The 11 Best Resistance Bands Worth Owning

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No matter whether you’re a workout lover with a full-on home gym, someone looking to adopt an easy, at-home exercise routine, or fall somewhere in the middle, resistance bands are one piece of equipment worth having. “Resistance bands are a silent hero in the fitness world,” says Los Angeles-based trainer Danny Saltos. “There isn’t a single person who wouldn’t benefit from incorporating them into their routine as they fit all fitness levels.”

He adds that they can help improve flexibility, increase range of motion and strength, and even help prevent a workout-related injury (among other things). Not to mention how totally practical they are. “They’re one of the more affordable types of gym equipment and are easy to pack and store, making them great to take with you when you travel,” adds fitness expert and trainer Britt Deitz. Plus, there are plenty of different options out there with which you can do a litany of different exercises. Can your treadmill do that? We didn’t think so.

Meet the Expert

  • Danny Saltos is a Los Angeles-based, NASM-certified personal trainer and the creator of Train With Danny.
  • Britt Detiz is a fitness expert, trainer, and the founder of Britt Dietz Virtual Cycling and Fitness.
  • Nikki Gnozzio is a licensed personal trainer, massage therapist, and athlete, as well as the Founder of Junction Bodyworks.

Ahead, the best resistance bands to make a part of your workout routine.

Best Overall: Obé Resistance Loops

Obé resistance loops
What We Like
  • Stays in place

  • Versatile

  • Durable

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

There’s nothing you can’t do with this set of loops; they work equally well for leg, arm, and back exercises. Also nice: This comes with a level one and level two band, so you can gradually work your way up and keep challenging yourself as your workouts progress. Byrdie senior editor Holly Rhue is a big fan: "These resistance bands stay firmly in place every time—even during jump squats,” she says.

Number of Bands: 2 | Resistance Level: Light to medium | Colors: Black

Best Overall, Runner-Up: Rogue Loop Bands

Rogue Loop Bands

Rogue Fitness

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Versatile

  • Color-coded resistance levels

What We Don’t Like
  • Best for shorter-ranged movements

“These loop bands are available in two sizes, either 9 inches or 12 inches long, and there are six different resistance levels to choose from,” says Deitz of one of her favorites. “They’re a great option to throw into any full-body workout.” They’re also made from super durable dipped latex, so you don’t have to stress about them snapping.

Number of Bands: 1 | Resistance Level: Light to ultra-heavy | Size: 9 inches and 12 inches | Colors: Orange, red, blue, green, black, purple

Best Budget: Fit Simplify Resistance Bands

4.5
fit-simplify-resistance-bands

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes carrying bag

  • Durable

  • Color-coded resistance levels

What We Don’t Like
  • Can roll up during some workouts

Resistance bands are pretty affordable as a general rule of thumb, but this all-in-one set takes the cake. For less than $12, you get a full line-up of five different bands, ranging in different resistances from extra-light to extra-heavy. And, since they’re all conveniently color-coded, you’ll always be able to tell exactly which one you want to grab. Deitz is a fan, noting that they can be incorporated into a variety of full-body exercises, stretching, mobility, and strength workouts.

Number of Bands: 5 | Resistance Level: Extra-light to extra-heavy | Size: 12 inches | Colors: Green, red, yellow, blue, black

Best Set: Chareada Resistance Bands Set

Chareada Resistance Bands Set

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Good value

  • Easy to store

  • Works for a variety of workouts

What We Don’t Like
  • Can roll up during some workouts

For those who want to step up their resistance band game, this lets you create an entire gym around them. The 23-piece set comes with: five resistance loops, five resistance tubes, two handles, two ankle straps, two wrist wraps, two core sliders, one door anchor, two carrying bags, one jump rope, and one cooling towel. It sounds like a lot, but since everything is so small, this takes up no space at all. Plus, the amount of different types of exercises you’ll be able to do is unparalleled.

Number of Pieces: 23 | Resistance Level: Extra-light to extra-heavy | Size: Assorted | Colors: Assorted

Best Set, Runner-Up: GoFit Extreme Pro Gym Set

4.7
GoFitExtreme

Amazon

What We Like
  • Versatile

  • Good value

  • Color-coded resistance levels

What We Don’t Like
  • Lightest resistance might feel heavy for some

“This is my go-to for any home gym,” says Santos. It includes everything you need to get a great workout from the convenience of your home, including door anchors, four resistance tubes with different difficulty levels, ranging from 20 pounds to 140 pounds of resistance, and ankle straps, he says. It’s a fan favorite on Amazon, with reviewers raving about how durable all of the products are and how convenient the entire set is.

Number of Pieces: 12 | Resistance Level: 20 to 140 pounds | Size: Assorted | Colors: Assorted

Best Fabric: GYMB Non-Slip Resistance Bands

GYMB Non-Slip Resistance Bands

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • More comfortable for glute exercises

  • Stays in place

  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like
  • Fabric may feel weird at first

“Fabric bands typically can’t stretch as much as the rubber kind, but they are much more comfortable around ankles and thighs for glute exercises like pelvic thrusts and squats,” says personal trainer Nikki Gnozzio. Plus, they also are more durable and tend to have a longer shelf life than their rubber counterparts, she adds, not to mention a good alternative for anyone with a latex allergy. These are her pick, a set of three ranging in light, medium, and strong resistance levels. Bonus points: The no-slip inner strip ensures they stay put, even against your slipperiest of workout leggings.

