a person taking a wide, strong step with a resistance band looped around their ankles
Design by Lauren Park

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Resistance bands and athletic goals are not the same.

Resistance bands may look like nothing more than a few feet of latex or rubber. In actuality, they’re sophisticated pieces of exercise equipment that are able to improve muscle strength, tone, and flexibility. They’re also affordable and transportable.

Resistance bands have a lot of value for many needs, from recovering from injury to getting creative about fitting in your physical activity.

The bands on this list are able to address specific needs and perform uses that people are looking for.

We looked at features.

  • Durability. Resistance bands don’t last forever. They can crack and split apart, especially if you store them in a strongly lit or dry area. We’ve chosen bands made of quality materials to help them last over time.
  • Usability. The bands we chose are either color coded for strength or come with usage instructions, so they’re adaptable to a wide variety of exercises.
  • Customer reviews. We analyzed customer reviews and only chose resistance bands with significantly more positive reviews than negative ones.
  • Price. We kept affordability in mind and opted for range of options to suit different budgets.
  • Vetting. The bands on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

The resistance bands of the year 2022.

A note on price

“The general price ranges are indicated by dollar signs. One dollar sign means the product is affordable, whereas three dollar signs mean it’s more expensive.”

The list prices range from $13.98 to $69.99, though this may vary depending on available discounts and where you shop. If you purchase a set of bands, prices may vary.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $20
  • $$ = $20–$50
  • $$$ = over $50

Best resistance loop band

Fit Simplify Loop Bands Set

  • Price: $
  • Pros: provides different resistance levels, portable carrying bag included
  • Cons: may be too short for some users, some users complain about bands rolling or being too thin

“loop bands connect end to end. It’s not necessary to tie and untie knots, which can cause wear and tear on flat bands.”

Loop bands are great for a wide variety of movements. They can increase the results you get from tons of resistance training exercises, such as squats and lat pulldowns. Plus, they can add extra muscle-building power to Pilates and yoga moves.

This highly versatile set of five bands from Fit Simplify is made from natural latex. While natural latex can dry out over time and potentially rip, these bands are made to be durable and come with a lifetime manufacturer’s guarantee.

The set includes five different color-coded loop bands that can be used for different muscles or for different strengths.

If you are new to loop bands, a printed instruction guide and workout e-book can help you get started.

A bag is included.

Key specs

  • Materials: natural latex (rubber)
  • Circumference: 24 in. (61 cm)
  • Number of bands: 5
  • Resistance: extra-light, light, medium, heavy, extra-heavy
  • Other accessories included: carrying case, instruction book

Best resistance band with handles

Dynapro Resistance Bands

  • Price: $–$$ per band
  • Pros: handles are fully padded for comfort, band lengths are adjustable (except for the extremely heavy band)
  • Cons: may work best with a door anchor (sold separately), price of all five bands adds up

Resistance bands with handles give you a sturdy grip while exercising. They are good for any move that builds muscle mass and strength.

Dynapro bands are 66 inches long and are too long for overhead exercises.

The handles are fully padded and sturdy. The easy, ridged grip makes them a good choice for people with hand arthritis or other concerns. Users report that unlike some other resistance bands with handles, these don’t create hand blisters.

They’re sold individually by level of resistance or as a complete set, so you can add to your collection over time as you build strength or equip your home gym all in one go.

Key specs

  • Materials: natural rubber
  • Length: 66 in. (167.6 cm)
  • Number of bands: purchased individually or as a set of 5
  • Resistance: light, medium, heavy, extra heavy, extremely heavy
  • Other accessories included: none

Best resistance band for legs

Arena Strength Fabric Booty Bands

  • Price: $$
  • Pros: 12-month warranty, specifically designed for legs and glutes
  • Cons: fabric may fray and stretch out over time, not appropriate for upper body workouts

Some people prefer fabric resistance bands to other types of bands. They absorb sweat and roll and slip less.

The Arena Strength fabric bands are designed to maximize thigh and glute workouts. Light, medium, and heavy are the resistance levels in the set. It comes with a case and guide.

If you’re allergic to latex, be aware that these and many other fabric resistance bands contain latex.

These may not be the best bands for full-body workouts. They work well for upper leg and glute exercises.

Key specs

  • Materials: cotton and latex
  • Circumference: 27 in. (68.6 cm)
  • Number of bands: 3
  • Resistance: light, medium, and heavy
  • Other accessories included: exercise book and carrying case

Best resistance band for older adults

TheraBand Resistance Band Set

  • Price: $
  • Pros: latex-free, soft design works for rehabilitation of weaker or injured muscles, durable
  • Cons: may not provide enough resistance for some, no firm edges or handles

These may be a good choice for a low resistance set of bands. The resistance levels range from 3 to 6.7 pounds, making them a good choice for rehabilitative workouts.

If you have an allergy or sensitivity to latex, they are latex-free.

