I understand the hassle of choosing between the hundreds of products related to the resistance bands. Investing hard-earned money only to realize later that you don’t need the bands you just bought is extremely painful.
Here I am going to provide the best practical tips before you buy resistance bands to avoid over expending. I will also assist you in choosing the exact resistance band you may need.
I will also shed light on why I am not recommending any brand of resistance bands here. It is exactly opposite to what readers expect, and everyone on forums keeps asking time and again.
So, what are the 21 practical tips for buying resistance bands?
Choose the material carefully
|2.||Always buy at least three-color level resistance bands|
|3.||Purchasing a yoga elastic strap is worth the investment for all levels|
|4.||Carefully choose between flat and tube resistance bands|
|5.||Always buy a pair of ankle cuffs|
|6.||Invest in good quality larger size carrying bag for resistance bands|
|7.||Buy door anchor no matter you use tube resistance bands or not|
|8.||Mini loop bands won’t be sufficient for wholesome training, but they are worth it|
|9.||Fabric booty bands may be better for you than a typical latex mini loop band|
|10.||Protection sleeves can save you money in the long run|
|11.||Flat power loop bands have their own place in certain circumstances|
|12.||Barbell rod can indeed transform your resistance workouts|
|13.||Do invest in eye protection gear for safety|
|14.||Do consider buying resistance band hooks if the door isn’t where it should be|
|15.||Don’t get overboard with the branding of resistance bands|
|16.||Don’t think twice when you see favorite bands showing signs of damage|
|17.||Consider the investment in resistance bands as a regular affair|
|18.||Don’t buy non-latex workout bands until you need them|
|19.||Sometimes it is worth buying resistance bands of the same resistance levels.|
|20.||If you are an athlete, do lookout for some creative bands for dynamic workouts|
|21.||It is worth buying a pair of handles, even if you don’t feel like buying it|
You may already know about some of the above practical tips. However, I am sure, you must be unsure about several other tips and willing to read in detail about them.
So, let us begin…
❝ Hi, I am Ravi, your companion and a passionate fitness athlete, cyclist, runner, gym enthusiast who just loves the concept of resistance bands for their extreme flexibility. I have been using resistance bands as one of my primary fitness equipment for the last many years ❞
21 practical tips for buying resistance bands
1) Choose the material carefully –
It is just not enough to know that all the resistance bands are made up of rubber. There are three types of resistance bands in the market based on the material used.
- Latex resistance bands
- Non-Latex resistance bands
- Fabric resistance bands
The latex refers to the natural rubber. Such resistance bands are made from the vulcanized (chemically treated rubber) rubber, which is processed from the raw rubber solution extracted from the rubber trees.
The technical name for the non-latex rubber is thermoplastic elastomer in short ‘TPE.’ The TPE is an artificial rubber.
The use of fabric in the fabric resistance bands doesn’t mean that they are only made from the cotton fabric. They are made from the mixture of fabric (for softness) and rubber (for elasticity).
Take your decision wisely depending upon your individual preferences and allergy to latex.
? If you are non-allergic, always go for latex resistance bands. To know more about the differences between the latex and non-latex material, visit this article –Latex vs Non-Latex Resistance Bands – Which Is Best Material To Choose.
2) Always buy at least three-color level, resistance bands –
The resistance bands can be bought individually or in the form of a kit. People on a tight budget go for a single unit of the tube or flat resistance bands. However, they don’t get the results they expected and soon discard their workouts on sad notes.
We always forget that the muscles are living organisms that change and adapt rapidly to the challenges it encounters from the exercises. So, it is wise to buy two extra resistance bands of different colors in addition to the color you prefer to work out at present.
Let me explain to you with an example –
Suppose you can comfortably workout with a blue color power loop band. Then, it is recommended to buy one darker color power loop band (higher resistance) and one lighter color resistance band (having a resistance lower than blue color loop band) in addition to the blue power loop resistance band.
The lighter color loop band is perfect for training smaller muscle groups such as biceps, triceps, shoulder. A darker color loop band provides nice burn to larger leg muscles and back with exercises such as the deadlift, squat, leg press, and rowing.
