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Looking to add some resistance to your workouts? After researching over 70 top-rated exercise resistance bands, we chose the top 10 to get some hands-on time with. Whether you're stuck at home looking to get a sweat on, hate the hustle and bustle of the gym, or you're on a strict rehab regimen after an injury, the right resistance band can be a very helpful fitness tool. We take the time to understand what each band is best used for and then put each to the test, performing in-depth analysis to find the best for pull-up training, shoulder rehab, full-body workouts, and more.
Number of Bands in Set: 5 | Resistance Range: 20 - 150lbs
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Can't see bands
Latex exercise bands snapping at full extension is a universal fear. We've all seen the fail videos, and it's safe to say that you don't want to be on the receiving end of this particular malfunction. The Supalak 15-Piece Resistance Bands helps ease your worries by softening the blow with a protective sleeve wrapped around each band. The Supalak set contains five bands with resistances ranging from 20 to 40 pounds. These stackable straps add up to 150 pounds of resistance, offering high range and scalability. This set comes with two highly adjustable ankle straps, two sets of comfortably padded handles, and two door anchors. These bonus pieces allow couples or friends to work out together and help elongate the lifetime of your set as a whole. The hardware is durable, and the set is intuitive, user-friendly, and versatile. It can be used indoors, outdoors, at home, or in a gym, and for every muscle group, from small muscles in your wrist to larger ones like glutes and hamstrings.
While the protective sleeve is the claim to fame with this set, it does pose some potential problems. The sleeves cover the straps completely, so there is no way to tell if your set has seen too much wear and tear to continue using. Generally speaking, this set is very durable, but it is always important to check that your gear is safe to use before using it. The Supalak set also has a lot of moving parts. They are very user-friendly, but some people prefer to keep things simple. If you are looking for a durable, scalable, and versatile set of exercise bands, but fear the dreaded back snap, then the Supalak is a great full-body option.
Number of Bands in Set: 5 | Resistance Range: 10 - 150lbs
REASONS TO BUY
Wide weight range
Comfortable straps and handles
REASONS TO AVOID
A little bulky for travel
Most exercise resistance bands target specific muscle groups, but the Whatafit Resistance Band Set does it all. The handles, ankle straps, door anchor, and countless ways you can combine the bands to vary the resistance make this one of the more versatile sets. It comes with five different bands from 10 to 50 pounds, adding up to a whopping 150 pounds. The steel clips and natural latex make for a durable product. The handles are very comfortable for the hands, and the ankle straps fit a wide range of ankle sizes.
The Whatafit is also bulkier than the other options in this review, so it may not be the right pick if you are looking for something small to take with you while traveling. That being said, we love this set. It is lightweight, versatile, durable, and works great for both upper and lower body workouts. If you are looking for a full-body set that won't break the bank, the Whatafit is the pick for you.
Number of Bands in Set: 3 | Resistance Range: 2 - 25lbs
REASONS TO BUY
Wider for anti-roll
Good for rehab
REASONS TO AVOID
No high resistance option
Not for big strength gains
The TRX Miniband Bundle is a pack of four traditional therapy band loops with a slight twist. Most loop bands like this are just a few inches wide, but the TRX bands are close to five inches. This helps mitigate rolling, which is a common issue with therapy bands. The wider stature also makes this set great for both the upper and lower body. It is somewhat scalable with a resistance range of 2 to 25 pounds.
While this wider loop set is excellent for low resistance upper and lower body therapy, the bands may be too small in diameter for some bodies. If you have particularly thick thighs, you may find them difficult to hike up your legs. They are also not particularly versatile as far as strength training goes. They cap out at 25 pounds which is plenty for physical therapy but won't have your biceps busting out of your shirt. Still, if you are looking for a traditional exercise loop band that won't roll up your legs, the TRX Miniband Bundle is a great option.
Number of Bands in Set: 3 | Resistance Range: Not stated
REASONS TO BUY
Great for glutes
Comfortable on bare skin
Mesh carry bag
REASONS TO AVOID
Not very versatile
If you're looking to work your glutes to the max, there is no better option than the Walito Resistance Bands. This three-band set is designed to add resistance to lower body exercises like squats and lunges. Each band varies significantly in its resistance, offering some scalability to your workout. Not only do these bands add to the overall load, but they also help encourage proper squat form. The fabric-elastic combination makes this set comfortable over clothing or on bare skin, and the grip strips found on the inside help mitigate slippage. Because these bands are so thick, they do not have the tendency to roll up the thigh or down to the knee like some of the 100% latex bands do, making them a great option for heavy workouts.
This set has one job, and it does that job well. While you can use the Walito across many different lower body exercises, the limited resistance and small circumference do not bode well for full or upper body routines. It is also worth noting that those with particularly thick legs may struggle with the smaller circumference. Overall this set is great for those looking to up their squat game without sacrificing form.
