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Best resistance bands for your at-home workout regime

Resistance bands are lightweight (yet super effective), versatile, portable for quick workouts on the go and promise leaner, stronger muscles in no time. Not sure which type to get? We’ve picked 10 of the best resistance bands that’ll help you reach your fitness goals this year.

By Tammy Jacks | Last updated Feb 1, 2022

two women using resistance bands

Sure, dumbbells will always have their place in any gym setting or home workout routine. But when it comes to affordable, easy-to-use exercise equipment that’s suitable for all ages and fitness levels, you can’t beat the versatility of resistance bands. In fact, recent research shows similarities in strength gains from using elastic bands versus dumbbells or weight machines at the gym.  

Using resistance bands in your workout can also help to strengthen your important stabiliser muscles, such as the rotator cuff muscles that surround the shoulder joint. These muscles are essential for good posture. According to experts at OSR Physical Therapy, “The best way to strengthen your stabilisers is to do exercises slowly, using low weights with a higher number of repetitions.” Resistance bands are excellent for this.

If you’re looking to add more to your home workout equipment, one Mumsnetter believes that the most useful item she purchased in lockdown was her set of resistance bands. Another mum agrees and says all she’s needed to get started with an at-home exercise regime is her skipping rope and resistance bands as they’re lighter than dumbbells and great for beginners.

Not sure whether to pick fabric or latex bands? Bands with or without handles? We’ve done the research for you. Our recommendations have been personally used and endorsed by Mumsnetters, plus we read countless consumer and expert reviews along with conducting in-depth research on the optimal size, shape, fabric, tension level and practicality of each band.

Read on to discover our pick of the 10 best resistance bands for all types of training.

1. Best overall resistance bands: Peach Bands

peach bands resistance bands

Price: £14.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I use them all the time, at home and at the gym. My favourites are from Peach Bands because their bands are soft and don't pinch or snap like the horrible rubber ones! UK-based too.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Fitnesslady123)

Known for their premium quality (think soft, comfortable, breathable fabric), Peach Bands live up to their claim of strengthening and toning your glutes. No more twisting or sliding down mid-workout, these hip bands stay put thanks to their anti-slip fabric. They’re also great for firing up those glute and hip muscles before a heavier weight-lifting session, making them suitable for just about any home workout.

These hip bands are somewhat thinner in width than many other resistance bands out there, making them more versatile and easier to slip on and off. We also like that the light and medium resistance bands are sufficient to bring on a good sweat before you’ve even attempted the heavier band, ensuring you won’t outgrow them too soon.

The only downside to these hip bands is that they can’t stretch far enough to do certain upper body exercises such as shoulder raises. So, if you’re looking for a full body resistance band, Peach Bands’ stretchy rubber resistance bands might be a better choice. However, these bands deserve a top spot on our list for consistently delivering that booty burn.

Pros

  •       Good quality
  •       Soft, non-irritating
  •       Anti-slip
  •       Keep their shape
  •       Come in a handy compact zipper bag

Cons

  •       Not ideal for upper body workouts
  •       Can ride up the leg a little bit
  •       The label might peel off

Key specs

  •       Tension range: Light to heavy  
  •       Material: Natural rubber
  •       Number of bands: Three

2. Best budget resistance bands: Hybrid Sport Resistance Bands

Hybrid Sport Resistance Bands

Price: £5.94 | Buy now from Amazon

Whether you enjoy Pilates and other toning workouts or need resistance bands for rehabilitation and stretching, the Hybrid Sport Resistance Bands won’t disappoint. At under £10 for a set of five, they’re extremely affordable, yet don’t compromise on quality.

Made from all-natural latex, they’re less likely to irritate the skin and can be used on bare skin or over clothing. The manufacturers claim that, unlike other brands which tend to snap, fray or lose their shape after multiple uses, these offer an even thickness and consistent stretch after daily use.

We like that the Hybrid Sport bands are suitable for a wide range of fitness and strength levels as the set comes with an extra light and extra heavy band. Plus, they’re highly durable and allow you to have a good range of motion. Available in various colours including, pink, blue, grey or mixed, they’re a great unisex exercise tool. 

Pros

  •       Affordable
  •       Odour-free
  •       Comes with free exercise guide and carry case
  •       Wide range of resistance options
  •       Available in a variety of colours
  •       Versatile and durable
  •       Hold their shape

Cons

  •       Can roll up
  •       Do twist with certain exercises
  •       Some say bands are too thin

Key specs

  •       Tension range: X-light to x-heavy
  •       Material: Natural latex
  •       Number of bands: Five

3. Best fabric resistance bands: Victorem Resistance Hip Booty Bands

Victorem resistance bands

Price: £17.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have the Victorem resistance bands. Made of webbed fabric, not latex.” (Rated by Mumsnet user AuntyMarys)

If you’re looking for good-quality fabric resistance bands that don’t roll up, won’t pinch or irritate your skin and are extremely durable, the Victorem Resistance Hip Booty Bands (also known as Hip Circle Bands) are a great choice.