The tube resistance bands come in the form of a kit of different color bands with accessories. Though some companies do sell them individually, the power loop/pull-up bands are usually sold as single units. However, they are also sold in doublets and triplets of different colors.
Always prefer to buy resistance bands in the form of a kit as buying resistance bands individually from different platforms adds up the shipping cost.
3) Buying a yoga elastic strap is worth the investment for all levels –
Firstly, the stretching and flexibility routines after a tough workout session is a must to release the tight muscles and prevent injuries. I need not be stressing this point enough.
Many of you may not have heard about the yoga elastic straps. These innovative straps are made from a mixture of cotton and rubber. Further, they have inbuilt loops along the length of the strap, which may vary from 8 to 12 in numbers.
Some readers may confuse them with therapy style bands. However, the therapy style bands are entirely different from the yoga strap bands in design though they serve a similar purpose. The therapy style bands are the extra-wide and thin rubber sheets.
I have some practical experience with both having bought them at different times. I have always been more inclined towards the yoga elastic straps for their inbuilt handles and elasticity, which is not higher than therapy style bands, but not less. Further, storing and organizing therapy bands inside the carrying bag after every use is a cumbersome job. I am lazy enough to do it again and again.
4) Carefully choose between flat and tube resistance bands-
All resistance band types can be divided into two parts depending upon the design of the resistance band. Choosing between the flat and tube resistance bands can drastically impact your satisfaction and workout results positively or negatively. So, focus on your needs and do some research before buying anyone out of them.
I have both tube resistance bands kit and flat resistance bands for a very long time. So, I consider myself eligible to shed some light on the differences between the two.
The flat resistance bands are the most comfortable resistance bands when held in hands or anchored below feet. Further, they are also the cheapest option if we compare their cost per unit resistance with the other resistance band types.
The tube resistance bands are precisely opposite in features to the flat resistance bands. The tube resistance bands are not at all comfortable when held in hands. Further, they are also costliest of all.
I found myself using flat-power loop bands more than tube resistance bands when it comes to my own experience and opinion about flat and tube resistance bands. You must be wondering about the reason.
The reason is quite simple. The flat resistance bands require zero set-up time. Just take them out from the bag and use them for any body part you imagine. Further, several times, I don’t have access to the door for anchoring bands using a door anchor as required in the case of tube resistance bands.
The flat bands occupy lesser space in comparison to their resistance. Further, they are available for use right out of the box. The tube resistance bands are much more comfortable when set up correctly; however, their resistance is usually lower than the power loop band’s resistance.
? To know more about flat and tube resistance bands, do check this fantastic resource that I made for this purpose – Flat vs Tube Resistance Bands -Head-on Comparison | Crucial Factors.
5) Always buy a pair of ankle cuffs –
Ankle cuffs are a staple accessory that comes with the tube resistance bands for doing lateral and front/back leg raise exercises. Usually, there is a stainless-steel clip attached with each ankle cuff that clips on to the radial ends of the tube resistance bands. The ankle cuffs can prove extremely useful with pull-up assist power bands as well.
? So, how could ankle cuff come handy when it comes to the flat resistance band types?
You would be surprised to know that there are several other possibilities of ankle cuffs with flat resistance bands. Just imagine if you are interested in doing seated rowing with flat power loop bands. Make use of ankle cuff. Simply wrap an ankle cuff around the pole of the railing or an iron staircase and pass the power loop band through the D-cycle of the ankle cuff.
Similarly, chest press, chest fly, inclined shoulder press, and lat pulldown can also be performed easily using an ankle cuff, which prevents the loop band from rubbing against the rough surface.
There is one another application of ankle cuffs. Some people feel uncomfortable when holding power loop bands in hands or under feet, especially during high-intensity exercises. What if we can attach foam handles to the power loop bands!
It is possible by making use of the ankle cuffs. Simply wrap an ankle cuff around any side of the power loop band and tighten the velcro. Now, simply clip the carabiner of the foam handle to the ankle cuff, and yeah, do any power loop band exercise with drastic similarities to the dumbbells and tube resistance band exercises.
