The 7 Best Exercise Bands

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This wiki has been updated 33 times since it was first published in April of 2015. An excellent alternative to costly gym memberships, resistance bands can give you all the workout you need in the comfort of your home or even a hotel room, if you happen to be a frequent traveler. These compact and versatile exercise tools offer different levels, so you can maximize your routine as you get fitter or target different muscle groups with varying difficulty. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Tribe 11 Piece Set

2. WODFitters Mobility Set

3. Limm Loops

Editor's Notes

June 10, 2021:

Just a couple small changes made here recently. We decided to remove a non-looped band that also didn't have handles or much reliable stock left. With that in mind, we also bumped the Tribe 11 Piece Set up to the #1 spot. While the difference between looped and straight exercise bands comes down mostly to how you'll be using them, we really like the ergonomic handles and dependable, consistent construction of the Tribe offering. If you still need flat bands, the WODFitters Mobility Set are the best premium choice, while the Limm Loops perform surprisingly well for something so affordable.

April 02, 2020:

Since exercise bands come in a variety of styles, we made sure to include light-duty therapy models, looped bands, and those with solid handles for extra control.

Lighter therapy bands can be used to safely perform physical rehabilitation exercises, and are gentle enough to minimize the chances of re-injuring yourself. By adjusting your grip, you can fully control how much resistance they provide.

Looped bands, like our newly added MummyStrength Best Stretch Band, are a popular choice for pullup assistance. By looping one end of the band around the bar, users can rest their feet or knees in the other end, which reduces the amount of weight they need to lift. These are also great for exercises like bicep curls and rows, or for looping under your feet - and over your shoulders - to add resistance to squats.

Handled bands, like the Tribe 11 Piece Set, are ideal for isolating specific muscles and muscle groups. Their handles allow for the stability and control needed for exercises like chest flies and shoulder presses.

If you're not satisfied with the amount of resistance provided by exercise bands, consider getting a pair of [rubber dumbbells( Solid weights are essential if you're interested in packing on serious muscle mass.

4. MummyStrength Best Stretch Band

5. Spri Xertube Braided

6. Fit Simplify Resistance Loop

7. Fit Simplify Mini

The Benefits Of Using Exercise Bands

They certainly don't make the same impression that the large, bulky machines do.

It's easy to overlook the exercise bands at your gym. They certainly don't make the same impression that the large, bulky machines do. But you should start paying these small yet powerful accessories a little more attention.

Resistance bands are highly versatile. You can bring them just about anywhere, since they're compact and don't weigh much, making them great for travel. You can keep them in you backpack or briefcase and get in a quick workout wherever you are. If you barely have time to work out during the week, just break out your exercise bands on your lunch break for a quick fat-burning exercise session. Since studies have found a direct correlation between short bouts of moderate exercise and improved mental performance, you almost can't afford to not do this.

Another positive feature of exercise bands is that they're appropriate for athletes of any level. All one has to do to increase or decrease the intensity of the workout is adjust the tension they're applying to the band. You don't need to learn how to use intimidating workout machines, or worry that you'll push the wrong button and accidentally injure yourself. These bands are very user-friendly and practically mistake-proof. If you are looking to boost the intensity of a workout, resistance bands also offer an easy way to do that. You can just incorporate these into classic exercises, like push-ups or lunges, to make them a bit more challenging for yourself, without the use of heavy weights.

If your main reason for not hitting the gym is that you feel embarrassed exercising in front of others, but you can't afford to set up a home gym, first of all, know that you're not alone. Studies have found that self-consciousness at the gym is quite common. In fact, women worry extensively about having their bodies judged or compared to others at the gym, making it a barrier to entry for many. Exercise bands make it simple to exercise on your own until you feel more confident about working out among others. They're a great starter item for your home gym, and if your office or study is going to double as your gym, you can quickly tuck them away and you won't even know they're there.

Moves To Try With Your Exercise Band

If you're not quite sure where to begin with your exercise band, try some of these simple moves. You can up your push-up game by draping your resistance band over your shoulders and putting a handle or loop in each hand. The pressure of the band will make you have to work even harder to raise yourself up after going down. If you're not quite ready to use dumbbells yet, you can still do curls without these hefty items. Just lay your band on the floor and stand in the middle of it, feet hip-width apart, holding the band down. Bend down and grab a handle or loop with each hand. Stand back up, holding the handles with your arms down on each side. With your palms facing up, bend your elbows, keeping your upper arms straight, and pull the handles towards the ceiling.

Just lay your band on the floor and stand in the middle of it, feet hip-width apart, holding the band down.

Exercise bands can help you work on your core, too. You may want to phase sit-ups out of your exercise routine because studies have found they could do more harm than good. Luckily, you can try this instead for a toned midsection. Wrap your exercise band around the arches of your feet. Tie it so that it stays in place, but isn't so tight you can barely move your feet. Lie down on your back and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Then do these two things at the same time: kick your right foot forward, pull your left knee in toward your body, and lift your right elbow towards your left knee, while keeping your back straight. Do the same thing, but reverse, and repeat. You'll feel an intense burn in your core.

If you want nicely toned upper arm muscles, try this exercise. Stand in the center of your band with your feet close together. Bend your torso forward creating a 90-degree angle with your body. Hold a handle or loop in either hand. Lift them up to around mid-thigh height, turn your palms backward, and push the handles behind you, and up towards the ceiling. You'll really put your triceps to work with this move.

What To Look For In An Exercise Band

There are a lot of exercise bands to choose from, so you just need to think about what will work best for you and make the right addition to your home gym. One interesting study on how light and color affect learning capacity found that warm yellow hues improve self-esteem. So consider grabbing some colorful exercise bands, especially if you'll be handing them out to students in a fitness class.

Latex might offer the most stretch, but just keep in mind that some people are allergic to this material and might need thermoplastic rubber bands instead.

If you plan on using your exercise band outdoors, wrapping it around chain link fences and trees, make sure it's durable. Bands made with a braided rubber tubing are ideal for more rugged workout settings. Speaking of impromptu workouts, some bands come with door anchors, allowing you to turn any room into a mini gym. Some even include clip systems that let you stack multiple bands, offering even more resistance.

Since the whole point of these bands is to add resistance, make sure yours are can withstand a lot of weight and pressure. You don't want your band snapping on you, mid-workout. Latex might offer the most stretch, but just keep in mind that some people are allergic to this material and might need thermoplastic rubber bands instead. There are a few included items that could make using your new bands easier and more convenient, like an instructional book featuring different exercises, and a waterproof carrying bag.

Christopher Thomas
Last updated by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

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