They’re strong enough for men and women – so no need to buy separate sets - and are great for adding extra resistance to standard functional movements such as squats, lunges and glute bridges as they offer just the right balance of flexibility and tension. These bands are also made in different sizes including short, medium and long to target different muscle groups such as the calves, chest or hips.

If you’re looking for longer fabric bands, the beenax Long Resistance Bands might be more suitable and also come with sterling reviews.

Pros

  •       Small and foldable
  •       Lightweight
  •       Provides consistent resistance
  •       Easy-to-use
  •       Odour-free
  •       Comes with a free digital workout guide

Cons

  •       Pricey
  •       Very thick fabric  
  •       Might not be suitable for beginners

Key specs

  • Tension range: Light to heavy
  • Material: Cotton/latex blend
  • Number of bands: Three 

4. Best resistance bands for upper body: Core Balance Assisted Pull-Up Bands

core balance resistance bands

Price: £22.99 for a set of four | Buy now from Amazon

“Any set will do as long as you have them at different sizes and thicknesses. One long loop is useful, plus one that’s just one length and thinner is useful. They are great, so easy to use and not bulky to store.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user MrsJamin)

When it comes to versatility and ease of use for a variety of upper body exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, chest openers, shoulder raises or low rows, the Core Balance Assisted Pull-Up Bands win hands down over dumbbells.

They can be stretched and pulled in almost any direction and the loop design ensures they wrap snugly around the palm of your hand for extra grip. We like that they come as a complete set with four resistance levels from light (perfect for general stretching and mobility) to extra heavy which offers up to 56kg of resistance, so y)ou don’t have to purchase separate bands. Plus, they’re ideal for beginners as well as more advanced fitness enthusiasts looking for that extra burn.

If you’re a yoga fan, these bands can be used on your yoga mat instead of a yoga strap to enhance your stretches and poses. Bonus!

Pros

  •       Good value for money
  •       Lightweight
  •       Odour-free
  •       Super stretchy
  •       Target smaller and bigger muscle groups
  •       Add extra resistance to standard workouts
  •       Free instructional e-booklet

Cons

  •       Aren’t long enough for some exercises
  •       May twist or roll up
  •       Loop may not fit smaller hands

Key specs

  •       Tension range: Light to heavy
  •       Material: Cotton/latex blend
  •       Number of bands: Three

5. Best resistance band set: TheraBand Resistance Bands

TheraBand resistance bands

Price: £14.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“TheraBand Resistance Bands are great for toning and strengthening. They are easy and convenient to use as you progress through the different resistance strengths. There are loads of different exercises you can do with them.” (Vetted by Mumsnet user Olly2021)

Regarded as one of the leading elastic resistance band manufacturers, TheraBand is passionate about delivering the best quality resistance bands for rehabilitation, exercise and general wellness. In fact, it’s the original resistance band used by physiotherapists worldwide and remains a firm favourite among Mumsnetters.

This TheraBand set is colour-coded according to the resistance each band offers, which is light, medium and heavy. If you prefer to start with a heavier resistance, then consider the TheraBand Advanced Set which consists of the blue and black bands

The great thing about these bands is that they’re one metre long - ideal for taller people who want to do a variety of movements, such as raising your arms above your shoulders while standing on the band. They’re also available in lengths up to three metres should you need even longer ones. However, they can also be doubled up for extra resistance or to make them shorter if you don’t need the extra length.

They’re extremely versatile as a set and simple to use with most reviewers agreeing that they help to strengthen and tone muscles in a relatively short space of time. The only downside to these bands is that they’re not made with loops or handles, which means they need to be held tight or wrapped around each palm to avoid slipping or snapping.  

Pros

  •       Easy to use
  •       Travel friendly
  •       Strong – won’t snap or fray
  •       Great length for a variety of exercises
  •       Easy to clean

Cons

  •       Not suitable for those with a latex allergy
  •       Instructions only available through the TheraBand website
  •       No handles or loops for extra grip
  •       May have an odour as you open them

Key specs:

  •       Tension range: Medium to heavy
  •       Material: Latex
  •       Number of bands: Three

6. Best resistance bands for building muscle: Peak Supps Next Level Performance Resistance bands

Peak Supp resistance trainers

Price: £23.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Start out with resistance bands - not too expensive and take up barely any space. We have ones that go to over 50kg.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Chely)

If you’re serious about building muscle and looking for heavy-weight resistance bands to help you reach your goals, then the Peak Supps Next Level Performance Resistance Bands will help you do just that.