Number of Bands in Set: 1 | Resistance Range: Not stated
REASONS TO BUY
Multiple loops for scalability
Great for stretching and rehab
REASONS TO AVOID
Not for heavy resistance training
Not very scalable
The unique Pro-Tec Athletics Exercise Stretch Band is essentially a stretchy daisy chain. The multiple loops offer a small amount of scalability and versatility to this singular band. The rubber strip is comfortable and provides grip on bare skin and clothing. Unlike a static yoga strap, this dynamic band allows you to ease into your stretches and offers a small amount of resistance for exercises like squats. You can use it to stretch out your upper and lower body or for a light resistance rehab regimen. The singular band is small enough to travel with, simple to use, and is a great all-in-one option for a light warm-up and stretch before working out.
While the loops offer some scalability, this band is not meant for heavyweight strength training. Its scalability comes from the adjustment in length rather than resistance, like some of the other bands in our test suite. It does not offer enough resistance to hang from and won't replace your weight rack or your pull-up bands, but it will get you warmed up and stretched out before the heavy lifting begins.
Why You Should Trust Us
Hayley Thomas is a climber who is no stranger to the resistance band. She travels the country in her van, spending most of her time in small towns near well-known climbing destinations. Sounds like the ideal life, right? You're not wrong, but living on the road means leaving behind certain luxuries, like access to a familiar gym, so stretchy bands have become a big part of Hayley's maintenance and strength training regime. Whether she is warming up at the crag or rehabbing a labral tear, she always has one close by.
We would love to test every single exercise resistance band known to humankind, but that would be quite the tall order. Instead, we strategically narrow down our options to ensure a well-rounded and rigorous testing experience. We take ample time to research the highest-rated options on the market, reading through user comments and analyzing reviews until we land on the best of the best for our interactive phase. Once we purchase each set, the hands-on testing begins. Our focus group is comprised of folks with varying body types, fitness levels, and needs ensuring a versatile testing experience. Each person rigorously tests every band while we assess our chosen metrics; ergonomics, durability, ease of use, versatility, and scalability.
Analysis and Test Results
We chose five metrics to pay special attention to while testing each exercise resistance band, offering you the most accurate comparisons. Read on to learn about our findings for each metric.
Contrary to popular belief, value and price are not synonymous. Just because an item is expensive does not mean it holds value, and on the flip side, something that is inexpensive can be highly valuable. To calculate the value of each exercise band set, we compare the price to performance. It is also important to have a good idea of how you plan to use these bands before researching. Generally speaking, a band set that can do it all may hold a higher intrinsic value, but if you are strictly interested in taking your squats to the next level, the full-body bands may be less valuable for you specifically.
If you are looking for the everything-band, look no further than the Supalak. This five-band set is stackable, offering a maximum load of 150 pounds. It comes with highly durable hardware, two ankle straps, two handles, and two door anchors, ensuring a long and healthy lifespan. Each band is covered in a protective sleeve, which is handy if the door anchor comes loose or a band snaps. This set falls more on the expensive side of the spectrum, but it is worth every penny.
The Whatafit set offers similar scalability and versatility for less money. It does not come with the extra accessories and the peace of mind that the anti-snap protective sleeve offers, but if you're looking for a full-body set and don't mind forgoing these safety measures and extra accessories, then it's a great option. If you're looking to enhance your lower body exercises, the Walito set offers three tiers of resistance at a low price. This budget-friendly has great value for certain exercises but is very limited as far as the range of exercises it can be used for. Similarly, the TRX Miniband Bundle is a great price for three bands, but versatility and scalability are limited, so choose wisely.
Ergonomics refers to how efficiently and safely each product performs. We are essentially testing oversized rubber bands here, and, as you can imagine, rubber on the skin — especially under tension — has the potential to be quite uncomfortable. We test each product with different body types, and perform different exercises to ensure that booty bands do, in fact, work the booty, and pull-up sets really do help with the pull-up game.
The Bodylastics set comes complete with larger hardware like rings, door anchors, and carabiners. The carabiners also have small keeper rings, which allow for friction-free rotation and help keep the carabiners from flipping. The only issue with them is that they sometimes stick in the open position, so it is important to ensure the carabiners are closed.
From the stackable resistances to the protective band sleeves, the Supalak is an ergonomic masterpiece. The design is thoughtful, and everything works how it should. The bands easily stack to offer higher resistance, and the protective sleeve actually offers a significant barrier between your skin and the harsh latex band. We know this because we spent more time than we care to admit snapping these large bands on each other's legs.
The Serious Steel Bands are expertly crafted pull-up bands, and the simple design has stood the test of time. They are thick and long, making them easy to girth hitch around a pull-up bar.
The TRX Miniband Bundle takes a standard therapy band design and makes it better. These bands are slightly wider, which helps mitigate rolling, a common issue with smaller therapy band loops.
A few more bands worth mentioning are the Whatafit and the Walito. While the Whatafit does not have a protective sleeve like the Supalak, or the larger hardware like the Bodylastics, the high-quality latex, comfortable ankle straps, and durable handles make for a very ergonomic and workout-friendly setup. The Walito, with its thick, comfortable, stretchy fabric, is a no-brainer for glute and lower body exercises. The no-slip grips inside the loops also help keep your bands in place regardless of the exercise you're performing.
