Are you the type that easily gets overwhelmed with bulky, complicated equipment at the gym? Resistance bands and their simple built can be your alternative for scaling exercise routines up. It’s an easy-to-use workout tool that creates tension to trigger more intense muscle contractions.
Varying in length, design, and resistance level, there is surely an exercise band suitable for every kind of fitness enthusiast. What’s more, it boasts of superior versatility for introducing variations to your regular training. Due to its portability, even frequent travelers can work those muscles out anywhere!
We understand that it can be quite a challenge to pick among hundreds of options, so let this article walk you through the best types of resistance bands.
Read on to find out the BWH-recommended resistance and exercise bands, therapy and mobility bands, and pull up assist bands.
The 10 Best Resistance Bands in 2020 Reviewed
Resistance and Exercise Bands
Rogue topped our list as the best manufacturer of exercise bands in the market. We’re really impressed with their wide selection of tools that vary in design and weight tension! Let’s take a closer look at our top three favorite companions for resistance training.
#1 Rogue Monster Bands
The efficacy of workout tools greatly depends on whether or not it’s compatible with your body goal. What we love the most about Rogue Monster Bands is that there’s a model fit for every type of exercise. Ranging from 15lbs to 200lbs of resistance, you get to choose from 8 color-coded bands made from high-quality natural latex.
- Lightweight and portable, these 41-inch bands could easily fit in your gym bag
- Durably built to withstand even the most explosive training
- Superior versatility, suitable for multiple exercise types and intensity
- Easy to use, video tutorials were even published by Rogue Fitness to help you get started
- Unbelievably fast shipping times, you may even get your gear on the same day you ordered!
- Some customers disliked the strong, unpleasant rubber smell of the bands
- There are reviews that warned against buying bands that are lighter than your skill level due to their tendency to snap or develop gashes
The Rogue Monster Bands are available for purchase individually, in pairs, or in sets. The “Mini” Monster Bands (15 lbs to 50 lbs) are best for jumping exercises, general conditioning, and speed training, while those in the “Light” to “Average” (65 lbs to 100lbs) range are superb tools for lower body exercises. But if you’re a high-performance athlete hungry for maximum resistance, go grab the “Strong” monster bands (140 lbs to 200 lbs).
#2 Rogue Tube Bands
Unlike the Monster and Loop bands that resemble a full circle, Rogue Tube Bands come in a rope-like structure with handles at each end. It has a base length of 48 inches with color-coded variations ranging from 10 lbs to 60 lbs.
- Made from heavy-duty latex-based elastic
- Textured grip handles to avoid slippage when training
- Conveniently portable
- The handles’ size is fit for both men and women
- There are customers who wished there are higher resistance options, one suggested to develop stackable versions as an alternative
With the right resistance level, Rogue Tube bands can greatly upgrade your strength training exercises. It’s a worthy alternative to weights when performing curls, raises, presses, and extensions. However, the manufacturer warns against using this product as a rope or stretching it to its limits.
#3 Rogue Loop Bands
While the Monster and Tube Bands are designed for long-ranged movements, Loop Bands are suitable for exercises involving short, limited motions. It comes in two base length options (9 inches and 12 inches), and six resistance levels ranging from “Extra Light” to “Ultra Heavy.”
- Manufactured with snap resistant latex
- A versatile resistance training tool that can also be used for mobility and rehab exercises
- Caters to different body lengths with its two base length variations
- Affordable but not cheaply built
- Compact and portable, fit for both gym and indoor workout
- While it’s great for ankle exercises, some may find even the 12-inch bands too short for their thighs
- Rogue Fitness’ website does not describe the exact resistance level’s measurement
You can purchase Rogue Loop Bands in pairs or in packages of six. The brand recommends it for targeted strength training involving your core, back, arms, glutes, and legs.
Therapy and Mobility Bands
Beyond strength training, resistance bands can also assist muscle recovery. By wrapping it around target areas, it helps break up scar tissues and lactic acids so you can enjoy greater mobility and blood flow. Allow us to show you the three best therapy and mobility bands from WOD Nation, Rogue Fitness, and Gaiam.
#4 WOD Nation Muscle Floss Bands
The WOD Nation Muscle Floss Bands are designed to be wrapped tightly around an injured muscle. By squeezing the area as you move, it creates friction in between muscle fibers to promote faster recovery. Available in black (0.051 inches thick) and red (0.060 inches thick) latex rubber resistance bands, you can purchase it individually or in pairs.
