The Best Resistance Bands for Bodybuilding

The Best Resistance Bands for Bodybuilding

Resistance band training provides an ideal entry point into the resistance exercise arena. Training with a band will not only allow you to get a challenging workout in, but it will allow you to do so cost-effectively and on the go. With just your band and your body, you’ll never be too far from the gym. 

But bands are for bodybuilders too. They provide a unique form of resistance, with the exercise getting heavier towards the end of the movement. In this article, I reveal the top 10 resistance bands for bodybuilders on the market right now.

Quick Overview of The Top 3 Resistance Bands for Bodybuilders:

Rogue Monster Band 

The best resistance band that we found was the Rogue Monster band, which provides the range of resistance to be used as a stand-alone exerciser and to be added to squats and bench presses. 

Vulcan Strength Band System

Made in the USA, these bands are extremely rugged and hard-wearing. The Vulcan range also impressed us, offering top-quality bands that range up to 200 pounds in equivalent weight.

Black Mountain Band Set

Our third favorite is the Black Mountain range of bands, which provide 5 stackable tubes, two handles, a door anchor, ankle strap, exercise chart, and carry case. Black Mountain also provides a lifetime guarantee.

The 10 Best Resistance Bands for Bodybuilders Rated:

To make it easy for you to compare the best resistance bands on the market, we have rated the top 10 on a scale of 1-5 based on price and durability. We have also provided an overall score for each product. In the following section, we go in-depth on each band.

BandPriceDurabilityOverall
Rogue Monster Bands4.25/55/54.75/5
Vulcan Strength Bands4.25/54.75/54.5/5
Black Mountain Resistance Bands4.75/54.25/54.5/5
Fringe Sport Strength Bands4.25/54.5/54.25/5
Theraband Resistance Bands4.5/54.5/54.5/5
DynaBand Resistance Bands4.0/54.0/54.0/5
Everlast Shadow Boxer4.0/54.0/54.0/5
Cayman Fitness Band Set4.0/54.0/54.0/5
Spri Ultra Toner Resistance Band4.0/54.25/54.0/5
Kinzi Resistance Band Set4.25/54.0/54.0/5

The 10 Best Resistance Bands for Bodybuilders Reviews:

1. Rogue Resistance Bands

Rogue Resistance Bands

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty latex construction
  • Made in the USA
  • Seven Excellent customer service

Cons:

  • Only get one resistance level with each purchase

Rogue Monster Bands are heavy-duty resistance bands that are ideal for both beginners and advanced powerlifters. Made from heavy-duty latex rubber, they come in a range of strengths that are color-coded through seven levels of resistance, from orange through to silver.

Each Rogue band is 41 inches long. The versatility of these bands means that they can be used as stand-alone devices for dozens of exercises as well as being added to your bar when squatting and bench pressing. These bands are made in the USA under Rogue’s exacting conditions. They will not crack, and you can expect years of service from them. If you do have any problems, Rogue’s customer service is first class.

2. Vulcan Strength Bands

Vulcan Strength Bands

Pros:

  • 100% heavy-duty latex rubber construction
  • Provides up to 200 pounds of resistance at the highest level
  • Will not fray or crack

Cons:

  • Sold singly

Vulcan Strength Bands are constructed from rugged 100% heavy-duty latex rubber. Each band measures 41 inches in length and has a thickness of three-eighths of an inch. The width of the band increases with the resistance level. The lightest band is ideal for rehab and stretching work, providing a resistance of about 30 pounds. This progresses over six levels to the extra heavy band which gives you between 150-200 pounds of equivalent weight.

This Vulcan tension band can be used both for individual work and as an additional resistance for conventional weight resistance exercises. They are also great for stretching prior to beginning your resistance work. They are very good quality and you will have no problems with fraying or cracking on your Vulcan purchase.

3. Black Mountain Resistance Bands

Black Mountain Resistance Bands

Pros:

  • 5 heavy-duty bands
  • Exercise chart
  • Stackable attachment

Cons:

  • Clips may irritate the wrists

Black Mountain Resistance tubes are a complete set of tubular bands, two handles, a resistance band door anchor, ankle strap, carry case, and exercise chart. You get 5 heavy-duty bands with metal clips on each end to hook onto the handles. The lateral resistance bands are color-coded, from Yellow (2-4 lbs resistance) through to Red (25-30 lbs resistance). All five tubes can be attached to the handles simultaneously, providing 75 pounds equivalent weight.

The stackable nature of the tubes allows for a greater range of progressive resistance than you get from other models. You are able to easily perform descending sets to push your workouts further. Black Mountain Products guarantee these tubes for life, though the quality of their customer service is questionable.

4. Fringe Sport Strength Bands

Fringe Sport Strength Bands

Pros:

  • Continuous layering manufacture process
  • 7 resistance levels
  • 100% latex rubber

Cons:

  • Can only buy one resistance level at a time

Fringe Sport bands promote themselves as the toughest bands you can get anywhere. They are made from 100% latex rubber, which is constructed in a continuous layering process that ensures super strength. Every band is 41 inches in length and 3/16ths of an inch in thickness. The width of bands varies according to the equivalent weight level.

Fringe provides 7 different levels of resistance in a color-coded system, from XX Light (RED) to XX Heavy (Dark Red). These bands are made in China. You are able to perform a full complement of resistance bands exercises for both the lower and upper body. The heavier bands can also be used as an adjunct to your powerlifting training by adding them to an Olympic bar.

