Resistance bands are an amazing tool to use in your home workout. Like the name suggests, they offer varying levels of resistance, but take up none of the space of the equivalent weight. Use them to replace the weight in your workout or to increase the intensity of your existing routine. They come in a range of styles so this guide will help you find the best band for your workout. For the purposes of this guide, consider a resistance band to be a length of stretchy material - often but not exclusively latex - that can be used to contribute a measure of resistance to an exercise or stretch.
Closed Loop Resistance Bands
The closed loop resistance band is probably the most common band you’ll find in the gym. Usually you’ll find these bands as part of a set with a range of resistances, often colour coded based on resistance levels. Being bigger bands, these are largely used as a replacement for weights as a form of resistance in gym training. Everything from biceps curls, to squats, to shoulder presses can be completed with these bands replacing the bar or dumbbells, and a pair of band handles can be used for greater incorporation into your training. Their closed loop design can also be used to help you in regular sets. For instance, you can use them for assisted pull-ups by looping them over a pull-up bar and hooking your foot or knee into the band. Some weightlifters even like to loop them around their bars for squats and bench presses to increase the resistance at the top of the range of motion.
Tube Resistance Bands
Not unlike the closed loop resistance bands, tube bands are used largely to replace weights in resistance training exercises. Their uses are more limited than the closed loop design, but some specific exercises benefit from this design like the lateral deltoid raise. The tubes like the loop bands come in a range of resistances, or even a set of several tube bands that can be attached to the handles to vary resistance. Like the loop bands, resistance can be easily modified by changing the amount of slack in the band. With biceps curls for instance, widening your stance on the band beneath your feet makes the curl more difficult.
Like the closed loop bands, training bands are a flat ribbon of latex that can be used to create resistance in the place of weight. The band is not a closed loop and you’ll find that they are considerably less thick than loop bands. Because of this, they make an excellent tool for injury rehabilitation. Small movements with the band creating slight resistance build up strength gradually in an injured muscle or joint.
These bands get their name from their primary function: leg workouts. Booty bands are much smaller than closed loop resistance bands making them the perfect size to wrap around your legs. They have other uses besides leg workouts but this is where they really shine. Booty bands can be used in exclusively resistance band workouts, offering resistance in exercises like the side squat. They can also be worn during weight training to increase the challenge or to encourage good form. Wearing a booty band above your knees during your squats for instance is a good way to stay aware of how your knees are tracking during each rep and strengthen the smaller muscles in your legs. The booty bands you find in the gym will likely be made from latex, but given the way they’re worn, you might find a set of fabric booty bands to be more comfortable.
Choose Your Band
In an ideal world, your home gym would have all of these resistance bands. They all have their own individual benefits and take up very little space. But if you’re not ready to take that dive, think about how you might incorporate resistance bands in your workout. Will it be to replace weight training? Maybe you want to increase or decrease the challenge of your existing workout. Maybe you just need light resistance to recover from an injury. Resistance bands offer enormous home gym potential in the smallest possible package.