How far resistance bands can be stretched – Our research

Are you consistently worried about the risk of resistance band snapping and hitting you in the face! Here is our research and facts about the stretchability limits of resistance bands.

So how far can resistance bands be stretched? The resistance bands can be safely stretched on average upto 2.5 times the resting length of the bands.

Hey, if that’s the answer, what is there further to read in this article?

But wait, the answer comes with a disclaimer of “ON AVERAGE”! It means that the stretchability of resistance bands depends upon the quality of latex or non-latex rubber used in the manufacturing process including several other factors.

If you don’t know much about latex and non-latex resistance bands, I recommend you to go through this helpful article – Latex vs Non-Latex resistance bands

As per the findings published on NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information)

“For practical application purposes, resistance training professionals and clinicians should be aware that RBR bands of similar reported dimensions might vary in mean resistance. it is not possible to discern whether the inconsistencies found were the result of manufacturing or handling procedures.”

CONFUSED! 

Let me explain. That means you can’t apply the same stretching formula of 2.5 times the resting length for all kinds of resistance bands. The percentage elongation depends upon the various factors.


Factors affecting the stretchability of resistance bands

Dimensions of resistance bands

The resistance bands come in several different dimensions and thickness. For example – a power loop resistance band like here are the flat rubber bands with a thickness of over half an inch & length of 4 feet. It provides the resistance of 230 pounds easily.

As per my imagination, you can’t stretch them up to 2.5 times the original length, i.e., up to 12 feet. However, the tube resistance bands like here can easily be stretched up to 2.5 times and even three times the original length in some cases.

Quality of latex rubber used in resistance bands

Take an example of a rubber band used for packing. If you buy an inferior quality rubber band from a street vendor, they may break even before you are even able to stretch enough to wrap over a food package.

Similar is the case with resistance bands. The quality of the material of resistance bands varies hugely from brand to brand, and accordingly, the stretching limits vary.

Maintenance and physical aspects of resistance bands

Just like natural rubber bands, resistance bands tend to decay in elasticity over time. Further, any scratches due to the use of rough anchoring surface may cause workout rubber bands to break much before its elastic limits.

Environmental factors also play a massive role in it.


Stretchability limits suggested by popular brands 

Here is the elongation limits for some of the popular brands of resistance bands mentioned on their website among other social media channels as per our observation –

Sr. No. Brand Name Stretchability Limits
1. Thera Bands 4 times the resting length
2. Bodylastic 3 times the resting length
3. Rubberbanditz 2.5 times the resting length
4. Quantum 3 times the resting length

As above,  the stretchability recommendation of resistance bands varies widely from brand to brand.

? Pro-Tip

Resistance bands are unfortunately famous for causing severe eye injuries, and it is better to be safe than sorry. So, it is advisable to restrict the limit of 2.5 times the resting length in general though this rule doesn’t apply everywhere.


What should you not do before deciding the stretching limit of resistance bands? 

Relying on the stretching limits mentioned on product tags of exercise bands may prove fatal sometimes. There are several cases reported where resistance bands snap abruptly.

Believe me; there are several other dynamic factors which determine the elongation of resistance bands as below-

  1. Temperature – Latex rubber tends to become brittle over the period if exposed to the higher heat and lose elasticity.
  2. Exposure to Chlorine – Repetitive exposure to chlorine at seashore or swimming pool may affect the stretchability of resistance bands to a great extent.
  3. Discoloration of resistance bands – do your resistance bands have got discolored at some places? If yes, then that’s the sign of early symptoms of reduced elongation and breaking before the desired limits.

Besides, there are other factors, including the physical conditions, workout area environment, which are covered in depth in this self-explanatory article along with some tips and tricks – Are resistance bands safe?

? Inside tip –

So, please don’t believe me and anybody else when they say that resistance bands can be stretched to 2.5 times or four times the original length of resistance bands.


My Opinion and Secret formula on the best way to judge the stretching limit of resistance band

As per our research, the best way to judge the elasticity limits of resistance bands is your “INTUITION”.

Now that sounds pretty simple to believe! Often people doubt simplicity in today’s complicated world.

But this is the way which works the best.

The resistance bands, as explained earlier, are made out of natural rubber. The natural rubber due to their elastic properties gives way when stretched beyond a limit.

As above, when you start pulling the rubber, it starts elongating. Force applied to the rubber expands the rubber proportionately. However, there comes the point where elongation comes to a standstill when force is applied beyond that point.


Similar is the case with resistance bands. You need to observe the point where no further stretching of exercise bands is possible.


However, as said earlier also, there are some exceptions as well

? Exceptions to making use of self-intuition for stretching limit of resistance bands 

If your resistance band has visible scratches and cracks, it is better to discard the resistance bands without any second thought.


Related Questions –

How long resistance bands last? 

Resistance bands normally last from 2 to 4 years depending upon the quality, usage, and maintenance of resistance bands.

Which material of resistance bands has better stretchability?

Resistance bands in the market generally come in two types of materials – Latex and non -Latex. Latex is the rubber found in most natural forms and provides much better elasticity than non-latex, which is an artificial rubber.

Can I repair the resistance bands?

Resistance bands, once broken or damaged should always be replaced as the repaired joints shall not be more reliable as the original ones and may cost you injury.


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Coming Soon: how to measure the weight of resistance bands

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