- Easy to use, your purchase will include video training from WOD Nation
- Wide application, can be used with multiple exercises, including push-ups, lunges, and squats
- Two compression levels, with the red band providing deeper flossing
- Can stimulate even those muscles that are hard to stretch such as shoulders, wrists, ankles, and elbows
- Customers warned about buying counterfeit WOD nation products made of cheap rubber that easily snaps off
WOD Nation boasts of its Muscle Floss Bands’ healing effect that even outperforms foam rolling and lacrosse ball exercises. This minimizes the need for medical intervention for repairing muscles. No wonder it has been highly recommended by chiropractors, therapists, powerlifters, and athletes!
#5 Rogue Voodoo Floss
Rogue Fitness recommends flossing every day, and there’s no better tool to do it with than a heavy-duty resistance band such as the Voodoo Floss. You can choose between its 7 or 28 inches length options, both two inches thick and available for purchase in pairs.
- Enhances exercises for your range of motion, muscle restoration, and joint mechanics
- Made with natural latex rubber that can be stretched up to 150% of its original length
- Its 28 inches variant makes it possible to customize the band’s length according to your body’s need
- Easy to use, Rogue Fitness has a video tutorial on how to use it
- Only one resistance level is available
The Rogue Voodoo Floss’ compact and portable built makes it convenient for both home and outdoor exercises. Over a hundred of customers swore by these therapy bands’ unmatched tissue mobilization!
#6 Gaiam Restore Strength and Flexibility Kit
Compared with our top recommended therapy bands, the Gaiam Restore Strength and Flexibility Kit has the most resistance levels available. For every purchase, you’ll get three color-coded resistance bands (light, medium, and heavy) made of natural rubber latex.
- Complete set of three therapy bands ranging from 20 lbs to 40 lbs
- Designed for improving your range of motion and promoting muscle rehabilitation
- Its 60-inch length makes it suitable for varied body sizes
- Comes with a detailed instructional guide
- There are disappointed customers who received a new version of bands that are shorter than what is previously marketed by Gaiam
Depending on how severe your injury was, you’ll need resistance bands that can withstand long recovery periods. It’s impressive to see testimonies that the bands from Gaiam Restore Strength and Flexibility Kit have survived over a decade of use!
Pull Up Assist Bands
Have you ever found yourself sitting in the corner, envying that ripped guy who has been executing pull-ups effortlessly? Take your first step towards mad upper body strength by using resistance bands, a favorite among beginners who still want to harness the benefits of pull up routines. Read on to learn more about our highly recommended Pull Up Assistance bands from iron Infidel, WOD Nation, and Rogue Fitness.
#7 Iron Infidel Pull Up Assistance Bands
Iron Infidel developed their Pull Up Assistance Bands in response to usual complaints against the mainstream resistance bands – its rainbow-like color and awful odor. The brand’s “tactical” color collection provides 20 lbs to 150 lbs of resistance suited for assisting pull up beginners or kicking up the challenge for major lifts.
- Unlike other resistance bands with an unpleasant smell, it’s made of 100% natural, odorless latex rubber
- Designed with varied army green colors, suited for those who hate to use neon-colored gears
- Multiple application can also be used for presses, squats, and deadlifts
- Comes in five color-coded resistance levels
- Advocacy-based, a fundraiser for wounded soldiers and fallen police officers’ families
- Advanced users warned against using its lighter versions, could snap off after just a few uses
Iron Infidel focused and succeeded in differentiating their Pull Up Assistance Bands from the rest of the market. With an almost five star review on Amazon, over a thousand users commended its versatility, design, and quality.
#8 WOD Nation Pull Up Assistance Band
WOD Nation Pull Up Assistance Band is specifically designed for those who want to enhance their back and arm strength, but fail at executing even just a single pull up. It comes in five color-coded resistance levels ranging from 10 to 175 lbs which are sold individually.
- Stackable, WOD recommends using light and heavy band together during your pull up practices
- Made of durable, eco-friendly natural rubber latex
- Portable and compact, great for both indoor and outdoor training
- Varied thickness and width, suitable for all body sizes, skill level, and age
- Some users disliked its texture, complaining that it pulls out body hair when in use
WOD Nation even published complete guides for picking the right Pull Up Assistance Band and using it until you can effortlessly perform pull-ups. The brand also recommends using this tool for tricep extensions, overhead squats, bicep curls, and overhead shoulder press.
