3 Best Resistance Tubes & Bands (That Are Also Affordable)

Steve Hoyles November 14, 2021

Resistance bands are the unsung hero of the gym, with lots of practical uses for all kinds of training needs.

Although in some cases resistance bands are written off by people as nothing more than an unnecessary training accessory, popularized by the ‘booty brigade’, they’re incredibly useful for warming up, prehab and rehab exercises and as a coach, and they’re excellent for progressing and regressing exercises.

But which one do you go for? As a personal trainer (and gym owner), I know it can be hard to know which one to choose, especially considering there are tons of different options and how limited the variations are between them.

In this article, I’ll answer that and a whole lot more. We’ll look at what kind of exercise tubes and bands you need and why, and the different strengths and use cases for each one. By the end of the article you’ll know exactly what you need to buy. 

While I highly recommend you read the entire article below to know what to look for and why when choosing a resistance band, I know you might be in a rush.

So to help save you time, these are the 3 best options available.

#1 Rated – Rogue Monster Bands (Best Resistance Band)

#2 Rated – Rogue Tube Bands (Best Tube Band)

#3 Rated – Titan Fitness 12 Inch Loop Resistance Bands (Best Short Resistance Bands)

 
  
 
Best for...
Why we love it
Ratings
Rogue Monster Bands
Rogue Monster Bands
Best for... : General strength training and coaching
Why we love it : Very strong bands, thick latex rubber that will withstand a lot of work.Stiff to begin with, easy to break in. Packages available.
Ratings: 4.9*
Rogue Tube Bands
Rogue Tube Bands
Best for... : Tube band training - general use for gym and travelling
Why we love it : Fantastic quality, long length (48”), sturdy, good quality handles with a textured rubber grip. Built to last and well-priced.
Ratings: 4.8*
Titan Fitness 12 Inch Loop Resistance Bands
Titan Fitness
Best for... : Short bands used for Pilates, rehab and prehab
Why we love it : Wide range of weights at a very reasonable price. Perfect for Yoga, Pilates and rehab work.
Ratings: 4.6*


3 Best Resistance Tubes & Bands Based On My Research & Personal Use

Because resistance bands are all so similar, the main differences in resistance bands are down to package value. Here’s my advice on what to buy, why and what for…

Our # 1 Rated – Best all rounder – Rogue Monster Bands – Versatile, strong and good value

Rogue Monster Resistance Bands

Like all things Rogue you can rely on the build quality. With the Rogue Monster Bands you’re buying an excellent item that is equally at home as part of a warm up exercise or helping to provide resistance to a squat. These are the 41” standard band.

They are tough to begin with and take a little breaking in, but that’s no big issue at all – I’d take it as a sign of quality. I prefer the Monster range to the (slightly cheaper) Rogue Echo Resistance bands because they are available as packages and sets rather than individuals, making them better value overall.

Decide on what you need, then make the necessary purchases – you may find getting the package better value, but it depends on your needs. What you can be sure of is you’re getting great resistance bands – check out the reviews…

Rogue Monster Bands Reviews

Verdict

The Rogue Monster Bands are great bands, robust, good value and very well reviewed by the fitness community; They’re a perfect all-rounder and my go-to choice for an all-round resistance band.


Our #2 Rated – Best Tube Bands – Rogue Tube Bands – Reasonable price, fantastic build quality and lots of variety

ROGUE TUBE BANDS

The best tube bands on the market are these from Rogue. Not only are they fairly-priced, they’re also very well made. The handles are excellent and the general build quality is far superior to the cheaper end of the market, where foam handles quickly become damaged and the thin plastic handles can crack.

They’re available in a wide range of resistances, from 10LB to 60LB. This means there’s plenty of scope for different exercises and progressions within each exercise, if it’s needed.