? Here is one such fantastic article I wrote about attaching handles to the power loop bands – How do I attach handles to the resistance bands – Makeover Workouts
6) Invest in good quality larger size carrying bag for resistance bands –
The resistance band carrying bag supplied by the manufacturer is just big enough to pack the rubber bands densely. It results in sharp twists and bends in the resistance bands which can crack the bands -like any other rubber-based products.
The suppliers don’t supply larger bags with workout bands to save on storage and shipping costs. I had arranged an empty rectangular bag from a supplier of lighting stands. It is spacious enough to organize my resistance bands with soft and subtle turns.
Just read an article I made giving amazing storage tips on storage ideas for resistance bands ( including some free to use options within the house) with recommendations for ready-made products available online – Best Ways To Store Resistance Bands – Home Made | Exclusive.
7) Buy door anchor no matter you use tube resistance bands or not –
We all know how useful door anchors can be for tube resistance bands for doing the same exercises from infinite angles to gain 3D muscle mass. The same door anchors can also serve the similar purpose of anchoring flat resistance bands around the sides of the door.
If you don’t have access to the pole for wrapping ankle cuff when working out inside the house, the door anchor can be used around the corners of the door to anchor flat bands.
? Here is an article where I have given some practical tips for choosing the right kind of door anchor and tips for attaching to the door – Installing Door Anchor For Resistance Bands – Best Tips
8) Mini loop bands won’t be sufficient for wholesome training, but they are worth it –
The mini loop bands are the miniature version of power loop bands. They are best used by wrapping around the thighs, ankles for squat jump, walk, clamshells, plank jacks, bridges, etc. Though there are some ways even to use them for upper body workouts, they still can’t replace the upper body workout experience provided by the power loop and tube resistance bands.
? So, Ravi, can I avoid purchasing mini loop bands?
I don’t recommend not to purchase the booty bands/mini loop bands. They are worth for what they do for you. Doing the exercises such as leg abduction, adduction, kickback, squat sidewalk, are so easy to do with booty bands that you would never use tubical and power bands at all for such variations.
I own a few pairs of mini loop bands along with power loop bands and tube resistance bands. I use them during my leg + glute workout session for specific exercises. The mini loop bands are also unique since they can target muscles we often ignore while training bigger muscles like hamstring and quadriceps muscles.
The leg abduction, adduction muscles, Gluteus Minimus, Medius, and Maximus muscles affected by the mini loop bands have a crucial role in ensuring the lower body stability and health of hip & knee joints.
9) Fabric booty bands may be better for you than a typical latex mini loop band –
The booty bands, also known as hip circle bands, come in two different types of materials.
- Fabric resistance bands
- Latex/non-Latex resistance bands.
The latex/non-latex resistance bands tend to roll up/down from their position around the thighs during lunges, squats, etc. Further, itching is more prominent when latex mini loop bands are worn directly over the bare legs.
The fabric resistance bands are the outcome of the problems encountered with the latex/non-latex resistance bands.
However, should we go wholeheartedly with fabric resistance bands? It is not so straight forward. The fabric booty bands are not as stretchable as the latex bands. As such, we don’t get as much range of motion as we get from the latex bands.
As a result, you may find fabric bands hard enough for clamshells, plank jacks, lateral/front leg raises. However, the fabric loop bands are perfect for squats, lunges, lateral walks, etc.
? Find more details about the fabric and latex resistance bands in this resource published at uniqueaddict.com – Latex vs Fabric Resistance Bands Which One To Choose | Visual Insights
10) Protection sleeves can save you money in the long run –
While doing deadlifts, squats, shoulder raise, and overhead press, we need to anchor flat and tube resistance bands below the feet. If you are working out in the park or over any rough surface, you may have to abort specific exercises or keep a mat ready to place your feet on during such exercises.
The protection sleeve is one such available solution. It is just a flat pad made from densely stitched nylon with velcro on the ends. Just wrap the sleeve around the portion of the flat/tube resistance band, which is likely to come under direct contact with the floor.
The heavy-duty protection sleeves not only protect the resistance bands from rubbing against the floor but also provides a broader and softer surface to step on for the feet.
A Win-Win situation for you. Isn’t It!
