Fitness bands are the best. Yeah, it sounds a little ridiculous, but they are! When it comes to fitness equipment bands are simple, yet effective.
If you’re looking to build a home gym but aren’t ready (or don’t have the space) to go all in on gym equipment, start with bands.
Honestly, fitness bands are king. They’re versatile, inexpensive, easy to store and they come in several different types and intensities.
In this post, we’re going to break down the different kinds of bands (monster Bands or pull up bands, tube bands, TheraBands and thigh bands) what we love about them, what we don’t love about them and how bands can add value to any workout.
So, here we go. Starting with our least favourite:
If you’ve ever done physiotherapy then odds are you’ve seen or used these before. TheraBands are great for helping facilitate rehabilitation exercises and mobility/flexibility protocols but they really aren’t durable enough for much else. These bands are often sold in rolls due to their delicate nature. We’ve seen more than a few snap on clients mid-exercise. If you’ve never worked out or have seen a significant decrease in strength due to injury or illness, these might be perfect for you to get started with. For more experienced exercisers and athletes, skip these for the most part.
While inexpensive, the flimsiness and limitations when it comes to the types of exercises you can do with them makes them our least favourite bands, especially for a home gym. There’s really not a ton more to say on them.
Thigh or Fabric Bands
Also known as “booty bands” these guys are great for lower body workouts, but that’s really where their effectiveness ends. These guys aren’t really helpful for anything upper body related and that’s a big ding in their column. When looking for bands we want versatility. The more exercises that can be done with them, the better.
Another downside to these guys is they tend not to be as durable as other bands. Often, you’ll find that the fabric stretches and wears over time. Eventually, you won’t get the same resistance or intensity as you did when they were new. And generally, these guys only come with three intensities to begin with: light, medium, heavy. So, if you need to increase the difficulty of your workouts, these bands can only take you so far. They do, however, compliment lower body workouts well, particularly when paired with weights.
On the plus side, fabric bands often have non-slip interiors that mean they will stay in place no matter what you’re doing. Unlike other loop bands that tend to bunch up and dig into the skin when you move. Also, fabric bands are inexpensive and can be a great way to jumpstart your fitness routine at home.
Overall, we still enjoy these bands and incorporate them into our workouts with our clients, especially to take lower body workouts to the next level. Are they our favourite? Nope.
Tube bands are great. They’re called tube bands because, well, they look like tubes. Someone got creative on that one. One of the things we love about these bands is that most sets come with handles and ankle attachments that increase the number of exercises you can do with them. Their versatility is endless. As such, we use these guys less as accompaniments to make weightlifting exercises more challenging and more as weights in their own right. Tube bands are a great way to kick body weight exercises up a notch.
Additionally, tube bands often come in a variety of intensities (often indicated in lbs or kgs) so you can select the appropriate weight for where you’re at in your fitness journey. There’s also plenty of opportunity to increase your challenge over time and grow your strength (without needing a rack of dumbbells). Because these come with such a wide range of difficulty, use them to assist with rehabilitation exercises, mobility training, improved flexibility AND building strength.
The one downside? They’re still not the most durable. Again, we’ve seen a number break over the years. However, they still tend to last longer than the first two bands we’ve talked about.
Are they our favourite? Close but not quite.
Monster Bands or Pull Up Bands
We did it. We made it. We’re here. Our favourite bands, hands down. Monster bands, as their name implies, are true beasts.
Durable, versatile, perfect on their own or accompanying other weightlifting exercises, easy to store, available in a slew of different difficulties and, while not traditionally used with handle attachments, can bring workouts to a whole new level when used with some creativity.
We rarely see these guys break and, truth be told, we use them daily, in nearly every workout. Whether it’s for warming up, stretching, mobility work, rehab, assisting a lift, making a lift more challenging, or bringing body weight work to the next level, these are our go to for beginner and advanced clients.
They can cost a little more up front but we still highly recommend investing in these kinds of bands as they will serve you and your workouts for a long time to come.
It’s clear we’re fans. We use bands daily with most of our clients. Why? Because bands are just as appropriate for beginners as they are for advanced athletes. Use them at home or bring them with you to the gym, their potential is limitless.
For those looking to start a home gym, bands are a no-brainer for getting started. They don’t require a ton of storage space and can be packed away after each workout. You can work and stretch virtually any body part with them. There is a band for every budget and even if you plan to grow your home gym, fitness bands make great accompaniments to most lifts.
Not sure which bands are best to help you achieve your current fitness goals? We can help! Contact us today to find out what we recommend or check out our store to see more of our favourite bands.