They’re not the best choice if you’re just starting out, as these metre-long latex bands are designed to offer between 20 to 34kg of resistance as you pull against them. And the blue bands in this range offer up to 50kg of resistance. In essence, they’re much thicker than other resistance bands on the market such as the TheraBand and more suited to those who really want to challenge their muscles and work up a sweat.

The green bands are brilliant for compound movements which use the whole body such as a squat with shoulder press, lunge with bicep curls or standing abdominal twists. Plus, they’re good for stretching and basic mobility moves or to assist with pull-ups on a high bar. The loop design ensures a firmer grip with less risk of slipping.

Pros

  •   Good quality
  •   Strong and sturdy
  •   Ideal for stronger fitness enthusiasts
  •   Easy to use
  •   Loop band for firmer grip

Cons

  •   Pricey for one band
  •   Very thick
  •   May wear and tear over time 

Key specs

  •       Tension range: Heavy
  •       Material: Natural latex
  •       Number of bands: One

7. Best resistance bands with handles: Topelek Exercise Resistance Tubes

Topelek resistance bands

Price: £6.70 | Buy now from eBay

“My PT recommended these. I have them and they are great.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Onesie1001)

If you’re after a resistance band that has handles rather than loops, then the Topelek Resistance Tubes may be just what you’re looking for.

This set is great value for money because it comes with five colour-coded tubes, all offering different resistance levels, and the handles are made of soft foam for a comfortable hold. The complete set also has ankle straps (that can be attached to the resistance tube via a steel clip on the strap), plus a door anchor, essentially allowing you to train your whole body at home like you would in a gym with a cable machine.

We like that Topelek also includes a nifty carry case with the purchase as well as a detailed training manual to inspire you to get started.  

Pros

  •       Good value for money
  •       Complete, versatile set
  •       Offers a variety of resistance tubes
  •       Requires little space for a full body workout

Cons

  •       A little bulkier to travel with (as you need all the parts)
  •       Velcro straps can chafe wrists and ankles

Key specs  

  •       Tension range: Light to heavy
  •       Material: Rubber latex
  •       Number of bands: Five

8. Best strong resistance bands: P.volve p.3 Resistance Trainer Set

Pvolve resistance band

Price: £69.99 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

No snapping, fraying or stretching out of shape with the P.volve p.3 resistance band. The set comes with two robust latex bands in different lengths (64cm and 74cm) that you attach to your ankle rather than standing on the bands like you’d usually do. This allows you to work the whole body from hand to ankle, helping you to strengthen your core and improve your balance and flexibility at the same time.

The set also comes with two ankle straps, an attachable handle for exercises such as bicep curls and tricep kickbacks, plus a bonus 0.5kg ball to alternate with the bands and use on a mat to work your core and upper body. We like that this set is a complete toning/strengthening system on its own. However, it only comes with two bands so you may outgrow them as you get stronger.

Pros

  •       Complete system in one
  •       Durable latex bands
  •       Versatile
  •       Two resistance band lengths for upper and lower body exercises  

Cons

  •       Pricey
  •       Might get used to the resistance bands quickly
  •       Ankle bands aren’t machine washable

Key specs

  •       Tension range: Light to heavy
  •       Material: Rubber latex
  •       Number of bands: Five

9. Best resistance bands for legs and glutes: Renoj Resistance Bands

Renoj fabric bands

Price: £16.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Looking to firm up your glutes and thighs? Then look no further than the Renoj Resistance Bands. These cotton/latex bands are thick (yet breathable), durable and sit flat on the skin thanks to their non-slip fabric. They have just enough stretch to give the right amount of resistance regardless of the movement. 

The mesh fabric is ideal for more intensive Crossfit-style workouts as well as low-intensity yoga or Pilates sessions. They come in a set of three with light, medium and heavy bands in green, pink and purple, and the great thing about this range is that it fits snugly.

Pros

  •   Non-roll
  •   Easy to put on and off
  •   Easy to clean
  •   Odour-free
  •   Fit snugly
  •   Come in a free mesh carry bag and exercise booklet

Cons

  •   They can stretch out after prolonged use
  •   Carry bag doesn’t have a drawstring to close

Key specs

  •       Tension range: Light to heavy
  •       Material: Latex/cotton blend
  •       Number of bands: Three

10. Best resistance bands for Pilates and toning: Opti Pilates Bands

Opti bands

Price: £9 | Buy now from Argos

These bargain resistance bands are super flexible and stretch seamlessly in almost any direction with just the right amount of tension. Plus, they come in a pack of four with varying resistance levels from light to extra heavy. They’re particularly stretchy for Pilates-specific core moves and are easy to grip and work with.

Ideal for beginners who prefer lower impact workouts, these wouldn’t be suitable for those looking to build up a serious sweat.

