Latex vs Fabric Resistance Bands Which One To Choose
Resistance bands are the new phenomenon in the 21st century thanks to the accessibility of the internet and vast availability of knowledge base for resistance bands.
Let me clear you just in case you don’t know, there are in fact three types of material used for making resistance bands
- Latex (Natural Rubber Latex)
- Non-Latex (Thermo Plastic Elastomer)
- Fabric (Which is actually a mix of rubber and stretchable fabric)
If you are new to resistance bands and just figuring out on the material aspects of resistance bands. I would suggest you to have a look at the article – Latex vs Non- Latex – which material to choose for resistance bands?
Once you have understood the difference between latex & non-latex materials and figured out the best material (which you should be able to decide based on the information provided there), you can easily move to this article.
It may take some time but it’s worth it…
Let’s jump straight into our main query.
So which one to choose between Latex and Fabric resistance bands? If you are completely new to fitness, I would recommend going for latex resistance bands. In case, you have at least 2 to 3 years of workout experience, I would strongly suggest you go for fabric bands. The decision between the two, can’t be entirely taken on the basis of the comfort of usage but amount of resistance and ability to perform the full range of motion also plays a deciding role while making a selection between the latex and fabric bands. Cloth bands are extremely comfortable but beginners may feel restricted ROM
So, my final recommendation and conclusion in advance…
Fabric resistance bands are made for intermediate and advanced athletes whereas latex workout bands are made for beginners, intermediate and advanced athletes…
Felt like a blow straight in the head and looking blank for what, why and really?
Wait a bit, I will unravel the mystery around my statement and let you apply your own analysis based on what you read about each material.
Instead of applying someone’s opinion blindfolded, it is way better to understand the basics and then take a decision. It engages the mind & soul and diminishes the anxiety/fear of getting wrong.
Here is the index of what you shall learn by the end of this discussion-
|1. Brief Introduction to Latex Resistance Bands|
|2.Brief Introduction to Fabric Resistance Bands|
|3. Head-on comparison|
|4.Final Battle – Latex vs Fabric Resistance Bands|
|5. My Opinion|
You can skip any section based on what you already know about materials of resistance bands
However, every section builds upon previous sections making your experience smoother…
BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO LATEX RESISTANCE BANDS –
Latex resistance bands are made from natural rubber latex (NRL).
Here is the picture showing rubber tree used for extracting the natural rubber latex for latex resistance bands –
This is the natural rubber in its biological form extracted from rubber trees by making a cut into the bark of rubber trees.
The white milky fluid oozing out into the container is further processed and molded into the usable form.
Above 90% of resistance bands sold in the market are from latex material.
Let me also clear some air around latex and non-latex materials used for strength exercise bands-
Latex being a most natural material exhibits better tensile and elastic properties than non-latex material which is the core feature of a resistance band. However, if latex is least resistant to high temperatures, moisture and causes allergy.
If you don’t have a latex allergy, you can straightaway go for latex resistance bands provided you keep these workout bands according to the safety norms.
Here is one such premium quality latex power loop resistance band sold by us.
Here is some interesting take on the safety of resistance bands with some interesting takeaways – Are resistance bands safe?
Visit there to get some detailed visual information for ensuring your resistance bands last longer.
BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO FABRIC RESISTANCE BANDS –
The fabric resistance bands are made from the mix of fabric and latex rubber.
It basically means stretchable fabric is woven into the rubber loop bands to provide you the added benefits of both the worlds.
Due to the use of fabric, these workout bands come in unique designs and colors rather than typical red, yellow, blue, black, etc… as in the case of latex resistance bands.
Here is a premium quality one such fabric resistance band product sold by us for your reference, please.
Now you are already familiar with both the materials,
we can hire a taxi towards our destination – Head-on comparison between the two one by one
HEAD ON COMPARISON BETWEEN LATEX AND FABRIC RESISTANCE BANDS –
Nothing is perfect in this world, so are the latex resistance bands and fabric resistance bands. Let us discuss hit and miss about elastic exercise band types head-on …
Here is the demonstration of elasticity of latex mini loop resistance bands –
Here is the demonstration of elasticity of Fabric mini loop resistance bands –
Latex Resistance Bands – Due to presence of natural rubber form, these resistance bands have much better elasticity as compared to the counterpart. As resistance bands are what they are because of their core feature i.e, elasticity. So it is a big plus for latex resistance bands.
Fabric Resistance Bands – Due to the presence of fabric within the natural rubber, these strength bands are least elastic of the two. The lesser elasticity, though, has its own advantages which you will come to know in a while.
VERSATILE IN USAGE –
Latex Resistance Bands – The latex resistance bands due to more elasticity make them a versatile option too. The smaller muscle groups such as biceps, triceps, neck require less tension for adaptation to tougher fitness routines.
So latex resistance bands can easily be used for minor muscle groups of upper body parts in addition to major muscle groups of the upper and lower body.
Fabric Resistance Bands – Due to lesser elasticity and inability to provide very low resistance as required for smaller muscle groups training, these are not as versatile in usage as the latex resistance bands.
As a result, they work best for larger muscle groups of the lower body such as hamstrings and quadriceps.
SUITABILITY FOR DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS –
Latex Resistance Bands – Due to the possibility of having resistance from lowest most range to higher ranges, they can be used by kids, teens, adults and elder people of all fitness levels depending upon the specifications of resistance bands.
More on types of designs of latex resistance bands and their suitability for different fitness levels have been discussed in depth here – how to choose resistance bands?
