Thanks to home workouts like P90X and CrossFit, resistance bands have exploded in popularity, going from strength to strength. Resistance bands are an excellent, economical alternative to traditional weight sets. You get all the same benefits of more expensive equipment in one small, convenient accessory.
If you’re looking for the best resistance bands, we recommend the SPRI Xertube Resistance Bands for their durability and overall performance. That said, there are a variety of fantastic options, and the right bands for you depend on your workout regimen. In this guide, we take a look at the best exercise bands for muscle and aerobic training.
Our Top Picks
Short on time? Check our favorite picks:
- Best Overall: SPRI Xertube Resistance Bands. The SPRI Xertubes are quad-threaded, heavy-duty rubber resistance bands for all types of home workouts.
- Best Eco-Friendly: Limm Resistance Bands. If you’re seeing something a bit more eco-friendly, the Limm Resistance Bands boast all-natural latex construction for a guilt-free workout.
- Best Budget: Nylea Resistance Bands. No more excuses — for under $10, you can get this excellent set of three resistance bands perfect for stretching and strength training.
- Best for P90X: Black Mountain Resistance Bands (Complete Set). For P90X fans, we selected this complete set of open-loop resistance bands from top manufacturer, Black Mountain.
- Best for Building Muscle: WODFitters Resistance Bands. Get a full gym workout at home with these ultra-durable resistance bands that rate up to 175 pounds!
- Best for Glutes: XPRT Fitness Resistance Bands. Tame those glutes and legs with the XPRT Fitness Resistance Bands, a set of four lightweight accessories perfect for taking on the go.
- Best Versatile: BM Resistance Bands (Individual). If you want the benefits of a top name brand, but only need a few select sizes, the BM bands are the most versatile open-loop option around.
1. SPRI Xertube Resistance Bands
The best resistance bands overall
Manufacturer: SPRI / Type: Open Loop / Material: Rubber / Band Resistance: 12.5 to 62.5 pounds / Number of Bands: 1/ Price: 💰💰💰
If you want the best exercise bands, SPRI’s new Xertube Resistance Bands are as good as they get. They are an upgrade of the original SPRI Xertube bands, incorporating a new, durable braided design. As such, these are professional, gym-quality workout bands. SPRI sells these exercise cords in 5 different resistance levels, with a unique color for each band.
They are sold separately and are more expensive than most bands, but the braided design is built to last. The unique braided tubing mimics the time tested construction of high-quality rope, weaving together four quality dipped tubes into a taut braided construction. This internal tubing shares the load across each of the four tubes for near-perfect tension distribution during your exercises. This patented technology results in elastic workout bands that will stand the test of even the most rigorous high-intensity training.
You only need to buy the resistance levels you need for your training. If you’re unsure where to begin, snag the level 3 band and see how it goes. Remember, you can always increase or decrease slack to make it harder.
- Wide range of resistances to choose from
- Lightweight (.75 pounds) and ideal for travel
- Convenient handles boast excellent grip for intensive routines
- Not weather resistant
- Tension slowly loosens over time
2. Limm Resistance Bands
The best eco-friendly resistance bands
Manufacturer: Limm / Type: Closed Loop / Material: Latex / Band Resistance: 4 to 40 pounds / Number of Bands: 5 / Price: 💰💰
If you’re seeking an eco-friendly set of resistance bands, look no further than this package from Limm. All five of these TPE-free bands are constructed from 100% natural latex, a material sourced straight from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). As such, they’re odorless, safe on skin, and extremely elastic. Great for a variety of workouts, it’s no wonder they’re one of the best sellers!
For about $15, you get a set of five 12-inch workout bands, a complimentary ‘Home Workouts’ eBook, a printed manual, and a mesh carrying bag so you can store them at home or take them to the gym with you.
Of course, each of the bands is color-coded for resistance level: black (extra-heavy), red (heavy), blue (medium), green (light), and yellow (extra-light). This makes it easy to build up strength and switch between resistance levels mid-workout when you need something a bit heavier or lighter in resistance. These bands are also an ideal match for most home workout videos, such as the popular P90X. Limm is so confident you’ll enjoy their product, they back it with a satisfaction guarantee or your money back. The customer service and quality of this product quickly propelled it to our list of the best fitness bands.
- High quality set for roughly $15
- Natural TPE-free latex construction
- Convenient, color-coded resistance levels
- 12″ width too small for some routines
- Reports that they last just under a year
3. Nylea Resistance Bands
The best budget resistance bands
Manufacturer: Nylea / Type: Closed Loop / Material: Latex / Band Resistance: 15 to 45 pounds / Number of Bands: 3 / Price: 💰
You may think the word ‘cheap’ means poor quality. Not with the Nylea Resistance Bands. These are the best cheap workout bands on the market, with some of the highest ratings across the board.
