The 11 Best Resistance Bands of 2021

Work your whole body with this low-impact favorite

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Our Top Picks
Since each loop boasts a different resistance level between 2 to 30 pounds, you can easily scale up your intensity.
Though less beginner-friendly than most, this affordable set includes five resistance loops for those looking for a challenge.
Ideal if you want a versatile option, this 18-piece set includes resistance loops and tubes, handles, and ankle straps.
If you're targeting your lower body, you can't go wrong with this color-coded set that varies in intensity.
A set that doubles as a home gym, its accessories can be paired with resistance bands to simulate a strength-training workout.
Loop the strap around areas you want to stretch, or grab both ends and use it for more traditional strength-training exercises.
Ideal if you're looking for a space-friendly pick, it's complete with resistance tubes, handles, ankle straps, and a door anchor.
These resistance loops stand out with its fabric material, making it grippier and more durable than latex options.
These bands allow you to tackle a range of upper-body exercises, and its rope-like construction minimizes breakage.
If you don’t love keeping track of many accessories, these bands feature built-in handles to complement your upper-body workouts.

Finding ways to strength-train from home can be a challenge. Bodyweight exercises can only get you so far—and more strenuous workouts tend to call for free weights, weight machines, and other bulky equipment. Thankfully, resistance bands offer a clever solution to this problem.

Resistance bands are small, tension-packed bands that simulate the experience of weightlifting. While a single resistance band may weigh only a few ounces, if you pull on it, you’ll be met with 2 to 50 pounds of resistance (depending on the band you’ve bought). This makes resistance bands a particularly portable and small space-friendly way to strength-train. And since resistance bands come in an array of styles, sizes, and intensities, you can easily find one (or a few!) worth adding to your routine.

To help you get started, here are the best resistance bands to add to your exercise routine. 

Best Overall: Fit Simplify Resistance Bands

fit-simplify-resistance-bands
Pros
  • Set of five

  • Color-coded based on intensity

Cons
  • Low maximum weight

If you’re looking for a classic resistance loop set, you can’t go wrong with the Fit Simplify Resistance Bands Set. The set comes with five rubber resistance loops, which promise to be thick, durable, and easy on the skin. And since each loop boasts a different resistance level between 2 and 30 pounds, you can easily scale up the intensity of your workouts over time.

Start small, work your way up, and combine resistance loops any time you need an added challenge. And don’t worry about mixing up your loops—each one is clearly labeled and color-coded based on intensity. 

Weight Range: 2 to 30 pounds | Material: Rubber | Style: Resistance loops

What Our Editors Say

"I use these resistance bands during almost every lower body day to add intensity and increase muscle engagement when I’m doing exercises like barbell squats or hip thrusts. It’s easy to loop them above my knees and they don’t slip down, even when I’m doing jumping movements like jump squats. With this set of varied resistance levels, it’s easy to make exercises more challenging over time—you can even use two or three bands together for even more resistance." Isabella Broggini, Commerce Editor, Verywell Fit and Mind

Best Budget: Insonder Resistance Bands Set

Pros
  • Set of five

  • Color-coded based on intensity

  • Comes with a resistance band workout guide

Cons
  • High entry-level weight

Looking for a budget-friendly way to stock up on resistance loops? The Insonder Resistance Bands Set has your back. The budget-friendly set comes with five resistance loops, which boast resistance levels between 15 and 40 pounds. The loops are crafted from latex, and they promise to be durable, stretchy, and generally comfortable.

Note that the set’s entry-level resistance loop offers a whopping 15 pounds of resistance. This makes the set less beginner-friendly than most, though it will be great for those looking for a challenge. 

Weight Range: 15 to 40 pounds | Material: Latex | Style: Resistance loops

Best Set: Kootek 18-Pack Resistance Bands Set

Pros
  • 18-piece set

  • Ships with sliders, handles, ankle straps, and more

  • Color-coded

Cons
  • Lots of pieces to keep up with

The Kootek Resistance Bands Set is an 18-piece set that will give you resistance loops, resistance tubes, and everything you need to make the most of them. The set ships with five latex resistance loops, which boast resistance levels between 5 and 40 pounds. And it also includes five resistance tubes, which boast resistance levels between 10 and 50 pounds.

Even better: The set also ships with two handles, two ankle straps, and a door anchor—all of which you can pair with your resistance tubes to get a dynamic at-home workout. And you’ll also receive a pair of sliders you can use to layer core work over your strength-training routine.

Weight Range: 5 to 40 pounds (loops), 10 to 50 pounds (tubes) | Material: Latex | Style: Resistance loops and tubes

Best for Glutes: Peach Bands Resistance Bands Set

Peach Bands Resistance Bands Set
Pros
  • Set of four

  • Color-coded based on intensity

Cons
  • High entry-level weight

  • Low maximum weight

The Peach Bands Resistance Bands Set is a classic resistance loops set, crafted with lower-body workouts in mind. The set ships with four latex resistance loops, which promise to be lightweight, durable, and stretchy. The latex also promises to be comfortable—and to stay firmly in place as you tackle your favorite lower-body exercises.

