Getting a great workout doesn’t always need to involve spending long hours spent at the gym; in fact, you may not even need to visit the gym at all!
Resistance band training can build lean muscle mass, improve your overall appearance, and can help you to lose weight and keep it off, but you don’t need a gym membership or heavy equipment to make use of this type of training.
You can use resistance bands instead; these heavy-duty rubber bands provide you with a challenge when you lift, they can target muscles you might otherwise overlook with gym equipment, and can be taken virtually anywhere.
Our 5 Best Resistance Band Sets
#1 – Gritin Resistance Tube Set
Resistance range: 10lbs – 40lbs
Length: 600mm x 50mm
Includes: Carry bag & user guide
These are the best resistance bands we found for the UK! The Gritin resistance bands set is a full collection; there are five bands included, each with a different resistance level. The level of resistance is shown on each band and also denoted by colour. You can start out your resistance training with the lowest weight or thickness if you’re new to a fitness routine, or use the lighter resistance for muscles you haven’t yet trained or worked out.
The bands with more resistance (up to 40lbs) are good for lower body muscles and those that are already stronger, toned or are ready for more of a challenge.
Because these bands are all the same length, you can do a trick of combining them together to increase the resistance, for when you want to go for the maximum challenge. This is a good choice versus just one band that offers one level of resistance, as you can keep working and challenging your muscles to keep them efficiently developing. For a physical therapy routine or to enhance your yoga workout, the lightest bands are suitable for slight resistance without taxing your muscles or putting you off balance.
The equipment is made from a skin-friendly and non-toxic latex cotton and rubber blend, meaning that they are also suitable for vegans. This material has been known to be durable, which means it will last for years and is unlikely to snap or break. They also do not give off the pungent odor that other materials can.
As they are flat, they can be held easily in the hand or around the legs without causing soreness. They can also be hooked under the foot or any other body part easily. Being flat also means that they require very little space to store and can easily be carried in a pocket. There is also a portable and convenient travel bag so you can use them indoors or outdoors, even the office!
You can also use their included guide for the best workouts to try with the bands, to target all your muscles and ensure you’re using them safely. They can also make great booty bands.
#2 – Hybrid Home Workout Resistance Bands Set
Resistance range: 10lbs – 40lbs
Length: 600mm x 50mm
Includes: Exercise guide & carrying pouch
These premium resistance bands come in a very effective set of 5 bands; they’re thick and rugged so you can use them for intense workouts, including stepping and lifts. The wider width of the bands also makes it easier to loop them over a door anchor, handle or behind a furniture leg, and they’re sure to stay in place without rolling or folding, as sometimes happens with narrow bands.
The width also helps disperse the weight of the band, which actually allows them to hold their resistance better, making them suitable as glute resistance bands. You don’t need to stretch them particular far to work your muscles, so they’re ideal for small spaces and those of shorter stature.
They are gray in colour which means it’s not easy to remember which colour offers which resistance. But they are marked with a simple, “X-Light”, “Light”, “Medium,”, “Heavy” and “X-Heavy” label, so you know at what resistance level you’re lifting.
You can simply start with the lighter band, perhaps for rehabilitation, or use the heavier one for legs and advanced techniques. These fitness bands are also a medium size, not too short and not too long; this makes them very versatile. You can step on a band and use it for arm lifts or curls, or slide it over your wrists and pull out to work all the muscles of your arms. The medium size of the loop also allows you to wrap them around the knees for butterflies, or as ankle straps for side leg lifts and other such movements, so you get a good workout without a longer band that may become too cumbersome for working out on a mat.
As with many other bands, they can be combined for more resistance so that you get an even tougher workout without having to turn to free weights or plates. By wrapping them around dumbells, you can also increase the intensity of your strength training for presses, or curls.
These bands also come with a free exercise guide that can be used to learn how to use them effectively. This will ensure you get the most out of the bands and that you use them safely. It’s also useful so that you don’t overlook any moves or exercises that can give you that great, thorough workout you want with resistance straps.