Pros

  •   Good quality
  •   Super stretchy
  •   Odour-free
  •   Optimal length (120cm)
  •   Great for core work and low impact exercises
  •   Comes with a free fitness guide

Cons

  •   Only suitable for beginners
  •   Material can snap

Key specs

  • Tension range: Light to extra heavy
  • Material: PVC
  • Number of bands: Four 

What are the different types of resistance bands?

There are a wide variety of resistance bands out there to suit your individual needs and fitness level. Here are some popular choices:

Hip circle resistance bands: Made from either fabric such as cotton, latex or a blend of both, these smaller resistance bands fit snugly around the thighs or ankles for lower body moves. Some are designed with Velcro strapping to adjust sizing. The Peach Bands are a good quality hip band. 

Loop resistance bands: These are like a standard resistance band but made with a loop (as an extension of the band) for extra grip and versatility. A good example is the Core Balance Assisted Pull-Up Bands.

Mini resistance bands: Like hip circle bands, mini resistance bands are often made from latex and are ideal for smaller, more precise movements such as side squats, glute bridges (with one leg at a time), inner thigh squeezes or narrow lunges. Simply slide them on or off and, once positioned in the right place, they shouldn’t slip down.

Standard resistance bands: Like the TheraBand Resistance Bands, these come in a variety of lengths and colours, representing different strengths and don’t have loops or handles. Choose from either fabric or latex.

Tube resistance bands with handles: These are made with thinner rubber tubes, rather than bands, and most come with handles to mimic weight machines in the gym, such as the Topelek Exercise Resistance Tubes. The thickness of the tube determines the resistance.  

Figure 8 resistance bands: Not as popular as standard resistance bands, figure 8 bands are shaped in a figure 8 with a rubber tube, soft handles and a foam piece in the centre. They can be used for both upper and lower body movements and are particularly effective for push/pull exercises.

How do I choose a resistance band?

This depends on your budget, personal preference and fitness level. Some people prefer tube-like bands with handles and/or ankle straps for extra stability, but if you’re a beginner, you might opt for a standard resistance band which tends to be lighter and good for specific rehabilitation exercises and stretches.

If you’re a seasoned fitness fanatic and you’re looking for plenty of resistance, a thicker loop band like the Peak Supps Next Level Performance Loop Band will more than likely be top of your list. But, if you prefer low impact exercises such as Pilates, you might enjoy a band set such as the P.volve p.3 Resistance Trainer Set.

Many tube band sets are pricier than standard resistance bands (which start at around £7) but offer a full body workout with more tools such as handles, ankle straps and a wide range of tube sizes and resistance levels.

What size resistance band should I buy?

Keen to tone and firm up your hip, glute and thigh area? Then smaller hip resistance bands or mini loop bands are ideal in either light, medium or heavy resistance. If you’re keen to target your upper body, shorter resistance bands (with a light, medium or heavy thickness) will work just fine. And if you’re tall, longer resistance bands of one metre or more are great, especially for exercises like shoulder presses or bicep curls.

The classic therapy-style bands such as the TheraBand tend to be one size, around 120cm long and 15cm wide and are lighter and more responsive to stretching or rehabilitation type exercises. Most loop bands are thicker and shorter for more resistance.  

Before you buy, make sure to check the colour coding on the brand you choose as this often determines the resistance level, and most resistance bands come in a variety of sizes and lengths.

Should I get a light or medium resistance band?

If you’re just getting back into fitness training, it’s a good idea to buy a set of resistance bands that come with both light and medium resistance bands. Resistance band sets are often better priced than single bands and allow you to switch from one resistance to the other as you progress. Also, as you get stronger, you can stack bands together and use both at once for a harder workout.  

What is the best resistance band to buy?

When vetted against other resistance bands, particularly those used for the lower body, the Peach Bands stood out as being the most versatile and comfortable hip bands out there. Mumsnetters also like the fact they’re good quality, don’t slip or slide and come in 

a stylish carry bag which fits easily into your handbag or gym bag for both indoor and outdoor workouts.

Even though they’re regarded as hip circle bands, they have a great stretch and can be used for a wider variety of exercises including squat or lunge variations and chest extensions.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real person, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which resistance bands fitness-conscious Mumsnet users had bought for targeting key areas such as the hips, thighs, glutes, abdominals and arms. We compiled a list of resistance bands they recommended for being durable, easy to use and effective at toning and strengthening both bigger and smaller muscle groups, as well as the stabiliser muscles. 

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which resistance bands had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customer reviews and fitness experts said about them. 

Having collated all that information, we picked the best resistance bands we thought would make the best buys for a variety of preferences and fitness levels. Also, most of our resistance bands are multi-functional and suitable for women, men and teenagers.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.