Resistance Bands: Choosing the Best Bands and How to Use Them

Resistance bands are all the rage right now, and for good reason. Resistance bands look a lot like skipping ropes.

They are made from strong, thin rubber tubing, with handles at each end. They come in a variety of thicknesses to provide different level of resistance.

If you’ve never tried them you might be quite surprised at how much they can add to your workout!

Why Use Resistance Bands...

A woman exercising fitness resistance bands in studio silhouette

Strength training is an important aspect of your overall fitness because it improves muscle and bone strength. Not only does weight bearing exercise like resistance prevent the loss of bone quality as you age, it’s also been shown to have brain-boosting powers which help you avoid age-related dementia.

You can certainly use free weights or gym equipment for your strength training, which are just as effective. But many people prefer to use bands for a variety of reasons.

Benefits of Resistance Bands...

  • There're inexpensive. You can find them for just under $10
  • Simple to use and yet effective strength training workout
  • Light and safe to use. They take up little space and perfect for travellers
  • It doesn't matter what fitness level you're at. You can give the band more or less slack, plus you have the option to buy a light,medium or heavy resistance
  • Resistance bands can be used for a total workout in which you can challenge practically every muscle in your body!Light and safe to use. They take up little space and perfect for travellers

Don't be deceived by the flimsy appearance of resistance bands.

Studies have shown that whether you use free weights or bands, the results are the same.                        If you want to get technical about it, the amount of muscle fibers activated is similar, and the amount of force provided by the muscle fibers is also similar.

Studies have also shown that programs using resistance bands increase muscle strength and muscle size and decrease body fat in a manner similar to programs using free weights.

Choosing the Best Resistance Bands

Before you rush out to buy yourself the first resistance band you can find, hold on – all resistance bands are not equal!

There are many different brands available, and you can find them almost anywhere –
Walmart, Target, Sporting Goods Stores and of course online stores!

Here are a few tips for buying the best resistance bands:

  • Get at least three with different tension levels: a light, a medium and a heavy, because different muscle groups require different levels of resistance.
  • Take a good look at the handles before buying and make sure you’re okay with them. Some have padded handles which are helpful, and others have interchangeable handles which means you have to take them off and on to use different bands.
  • Check out the accessories that are available. You can get door attachments, ankle cuffs and videos too!

Best Resistance Bands on Amazon

The top selling band on Amazon is actually an entire set:

The Black Mountain Products Resistance Band Set, which comes with a door anchor, ankle strap, exercise chart and its own carrying case. At time of writing the set has 4.254 reviews and a 4.5 star rating. It’s currently listed at $32.03.
Review in Amazon

Coming in at #2 on Amazon is the OPTP Stretch Out Strap which comes with an exercise booklet for $13.99. This set has 2,235 reviews and a 4.5 star rating. The reviews consistently mention how well the band lasts and also how well it works compared to other bands.
Review in Amazon

The third top selling band on Amazon is the Serious Steel Assisted Pull-Up Band, Resistance & Stretch Band. This one is currently listed at $10 off for $39.99 – for a single band. Much stronger than the average band, it can be used for pull-ups using a bar at the gym or a pull-up bar that goes in a doorframe.
Available in a variety of sizes and weights, this band also comes with a pull-up and starter e-guide. It has a 5-star rating too – a hugely popular choice for men!
Review in Amazon

Resistance Bands Exercise for Beginners

Here are a few simple suggestions to start you off.

Remember that you can perform the same exercises that you do with free weights; you just have to position the band correctly. As an example, for bicep curls or overhead presses, simply stand on the band and grip the handles.

For tricep pull-downs, attach your band to a door. You can wrap it around a chair to do chest exercises and shoulder rotations.

Or try a side step squat by standing on the band with both feet and then stepping to the side as far as you can while lowering into a squat.

The possibilities are endless – all you have to do is Google “resistance band exercises” and you’ll have countless workout routines to choose from.

So why not jump on the resistance band-wagon 

A safe and simple way to get fit and toned!

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