Why You Need Resistance Bands Right Now
Why You Need
A complete home gym, no weights needed
Dumbbells are great and having a home gym is the ultimate luxury, but if you want a fitness tool that's affordable, incredibly effective and takes up next to no space, then you need a resistance band. Or two or three. These stretchy staples offer a gym's worth of moves to enhance your at-home workouts.
Use them to add extra intensity to your bodyweight motions like pushups and squats. Loop them around your foot or a secure column and you can do curls, rows and various fly moves for your chest, shoulders and back. The options are seemingly endless.
One of the greatest advantages of these bands is that they can be used by athletes and novices alike, says Mike Donavanik, a certified personal trainer and founder of Sweat Factor, a streaming service offering a myriad of trainer-led workouts. He regularly uses them himself—both when he works out and when he's training clients. And it's why a band kit is the latest edition to Tom Brady's TB12 line of gear that's focused on conditioning and “pliability,” a combination of strength and elasticity that limits inflammation in the body.
That's the thing about these bands. There's a calm control that comes with using them. Dumbbells can feel, well, heavy and unsteady. But because of their rubbery instability, resistance bands offer much better feedback and require more concentrated effort. They also provide better proprioception than standard free weights as the stretched band fights you with each pull. Does that make them better than say a dumbbell or kettlebell? Not exactly. They're both vital tools. But when you want something that's easy to carry or you can't get to the gym, these will deliver results. To help you find the bands that work for you, we asked Donavanik to point us in the right direction.
Resistance Bands in 2022
This app-enabled set comes with a door anchor and sturdy carabiner.
Looped band kit,
$160 by TB12 Sports
“Simple, heavy-duty bands for those with more experience. They come in a lot of different resistance levels—from 15 to 200 pounds.”
from $17.25 by Rogue Fitness
“Lightweight, easy on the skin and great for squats, shuffles and glute work.”
Resistance loop band set,
$12.95 by Fit Simply
“I’m a big fan of this brand and Barry’s bootcamp uses these in their classes, so they can withstand a lot of wear and tear.”
Original Xertube band,
$17.98 by SPRI
A Word on Safety
Keep freak accidents at bay by being smart about not attaching these bands to anything that isn’t securely attached to the ground or wall. Before each use, check for cuts, nicks, scratches or discolorations. And as Donavanik warns, “don’t leave them out in the sun ... it can weaken and crack the rubber and you don’t want that.”