41" x 1.75" x 0.18")
#5 Gray (2 1/2"): 60 to 170 Pounds (41" x 2.5" x 0.18")

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

Buy Power Bands from SET FOR SET (Starting at $9.95)

 

 

Related: 13 benefits of large loop resistance bands

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. The thickness of the tubes determines the resistance. 

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

3. Rubber Mini-Bands & Fabric Non-Slip Hip Circle Bands

which kind of resistance bands should I buy?

Mini bands are like Power Resistance Loop Bands but much shorter 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 (we much prefer the non-slip fabric bands).

Mini bands can be used for increasing strength and stability in your lower body (and upper body with certain exercises). 

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.

Related: How to use fabric booty bands

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. 

These bands will vary in length and thickness depending on their resistance, but they are all made to wrap around the legs. 

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

Related: Fabric vs Latex Resistance Booty Bands

Buy Fabric Booty from SET FOR SET (Starting at $7.99)

 

 

Related: Benefits of booty bands

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. 

What Is The Best Type of Resistance Band & Why?

The best type of resistance bands in our opinion, and for good reason, are 41" Power Resistance Bands (Loop Bands). They are the most durable, and they are surely the most versatile in terms of uses and resistance level.

Here are resources for all the various ways power resistance bands can be used

Targeted Resistance Band Exercises & Workouts:

Mobility & Stretches Exercises with Bands:

Rehab Exercises with Bands:

Pair Bands with Free Weights: 

More Resources: 

Power Resistance Bands vs The Other Bands

The main reason power resistance bands are best is because they can be used in all of the same ways as the other bands plus way more. It's as simple as that. Moreover, they do so in a more effective manner for most uses.

However, there are some slight exceptions...

In regards to booty bands, these bands have their own speciality uses for the glutes and hips (i.e. glute specific exercises and squatting with the hip bands around your legs for more glute activation).

That being said, for glute specific exercises, you can strap power bands to an anchor or pole to get those lateral hip movements in to similar effect as a mini band, as seen in this video...

As for not having handles, if you want to add handles or an ankle strap to power resistance bands, all you need is a carabiner clip. In fact, you can tie them up without the clip as well.

All in all, 41" power 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, fabric booty bands would be great to have as well. These mini loop bands are our second favorite type of resistance band. 

Loop Bands Resistance Level 

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.

Here are SET FOR SET's bands sizes and resistance levels:

#1 Yellow (1/2"): 5 to 30 Pounds (41" x 0.5" x 0.18")
#2 Black (7/8"): 20 to 55 Pounds (41" x 0.85" x 0.18")
#3 Blue (1 1/4"): 35 to 70 Pounds (41" x 1.25" x 0.18")
#4 Green (1 3/4"): 45 to 115 Pounds (41" x 1.75" x 0.18")
#5 Gray (2 1/2"): 60 to 170 Pounds (41" x 2.5" x 0.18")

What size resistance band should I buy?

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.

resistance bands


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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