Resistance bands are great tools to build strength and maintain mobility, ideal for at-home workouts and completing prehab exercises.
However, with so many different band lengths, thicknesses and styles, what bands should you invest in and for which purposes?
Best resistance bands
Long, thick resistance loop bands
Often called pull-up bands, these are those long bands of varying thickness that are typically around 2m long and can be tied in a loop to bars for help in training for a full pull-up. These can also be tied to a barbell on each end and stood on to increase resistance/weight when doing deadlifts or similar.
When selecting your band, pay attention to the resistance level, this should be written in lbs so you can get an idea of what level of assistance you want – the higher the resistance, the more assistance with the pull up, but the harder the workout if you use the band for other purposes.
BESTOPE Resistance Bands
These pull up bands, available in three colours, are made from a natural latex that promises to be 100% skin-friendly. The bands can be used to improve your training in a number of ways, from assisting you during pull ups to increasing the resistance from a barbell lift.
The bands are said to be strong and durable, maintaining their elasticity for years while being foldable for when you need to stash them in your bag. While also being a helpful assist, these types of bands can be a fruitful training exercise by themselves.
Short resistance loop bands
Otherwise known as ‘booty bands’ this style of resistance band is normally used around the legs, either at the ankles or further up around the thighs. These bands can work the glutes and the adductors/abductors.
They’re very useful to incorporate into an S&C session, for rehabilitation purposes, or to activate the glutes before a run. Grab a pack of varying resistance or a single band from your local sports store, we liked the bands from Meglio.
Meglio Latex-Free Resistance Bands
Meglio are a trusted brand here at 220 Triathlon, so their resistance bands are a solid choice for targeting your training on those specific muscle groups. These short resistance loop bands are made from thermoplastic elastomer to provide both stretchiness and durability.
They come in a set of four, in four different colours, and each band has a different resistance level. The strongest band has a resistance of 17kg and the lightest has a resistance of 6kg.
They’re latex-free, which is said to be softer on sensitive skin. Plus, they’re small enough to fit in your pocket.
Opti Resistance Loops
A great alternative is this choice from Opti. They come in a handy carry bag, with each band offering a different level of resistance. The loops can help to improve your strength, balance and flexibility.
Non-loop resistance bands
As this is one long piece of stretchy material, this pilates style of resistance band has more versatility and can be attached to objects or the ends tied to form a loop as required. Uses include: tie to a beam/stair rail and pull with both arms to mimic freestyle swim stroke; ankle mobility inversions and eversions; stand on and and pull up with arms for bicep and tricep exercises; and many more.
Meglio Resistance Bands
Available in a range of resistances (and colours), these bands from Meglio are a great choice for non-loop resistance. They’re latex-free and friendlier for your skin, and they’re a suitable fit for various different exercises.
Photo from Geert Pieters, Upsplash.