Start with the beginner-friendly 10-pound option, and work your way up to 35 pounds of resistance. Since the bands are color-coded based on intensity, it will be easy (and maybe even a little fun) to track your progress. 

Weight Range: 10 to 35 pounds | Material: Latex | Style: Resistance loops

Best for Building Muscle: BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym

BodyBoss 2.0 - Full Portable Home Gym
Pros
  • 9-piece set

  • Versatile

  • Small space-friendly

Cons
  • Limited weight range

The BodyBoss 2.0 Portable Home Gym is an all-in-one resistance band set that doubles as a home gym. The set ships with two fabric-covered resistance tubes, each of which offers up to 30 pounds of resistance. And because resistance bands are more useful when paired with accessories, the set also comes with two handles, two ankle straps, and a door anchor.

But what really sets the BodyBoss 2.0 Portable Home Gym apart is the fact that it also ships with a portable rectangular base and a barbell, both of which you can pair with your resistance bands to simulate your favorite strength-training exercises. You can use the equipment like a squat rack, a bench press, and more—all the while saving space (and money). 

Weight Range: up to 30 pounds | Material: Fabric-covered (specific materials not disclosed) | Style: Resistance tubes

Best for Flexibility: TheraBand Resistance Band Set

TheraBand - 20403 Resistance Band Set, Professional Latex Elastic Bands
Pros
  • 3-piece set

  • Length makes it versatile

  • Color-coded for intensity

Cons
  • Limited weight range

Traditional resistance loops and tubes can be great for strength-training. But if your goal is to improve your flexibility, you might be better off with a resistance strap. The TheraBand Resistance Band Set comes with three latex resistance straps that promise to be stretchy and durable. Loop the strap around any body parts you want to stretch, or grab both ends of a strap and use it for more traditional strength-training exercises.

Since each strap is 5 feet long and 5 inches wide, you’ll have plenty of options to play with. And you can always reduce or increase the slack in your strap to adjust the intensity of your workout.

Weight Range: 4.3 to 6.7 pounds | Material: Latex | Style: Resistance straps

Best Tubes: Whatafit Resistance Bands Set

Pros
  • 11-piece set

  • Color-coded for intensity

  • Solid weight range

Cons
  • Lots of pieces to keep up with

The Whatafit Resistance Bands Set will give you everything you need to log a great resistance tube workout. The 11-piece set ships with five resistance tubes, with resistance levels ranging from 10 to 50 pounds. It also comes with two non-slip handles you can use for upper-body exercises, two ankle straps you can use for lower-body exercises, and a door anchor you can use to keep your tubes secure during workouts.

It may seem intimidating to stock up on so many pieces at once, but since they’re all relatively small, you won’t have to worry about sacrificing much space. 

Weight Range: 10 to 50 pounds | Material: Latex | Style: Resistance tubes

Best Non-Slip: RenoJ Resistance Bands Set

Pros
  • 3-piece set

  • Color-coded for intensity

  • Crafted from fabric

Cons
  • Limited weight range

The Booty Bands Resistance Bands Set is a classic 3-piece resistance loop set. The only difference? Instead of being made from latex or rubber, these resistance loops are crafted from fabric. This detail may not seem very significant, but fabric resistance loops tend to be grippier and more durable than latex options. They may also be more comfortable to use—especially if you find latex irritating.

The set’s total resistance range is only 2 to 7 pounds, which is relatively limited. So this set may be a better pick for beginners than for more advanced strength-trainers. 

Weight Range: 2 to 7 pounds | Material: Fabric | Style: Resistance loops

Most Durable: SPRI Braided Xertube Resistance Bands

Pros
  • Durable

  • Color-coded for intensity

  • Built-in handles

Cons
  • Each band sold separately

  • Can’t pair with ankle straps or door anchors

The SPRI Braided Xertube Resistance Band is a classic resistance tube that’s been braided for added durability. The resistance tube boasts a rope-like construction, where four strands of rubber have been braided together. This promise to cut down on breakage, making the resistance tube even more durable and reliable than most.

The tube comes in five different resistance intensity levels—between 12.5 and 62.5 pounds—so it should be pretty easy to find an option that meets your needs. And since the tube comes attached to two built-in handles, you can use it to tackle a range of upper-body exercises

Weight Range: 12.5 to 62.5 pounds | Material: Rubber | Style: Braided resistance tubes

Best With Handles: SPRI Xertube Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands
Pros
  • Durable

  • Color-coded for intensity

  • Built-in handles

Cons
  • Each band sold separately

  • Can’t pair with ankle straps or door anchors

If you don’t love keeping track of a bunch of accessories, it might be worth it to buy a resistance tube that has handles built-in. And that’s exactly what the SPRI Xertube Resistance Band is. Crafted from heavy-duty rubber, the resistance tube promises to hold up to wear and tear—while still maintaining its signature stretchiness.

