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The 16 Best Resistance Bands to Pack in Your Gym Bag

These bands can make a big difference in your workouts.

best resistance bands
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If you're trying to gain muscle, your first instinct may be to head to the gym and hit the weight rack. But we're here to tell you that's not the only way. If you're short on gear—or even if you just want to shake things up—all you need to get your muscles growing is to start utilizing resistance bands in your training. Really.

"We can take exercises that you're already doing right now, utilize bands and improve the ability of that exercise to stimulate muscle growth because we're introducing new stress at different points in the range of motion as we manipulate the strength curves," strength coach and Athlean-X founder Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S, shared in a recent YouTube video where he demoed his 11 favorite resistance band moves to build bigger legs.

Introducing that added challenge can do wonders for your strength training. And if you needed more proof that resistance bands can really transform your body, this guy lost 119 pounds in nine months doing banded workouts. Former UFC fighter Bobby Maximus utilizes them during his upper body workouts. And NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski uses them in his workouts... and the dude is huge. (Here are 55 resistance band workouts you can do at home.)

Of course, there are tons of different types of resistance bands out there, from closed loop bands, thick latex bands, bands with handles, and ones that use anchors to attach to your door. Depending on the thickness, they also provide different levels of resistance, meaning that not every band workout is for light weights.

Looking to purchase some new resistance bands to add into your workout? Here are our top 30 picks.

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Bandit Kit

  • Strong grip that doesn't pinch palms
  • Can accommodate larger hands

TRX's new Bandit Kit optimizes the fitness brand's resistance bands with ergonomic handles that don't slip or pinch your palms.

  • Tension range: 5-15 and 15-30 pounds
  • Material: Plastic
  • Style: Loop bands
  • Included Accessories: None
Gorilla Bow
Gorilla Bow

  • Can target just about every single muscle group
  • Incredibly durable

This rig gives you more than just the bands. You also have a tool that can help to create 110 pounds of resistance (just to start, you can get more bands) that you can use to perform exercises that target just about every single muscle group.

  • Tension range: 10, 20, 32, and 45 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum, latex
  • Style: Bow
  • Included Accessories: None
SPRI Braided Xertube Resistance Band Exercise Cords, Heavy (Level 4)
Now 33% off

  • Can hold up after months of use
  • Great for traveling

  • Additional resistance bands sold separately

These resistance bands feature four tubes braided together to create a durable workout tool that will outlast your toughest sessions. The only downside: You have to buy the different resistance levels separately.

  • Tension range: 15 pounds
  • Material: Rubber
  • Style: Loop bands
  • Included Accessories: None
Best Minibands
Mini Band Resistance Loop Exercise Bands
Perform Better

  • Offers plenty of tension given its size

An Amazon bestseller, customers love its compact design that can literally be used and taken anywhere. Plus it packs a ton of durability for a small size, with users saying this set holds up after years of use.

  • Tension range: 5 pounds
  • Material: Rubber
  • Style: Tube bands
  • Included Accessories: None
Best Looped Resistance Bands
Monster Bands

  • Highly durable
  • Works for a wide variety of exercises

  • Expensive

While these closed-loop bands are a little on the pricey side, they’re highly durable and versatile. Plus, you can get them in up to eight different resistance levels—from 15 to 200 pounds—making them one of the heaviest band options on the market.

  • Tension range: 15 to 200 pounds (8 available bands)
  • Material: Rubber
  • Style: Closed-loop bands
  • Included Accessories: None
TRX Strength Bands

You might recognize the TRX name from the suspension trainer you use at the gym, but the brand makes more than just straps. These high-quality bands come in multiple sizes, so you can pick the right level of resistance for your workouts.

Mark Bell Hip Circle
Sling Shot

Designed to help with your muscles in your hips and legs, this resistance loop is made out of specialized fabric for a more comfortable experience than your standard band. Plus, it comes in three colors so you can do the workout with your own personal style.

Resistance Bands

These sturdy, tough, reliable looped bands are available in four different resistance levels and work perfectly whether you’re using them to assist you in pullups, or to provide added resistance during deadlifts.

Resistance Band Set
Now 17% off

This five piece set from WODFitters can be used for everything from stretching to pull up assistance to resistance for heavy loaded exercises like bench press and squats. The bands range from 10 pounds to 175 pounds of resistance, so everyone can find one that works for them.

Resistance Bands Set

This latex-free resistance band set comes with 3 resistance bands that are 5 feet long. This lighter set is perfect for rehabilitation, or for starting work on weaker muscle groups.

Xertube Resistance Bands
Now 15% off

This rubber resistance band includes attached handles with grommet reinforcements for durability and sustainability with each use. And the rubber tubes feature Tuff Sleeve technology for greater resistance to abrasion and tears. The band also comes in 5 different resistance levels.

High Resistance Bands
Now 15% off

If you're looking to rehab an injury with resistance abounds, these are the ones for you. The two rubber latex bands come in 25 & 35-pound resistance increments, and were designed to improve flexibility and help you recover and rehab injuries.

Resistance Band Loop

If you're looking for a light, single resistance band loop to improve your mobility, we highly recommend this one. This orange latex band has a resistance between 8-15 pounds. But if you're looking for more resistance, ROSAPOAR also offers single bands in heavier increments (all the way up to 125 pounds.

Infidel Resistance Bands Set
Iron Infidel
Now 25% off

This set of 5 resistance bands can handle a range from 20-150 pounds of resistance. Plus, a portion of all profits are donated to wounded veterans through the Wounded Warrior Foundation, as well as the children of fallen police officer's through the First Responders Children's Foundation.

Resistance Band (Heavy)

This single resistance band from Nike has a double handle so you can choose which grip is best for you. This heavy band can also withstand 40 pounds of resistance, and can stretch to 4 times its length.

Fitness Resistance Loop Exercise Bands

Undersun's extra-strong, 2-ply resistance band set comes with 5 bands and a durable door anchor. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from all Elite Band sales goes to support children of fallen heroes through Active Valor, a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation that was created by a former NAVY SEAL.

How We Selected

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For the past two years, we consulted with Men's Health's Fitness editors and writers on the top resistance bands. Experts including our fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. and fitness editor Brett Williams, NASM, put countless resistance bands through the wringer to evaluate their durability, comfort, and quality. We also considered top-reviewed resistance bands that had at least 100 five-star customer ratings on e-commerce websites that we trust.

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