11) Flat power loop bands have their own place in certain circumstances –
As said earlier, the flat loop bands are especially famous when you don’t have any other object to anchor resistance bands except your body. Such workout places can be beaches, open fields, and terraces, etc. The flat loop bands can easily be anchored below the knees and feet without looking for doors or railings.
Further, flat bands are also useful when you are short of time due to standalone workout capabilities. These flat power loop bands are also gold for travelers as you can fit them in any corner of the bag under the clothes.
12) Barbell rod can indeed transform your resistance workouts-
If you had been doing barbell exercises at the gym and misses them a lot, you don’t need to buy the complete set of barbell plates with the rod at home. Just purchase a decent quality rod made from steel or sturdy plastic.
Anchor loop ends of the flat power loop bands across the ends of steel or plastic rod and performs barbell curl, barbell shoulder press, barbell bent-over row, etc. Even any plastic or iron rod lying somewhere in the storeroom may be more than sufficient.
13) Do invest in eye protection gear for safety –
I have always been cautioning people against assuming resistance bands to be safe. There are high risks for critical injuries that can happen to the eyes.
Just google the term resistance band injuries, and several fatal cases will pop up in the results, mentioning the turmoil in people’s careers due to disabilities caused by the bands.
The most delicate part of the body that must bear the burnt of snapped /slipped resistance band under tension during exercise is the eyes. Several cases have been reported time and again, where users lost their eyesight permanently.
Why not invest a few dollars in eye protection gear such as eyeglasses which covers the eyes from all the four sides. They are made-up of the toughened glass.
? Various tips about ensuring personal safety while doing resistance bands training have been covered in this article; I made – Are Resistance Bands Safe – Best Practical Tips To Avoid Injury.
14) Do consider buying resistance band hooks if the door isn’t located where it should be –
The resistance band hooks are for you if you do work out on the terrace or in a room where the door is not installed where you want. These steel hooks come with screws and steel rings sets.
Simply drill the holes at the suitable height over the wall and fix the hooks wherever you want. Further, multiple hooks can be installed at different heights on the wall for all types of exercises from head to toe.
These hooks can also be used for yoga straps and suspension trx straps for suspension-based flexibility and strength training workout sessions.
15) Don’t get overboard with the branding of resistance bands –
Branding is a sign of quality. I do agree. However, it is more about the emotional satisfaction of owning a branded product that encourages people to buy. It is the reason; people pay heavily to buy the overpriced product. It is happening in all categories of products, including resistance bands.
Most of the raw material is outsourced by the big companies and assembled in house. The branding and marketing add to the cost. Overall, the resistance bands without branding but with decent quality at half the price performs almost like the premium brands, if not more than them.
So, don’t be over conscious about the brand. If the customers are leaving decent reviews on the product, that should be enough to give those resistance bands a try. How do you feel about branding? You may opine differently than me. Do leave comments at the bottom of this article.
16) Don’t think twice when you see favorite bands showing signs of damage –
People often delay the next purchase of the resistance bands on one pretext or another. Dragging the old workout bands beyond a specific limit can cost you dearly.
But what is the sign of that limit for deciding about the next purchase of resistance bands?
Well, there is no limit defined for replacing the old exercises bands with a new one. The resistance bands fall in a VERY HIGH-RISK category. Even a small scratch or a cut in the resistance bands may cause them to snap suddenly under full tension during exercise. We don’t know how the old resistance band would behave under pressure.
As discussed earlier, our face, most of the time, falls in the range of snapping bands. So, It is a wise decision to replace them immediately as soon as some signs of degradations are noticed in the resistance bands.
? Here is an article (written by me) where some tips have been suggested to identify the damage to the bands – Tips To Prevent Resistance Bands From Snapping – All You Need | Guide
17) Consider the investment in resistance bands, a regular affair –
Re-purchasing resistance bands after one or two years put lots of stress on the users. People are often found anxious when seeing their loving resistance bands giving way.
You do not need to worry if you must replace some resistance bands after one year or so. I have conservatively taken one year for replacement. The resistance bands, when taken care of properly, can easily last for 2 to 3 years.