The Hybrid bands also come with a handy drawstring carrying pouch, which takes up very little room and which is very lightweight. If you travel often and need a quick strength training session when on the road, or want to keep something in your desk drawer at the office for a short workout during your lunch break, these can be a perfect choice.
#3 – Starwood Sports Resistance Exercise Bands
Resistance range: (Unknown) Light, Medium, Heavy, X-Heavy
Length: 300mm x 50mm
Includes: User guide & drawstring bag
This set only includes four bands in total, but for most people and their workout routines, four can be more than enough! As with other sets of good resistance bands, you can double up your use of these for added resistance and faster results. This makes them great for calisthenics.
The loop design also makes these bands easy to use anywhere, as you don’t need to hook them over a door anchor, furniture, or anything else. Their compact design also makes it easier to use them when larger loops or gym bands would be difficult, cumbersome, or even dangerous. For example, you can pull these power bands around your knees and do half leg lifts, butterflies, or another similar exercise, to work the inner and outer thigh muscles, and the shorter length offers a great workout for this area of the body.
You can also loop the bands around the wrists and not need to open your arms too wide to get that resistance. A larger band may very well lose resistance when working these areas of the body if you can’t pull them taut enough. They simply wouldn’t work for someone with shorter arms, and your workout would then be much less effective. Longer loop resistance bands may also get in the way when trying to step with the tension bands, and this can cause tripping and other hazards. For yoga, Pilates, or a step aerobics class, these are an excellent choice.
Another great feature of these exercise bands is that they are simply marked “Light,” “Medium,” “Heavy,” and “Extra Heavy.” You don’t need to figure how many kilos or pounds of resistance they offer or that you need, and how the pounds and kilos would fit into your exercise routine. You can just reach for the band that would work for your current fitness levels. Double them up for even more resistance and a more effective workout.
The bands also come with a great carrying pouch with a drawstring, so you can easily fold them up and toss them in a suitcase or even your briefcase if you work out during breaks. They’re an excellent choice for those who travel and need some resistance training when on the road, but don’t know if their hotel will have a gym and certainly don’t want to carry free weights with them! You can also roll up the gym bands and tuck them away in a drawer or slide them under the bed when not in use.
#4 – Physix Gear Resistance Loop Bands
Resistance range: (Unknown) Light, Medium, Heavy, X-Heavy
Length: 305mm x 50mm
Includes: Carry pouch
Each piece in this set of bands has the advantage of being a full band, meaning designed in a loop and not a long, open rope. You can then easily loop the band and use them as ankle straps without attaching it to a door or piece of furniture, or slide a band between your wrists. This can make it easier to use the bands during a Pilates or yoga routine, or when on an exercise ball. You can also more easily work the backside of the legs by lying flat on your belly and looping a band around the ankles, then lifting one leg at a time; no need to hold the ends of the band with your hands or try to tie them around your foot.
There are also mini ankle bands that fit especially well and these are easy even for a beginner to use. They can also be used for a light aerobics or Pilates routine, without a longer band getting in the way of your stepping or movements. To enhance a light aerobics routine with slight resistance, try these mini physio bands around your ankles and then gently step in place. These are also very suitable as pull up bands.
These quality resistance bands also offer a variety of weight or resistance, and you can loop two or more around ankles as strong ankle straps, wrists, or the midsection for an even greater workout. They’re lightweight and easy to take with you and they come with a nice carrying pouch, but you can also easily fold one up to fit a backpack, handbag, or suitcase. They also come with a basic exercise guide, so you get the maximum benefit from the gym bands and know how to use them safely and effectively.
#5 – FREETOO Resistance Stretch Exercise & Pull-Up Bands
Resistance range: 15lb – 50lb
Length: 900mm x 20mm
Includes: Elastic bands for storage
The FREETOO resistance bands are much longer than most others, and this length actually serves a real purpose. If you want a full and challenging workout, you can use the bands with a dumbbell or bar of some sort. Each end of it should be secure under a weight, furniture, and or something similar, and then you can slide the dumbbell under the band itself; the band provides the resistance you would get with weight plates or stacks. Or they can be placed under the feet and used as pull-up bands or for squats.