Number of Bands: 3 | Resistance Level: Light to strong | Size: ‎11.81 x 5.91 x 0.79 inches | Colors: Pink, gray, black

Best Mini: TRX Training Exercise Bands

TRX Training Exercise Bands

TRX Training

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Color-coded resistance levels

What We Don’t Like
  • Can roll up during some workouts

Gnozzio says mini bands, like these which she recommends, are especially great for walking exercises and shoulder stability moves. While minis are sometimes prone to snapping, these are affordable and easy enough to replace, she notes.

Number of Bands: 1 | Resistance Level: 2 to 25 pounds | Size: 12 inches | Colors: Yellow, orange, gray, black

Best Handle Bands: Rogue Tube Bands

Rogue Tube Bands

Rogue

What We Like
  • Long length

  • Durable

  • Versatile

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

“Bands with handles can be used to mimic several exercises like dumbbells or cable machines,” says Gnozzio. Try anchoring them around your feet and using them for a bicep curl. She likes these, which have a nice length of 48 inches which makes them versatile for multiple types of moves. They come in six resistance levels, which can either be purchased individually, in sets of three, or as a set of all six.

Number of Bands: 1, 3, or 6 | Resistance Level: Very light to heavy | Size: 48 inches | Colors: Orange, red, blue, green, black, purple

Best for Glutes: Tone It Up Booty Bands

Tone it Up Booty Bands

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Cute design

  • Affordable

  • Durable

What We Don’t Like
  • Can roll up during some workouts

Byrdie Associate General Manager Lindsey Metrus loves these lightweight loops, which work especially great for glute and hamstring exercises (as the name suggests). The blue option is ideal for strengthening, while the pink one is great for more targeted toning, but either one works well for pretty much any type of lower-body move.

Number of Bands: 1 | Resistance Level: Light and heavy | Colors: Pink, blue

Best Pull-Up Bands: INTEY Pull-Up Assist Resistance Bands

INTEY Pull Up Assist Resistance Bands

Walmart

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Provides ample support

  • Comfortable to use

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

Want to master pull-ups? Consider starting with resistance bands, which are a great way to help take some of the load off you while you’re doing a pull-up, notes Gnozzio. This set of four is especially ideal for this purpose. Start with the thickest one, which has the most resistance and as such will offer you the most support, then gradually work your way to the thinnest one.

Number of Bands: 4 | Resistance Level: Light to extra-heavy | Size: 81.9 inches | Colors: Red, black, purple, green

Best Ankle Band: SPRI Xercuff Leg Exercise Cord

SPRI Xercuff Leg Exercise Cord

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Durable

What We Don’t Like
  • Bands are sold separately

Think of these as a (much easier to wear) alternative to a Pilates ring. Slide the adjustable ankle straps on and work through any of your go-to lower body exercises. The attached cord comes in light, medium, and heavy resistance levels (though they are sold separately), helping to make even the most subtle movements all the more challenging.

Number of Bands: 3 | Resistance Level: Light, medium, heavy | Size: 16 x 10 x 1 inches | Colors: Blue, green, red

Final Verdict

Resistance bands can be used by anyone, anywhere, in a variety of different ways. The Obé Resistance Loops earn our top vote, a simple set of two that stay in place well and can be used for many different exercises. The Fit Simplify Resistance Bands are an awesome value, five bands in various resistances, while the GYMB Non-Slip Resistance Bands are a good non-slip, non-latex alternative. If you want longer bands with handles, you can’t go wrong with the Rogue Tube Bands.

What to Look for in Resistance Bands

Tension Level

If you're just starting with resistance bands, opt for a very stretchy option, then work your way up to the thicker bands. The stretchier, more elastic bands offer light resistance, whereas the thicker bands create more tension for a more challenging workout.

Tube vs. Flat Bands

Tube bands are made from hard, dense rubber and are usually equipped with handles for better grip. Some tube bands also have attachments for certain accessories, like ankle cuffs, allowing countless versatile ways to work with them. Flat bands are more lightweight and lie flat (as the name suggests) against your body, making them ideal for exercises where the band needs to be in direct contact with your arms or legs.

Loop vs. Sheet Shape

Loop bands are cut in a circular, loop shape, not unlike a giant rubber band. You've likely seen them in exercises that target the glutes or thighs since they're ideal for adding resistance to yoga-based movements while engaging muscles. Sheet bands are long strips of latex or rubber that can be wrapped around your hands, feet, or another anchor point. These bands are typically used for flexibility or mobility exercises.

FAQ
  • What do resistance bands do?

    Resistance bands help to create increased tension in your muscles and will cause them to contract. This helps to tone your muscles while also working to build strength.

  • What kinds of exercises are best with resistance bands?

    The possibilities are pretty endless. Resistance bands pair well with yoga, flexibility, and strength training exercises, but you can also use them for cardio, mobility, and any routine that would normally use weights.

  • How often should I use resistance bands in my workout?

    As often or as little as you want! While you can choose to use resistance bands every time you work out for maximum strengthening benefits, they're not a requirement.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. Along with covering beauty, she also covers health and wellness. She uses resistance bands regularly and even keeps a set permanently in her suitcase so that she always has them with her whenever she travels.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Yeun YR. Effectiveness of resistance exercise using elastic bands on flexibility and balance among the elderly people living in the community: a systematic review and meta-analysisJ Phys Ther Sci. 2017;29(9):1695-1699.

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