This set features three distinct straps that range in resistance from 15 to 45 pounds. Perfect for stretching, yoga, and milder home fitness routines, these lightweight latex bands are great for at home and on the go — travel case included.
Sure, you only get three bands. And yes, they’re a bit small. But for under $10, can you really complain? These will take your workout to the next level, for the same price as a large Starbucks. Save money and get in shape with this fantastic offering from Nylea.
- Insanely affordable
- Complete workout set w/ pouch
- Perfect for beginners wanting to try out resistance bands
- No starter guide or workout sheet
- Tend to roll up during leg exercises
4. Black Mountain Resistance Bands (Complete Set)
The best resistance bands for P90X
Manufacturer: Black Mountain / Type: Open Loop / Material: Rubber / Band Resistance: 2 to 30 pounds / Number of Bands: 5 / Price: 💰💰💰
The Black Mountain set is a great, economical alternative to buying the SPRI bands individually. This is an ideal set to go along with a workout video like P90X. The downside is that each band does not have its own handle like you’d get with the SPRI bands. Two handles come packaged with this kit, so you swap the grips to the resistance level you want to use. This is done using a metal clipping system. It can kind of be a hassle to swap these between sets, but other than that, it’s a great kit.
The kit includes five resistance levels, which can produce a resistance weight equivalent to 75 pounds. This kit consists of a user guide and exercise chart, carrying case, and a very helpful door anchor and ankle strap. The door anchor and ankle strap help you get the most out of the bands and enable you to do a broader range of exercises. The handles are nicely cushioned with foam to prevent grip fatigue and increase comfort.
- Complete workout in a tiny bag
- Includes a door anchor and ankle strap
- Stackable resistance goes up to a whopping 75 pounds
- Bands do begin to crack over time
- Only one set of handles per purchase
5. WODFitters Resistance Bands
The best resistance bands for building muscle
Manufacturer: WODFitters / Type: Closed Loop / Material: Latex / Band Resistance: 10 to 175 pounds / Number of Bands: 1 / Price: 💰💰
Want to look like The Terminator, but don’t know where to begin? Try the WODFitters Resistance Bands, some of the best-rated resistance bands for building muscle.
Make no mistake — these aren’t your basic bands. If the max resistance of 175 pounds didn’t give it away, these bad boys are more like a powerlifting band, made for dedicated (home) gym rats. As such, the WODFitters bands is our pick for the best workout bands. Great for dips, pull-ups, and all your other high-intensity bodyweight exercises.
You can buy each of these bands independently or go all in and buy the set for just over $100.
- Massive range of resistances
- So durable, each band lasts for years
- Versatile, great for stretching and strength training
- Bands are on the stiffer side
- Pungent rubber smell after use
6. XPRT Fitness Resistance Bands
The best resistance bands for glutes
Manufacturer: XPRT Fitness / Type: Closed Loop / Material: Latex / Band Resistance: 15 to 125 pounds / Number of Bands: 4 / Price: 💰💰💰
Become a fitness XPRT in no time with this fantastic set of four resistance bands.
These rugged bands boast thick anti-snap latex construction that’s perfect for all your workout needs. Try chin-ups, ring-ups, muscle-ups, and a variety of lower-body exercises with these fun, colorful accessories that make working out a little less dull. With 15 to 125 pounds of resistance (and more if you stack them), you can easily transform your home into a full-fledged gym.
While the lower-resistance red and black bands are both under 1-inch width, they more than make up for that in thickness, and with a generous 41 inches of slack. Plus, they’re ultra-lightweight and easy to carry on the go, especially alongside the convenient storage bag.
These are hands down the best stretchy resistance bands for legs and all your high-intensity workouts. Check ’em out today.
- Durable, thick bands
- Anti-snap design for added safety
- Convenient storage bag great for at home or on the go
- Shorter width, starting at just 0.5 inches
- Resistances feel slightly lower than advertised
7. BM Resistance Bands (Individual)
The best versatile resistance bands
Manufacturer: Black Mountain / Type: Open Loop / Material: Rubber / Band Resistance: 2 to 62 pounds / Number of Bands: 1 / Price: 💰💰
We’ve already seen the Black Mountain Resistance Band Set up above. But did you know that BM also sells standalone resistance bands?
This is great if you want handles for each band and don’t want to change them during the heat of action. Each band comes with a door anchor and starter guide.
The advantage of these compared to the individual SPRI resistance bands is that instead of 5 resistance levels, you can purchase up to 8 resistance levels that Black Mountain offers. That gives you granular control over your resistance level. It starts at the yellow band, which is about two to four pounds of resistance and goes all the way up to the Super Band, which is about 65 pounds of resistance — holy moly!
- Generous 48″ length
- Features comfy foam handles for additional grip
- Every purchase comes with a door anchor and starter guide
- Must make several purchases for a full workout set
- Handle is permanently attached, so you can’t add additional resistance
What to Look for in Resistance Bands
Let’s go over the three primary elements to look for when purchasing workout bands.
