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Athletic goals aren’t one-size-fits-all, and neither are resistance bands.

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 value for many needs, from training for competitive performance and recovering from injury to getting creative about fitting in your physical activity.

We chose the bands on this list for their ability to address specific needs and perform uses that people are looking for.

We looked at features like:

  • 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.

Keep reading for our picks of the 7 best resistance bands of 2022.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, list prices range from $13.99–$69.99, though this may vary depending on available discounts and where you shop. Prices may also vary if you purchase bands in a set instead of individually.

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

Unlike flat resistance bands, loop bands connect end to end. This frees you up from having to tie and untie knots, which can accelerate 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.

This set includes five color-coded loop bands of varying strengths from light to extra heavy, so you can work up to maximum resistance or use different bands for different muscle groups.

If you’re new to loop bands, a printed instruction guide and 41-page workout e-book are included with purchase and can help you get started.

A convenient carrying 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 that have handles provide you with the security of a sturdy grip while exercising. They’re good for any move designed to build muscle mass and strength, taking the place of free weights or machines.

Many resistance bands with handles are too short to perform overhead exercises, but these Dynapro bands are 66 inches long and adjustable.

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

Fabric resistance bands are more comfortable on the skin for some people. They also tend to roll and slip less since they absorb sweat.

The Arena Strength fabric booty bands are wide loop bands designed to maximize thigh and glute workouts. The set includes three resistance levels: light, medium, and heavy. It comes with a carrying case and printed exercise guide.

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

If you’re looking for bands that can accommodate full-body workouts, these may not be your best bet. That said, 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

If you’re looking for a low resistance set of bands, these may be a good choice for you. The three resistance levels range from 3 to 6.7 pounds, making them a good choice for rehabilitative workouts, beginners, and older adults.

They’re also latex-free, so you can use them safely if you have an allergy or sensitivity to latex.

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 use WODFitters pullup bands individually or combined with each other for extra resistance. They’re sold individually or as a bundle, and they’re available in seven color-coded resistance levels.

These bands are designed for cross-training and can be used to work out every muscle group of the body. The thick bands are constructed to support powerlifting, pullups, squats, and deadlifts. The lighter bands are useful for tricep and bicep work. Resistance levels range from 10 to 200 pounds. If you’re looking to build muscle or up the ante on your fitness routine, these bands may be a good choice.

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

This set consists of an 8-pound steel bar with 2 attached rings, plus 5 color-coded soft foam resistance bands. You can use the bar alone for exercises like overhead presses and squats, or you can attach the bands to the bar for added resistance. The bands can also be used on their own for stretching and strength training.

No instruction manual is provided, so use caution if you’re unfamiliar with the correct form for each exercise. This set may be a better choice for people who already have some workout experience.

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

This highly functional strap has 10 grip loops that let you track and build on your stretching progress over time.

You can use this stretch band for a wide range of leg, back, and arm stretches. It’s a solid choice for warmups and cooldowns after workouts and for rehabilitative exercising. It can also be used as a yoga strap.

The soft fabric helps prevent hand irritation, and it’s durable so you don’t need to worry about tearing.

An exercise manual includes comprehensive, easy-to-follow instructions for a wide range of moves.

Key specs

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

If you’re new to resistance bands, consider buying a set that includes a variety of resistance levels.

Even if you’re a gym rat who’s racked up countless hours of strength training, the thickest or heaviest bands may not be appropriate for you. Take your level of fitness and your goals into account when you buy.

If you’re recovering from an injury and looking to build strength in a particular area, opt for the lightest resistance band you can find. This is a good place to start unless your physical therapist or doctor recommends otherwise.

Also, think about your fitness goals and the areas of your body you wish to strengthen or tone. Some bands are specifically designed for the lower body. Others can be used for full-body workouts.

Check out the manufacturer’s guarantee or warranty, too. Some brands have been reported to snap or fray very quickly.

Most resistance bands are made from latex or rubber. If you have a sensitivity or allergy to these materials, 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).

Unlike free weights, however, resistance bands require you to maintain external pressure at all times, even between reps.

For this reason, you may find that you need to do fewer reps with a resistance band than you do on an exercise machine or with free weights.

To avoid really sore muscles, let yourself get used to them. Start slowly.

If the bands you buy come with an exercise guide, video how-tos, or an instruction book, take a look before you get started.

You may wish to tie your band to a door handle, pullup bar, or other piece of furniture. If so, always use a knot that won’t come undone. Do not use a band that’s old or shows wear and tear.

You can also look for resistance bands that come with accessories meant for this purpose, such as door attachments.

Almost any adult can safely use resistance bands. Unattended children shouldn’t use them.

Use loop bands with caution, particularly when they’re around your ankles. Don’t use them for dancing or fast-paced aerobics to avoid falling and getting injured.

Always inspect your bands for signs of wear and tear before a workout. That way, you’ll never have to worry about them snapping mid-move.

To prolong their life, 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?

Any adult can use resistance bands for stretching, rehab exercises, and resistance training. They’re highly adaptable to all fitness levels. Children should be supervised by an adult while using them.

How long do resistance bands last?

The type of band, your usage level, and storage will all affect how long your bands will last. In general, you can expect your bands to last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.

Resistance bands can add muscle-building power to most types of workouts. They’re also excellent for rehabilitating muscles after injury.

Resistance bands come in several strengths, making them highly usable by most people. They’re inexpensive and transportable, too.

If you’re looking to tone, strengthen, or add flexibility to your physique, these easy-to-use pieces of equipment are a great bet.