While resistance bands may be up there with the smallest pieces of gym equipment, they are one of the mightiest.
Resistance bands can be used to target and mobilise specific muscles for toning, strengthening, and rehabilitation on all areas of the body. You can incorporate them into an endless variety of exercises like a bicep curl, or overhead tricep to work your arms or glute bridges, squats and side steps for your lower body. These oversized elastic bands help to up the ante of your workout but as well as adding resistance, can also be used for assistance.
They may be best known for providing tension, but they can also help do the exact opposite. You can use the bands during the warm up process, and to lengthen and deepen your stretches after your workout. They will support bodyweight exercises and help you nail the technique for the likes of pull and push ups – making them easier and more achievable as you start out. If you are in the process of recovery from an injury or experience joint pain, they may become your new best friend.
The compact size and light weight material makes them ideal for portable workouts as well as being easily stored so you can flex your gym prowess in your own home even if there is not an ample amount of space.
The bands come in a variety of different designs that work largely the same, whether you opt for the tubes with handles, large or small loops or the figure of eight design. They can also be composed of rubber, latex or fabric and tend to be colour coded to determine their level of resistance where the stretchier (and generally the lighter hue), the easier.
Incorporate these resistance bands to effectively strengthen, tone and fatigue (and so grow) your muscles.
CFX Resistance Bands 3 Sets
Best for: Booty and thigh workouts + no slip grip
If you use bands or want to incorporate bands into your training frequently then it is worth investing in this thicker fabric set to support you. Made from cotton polyester this set will help tone your abs, glutes, lower back, quads, hamstring as well as aiding in flexibility and balance.
Colour coded in pastel hues the set includes three bands of varying resistance from beginner’s to athletes level. Unlike other bands, they are all the same stretchable size and are easy to put on. The design is durable with a towel-like fabrication that is breathable and sweat-wicking. They are also non-slip and don’t dig into your skin, allowing you to concentrate fully on the task at hand without distractions.
£17.90 | Amazon
Fitness Mad Mini Power Loops – Set of five
Best for: pre-workout activation
It is best to buy a pack of resistance bands so you can play around with the different strengths; extra light, light, medium, strong and extra strong. You could even double up when training. For example, you could place the medium band just above your knee and the light or extra light band around your ankles and perform a length of monster walks in your warm up, they will be sure to get your bum on fire. Or you can increase the intensity of simple compound movements, such as a squat by placing a medium or strong band just above the knee.
The only problem with these types of bands is that they can wear and break; however, they are on the affordable side so it doesn’t harm to buy an extra pack just in case.
£14.99 | Amazon
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Reebok Toning Bands
Best for: post-training recovery
Although these bands are great for resistance training as you can target both large and small muscle groups at the same time, I personally love to use them for assisted stretches. They are particularly great too if you do any sort of yoga or acrobatic training and need help increasing flexibility.
£6.99 | Sports Direct
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PhysioRoom Resistance Exercise Band Loops Set
Best for: post-workout and injury recovery
These loop bands are designed to be incorporated into your training or recovery to help with flexibility, balance and strength. The set includes four different levels that are colour coordinated so that when the shade gets darker, the resistance gets harder. The bands are stretchy and have a good quality thickness so are ideal for beginners with their no fuss design to see you through as your intensity increases.
£11.95 | Physio Room
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REEHUT Exercise Band Single Resistance Band
Best for: core strength and upper body training
Resistance tubes are great to add into your training if you want to switch things up and not use weights. They can make simple movements incredibly challenging and will certainly help improve your strength. I personally love using them for upper body training. One of my favourite exercises I would recommend is the overhead press; stand with your feet on the middle of the band, hip-width apart, hold the handles with both hands and keeping your core engaged, glutes intact, press your arms up, rotating your palms forward as you fully extend and slowly lower back down working to a 2-4 tempo.
£17.99 | Amazon
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FITODO Resistance Band Strength Exercise Workouts PRO
Best for: creating challenging functional movements with added resistance
If you are more of a beginner or new to training this is a great investment on a range of bands for quite an affordable price but the pack also comes equipped with a user guide including 10 functional exercises that you can begin trying right away. The guide will help you with the foundations of basic movements and how to progress and regress them.
£20.00 | Amazon
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Strength Shop Gift Package
Best for: hardcore gym goers and glute specific
A perfect pack for the more hardcore gym goers. The pack includes a set of wrist wraps, which are great protection when you are lifting heavy. To compliment this there are also lifting straps included which can help you to lift heavier when your grip strength gives weight. The resistance band included is great for glute work and the camouflage design makes training certainly makes this one more aesthetically enjoyable.
£29.99 | Strength Shop
Best for: assisting with challenging bodyweight exercises
These bands are very versatile as they come in a lot of different sizes and thickness. They are particularly helpful in calisthenics training to assist and regress harder movements like a pull-up or a press up. You would want to opt for a thicker band at beginner level and slowly move down to the thinner options as you progress until a band is no longer needed at all. Not only that, but these bands are also incorporated into the training of a lot of athletes and professional footballers to help with agility, speed and power.
£10.20 | Best Gym Equipment
See all resistance bands from Best Gym Equipment
The CFX Resistance Bands have got our top pick due to their quality construction. Unlike your typical resistance bands, these will stand the test of time without tearing. That being said, the fabric is still stretchable, and will not dig in as well as being non-slip.
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