Since it comes in a range of resistance levels between 10 and 50 pounds, you can easily find an option that meets your needs. Since the resistance tube comes with built-in handles, you won’t be able to pair it with ankle straps or door anchors. But you will be able to use it for a range of dynamic upper-body exercises—and you won’t have a bunch of pieces to keep up with. 

Weight Range: 10 to 50 pounds | Material: Rubber | Style: Resistance tubes

Best for Seniors: Healthy Seniors Chair Exercise Program with Two Resistance Bands

Pros
  • Senior-friendly

  • Set of 2 resistance bands

  • Comes with handles

  • Recommended exercises can be performed from a chair

Cons
  • Specific resistance levels not disclosed

  • Resistance band material not disclosed

The Healthy Seniors Chair Exercise Program is a four-piece resistance band set designed with seniors in mind. The set comes with two long resistance straps you can use with stretching or exercising—plus two easy-to-grip handles you can attach to the resistance bands to tackle other exercises.

In case you need a little inspiration, the program also includes a handy exercise guide you can use to jumpstart your workouts. And all of the included workouts can easily be performed in a chair.

Weight Range: Light–medium (specific weights not disclosed) | Material: Not disclosed | Style: Resistance straps

Best Resistance Bands

Jiaqi Zhou / Verywell

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a go-to set of resistance loops, the Fit Simplify Resistance Bands Set is a great pick. The budget-friendly set comes with five stretchy, durable resistance loops. And since the loops boast a resistance range between 2 to 30 pounds, you can easily get started—and you can just as easily increase the intensity of your workouts over time.

If you’d prefer a set of resistance tubes, try the Whatafit Resistance Bands Set. The 11-piece set includes five resistance tubes and all the accessories you need to enjoy them—giving you everything you need to tackle a solid resistance tube workout.

What to Look for in a Resistance Band


Type

There are a variety of resistance bands on the market, with the most popular options being loop bands, tube bands, circle bands, and figure-eight bands. “My personal favorite type of resistance band is a loop band for exercises like squats, glute bridges, and deadlifts,” says Gabby Drucker, personal trainer, and owner of Drucker Fitness in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If upper body exercises such as bicep curls and tricep extensions are more common in your workout routine, a tube band is a better option. 

“Think about how you want to include resistance bands into your workouts and that should help you decide which kind to go with,” recommends Drucker. 

Weight Range

Since resistance bands act as a substitute for free weights, the weight range is a key consideration. You’ll want to find a set with a minimum weight that’s low enough to get you started, and a maximum weight that’s high enough to keep you challenged over time. 

“Go with the variety pack,” says Drucker. “Heavier bands are great for lower body exercises whereas you will want less resistance for your upper body.” She notes that the variety will give you more freedom to use different bands for different exercises. 

Material

Most resistance bands are made of rubber or latex—materials that tend to be both stretchy and durable. Drucker says that if you’re looking for a stretchier band with more elasticity, latex is a good choice. 

“Another option is fabric resistance bands which are amazing because they don’t pinch the skin as much as latex options,” explains Drucker. Fabric bands tend to be thicker in width—great for exercises like banded glute bridges. 

Style

Resistance bands come in an array of different styles, and these styles lend themselves to different kinds of exercise. Resistance loops tend to be great for lower-body workouts, whereas resistance tubes can be paired with handles for upper-body workouts and combined with ankle straps for lower-body workouts.

Pull-up bands are specifically crafted with pull-ups in mind, and resistance straps may be best for stretching. Consider the exercises you like to perform and stock up on resistance bands that suit them.

Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands

Verywell Fit / Ashley Mateo 

FAQs


Do resistance bands actually build muscle?

Since resistance bands are often used in the place of free weights, it’s natural to wonder whether they’ll actually help you build strength. But the truth is: They will. Several studies have suggested that working out with resistance bands can be a great way to activate muscles and build strength.

The only thing worth noting? Because resistance bands are shaped differently than free weights, they may challenge your muscles in a slightly different way than free weights will. (One study found that resistance bands activated some muscles more than free weights did—and some muscles less than free weights did—when similar exercises were performed.)

How to clean resistance bands

It’s always a good idea to keep your fitness equipment clean. Thankfully, cleaning your resistance bands is a pretty easy process. 

If you have latex or rubber resistance bands, you’ll want to start by dipping them in a bath of warm water—with a few drops of dish soap mixed in. (Your sink is probably great for this.) Swish the bands around the soapy water. Then, pull them out and rinse them off with warm water. You’ll want to let your resistance bands air dry—but not in the sun. (The sun can actually cause your resistance bands to deteriorate!)

If you have fabric resistance bands, you can likely toss them in your washing machine—and perhaps even in your dryer. Just be sure to check the care instructions for your resistance bands before trying this.

Fitness Insanity Resistance Band Set

Verywell Fit / Ashley Mateo

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Article Sources
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  1. Bergquist R, Iversen VM, Mork PJ, Fimland MS. Muscle activity in upper-body single-joint resistance exercises with elastic resistance bands vs. Free weightsJournal of Human Kinetics. 2018;61(1):5-13.