How to Choose a Resistance Band

With so many types of resistance bands, it can be challenging to find the best one to reach your fitness goals. This guide breaks down the different types of resistance bands.

February 07, 2019

Resistance bands are as versatile as they are portable. A useful tool for at-home workouts, you can also take them to the gym to supplement your weight training. But with so many options, you may wonder which resistance band is ideal.


Bands have a variety of uses and resistance levels. So, your fitness goals will determine which band is best for you.


There are two main types of bands: tubed and flat. Flat bands are lightweight, made of latex and are ideal for exercises where the band presses against your body. Flat bands either come in sheets or are looped, each with their own distinctive qualities.




Sheet bands are thin, continuous sheets of latex. You can use them by wrapping them around your hands, feet or other anchor points. This band type can be ideal for rehabilitation, stretching and warmups. They are versatile, but generally provide less resistance than other types of bands. If you're looking for resistance band exercises for beginners, this can be a good place to start.




Looped bands connect in a full circle, like a large rubber band. This style can vary in length and thickness. Both looped band options are popular for lower body exercises.

  • Traditional loop bands: Due to their size, traditional loop bands are suitable for both upper and lower body exercises. If you're wondering which resistance band to choose for pull-ups, a traditional looped band is for you. Around four feet in length, they can assist you with your chest press, pull-ups and more. One of the most versatile options, you can set up from a variety of anchor points or wrap them around your body.
  • Mini bands: In general, mini bands provide less resistance than traditional loop bands. Small enough to keep in your pocket, they are a good size for glute workouts. Mini bands are great for adding resistance to bodyweight moves. Mini bands can also help keep muscles active during high-rep moves, like glute bridges.



Made from a hard, dense rubber, resistance tubes can be tough to grip. Because of this, they often come with handles for easier use. This style can be helpful for upper body workouts, like bicep curls and shoulder presses. Some tube bands may also sport carabiners, which are attached to add accessories, such as ankle cuffs. With ankle cuffs, you can use resistance tubes for lower body moves, like monster walks. Before using a tube band, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions.




Sometimes resistance bands come in a set with multiple weight levels. However, you must purchase others individually. Be mindful of which color you’re buying. Different colors can represent different resistance levels. These colors may vary by brand, so be sure to read the description and label prior to use.


Looking for a workout to get started with your new band? Check out these five lower-body mini band exercises and five upper-body resistance tube moves.