Looking for a way to burn those holiday calories? Consider a set of resistance bands.
Resistance bands used to be a therapy tool, but have become a mainstream workout essential because they’re effective, easy to transport and easy to store They work by providing resistance like a free weight or a workout machine but eliminate most of the harmful joint stress.
The best thing about resistance bands is their incredible versatility, as they offer dozens of rigorous workouts. Some of our favorites include curls with the band under your feet, rows and squats. We also recommend picking up a pair of specialized pull-up resistance bands to assist your pull-up game or finally get started.
Resistance bands are also doubly versatile because increasing the intensity doesn’t require buying heavier weights. And unlike most gym equipment, resistance bands are very cheap, making them a worthwhile purchase even if you don’t use them that often. Below are eight of the best picks from Amazon.
1. Black Mountain Resistance Band Set
Our top pick is this set from Black Mountain. For a reasonable $27 you get an assortment of 5 bands with increasing weight, plus handles, a door anchor, an ankle strap and a starter guide with workouts. The door anchor and ankle strap are especially important, providing a somewhere to hold the band while you do flys, rows and other movements. The set also comes with a handy carrying case for storing the bands or packing them when you travel. Users are impressed, as the set boasts 4.5/5 stars and almost 7,000 reviews on Amazon
2. Wokashaka Resistance Loop Bands
Getting fit doesn’t have to break the bank. These resistance bands come in at just $7 and include 5 loop bands. These loop bands are best for leg workouts such as upgraded squats, leg raises and so on. But because of their size and loop design, workout options are a bit more limited than others options.
3. TheraBand Resistance Band Set
BEST FOR BEGINNERS
If you’re new to resistance bands, check out this beginner set from TheraBand. It comes with low-resistance bands that are perfect for learning new workouts, physical therapy or light pilates. They’re also reasonably priced at just $13, so if you want to upgrade quickly (or realize that resistance band training isn’t for you) it won’t be much of a loss.
4. Draper’s Strength Heavy Duty Pull Up Assist
BEST FOR PULL-UPS
Some resistance bands are offered in ultra heavy-weight to help with pull-ups. They’re ideal if you’ve been struggling to learn pull-ups, but even if you can bust out 15+, these will still up your game and allow for more sets. Just remember: the heavier the resistance, the easier the pull-up. So if you can’t get your chin above the bar, select the big orange band.
5. TAIMASI 19PCS Resistance Bands Set
BEST COMPLETE SET
Want a complete resistance band home gym? Go for this 19-piece set from Taimasi. It comes with 5 stackable bands, 5 loop bands, a door anchor, handles and two ankle straps. Plus, Taimasi has thrown in some nifty gym essentials as well, including a phone armband, a workout towel and an extensive guide to using resistance bands. Shockingly, all this clocks in at a reasonable $26.
6. Aylio Premium Exercise Bands
BEST FLAT BAND
Flat resistance bands are slightly more difficult to get used to than bands with handles or loops, but the payoff is worth it. Flat bands force you to activate more grip strength during workouts, building a nice set of forearms in addition to whatever else you’re training. We recommend this high-quality set from Aylio because they have a wide range of tension from 3 to 35 pounds and more durability than lower-priced options.
7. Tribe Resistance Bands Set
If you want to replicate classic weightlifting at home, we suggest a heavy resistance band set with handles. This set from Tribe fits the bill, offering bands that easily combine for up to 150 pounds of resistance. This means you can do low-rep bodybuilding moves like rows or even squats right at home.
8. SKL Resistance Bands Set
Almost all resistance bands are latex-based or pure latex, which is a problem if you’re allergic. If that’s the case, don’t lose hope: we found this non-latex set from SKL. The four included bands are made of odor-free thermoplastic elastomer that provides the same stretchiness without any latex.