Let's talk about resistance bands - a gym bag necessity. They are widely loved for their versatility, convenience, and incredible strength training benefits.
Resistance bands have many names - exercise bands, booty bands, loop bands, hip bands... but they all refer to the same thing. For those who don't know exercise bands are elastic bands (fabric or latex/rubber) that come in different resistance levels so you can perform a variety of exercises that can target all muscle groups. They are commonly used for resistance training to help build strength and even for physical therapy to help recover from injuries.
When searching for the perfect resistance band you must look for two things:
- Comfort - the best material.
- Matches your strength level - so you can continue progressing in your workouts.
You already know your fitness level, so we are here to help you find the most comfortable band for you. There are two main types of resistance bands: fabric and latex. They both provide the same benefits but have a few differences when it comes to performing exercises, and those differences will sway your decision on which to purchase. To help you decide, we've laid out all the info for you!
Latex Resistance Bands
Latex, or rubber bands, are just as the name implies. They are a resistance band made out of latex or rubber. Latex bands typically come in a pack of 3 or more and come in various resistance levels that range from extra light to extra heavy. They also come in different lengths, short bands are used for lower body exercises and long bands are used for upper body exercises.
- Various resistance levels - Perfect for all fitness levels.
- Extremely versatile - Can be used for lower and upper body workouts.
- Inexpensive - This really depends on the brand, but most latex bands range from $10-20.
- Clean them easily - You can rinse them off or wipe them down pretty easily.
- Uncomfortable - Latex tends to stick on the skin, so using these types of bands can cause discomfort if you're wearing shorts.
- They roll up - These types of bands tend to roll up, which can be very annoying when you're trying to focus on the exercise.
- They rip easily - Latex and rubber aren't durable material, they can rip rather fast if you use them frequently for kickbacks or stretching motions.
Fabric Resistance Bands
Elastic Fabric resistance bands are simply resistance bands made with fabric
instead of latex or rubber. They are normally sold separately and come in 3 resistance levels - light, medium, and heavy. Fabric bands are normally only used for glute activation and lower body workouts, but they also come in a longer length which os perfect for upper body workouts.
- Various resistance levels - Perfect for all fitness levels.
- Comfortable fabric - Fabric bands usually have a non-slip grip so the band stays in place while you're performing exercises.
- They're strong - The material makes these types of bands less stretchy so they add a great amount of resistance when performing leg exercises. These are perfect for avid weight lifters.
- Inexpensive - They are a little bit more expensive than rubber bands, but not by much. Investing in high-quality fabric resistance bands won't cost you an arm and a leg. One band usually price ranges from $10-15, or you can get a bundle for upwards of $30.
- Not versatile - The strength and the lack of stretch make fabric bands not ideal for upper body workouts. They are mostly used for lower body only, but there are long fabric resistance bands, they're just not common and don't have handles like latex bands do.
- Longer cleaning process - Fabric resistance bands have to be washed in a washing machine and air-dried. So it's a bit of a longer process, but they do get thoroughly cleaned after an intense sweat session.
So which exercise resistance band is better?
Honestly, it depends on you! Both types of resistance bands are a great piece of fitness equipment to have when you want to change things up and make your workout a little more challenging. Both add a constant level of resistance so your muscles work harder and you feel the burn!
Both types of bands have pros and cons, so the decision should be based on what's comfortable to you and what you're going to be using them for! We are a little biased because our UPPPER resistance bands are made from fabric material... But we chose that material because it's durable, non-slip, and provides a heavy-duty resistance perfect for lower and upper body workouts. It's what we find comfortable, and what we think most people find comfortable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still can't make a decision? Don't worry, we've answered the most commonly asked questions about resistance bands that will hopefully guide you to find the best one for you!
How do resistance bands work?
They provide external resistance that your muscles work against. So they engage the muscles being targeted to fight the tension throughout the entire exercise being performed. They come in different levels of resistance so you can start light and work your way up to heavy.
Can you build muscle with resistance bands?
YES! Resistance bands are the ultimate strength training tool because they help activate and tone muscles so you build muscle and strength more effectively. They can be used alone, or combined with free weights to make your workout extra hard!
What are some good resistance exercises?
Short resistance bands are perfect for leg and glute exercises like squats, hip thrusts, lunges, lateral band walks, standing glute kickbacks, etc.
Long resistance bands are better for upper body workouts like bicep curls, standing chest press, shoulder press, overhead tricep extensions, etc. They are also a great tool for assisted pull-ups!
Where can I buy resistance bands?
Latex and rubber bands can be found in Walmart, Target, Amazon, and other retailers. Fabric bands are mostly found in online stores, like UPPPER!
We have long and short fabric resistance bands that come in light, medium, and heavy resistance. We have an extra heavy resistance available for long bands too! Our bands are high quality, perfect for resistance training, home workouts, and for people of all different levels of fitness. Plus, each band also comes with a carrying bag so you can easily store them in your gym bag and never lose them.