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October 23, 2020
Since you are reading this, you’ve probably seen men and women working out with short resistance bands that wrap around the legs, some using rubber latex versions and others that have a fabric material, and now you are wondering “are latex or fabric resistance bands better?” This is a great question to ask before buying your first set of mini bands, aka glute bands, hip circle bands or booty bands. By the way, if you didn’t know, those are some of the names people have given those short resistance bands.
As experts in the resistance band game, we are here to give you all the answers you need. We are going to be matching up and comparing latex vs fabric booty bands to see which type of mini, glute and lower body focused resistance band is better.
Without delay, let’s begin…
Let’s just be clear, since we are comparing latex vs fabric resistance bands, we will only be looking at the variety of resistance bands that wrap around your legs. These kinds of bands are known as booty bands, hip circle bands, mini bands, and glute bands. They are resistance bands made for the legs.
Why are we only talking about these short resistance bands? Well, when it comes to fabric bands, they only come in the booty band variety, whereas latex bands come in other styles and sizes, such as 41” loop resistance bands, resistance tubes with handles, therapy strip bands, and so on. Because of this, when comparing fabric to latex, it only makes sense to discuss the mini booty band type of resistance bands.
Moreover, it should be noted, as we are only discussing fabric vs latex booty bands, the information below only applies to this short style of band. When it comes to the longer resistance bands, which people use for upper body exercises, lower body exercises (in a different way), explosive exercises, pull up assistance, strength training, stretching, joint mobilization, rehab, and so on, latex is the best option, and not just because its the only option, but it just makes sense for the band to be strictly rubber for those kinds of uses as you want them to be able to stretch as much as possible (this is a point about fabric bands that we will be getting into).
Here are some other resources that will help you expand your knowledge on resistance bands in general.
So, just to reiterate, this fabric vs latex rubber resistance band comparison is only regarding the small bands made for the glutes, hips and legs (although if you get creative with them they can also be used for things like core exercises and arm exercises too).
Now that we have that out of the way…let’s move on.
The comparison of latex vs fabric booty bands we will be based on the following points:
But, before we get into that in-depth, let’s go over the main benefits of these short mini resistance bands, as well as some quick differences and the pros & cons of fabric and latex booty bands individually.
Note: for the purpose of this article, we will be calling the fabric resistance bands, fabric booty bands or hip bands, and the latex resistance bands, rubber or latex mini bands.
Hip bands and mini bands are very effective for certain purposes. They can offer a lot of benefits to your fitness and performance. Here are some of the most noteworthy benefits.
These are just some of the reasons why fabric and even latex mini bands are effective for working out and sports performance. They can give you a better body composition, as well as better hip mobility, stability, durability, and strength.
Now, let’s look at the two types of mini booty bands individually.
Fabric resistance bands are made from a durable elastic fabric material. The bands are relatively short in length, but the material and feeling of them is substantial. They are thicker and wider than latex mini bands, and they also have more resistance.
One thing important to note about fabric bands is they are not all the same length. The more resistance, the longer the mini band will be. For example, our black band is a bit longer than our pink band, which means it has more resistance.
Fabric bands can be used in so many ways for lower body exercises, with most exercises involving the bands wrapping around your thighs, calves or ankles - think exercises like glute bridges, squats, side steps, kick backs, hip abductors, clamshells. That said, they can be effective in other ways as well, like one legged RDLs (step on the band and grab the other end and do a stiff-legged deadlift) or core exercises like plank walks. All in all, fabric hip bands are super versatile.
Other common names for fabric resistance bands:
Booty Bands, Glute Bands, and Hip Bands.
We will now discuss the pros and cons, without going too in-depth as we will do that during the categorical comparison further below.
Pros of fabric resistance bands:
Cons of fabric resistance bands:
Latex mini bands are made from latex, so they are purely rubber. They are not as wide or thick as fabric bands. Some latex bands of lower resistance levels are so thin that they feel almost like therapy bands. However, latex mini bands of higher resistance levels are pretty thick, yet not as thick as fabric bands.
The resistance level range of latex mini bands varies greatly, and it depends on how thick the bands are. Manufacturers produce mini bands at all different kinds of thickness, so it will depend on what the seller has for how much resistance a latex mini band is. Most times you will find them to be quite thin and ranging from light to medium (with the highest resistance still actually being a medium in terms of what the manufacturer offers). We know as we produced both bands. Fabric is limited in the sizes where as mini latex bands have much more thickness options.
Note: Latex bands will all be the same length, unlike fabric bands. The resistance level is determined by the thickness of the band, not the length (unlike fabric bands).
Other names for latex mini bands:
Some call them Booty Bands (but this is more for the thicker variety, as if you type booty band into google, you will mostly see fabric bands as they are better for building a booty due to more resistance). Other names are simply mini bands and resistance loop bands for legs.
The names are quite interchange within the resistance band genre, so pay attention to the fabric or non-fabric point the most. One pic will immediately tell you what kind of band you are looking at. The fabric bands are obvious. What’s not as obvious is the thickness of the latex mini bands, so you may need to ask about that if not enough information is provided, which often is the case with latex mini bands.