The grips are strong and sturdy, with the extra-grippy grooves in the plastic handles. The handles won’t rub away like the foam-coloured ones do, so you’ll protect the integrity throughout the lifespan of the product. They’ve earned a fantastic reputation too…

Rogue Tube Bands Reviews

Verdict

These Rogue Tube Bands are the best tube resistance band on the market. Good value, well-made and will last for years. Light enough to take away on vacation, enough resistance to provide a solid workout.


Our #3 Rated – Best Short Resistance Bands – Titan Fitness 12 Inch Loop Resistance Bands – Excellent price and range

Titan Fitness 12 Inch Loop Resistance Bands

The Titan 12 inch resistance bands are great quality, but the most appealing part is the price. They’re as good as the Rogue shorty offerings, but at $44.99 they’re a cheaper package and that’s not to be ignored.

The shorter bands have a very specific use case – they’re used to make rehab, prehab and Pilates exercises more difficult. These bands will do that job perfectly and at a really reasonable price. As a package they offer a good range of resistances, so you can make appropriate progressions with your exercises.

The resistances available means they’re great for family use because there’s something for all different strength levels.

Verdict

Small but perfectly formed, the Titan 12 inch loop resistance bands are a great value offering for those needing a set. They combine quality, variety and price so there’s nothing to dislike.


Resistance bands – Why do you need them?

In a world where dumbbells, plates, barbells, kettlebells and everything else exists, why do we need elastic bands to provide resistance for us?

The reasons are multiple…

  • They provide a specific type of resistance – one that expands along the force curve. The further you lift/stretch the band, the more the resistance increases
  • Resistance bands can be used to make traditional exercises more challenging
  • They’re a great way to make exercises achievable for people lacking enough specific strength – for example with pull ups or muscle ups
  • A resistance band can provide a challenge to movement patterns that is difficult to replicate
  • They’re perfect for warm ups and rehab exercises because they can target muscles in new ways – for example with lateral band walks
  • Resistance bands come in different strengths so have a wide range of use cases

I use resistance bands every single day – it’s why I own so many of them in my gym…

Resistance bands


What are the different types of resistance bands?

There are essentially two types of resistance bands – tube bands and loop bands. They have different use cases depending on the resistance and type, so it’s important to understand the differences between the two.

Tube bands are a single round length with handles on at either end. 

Loop bands are flat and wider, running in a continuous loop.

resistance band and tube

The loop bands will come in different lengths – some are known as ‘shorties’ and are around 12” long. Make sure you know what length you’re buying before you complete your purchase – what may seem like a great price could just be a shorty version of a loop band, so be careful!

Here’s how they compare size-wise in real life…


What’s the difference between the types of resistance bands?

This is a bit of a generalization, but tube bands are generally used to replace other types of resistance in standard exercises. For example, curls, lat raises, squats etc are often done with tube bands.

Loop bands have a wider use case. They’re often used for specific rehab exercises such as lateral band walks. They’ll also be used to change the force curve of exercises such as squats. They can be employed by coaches and personal trainers to assist exercises too – beginners are often taught pull ups, muscle ups and the like with loop resistance bands.

For the price of them, it’s useful to have both. I personally use the tube bands for warm ups rather than work sets – I’ve got other resistance options for the work sets. The loop bands are used for all kinds of exercises and coaching points, which is why I have dozens of loop bands and only a handful of tube bands.

Tube bands are an excellent travelling option though and they have a lot of versatility of use. You can take tube bands away on vacation and maintain a level of training.

Both types of resistance bands are available in a variety of resistance levels, with the colors varying depending on the manufacturer. Always check the different resistance colors because unlike weightlifting plates, they’re not standardized.


Best resistance bands for building muscle

The best resistance bands for building muscle are the ones that allow a higher level of resistance – muscle is only built when you push your physical boundaries. This means the best resistance bands for building muscle are the heavier, stronger bands.

There’s no real appreciable difference between tube bands or loop bands when it comes to muscle building, you just have to pick the right ones for the job at hand. For example, a tube band with handles is more effective for curls than a loop band, but a loop band is more helpful with lateral band walks or assisting pull-ups.


