Top 5 Resistance Bands For Building Muscle
If you’ve been on the internet at all over these past seven months, chances are you’ve seen some resistance bands being advertised for home workouts. Especially since many gyms have been closed, or recently re-closed, many of us have been turning to home workouts.
As a result, there are more tools and accessories than ever before for working out in the comfort of your own home. And while gyms can be intimidating, the landscape of home workout accessories can be just as confusing if you don’t know what to look for or what you’re doing with these tools.
We all have different athletic goals, and there are different types of resistance bands that suit each goal. So, we did you a favor! We explored almost every type of resistance band and made a list of the top 5 types of resistance bands for building muscle.
When considering buying a set of resistance bands you’ll want to consider the overall durability, purpose, and price of the bands. Make sure the resistance band you’re considering is suitable for the exercises you’re planning on doing, and make sure it fits your budget.
While we can’t help you with the budget part, we can certainly make some recommendations on the exercises/durability of the various types of resistance bands for building muscle at home.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the top 5 types of bands we recommend:
- Loop bands
- Bands with handles
- Fabric band
- Large loop band
- Flat band
Each type of band has a variety of uses, and the best band for you will ultimately depend on your fitness goals!
1. Loop bands
Loop bands (also called mini bands) connect end to end. This way you aren’t constantly tying and untying flat bands into knots (which can wear them out faster).
Loop bands can be used to increase the results and gains you’ll receive from various bodyweight exercises and enable you to complete many exercises you’d normally require a gym machine to do.
Movement gains that can be improved using a loop band include squats, lat pulldowns, plyometric movements, and various yoga/pilates moves
Typically these bands come in sets of 3 or 5 ranging from light or extra light to heavy or extra heavy. There are many guides and workouts available online that include mini loop bands, so you’ll always have resources or tutorials at your disposal… especially now that everyone is working out at home and developing mini resistance band workout programs.
These bands are usually quite affordable since so many manufacturers sell them, but you can look for reviews to find the most durable ones, too.
2. Bands with handles
If you’re not new to resistance bands, you’ve probably considered getting a set of bands with handles to expand your arsenal of at-home gym moves you’re able to complete.
These bands are like tubes with detachable handles on the ends and are designed to take the place of free weights or machines at the gym. Often, the handles are fully padded which is great for people with injuries or other concerns (and is a nice change from metal handles at the gym).
You can usually buy these bands individually by resistance, or as a complete set with additional attachments so you can rig them up to an overhead hook or to the door.
These bands are usually a bit more expensive than the mini loop bands, but this makes sense because there are more attachments and different materials used to make them. The quality of these bands also ranges greatly, so it’s better to buy from a reputable brand.
3. Fabric band
Fabric bands are a fabric version of the mini loop bands we mentioned above. They’re often a suitable alternative for those allergic to latex (although, some brands do include it for the stretch) or plastic and are often more comfortable than the mini loop bands. They also don’t roll up as much since they are fabric and lie flat against the skin, so if the mini loop bands tend to roll up on you, consider buying a fabric set.
These sets of bands typically include three resistance levels and come with a case and exercise guide, but there are also many workouts with fabric bands available online.
They are less flexible than the mini loop bands for things like upper body workouts, but the fabric bands make a great addition to your workout gear for upper leg and glute exercises.
4. Large loop band
Large loop bands (also known as pullup assist bands) are exactly what they sound like, larger versions of the mini resistance loop band.
Because they are typically much thicker and higher quality overall, these bands usually have a pound-related resistance to them. For example, yellow is 5-15 lb, red is 15-35 lb, etc.
Usually, they’re available in 5 levels and are designed for cross-training. You can use these bands to work every muscle group and complete full-body workouts easily.
You can buy them as a bundle or by individual resistance levels, but they are often more expensive than all other bands we’ve mentioned so far, because of the sheer amount of rubber used to create the high levels of resistance.
5. Flat band
Flat bands are also exactly what they sound like ─ a flat, open band,
These bands also come in different levels and are often available in sets of progressive resistance levels. They are great for building muscle through the upper body or core workouts.
People mainly use flat bands for upper body workouts, since there is not a closed-loop, or as a tool to assist with mobility, flexibility, and stretching in pilates or yoga!
These bands are typically in the same price range as the mini loop bands and might even come in the same set.
How can you build muscle with resistance bands?
Undoubtedly, resistance bands can help you a lot when building muscle. In order for the muscles to grow, you must always observe tension, proper recovery, and a gradual increase in load. You can easily do bodyweight exercises, which will increase your muscle mass and therefore increase the load. Thanks to the resistance bands, you can keep your body in good shape.
Resistance bands for building muscles are unique in that they modify the length-tension relationship as compared to weights. Since they have elastic properties, they are somewhat different from conventional exercises. Bands tend to accommodate resistance, while usual lifting weights or push-ups are difficult at the beginning and in the middle, but not at the end.
In turn, when using resistance bands, a person experiences the greatest difficulty in the final phase of the movement, that is, at the peak or top. Due to the fact that the load increases gradually, the muscles are stimulated with varying degrees of tension throughout the entire range of motion.
Which band should I use?
In general, if you’re looking to build strength through home workouts, any of these resistance bands would be a good option for you.
If you have not been strength training or it’s been a while since you’ve worked out, it’s recommended to start with the lightest level of resistance and move up from there.
Also, consider any specific fitness goals you may have and shop based on those requirements. For example, if you cannot do lower body exercises or mainly focus on another activity like biking or running for your lower body, consider getting flat bands to focus on upper body movements.
If you have any rubber or latex allergies be sure to check the ingredients the bands are made from because most do include these substances.
Keep in mind that resistance bands work the same way as gym machines or free weights do - by generating resistance your muscles will work against. So both resistance bands and free weights/machines will be a suitable way to build muscle, burn fat, and work out.
Don’t worry if you can’t do as many reps with resistance bands as you can with free weights, though. Bands require you to maintain external pressure at all times (therefore, no breaks/rest).
How to test the chosen band?
Once you've decided which band is right for you from our accessories, it's time to test it by doing several types of exercises for each set. It is worth paying attention to the handles' convenience, the rubber's rigidity, and the overall user-friendliness. You can also ask your trainer, who helped build your muscles before quarantine, to help choose a resistance band for you.
How to use resistance bands safely?
To avoid injury when using the elastic band, use them with care, especially for exercises where they need to be around the ankles. They should not be used for activities such as dancing or fast aerobics, as there is a risk of falling and getting injured. Their primary use is muscle building.
Check the condition of the bands after and before each building muscle workout. The traces of wear detected in advance will help you avoid sudden break down of elastic bands. If you want to keep their quality at its best, then it is worth keeping them out of the sun after each muscle building workout. It is also very important to store them away from children.
Different bands for different folks. The resistance bands that you choose to buy will absolutely depend on your specific fitness goals.
This is an excellent opportunity to start training and building muscle for both beginners and experienced athletes because resistance bands are easy to learn. Someone with their help can develop the correct understanding of the movement during any exercise, while others will remind the correct technique muscles for their implementation.
They are easy to exercise with, you can forget about possible injuries. Resistance bands will help to build muscles especially for those people who have joint problems or are in the process of recovery. They make it possible to create a load on the muscles while not exerting the pressure of actual weights holding you down.
If you still have doubts, then be sure to read our article, which will explain more detailed band mechanics. As a good experiment, try watching some videos or reviewing some resistance band building muscles workouts to see which ones are appealing to you and get the bands that are used in those workouts. It doesn’t need to be the same brand, just make sure it’s the same type of band!