#9 Rogue Echo Resistance Bands
For those on a tight budget but have been drooling over Rogue Monster Resistance Bands, you might want to check out Rogue Echo Resistance Bands. Users were amazed by how it still has impressive quality and durability despite being much more affordable.
- Manufactured with durable latex rubber
- High versatility, can provide assistance for multiple exercises (e.g. pull-ups, aerobics, speed training, etc.)
- A wide selection of resistance levels (15 lbs to 200 lbs), eight 41-inch long color-coded bands available
- Some mislead customers wished Rogue provided a clear difference between the Monster and Echo Resistance Bands
The product description for the Rogue Echo Resistance Bands is the same to that of the Monster, leaving some buyers confused. We’ve found that an Echo provides resistance one level weaker than its Monster counterpart. So even though the #2 Blue Echo band is marketed to provide 50 lbs weight tension, actual use will reveal that it’s only similar to the #1 Red Monster (30 lbs).
#10 Rogue Shorty Monster Bands
Are the 41-inch Rogue Monster Bands too long for your liking? You’d want to check out these Shorty Monster Bands. Basically, it’s a 12-inch version with the same thickness, width, and color-coding as its original version.
- Easier set up, no need for doubling or tripling the bands over your pins
- Durably built with high-quality latex rubber providing 15 lbs to 200 lbs of resistance
- Fit for use with multiple exercises
- Also recommended by some users for muscle rehabilitation
- Similar to its original version, using a Shorty Monster Band that is too light for your skill level increases its chances of breakage
Though significantly shorter than the original Monster Bands, the Shorty Monster Bands still boast of superior versatility. Rogue recommends using this tool with agility drills, presses, and banded deadlifts.
What are Resistance Bands?
Resistance bands work by adding varying levels of tension as you exert force through pulling, curling, or pushing. This can vary from light to extra heavy.
Depending on how you anchor it in place and the workout you’ll execute, exercise bands can target all of your muscle groups. It varies in design according to its purpose. It can either be a loop, a rope-like gear with handles, or a long band meant to be wrapped around your body.
Resistance Bands vs. Weights
More and more people have grown a preference for resistance bands over weights (e.g. dumbbells, kettle balls, barbel, etc.). Any expert in strength training will tell you to feed your body’s hunger for variety, and this tool does exactly that.
As you stretch out your band, the resistance it creates increases along with its length. This allows you to get the most out of every rep! In contrast, the degree of tension that weighted tools provide just stays constant throughout your range of movements.
Don’t get us wrong though, we’re not telling you to ditch weights or gym machines completely! In fact, researchers have found that the combined use of elastics and free weights is more effective in building strength and power as compared to training with free weights alone.
How to measure weight tension of resistance bands
Resistance bands are often color-coded based on their weight tension. These labels vary for every brand.
Curious if your resistance band’s weight tension is true to its manufacturer’s promise? It’s actually a matter of physics, but crunching numbers might be really complicated. After all, there are tons of variables to consider. These include the band’s material, age, how it was set up, as well as your body length.
A quick hack would be to use a fish weighing scale. Simply stretch out the band as you desire, then attach it to the scale. You can measure its weight tension at varied lengths to know how much resistance you will get during each exercise.
What should you look for in the best resistance bands?
As we’ve emphasized in our review of the best resistance bands in the market, using a tool that does not match your needs will only cause disappointment. Make sure you’d get your money’s worth by taking these main considerations in mind:
- Your body size in relation to the resistance band’s width and length
- Your skill level versus the exercise band’s resistance level and durability
- Your training goal compared to the resistance band’s type or design
Based on your preference, you can also explore different color options ranging from rainbow-like to masculine-looking.
Exercises to do with your resistance band
While resistance bands can virtually be applied to any workout routine, they work best for strength training and toning. It’s always a great companion regardless of what muscle group you’re focusing on, it’s effective in turning your routine’s difficulty up a notch, and it can enhance your flexibility, endurance, and range of motion.
Here are a couple of exercises that you can upgrade with resistance bands:
- Lower body – squats, glutes, abductions, leg curl
- Core – Russian twist, reverse crunch, woodchop
- Arms – biceps curl, overhead triceps extension, triceps kickback
- Chest and shoulders – standing chest press, overhead press, raises
- Back – pull apart, bent-over row, lying pullover