Key specs

  • Materials: natural rubber
  • Length: 60 in. (152.4 cm)
  • Number of bands: 3
  • Resistance: low
  • Other accessories included: none

Best resistance band for pullups

WODFitters Assisted Pull-Up Resistance Bands

  • Price: $–$$$ per band
  • Pros: lifetime warranty, made for full-body workouts, durable
  • Cons: more expensive than other options, may be too heavy for some users

You can combine the pullup bands for extra resistance. They are available in seven resistance levels and are sold individually or as a bundle.

These bands can be used to work out every muscle group of the body. The thick bands are used to support power lifting. The lighter bands are used for bicep and tricep work. Resistance levels can be as high as 200 pounds. These bands are a good choice if you want to build muscle or increase your fitness routine.

Key specs

  • Materials: latex
  • Circumference: 82 in. (208.3 cm)
  • Number of bands: 1, 4, or 5
  • Resistance: 10–200 lbs. (4.5–90.7 kg)
  • Other accessories included: none

Best resistance band with a bar

Yes4All Total Body Workout Weighted Bar with Bands

  • Price: $$
  • Pros: bar is padded to reduce hand fatigue, fabric-covered bands won’t snap or rip with use, can be incorporated into Pilates or yoga movements
  • Cons: doesn’t come with sample exercises or instructions, some users mention that the bar arrived scratched or in damaged condition

The set includes a steel bar with 2 attached rings, and 5 soft foam resistance bands. You can use the bar alone for exercises like overhead presses or attach bands to the bar for resistance. The bands can be used for stretching.

If you are unfamiliar with the correct form for each exercise, use caution. This set may be a better choice for people who have already worked out.

Key specs

  • Materials: alloy steel, natural latex, and foam
  • Length: 53-in. (134.6-cm) bands, 48-in (121.9-cm) bar
  • Number of bands: 5
  • Resistance: 10–30 lbs. (4.5–13.6 kg), plus 8-lb. (3.6-kg) bar
  • Other accessories included: none

Best resistance band for stretching

Pro-Tec Athletics Stretch Band

  • Price: $$
  • Pros: durable fabric won’t snap or rip, comes with easy-to-understand exercise book, users mention that it stays put and doesn’t slip
  • Cons: may not work for strength exercises because it doesn’t stretch very much, warranty is only good for 6 months

The strap has 10 grip loops that allow you to track and build on your stretching progress over time.

You can use this stretch band for a wide range of stretching. It is a good choice for the warm up and the cooling down after exercising. It can be used as a yoga strap.

“The soft fabric is durable and will not tear, so you don’t need to worry about it.”

The instructions in an exercise manual are easy to follow.

Key specs

  • Materials: polyester
  • Length: 56 in. (142.2 cm)
  • Number of bands: 1
  • Resistance: not specified
  • Other accessories included: exercise manual

If you are new to resistance bands, you should consider buying a set that has a variety of resistance levels.

The bands that are thickest or heaviest may not be appropriate for you. When buying, take your fitness and goals into account.

If you want to build strength in a specific area, you should use the lightest resistance band you can find. Unless your doctor or physical therapist recommends otherwise, this is a good place to start.

Think about your fitness goals and the areas of your body you want to strengthen or tone. The lower body has specific bands designed for it. Others can be used for full-body workouts.

“The manufacturer’s guarantee or warranty is also included. Some brands have been reported to break quickly.”

Resistance bands are made from rubber or latex. If you have a sensitivity to these materials, you should double-check that the band you buy does not include them.

If you’re using resistance bands to build muscle, keep in mind that they work the same way free weights do: They generate external resistance that your muscles work against (1, 2).

Resistance bands require you to maintain external pressure even between reps.

You may find that you need to do less reps with a resistance band than you do with an exercise machine or free weights.

Let yourself get used to sore muscles. Start slowly.

Before you buy a band, you should look at the instructions, video how-tos, and exercise guide.

“You can tie your band to a piece of furniture. If it is, use a knot that won’t come undone. Don’t use a band that is old or has wear and tear.”

Resistance bands and accessories that are meant for this purpose can be found.

Any adult can use resistance bands. Unattended children should not use them.

When loop bands are around your ankle, use caution. They should not be used for dancing or aerobics to avoid falling.

Before a workout, inspect your bands for signs of wear and tear. You will never have to worry about them snapping mid-move.

Store them away from the sun.

Can you build muscle with resistance bands?

Resistance bands are a highly effective way to increase muscle mass. To build muscle effectively, you can work up to using bands that provide more resistance and increase the number of sets to promote muscle exhaustion (2, 3).

Who should use resistance bands?

Resistance bands can be used for stretching, rehabilitation, and resistance training. They are very flexible to all fitness levels. Children should be supervised by an adult.

How long do resistance bands last?

The type of band, usage level, and storage will all affect how long your bands will last. You can expect your bands to last for 6 months to 2 years.

Resistance bands can be used to strengthen muscles. They are excellent for rehabilitation of muscles after an injury.

Resistance bands are highly usable by most people. They are inexpensive and portable.

These easy-to-use pieces of equipment are great for adding flexibility to your body.