Bookmark this page for reading later…
Fabric Resistance Bands – As I already mentioned before, due to their inability to provide resistance in lower ranges, they are not suitable for kids and elder people who need comparatively lower resistance level flexible bands for training.
RANGE OF MOTION –
For reader oblivion of the range of motion, it means the degree of movement of muscles during any exercise. The higher range of movement of muscle improves flexibility and prevents injuries.
Latex Resistance Bands – Latex resistance bands due to higher elasticity, can be stretched for extended range thereby increasing ROM (Range Of Motion). A higher Range of motion prevents injuries and improves flexibility.
Fabric Resistance Bands – These bands are not as stretchable as the latex resistance bands and don’t provide a complete range of motion to the muscles during exercise.
Latex Resistance Bands- Latex resistance bands are solid from outside which means there are no pores where dirt can sneak in.
Further, the smooth surface of latex fitness bands doesn’t attract dirt easily. Cleaning of latex rubber exercise bands is also way easier.
Just wipe with a cloth dipped in warm soapy water and leave resistance band to dry in the open air (do not dry in direct sunlight which may make bands brittle). Super easy…
Fabric Resistance Bands – Fabric elastic bands are quite similar to clothes and attracts dust easily. Thankfully, they are re-washable just like cloths.
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PROGRESSIVE RESISTANCE –
Our body keeps adapting to tougher circumstances over a period of time. So, we need to keep increasing the resistance to keep improving the fitness levels. This phenomenon of the ability to increase resistance with improving stamina is called progressive resistance.
Latex Resistance Bands – Usually, latex resistance bands especially, tube resistance bands (check out types of resistance bands here to understand the difference between tube resistance bands and other types) comes in up to 5 color codes within a single kit.
So you may start your fitness regime with yellow bands in initial days and switch to darker colors with time.
Fabric Resistance Bands – Fabric bands usually come as a single unit or in resistance levels of two to three due to the inability to provide resistance in the lowest most ranges. So, beginners can bypass them completely.
PRICE POINT –
Latex Resistance Bands – The latex resistance bands start from as low as 1USD (in case of mini loop bands and therapy style flat rubber bands) and can reach as high as 100USD for higher resistance range (especially in case of power loop resistance bands). So, it is affordable for all.
Fabric Resistance Bands – The Fabric Resistance bands are normally sold in the range of USD making them a bit costly affair for the same resistance level as compared to latex resistance bands. After all, everything comes at a cost.
COMFORTABLY FOR SKIN –
Latex Resistance Bands – Some people develop skin allergy to latex when coming into contact with latex rubber repetitively. So, another option for people allergic to latex is non-latex resistance bands (TPE material).
Further, – Latex rubber is a bit sticky and causes irritation when used around bare legs and arms.
Fabric Resistance Bands – The fabric bands are comparatively much wider than latex resistance bands.
In my own experience, due to the presence of a fabric and wider design, I never felt like readjusting or re-positioning the fabric loop bands while doing sidewalks, lunges, squats, donkey kicks, abduction and adduction exercises.
SUITABILITY FOR DIFFERENT FITNESS LEVELS –
Latex Resistance Bands – The Latex Flex Bands are able to provide extremely low resistances in the range of 2 kg to 5 kg (example – mini loop resistance bands and therapy style bands) and extremely high resistances in range of 250 pounds (e.g. – power loop resistance bands), making them suitable for beginner, intermediate and advanced athletes.
Fabric Resistance Bands- – Based on my encounter with fabric loop bands, these workout bands are not as elastic as the latex resistance bands. So they need a comparatively higher force to stretch. If you are a complete beginner, I suggest not to go for fabric resistance bands. Though, it works great for people already doing the workout for a year or two.
TENDENCY TO SLIP –
Latex Resistance Bands – Due to the smooth and slippery surface of Flat resistance bands and rubber tube bands, they tend to slip from the original position and require occasional adjustments while doing exercises.
Fabric Resistance Bands – These bands are the clear winners when it comes to issue of slipping of bands over bare skin along with the issue of comfortability. The cloth-like fabric gives your skin a gentle touch and feel.
The soft and firm grip of fabric doesn’t let these resistance bands slip no matter what is the angle/direction of exercise.
Latex Resistance Bands – The latex rubber bands can be extremely light as compared to fabric strength bands for the same resistance bands.
For example – the fabric loop bands in my possession weigh 170 gms whereas the latex loop bands weighed 90 gm for almost similar resistance levels.
Fabric Resistance Bands – The fabric loop band is quiet bulky and larger in size than latex bands. That doesn’t mean that they can’t be taken along with on tours. They just occupy a bit more space.
I don’t think that you need anything else to differentiate between the rubber and fabric bands. Fair enough.
For your convenience, I have summarized the difference between the two HEAD ON in the final battle in the form of an eye-catching chart to review and take the one final decision.
I hope you enjoyed the experience. Do not forget to have a look at my final opinion at the bottom and subscribe at the bottom to get notifications about only informative articles right in your inbox. NO SPAMMING…
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FINAL BATTLE- LATEX VS FABRIC RESISTANCE BANDS –
Gentle Reminder – The ultimate motive of both types of exercise bands is to improve fitness and if don’t stick to your fitness routines, there is no use of buying either. Right!
If you are not much worried about comfort and can accommodate little adjustments here and there, latex resistance bands may suffice.
However, if you do most of your exercise on bare body parts especially legs, the fabric resistance bands can provide you an extra edge. A bit higher price for fabric resistance bands may bother some and others may not have issue.