1. Type of Band
There are two primary types of resistance bands: open loop and closed loop.
Closed-loop bands are precisely what they sound like. They loop around in a circle like a hula hoop. Put it around your body, and move into various poses to stretch and train to your heart’s content. Loop bands are simple, convenient, and affordable. Excellent for yoga and lower body exercises.
Open-loop bands, on the other hand, are more akin to jump ropes than hula hoops. These don’t close in on themselves. Instead, they typically span several feet and are much more versatile. Use them for your upper body, lower body, and everywhere in-between, as these excel in virtually every type of bodyweight regimen.
A resistance band’s material largely depends on its type.
Closed-loop bands often feature latex construction, while open-loop bands usually boast a more durable, rubber material. Latex, and particularly TPE-free all-natural latex, is better for the environment than its rubber counterpart. That said, rubber tends to hold up better over time, and can handle some wear and tear.
Resistance is futile! That is, until you get a bit stronger.
Resistance is the weight rating. The lower the rating, the easier it is to move and exercise while using the band. The higher the rating, the more challenging the workout.
For those just starting, we recommend a lower resistance until you get the hang of things. Conversely, you can buy an entire set and gradually increase the resistance until you reach your goal.
If you’re already The Hulk, don’t let us hold you back. Grab a higher resistance and get back to training!
The Benefits of Adding Resistance Bands to a Workout Routine
There isn’t any reason to stretch the truth when it comes to resistance bands — there are many benefits to adding bands to your stash of home workout equipment. The great thing about exercise bands is that they are adaptable for multiple fitness levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, they can easily be incorporated to add variety to your workout routines.
Here are the top 10 benefits of adding resistance bands to your workouts:
- Economical. Resistance bands are incredibly cost-effective. Some smaller sets can be purchased for around $10. Even the premium kits can be found for about $40, and these include all sorts of extras, like DVDs and additional exercise equipment. Whether you’re looking for the best fitness bands or the best workout bands, there are well-priced options for each exercise application.
- Add Variety. Veteran bodybuilders and exercise enthusiasts know that one of the keys to overcoming plateaus is to shock the muscles with new workouts. Exercise bands add variety to your workouts that challenge your muscles in new ways. Moreover, bands can be rotated with free weights, exercise machines, and other training such as plyometrics.
- Versatile. Another top benefit of resistance bands is that you can purchase a variety of resistances. Light, medium, heavy, and extra heavy (signaled by various colors), for example. Furthermore, with each resistance band type, you can increase or reduce slack to make it even harder (or easier). You control the tension by shortening or lengthening the band, offering granular control over your workout routine. You can slowly progress from lighter resistances to heavier, building muscle and toning safely. Or, you can try using multiple bands at once for an extra challenge.
- Space Efficient. Workout bands have a minimal footprint, and they can easily be stored when they are not in use. Simply stash them in the closet or a drawer until your next workout session.
- Travel Ready. This goes hand in hand with our previous point. Strength bands are very portable and can be stowed in a suitcase. This allows you to stick to your workout plan, even when traveling. You can get a quick 30 minute or so work out right in your hotel room.
- Safe. It is nearly impossible to “overdo it” with exercise bands. Whereas when using heavy free weights, you need to have a spotter, workout bands can be safely used on your own, at home or on the go. Moreover, bands are easy on joints, allowing muscles to move fluidly through each range of motion.
- Adaptable. Resistance bands can quickly be adjusted to a lighter or heavier weight. If you’re on your last few reps and want to eke out a few more, you can increase the slack to make it a little easier. If you enjoy workout videos, exercise bands allow you to switch weight much faster during short breaks. This is very different from dumbbells, which may necessitate pausing the video to make weight adjustments instead of doing it on the fly.
- Range of Motion. The best resistance bands allow you to go through a full range of motion. Unlike some machines, you won’t be limited to how far you can go. This feature is excellent for increasing your flexibility, which is an integral part of holistic body health.
- Full Body Workout. There are a handful of go-to exercises that resistance bands are great for, such as bicep and tricep training. However, there are dozens of possible activities if you’re willing to get creative and do a little research online. In fact, you can hit all the major muscle groups with training bands. Chest flys, front and side shoulder raises, and bent over rows are just a few examples of the exercises that can be executed with bands.
- Constant Tension. By wrapping a band around a chair, pole, foot, ankle, or other stable objects, you’re putting constant tension on targeted muscles. That means it’s impossible to cheat with resistance bands. Combine that with your ability to do a full range of motion exercise, and you can see why exercise bands are a valuable way to mix it up and keep your muscles guessing.
For this guide on resistance bands, our team spent 4 hours researching the most popular options from over 25 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each band. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 resistance bands on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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