The Pro-Tec Stretch and the TRX Bandit Kit are two unique and ergonomic designs. The Pro-Tec offers multiple loops, like a stretchy daisy chain, and is great for stretching and low resistance rehabilitation exercises. The Bandit Kit comes with two bands and two handles, but you can purchase the kit sans bands for a few bucks less if you already have pull-up bands. The handles have slits down the middle to place the bands in, a very simple and intuitive system.
Ease of Use
Not everything in life needs to be easy, but working out is hard enough, so you don't want to give yourself any extra reasons to skip the sweat and watch TV instead. Exercise resistance bands are a simple tool, but it can be difficult to figure out how to use them effectively. Thankfully, most of the band sets in this review come with a small instruction book, and, truthfully, they are all very easy to use.
The Supalak, Whatafit, and Bodylastics are once again high performers. They come with stackable bands, handles, door anchors, and ankle straps. Even though this equates to many moving parts, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to put them together. The carabiners on each band are easy to attach and detach from the handles, and installing the anchor is as simple as opening and closing a door. The larger hardware on the Bodylastics set makes things extra easy to use.
The Serious Steel are elastic loops with a large enough circumference to wrap around a pull-up bar. This simple design requires no moving parts, making it very user-friendly. The smaller loop sets, like the TRX Minibands and the FitSimplify, are also simple and effective.
The TRX Bandit is also worth mentioning here. The simple slit down each handle is very easy to use. The pack comes with two slim pull-up bands, but you are not limited to TRX bands and can purchase the handles by themselves.
Having the right tool for the job is great, but having one tool for many jobs can be even better.
We make sure to use every band for its intended use during our versatility testing, but we also like to push their limits. We use the pull-up bands for stretching, the glute bands for shoulder rehab, and rehab sets for squats to ensure we approach our testing from all angles. This process may sound a little chaotic, but we are pleasantly surprised by the versatility that some of the sets in our test suite offer.
The Whatafit, Supalak, and Bodylastics take the cake for versatility. The handles, ankle straps, door anchors, and general design of these band sets allow for a true full-body workout. You can even use them to get a pre or post-workout stretch in.
The Serious Steel set, while not as versatile as the sets with handles and door anchors, can be used for a surprising variety of exercises. While the intended use is pull-up training, the lightest band is an effective stretching tool, and the heavier bands can be used to add resistance to your squat regime.
Generally speaking, we are seeking progress when we exercise, which can only be achieved by scaling up our workout routines. Lifting the same five-pound weight every day for the rest of your life may help you maintain strength, but it won't help you build your strength.
The resistance range and the number of bands in each set are two key factors that contribute to scalability. We test out the bands in each set from easiest to hardest, paying special attention to the difference in resistance between each tier.
The Supalak and Whatafit sets offer five bands with a maximum load of 150 pounds when stacked. Both sets are highly adjustable and, as a result, very scalable. You could start your bicep curl at 10 or 20 pounds resistance and technically work your way up to 150 pounds, although you'd need your own spot in the Guinness Book of World Records if you could bicep curl that much weight.
The Serious Steel is offered in various combinations, from a single band to six bands. We tested the four-pack, which has a resistance range of 5 to 120 pounds. The FitSimplify pack offers five different resistances, from extra light to extra heavy, although the extra light provides such little resistance that it is almost useless. The Bodylastics set follows closely behind with two different options. The five-band option, which we tested, offers a resistance range of 6 to 95 pounds, and the six-band option's resistance range goes up to 146 pounds.
If you've ever come across a resistance band fail video on the internet, you know that you don't want to be on the receiving end of a snapping band. Be sure to always look your bands over for rips or tears before starting your workout, and always ensure that you're using your bands correctly. For this metric, we repetitively pull on each band the way it was intended and then check for signs of wear. In this case, the thicker the band and the fewer moving parts, the better.
A common misconception with resistance bands that come with handles is that they are interchangeable with suspension trainers. It's worth noting that the resistance you feel should come from pulling the bands, not from your body weight on the bands, which can lead to snapping as the weight being put on them is too heavy. For example, a 50-pound band can provide 50 pounds of resistance, meaning anything over that may compromise its integrity and cause the band to snap. So, secure the band beneath your foot or behind a door and pull the band rather than leaning back to pull your body weight.
The Supalak, Walito, Bodylastics, and TRX Bandit sets stand out in our durability category. While these bands are vastly different, they showed zero signs of stress after loading them heavily. You'll want to make sure to help preserve the longevity of your exercise resistance bands by keeping them away from excessive heat and sun.
Whether you're intimidated by the gym, on the go all the time, don't enjoy fussing with weights and complex machines, or you're in the middle of an intense rehab regime, you can probably benefit from exercise resistance band work. It can be difficult to choose the right set without trying them all on for size, and searching the internet can only take you so far. This is why we do the research for you, focusing on key metrics to ensure that each product is properly tested. We hope that our hands-on testing has helped you in your search for the perfect exercise resistance band set. Now, go get swole!
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