Because the resistance is spread across the band, however, you actually work more muscles when you squat or do lifts with the band than if you used standard plates or free weights. The longer length also allows you to stretch them further if you want to work the inner and outer thigh muscles and need an extended length to support your movement. You can also loop them over a door hook and then lean backward for a good workout of the back, something that’s difficult to do with shorter bands.
Of course, another advantage of using these natural latex bands versus plates is that they’re much lighter and more compact, so they’re easier to store! You can invest in a standard dumbbell or two, one for shoulders and a shorter one for bicep curls and presses, and easily store all of these pieces under a bed or in a closet when not in use, with your bands stored in a drawer or on a shelf. This gives you the versatility of lifting weights but without any actual weights or plates and they make great pull up bands. The power bands are also safer than plates, as they’re not likely to slide off the dumbbell and you don’t need to risk straining your back to lift a plate and put it on the dumbbell. It can also be safer to work alone with bands versus plates, as you can more readily slide out from under a dumbbell with a band than you can one loaded with plates, if you find that you’ve challenged yourself with too much resistance.
The longer length of the bands can also work for those who want a full stretch by bringing the bands to an aerobics workout, including routines like Pilates or yoga. You can stand on a band and stretch your arm out completely and work all those muscles, or hold one band over your head while in a reclined position and use it to kick out a leg for a full workout.
The FREETOO bands come in a set of five, so you can start with a lower weight and work your way up to something challenging, or add a little weight band to the higher weight for even more of a challenge. They’re thicker than most bands, so they’re easier to grip for those with larger hands; while they don’t come with a carrying pouch, their thicker width makes them easier to roll up and store away when not in use. This also makes them very durable, so they should last for years.
Benefits Of Resistance Bands
Since they take up very little space, resistance bands also store away very easily, such as in a desk drawer for those who want a quick workout at the office. They are also often considered to be safer to use than other equipment; a free weight can actually break a toe if you drop it on your foot, and getting hurt while using heavy exercise equipment incorrectly is not unusual and can possibly result in very serious injury.
However, resistance bands are safe, lightweight, portable, and easy to use by anyone no matter their overall fitness levels. They can hook onto a door or piece of heavy furniture, or be used on their own to build the muscles of the arms, legs, back, abs, and everything else you want to tone and tighten. Many physical therapists, Pilates enthusiasts, and yogis use resistance bands as part of their fitness regime and they are great value for money too!
Bands can slowly and gently build strong muscles for those who have suffered an injury or who have had surgery. They don’t offer so much resistance that your Pilates or yoga routine becomes too challenging or taxing. When you’re in the market for some resistance bands yourself, note a few of the best choices available and their advantages, as well as some tips for how to use them effectively for a great strength training workout. This will help you decide on the right type and the right band for your fitness routine.
Remember that when you’re working with any resistance bands, no matter the brand and quality, you need to mind your safety; take the time to place the band correctly under your feet and wear shoes with thick tread on the soles. Also, be careful of stepping on a band when on a mat that might slide out from under you. If a band seems worn or thin or you notice any nicks or cuts, replace it right away, so that it doesn’t snap and cause injury.
Yes, resistance bands do work. They function in a similar way to free weights but resistance bands require the most effort at the end of the movement. Normal weights require the most effort at the beginning of the movement.
Yes, resistance bands are safe when used correctly. The risks are the band coming loose from the hand or wherever it may be anchored. The other risk is the band snapping. These may cause the band to flick and potentially cause an injury.
Resistance bands are useful in helping you to gain muscle and strength. While they might not offer the same level of muscle fiber activation as free weights, they certainly do help with
Resistance bands are a convenient, simple and cheap way to exercise anywhere and they are effective at providing results. By selecting any of these in our guide, you cannot go wrong. You should make a decision based on what your needs are, whether they be for physiotherapy or heavy resistance.