Lightweight and portable, resistance bands are a completely understated piece of exercise equipment that can totally transform your workout. Even just a short 10 minute resistance band workout can fire up your glutes and create strength throughout the entire body. By optimizing both those small supportive muscles and major muscle groups, you can build some serious power and stamina without having to lift heavy weights.
"The beauty of resistance bands is that they increase the time in which your muscles are under tension, and that force of contraction that your muscles are under fatigues the muscle tissue," says Kira Stokes, founder of the Stoked Method, Persona Nutrition Ambassador, and celebrity personal trainer to stars including Candace Cameron Bure, Ashley Graham, and Shay Mitchell. Since resistance bands require a ton of control and focus, they can help enhance both the eccentric and concentric portions of each exercise movement. Stokes also adds, "You can't just go through the movements with resistance bands; you really need to have control throughout the entire movement, slow down, and connect. They are a great tool for enhancing the mind-muscle connection."
Since many resistance bands are sold in sets, you may be tempted to go for the hardest band. But Stokes herself often grabs the lightest band, as she feels it's imperative to do the move properly, be able to use your muscles to stretch the band and be aware of the range you are getting. She reserves the hardest resistance bands for moves like glute bridges, and uses lighter bands for things like lateral squat walks. Now that you know the basics, here are our top picks for resistance bands to enhance your full-body workout.
These bands have over 18,000 reviews on Amazon, with over 12,000 of the reviews giving the bands a five-star rating. For the price, they are a good value pick since you get five bands of varying resistance and a small portable bag to store them in. They come with a manufacturer's lifetime warranty and also a complimentary e-book/instruction guide that has illustrated exercises on how to use the bands.
These resistance bands from Recredo have almost 3,000 reviews on Amazon and an overall 4.8/5 rating. They feature three thick bands of varying resistance levels, as well as a storage backpack and training ebook. Reviewers like how they stay sturdy in place, don't roll up, and feel very durable.
If you're increasing your squat and deadlift weight, you want to make sure you're not sacrificing proper form. Activating those smaller muscle groups by using a resistance band like this hip circle can help optimize those major muscle movements. Reviewers say it's great for warming up squats and deadlifts and cues you to keep your knees out throughout the exercise.
Stoked bands are durable and come in three different levels of resistance. Plus, we love the stylish colors of these bands. Founder Kira Stokes also offers 30 minute band workouts and true resistance band programming on her app Kira Stokes Fit.
Compliment your TRX home gym system with this set of resistance bands that you can incorporate in virtually any workout. From X-Lite to Heavy, there is an option for any exercise intensity. For the price, they're good quality, lightweight, and ideal for travel.
Created by 10-time IFBB Pro Bikini Champion Amanda Latona Kuclo, these bands have good strength and durability. They also come in a large carrying bag that can be used as a gym bag. Booty Queen Apparel claims that their bands are 2-3 times stronger than the leading resistance band brands and that they don't roll up.
These bands are a staple at CrossFit gyms around the world, and for good reason. They are extremely sturdy, strong, and come in a variety of resistances. Not only can they help with mobility, but they are excellent for building pull-ups and providing pull-up assistance. They each measure 41" in length but have varying thickness and widths to create different levels of resistance.
Dannah Eve, a certified personal trainer and her husband, Brandon Bollig, a former NHL hockey player, created the DE Total Body Bands because they were so tired of having to replace thin rubber latex bands every few months. We like that the DE Total Body Bands stay in place since they feature an anti-slip grip inside which can prevent them from bunching or rolling up. They are designed to be one-size-fits-all and are also washable.