What to look for in resistance bands

When something is so feature-light, what do you look for as a point of difference? What makes a good resistance band purchase and what makes a bad one? Here’s a simple guide…

Materials

The first point is the quality of the material. Always go for latex rubber where possible because it’s both the most resistant and best quality of all materials used for resistance bands. I’ve got latex resistance bands I’ve had for years and they’re still going strong now, even with a lot of use.

Length

Resistance bands come in all kinds of lengths, ranging from the 12” loops to the 59” tube beasts. Most flat loop bands are 41”, most tube bands are around 48” – some are longer, so buy for the requirements. Taller lifters will need a longer band.

Resistance bands

They’ve all got different uses, so make sure you’ve done your research before you buy. You don’t want to pick something up that’s too long or short just because you weren’t paying attention!

Strength variety

Like dumbbells or plates, in order to maximize their versatility, you need to have a selection of resistance bands. Different exercises will require different band strengths, so mix things up. Buying bands in a set will give you lots of different options, so you’ll always have the right band for the job.

Good quality handles

The weak point on a tube resistance band is the handle section. You always want to make sure the bands are solid, but the handles have to be good quality plastic, they should be wrapped with good foam. If there are any metal inserts they should be stainless steel or another rust-resistant metal.


Resistance bands problems

Although I’m a fan of resistance bands, they’re not without their limitations. Here’s a few thoughts on those points…

Resistance bands are a largely fixed weight 

Although they come in a variety of resistances, they’re largely fixed. Unlike barbells when you can precisely change the resistance, bands are fixed at an upper limit. Although the resistance increases as you increase the amount of pulling you do, it’s not a precise measure. 

Lack of precise figures

When lifting with resistance bands, you won’t be able to track strength improvements accurately because you’re not dealing with absolute figures. Bear this in mind if you want to make progress, because you can’t accurately convert band resistance into a weight.

No negative phase

When lifting with bands, most of the work is done in the positive phase of the lift – there’s no real negative phase because the load is getting progressively lighter, unlike a barbell which stays the same resistance the whole way through the lift. This can be fundamentally important depending on your training program/goals.


Resistance bands – getting them right

The truth is there’s very little difference between resistance bands, outside of the obvious tube, loop and shorty varieties. Once you’ve picked the type you need, the brand comes down to a few personal choices.

Most of them are built from the same materials, it’s just some are stiffer than others, some have a greater resistance range and some are better value. In some cases people will be brand loyal – I don’t have a loyalty to one brand, instead, my focus is on quality and value, and in my opinion, the best value here are these…

#1 Rated – Rogue Monster Bands (Best Resistance Band)

#2 Rated – Rogue Tube Bands (Best Tube Band)

#3 Rated – Titan Fitness 12 Inch Loop Resistance Bands (Best Short Resistance Bands)

 
  
 
Best for...
Why we love it
Ratings
Rogue Monster Bands
Rogue Monster Bands
Best for... : General strength training and coaching
Why we love it : Very strong bands, thick latex rubber that will withstand a lot of work.Stiff to begin with, easy to break in. Packages available.
Ratings: 4.9*
Rogue Tube Bands
Rogue Tube Bands
Best for... : Tube band training - general use for gym and travelling
Why we love it : Fantastic quality, long length (48”), sturdy, good quality handles with a textured rubber grip. Built to last and well-priced.
Ratings: 4.8*
Titan Fitness 12 Inch Loop Resistance Bands
Titan Fitness
Best for... : Short bands used for Pilates, rehab and prehab
Why we love it : Wide range of weights at a very reasonable price. Perfect for Yoga, Pilates and rehab work.
Ratings: 4.6*

Steve Hoyles

Steve is a Personal Trainer, Weightlifting Coach, and Gym Owner. He has written about fitness for over a decade. He lives with his girlfriend Rachel and their two sons.

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