Frankly, no home gym is complete without a set of resistance bands. And they should absolutely be the first bit of fitness equipment you pick up when you decide to extend your home workouts beyond bodyweight.
That’s because resistance bands are cheap, effective to use in a variety of ways, and easy to use without putting yourself at any risk of injury. A set of bands won’t cost you more than £20 and you can use them to build strength, do rehab after an injury, increase your mobility, and in many other ways.
Resistance bands usually come in a set of three or five different resistances, with the colour of a band indicating how heavy it is. Generally yellow bands have less resistance, blue and black bands have a high level of resistance, and red and green bands are in the middle. But there is a lot of variation between brands, and special colours are often thrown into the mix – gold bands in particular are usually very strong.
The standard band options are open-ended strap bands, looped bands, or tube bands with detachable handles. Generally strap bands are good for mobility work and stretching, and can be tied off to create a loop, but proper looped bands are usually better for strength sessions, while tube bands with handles are the easiest kind to use for high-resistance strength workouts.
Given the low cost of resistance bands, we reckon it’s worth having a few different types to hand for your workouts. Here are the best available right now.
Theraband Resistance Bands
These straight bands are great for mobility and rehab exercises and come in a wide range of lengths and resistance levels, so you can get exactly what you need, whether that’s a 1m-long light resistance yellow band or a 5m max resistance gold band, which will be handy for flinging rocks at castle during sieges even if you never summon up the strength to use it in your workouts.
Buy from Amazon | £2.49-£40.98
AmazonBasics Resistance and Pull Up Band
A long looped band is useful for hooking around your shoulders and feet for exercises like squats, and can also be used to assist with pull-ups until you progress enough to tackle the exercise unaided. Amazon’s own-brand bands come in three different levels of resistance, with the lightest being purple (Amazon have gone rogue there) and the heaviest being blue, with green in between.
Buy from Amazon | £12.99-£18.99
COREZONE Resistance Loop Bands
There are six bands in this set, which offers a resistance range from 4.5kg to 18kg to cover all the bases that beginners are likely to need covered. The bands also come with a lifetime guarantee, for those who have any concerns about durability, and an online workout guide to show you how to use the bands.
Buy from Amazon | £10.95
Protone Resistance Bands Set
This comprehensive set will fulfil all the resistance band needs of even those used to lifting heavy free weights, because you can double, triple, quadruple or even quintuple up the bands using the detachable handles to increase the resistance if required. The set also comes with a carry case and attachments so you can anchor the bands to a door or post for certain exercises.
Buy from Amazon | £19.99
Bytomic Figure Of 8 Resistance Band
Figure-of-eight resistance bands don’t offer the same range of uses as straight, loop or tube bands, but they are handy for exercise like rows where their short length and large handles are a bonus. The Bytomic bands come in three levels of resistance, ranging from the lightest yellow through red to black.
Buy from Amazon | £7.98-£8.98