Here is the reason why you should not feel tense when replacing old workout bands –
If you have bought a resistance bands kit, I guess that you would have been training indoor on your own without visiting the gym. The cost of a premium gym membership, stylish clothing, and branded sports shoes can quickly add up every month. Further, transportation costs on a daily basis need to be added.
However, as suggested in this article, two or three different sets of resistance bands should be equal to the one or two-month gym expenses. In that sense, the replacement of resistance bands even after six months can be considered perfectly okay. Do you agree with me!
18) Don’t buy non-latex workout bands until you need them –
As said earlier, most of the exercise bands in the market are latex resistance bands. Whereas, the non-latex resistance bands or TPE (Thermoplastic elastomer) resistance bands are scarcely found online and offline.
Though TPE workout bands excel latex resistance bands in terms of the better resistance to the heat, sunlight, and moisture, they lack somewhere. It is where latex resistance bands shine, and this factor is ‘ELASTICITY.’ The resistance bands are another name for their elasticity.
It is the reason latex bands can be found in the catalog of every company you look for.
? So, who needs non-latex resistance bands?
The non-latex resistance bands are solely meant for people who are allergic to latex. So, if you are okay with a latex material, there is no reason to go for TPE resistance bands. However, in certain circumstances, where we need to train with resistance bands under direct sunlight or underwater, the TPE resistance bands would perform best.
19) Sometimes, it is worth buying multiple resistance bands of the same resistance level –
You must be surprised to hear these words. Why would I need multiple pairs of same color resistance bands? Well, I also felt similarly until I realized the actual scenarios. If you are an athlete who is trying to push the limits, the resistance bands can be a fantastic option to be combined with traditional barbells/dumbbells during the gym workouts.
By combining of resistance bands with dumbbells, I mean using them simultaneously in conjunction with fixed weights. Adding resistance bands to traditional weight training has proven scientific evidence to enhance the maximum power and explosivity of bodybuilders and field athletes.
Adding resistance bands to barbell/dumbbell squats, deadlifts, chest press is possible by tying the same color power loop band on both sides of the rack. A single power loop band may not be able to provide the complete range of motion of compound exercises.
If you are one such competing athlete or an advanced bodybuilder, the pair of same color power loop bands will benefit you.
20) If you are an athlete or a sports lover, do lookout for some creative bands for dynamic workouts –
The universe of resistance bands doesn’t only revolve around flat and tube resistance bands. If you browse the internet and offline sports stations, there are numerous other variations of resistance bands. These creative exercise bands aren’t made for doing exercise while standing still over a place.
The unique resistance bands can be used to add resistance in real-time while playing the sports game. Merging of resistance bands into sports has a direct impact on sports performance.
Here are some of the sport-specific resistance bands that you may consider if you are a professional athlete or a simple sports lover –
21) It is worth buying a pair of handles, even if you don’t feel like buying it –
As explained in the previous section, a pair of ankle cuffs and a pair of foam handles won’t be a wrong decision even if you are looking for buying only power loop bands. The foam handles which come as a compulsory accessory of tube resistance bands can also spice up the workouts with power loop bands.
Breaking the monotonous workout with power loop bands adds freshness to the exercise and gives a break to the brain. Doing shoulder raise, biceps curl, triceps extension by attaching the handle to the power band is altogether a different experience.
Think differently and transform resistance workouts. SKY IS THE TIMIT.
Final Opinion –
The resistance bands are an excellent addition for seasonal athletes to break the dull routines and for beginners who are just starting to learn the exercises.
Additionally, the exercise bands engage more of the secondary muscle groups in addition to the primary muscles, like what happens in daily chores.
From the above discussion, many of you might be confused and ask whether I need to buy 3 to 4 types of resistance bands. From my experience, I can conclude that buying one out of tube resistance bands or power loop bands may be sufficient for complete body workout. However, purchasing accessories such as ankle cuffs, handles, and door anchors can be crucial for power loop bands and tube resistance bands.
As suggested earlier, the mini loop bands/fabric loop bands, along with a yoga elastic strap, are worth the investment owing to their cheap pricing in comparison to their worth.
Do explore the Innovative resistance bands provided by Unique Addict to discover the resistance bands available in the market.
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