Pros of latex mini bands:
Cons of latex rubber mini bands
So, after reading the above, you might already have your mind made up. If not, continue reading on as you will find more information below based on specific points.
Now, let’s take this comparison even further by looking at the aforementioned points - muscle & strength, comfort, durability, design, cleaning, and price.
When it comes to these smaller resistance bands, we usually think of them for lower body exercises. So, we are referring to lower body muscle and strength…
You can build muscle and strength with both types of resistance bands. However, when it comes to rubber mini bands, you really need to get one of the thickest bands possible if you want to build muscle and strength. The ones you will find on Amazon are usually thin and not very effective for hypertrophy and strength, unless you are a very beginner. Even then, you will quickly “outgrow” the thin latex mini bands.
As for fabric resistance bands, all of the sizes are effective for building muscle and strength. They offer more resistance and are much more effective at targeting lower body muscles.
Fabric resistance bands are fantastic at activating and keeping maximum tension on the legs, hips and glutes, for both bodyweight and free weight exercises.
Latex mini bands can help activate lower body muscles in a similar way for free weight exercises like barbell squats, but you will find them to be much less effectual than fabric resistance bands. This is especially true for bodyweight movements with mini bands.
Verdict: Unless you are an absolute beginner to fitness and working out, you should go for fabric resistance bands if you want to build muscle and strength in your lower body
Fabric bands are a lot more comfortable. They fit snug to the legs and they will not roll up or move up or down when doing exercises like latex mini bands will. With mini bands, you will have to keep adjusting them, but fabric bands you just put them on and you are good to go without stopping. No one wants to stop to adjust mid exercises. Unfortunately, that happens a lot with mini bands.
Moreover, fabric bands can be used on the skin (if you are training in shorts) and they won’t cause any irritation. Rubber latex mini bands tend to pinch, pull hair, and cause redness or markings on the skin.
Verdict: Fabric resistance bands are far more comfortable, and to be frank, they will not annoy you like mini bands do because they won’t roll up or irritate your skin.
Fabric resistance bands are durable in that they won’t rip or tear, but with a lot of use and time, they can begin to stretch out and fray a bit. That said, it takes a lot of use for this to happen, so long as it is a good quality fabric band.
Latex or rubber resistance bands can rip or tear if used on abrasive surfaces or if stretched too far. However, if they don’t happen to rip or tear, the integrity of their resistance will last longer. They don’t tend to stretch out.
Verdict: This is a tough one because it depends on how you use them. With fabric bands, you don’t have to worry about tears or stretching them and having them snap, but they can fray. Mini bands, if used carefully, can last longer. That said, for the price of either these bands, it’s a lot better to not have to worry about the band ripping, tearing or snapping and just buy a new fabric band when and if it stretches out than to have to be cautious with your latex mini band all the time.
Due to the stretchability of mini bands, they are more versatile and they are easier to use for upper body exercises. However, in terms of the main lower body exercises and core exercises that people use these short style of bands for, fabric resistance bands can do everything a latex mini band can do but with more efficacy.
Verdict: Generally speaking, latex mini bands are more versatile. However, fabric resistance bands are very versatile themselves, especially for what people intend to use mini bands for.
Fabric bands look better, wear better, and are more comfortable. They have more style to them.
Latex mini bands usually have the same kinds of bright colors (i.e. green, blue, yellow, red) and they roll up.
Verdict: Fabric bands have a superior design.
Rubber bands attract dust, dirt and hair, but they can easily be cleaned by running them under water and then leaving them to dry.
Fabric bands are more like clothes, so they won’t catch dust, hair or other debris, but they can stain and pick up sweat. However, you can spot treat or hand wash them and air them out to dry.
Verdict: Latex mini bands are easier to clean and they won’t pick up any smells (although they will have a rubber smell themselves).
Right now, fabric bands are by far the most popular. This is because people find them to be way more effective for building a booty, and everyone wants a booty these days.
Moreover, the fact that they don’t roll up and they are comfortable makes them more appealing.
Verdict: Fabric resistance bands
For a pack of 2-3 fabric mini bands, you are looking at spending around $20-$40.
For a pack of 5 latex mini bands, you can spend anywhere from $15-40, depending on the thickness of the bands. The thicker they are the more they will cost.
Verdict: It is pretty close so we will give this one a tie. It just depends on the seller. Good thing we wrote a post that covers the Best Resistance Bands on the market.
VERDICT, WHICH IS BETTER FABRIC OR LATEX BOOTY BANDS?
If you are an absolute beginner and you are looking for a versatile and light option, latex mini bands are best for you. But just understand the bands do roll up, and if on bare skin, they are not comfortable.
If you are looking for the best band for legs, hips and glutes, and you have some experience working out, the fabric bands are by far the best option for you. The fabric bands are the best type of band to build a booty and they are much more comfortable and wear better.
At SET FOR SET, we choose fabric resistance bands.
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December 09, 2022
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