5. Theraband Resistance Bands

Theraband Resistance Bands

Pros:

  • Established international reputation
  • Ideal for rehab
  • Safe way to improve strength while protecting joints

Cons:

  • Not as thick as older versions of the same product

Theraband physical therapy resistance bands are the ‘go to’ brand for rehabilitative exercise. They are recognized as innovators in resistance training, having provided top-quality products for more than 25 years. Therabands are widely used in rehab facilities around the world. Their 100% natural latex rubber flat bands are each 5 feet long and come as a set of three; yellow, red, and green.

The weight level on these bands is lighter than you might get from competitors, as these are primarily designed for rehabilitative purposes. They will safely improve strength, mobility, and function, while also reducing joint pain. Studies have shown that exercising with the Theraband produces benefits on par with barbell and dumbbell exercise.

6. DynaBand Resistance Bands

DynaBand Resistance Bands

Pros:

  • 6 foot long
  • Flat 100% latex rubber
  • Very sturdy and reliable

Cons:

  • No door anchor

DynaBand resistance bands come as single bands and are offered in a range of resistance levels. The bands are flat rubber made from 100% latex. The heaviest band on offer is the 6-foot purple product. It is very durable and does offer a challenging level of resistance. In order to preserve the life of the band, it is recommended that you store it in a self-sealing plastic bag when not in use.

The length of the band allows you to double it over when you need more resistance, such as when you are doing leg presses. You don’t get any accessories, such as a door anchor or exercise chart, but the price is very competitive. This is a solid, reliable form of exercise.

7. Everlast Shadow Boxer

Everlast Shadow Boxer

Pros:

  • Ideal shadow boxing aid
  • Medium resistance level for upper body exercises
  • Soft foam handles

Cons:

  • Tubes is a little long for effective hooking

The Everlast Shadow Boxer is a one-piece design that provides a tubular exercise band that is threaded through a pair of soft foam handles and a thick rubber protective sleeve. The blue tube provides a medium level of resistance when performing exercises like biceps curls, chest press, and overhead triceps extensions.

Everlast Shadow Boxing resistance bands really come into their own when used as a shadow boxing aid. It allows you to practice your boxing rounds with added resistance, similar to holding dumbbells in your hands. However, using the tubes more directly recruits the deltoids and latissimus dorsi, to give you a more complete training experience. This allows you to develop the power of your jabs, hooks, and straight punches.

8. Cayman Fitness Premium Resistance Band Set

 Cayman Fitness Premium Resistance Band Set

Pros:

  • 47 inches long
  • 2 x exercise guides
  • Access to a video library

Cons:

  • Band clips are not as sturdy as the rest of the unit

The Cayman Fitness system provides you with everything you need to get in a great workout. You get five color-coded resistance tubes with clips attached to connect to the two handles that are provided. In addition, there is a door anchor, a pair of neoprene-lined ankle straps, and a convenient carry case. You also have access to two downloadable exercise guides and a huge online video library.

Cayman tubular bands are made from high-quality latex rubber. Each band is approximately 47 inches long. This is considerably longer than most brands on the market, providing more workout versatility. The handles feature soft, comfortable cushioning and the ankle straps are also cushioned for comfort. A sturdy door anchor allows you to perform pull-down type exercises.

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9. SPRI Ultra Toner Resistance Band

SPRI Ultra Toner Resistance Band

Pros:

  • Patented figure 8 design
  • Soft, comfortable handles
  • Can be used in a seated position

Cons:

  • Only get one level of resistance

The SPRI Ultra Toner is a Figure 8 type loop resistance band that features soft rubber handles on each end and a thick rubber protective sleeve around its middle. It is available in a range of color-coded resistance levels, from ultra-light (lavender) to super heavy (purple).

The patented figure-8 design used by SPRI offers a unique way to hit your muscles that intensifies the effect of your training. It is especially effective for double arm exercises such as upright rows and shoulder presses. The exercise bands are not gravity-dependent, meaning that you can move through any plane of movement. You can even use it while sitting down if you have limited mobility.

10. Kinzi Resistance Band Set

Kinzi Resistance Band Set

Pros:

  • 48 inches long
  • Heavy-duty carabiners
  • Exercise chart

Cons:

  • Bands are too long for short people

Kinzi Resistance bands come as a complete set, consisting of 5 color-coded resistance tubes with clips on the ends, a door anchor, ankle strap, exercise chart, and a carry case. These bands are 48 inches long, which is about 7 inches more than most other bands on the market. This enables you to perform more exercises and get a greater resistance level.

The tubes range in equivalent weight levels from two pounds to thirty pounds. The door anchor comes with a metal jacket that will keep both the door surrounds and the band safe. The carabiners on the end of each band are high quality, providing assurance that they will perform consistently. The exercise chart is useful, providing a range of exercises to perform.

Do you think that resistance bands aren’t for real men? It’s about time you got educated. Check out this inspiring clip which will get you up to speed . . .

Building Muscle With Resistance Bands

To build muscle with resistance band training you need to employ the following:

Mechanical Tension 

Mechanical tension relates to the amount of resistance you are using. Keep in mind that your muscle doesn’t know if that tension is coming from a barbell, your body weight, or a resistance band. To get the most benefit in terms of muscle building, the amount of resistance should be between 75-80 percent of your one-rep max (IRM).

The ideal amount of time under tension per set for max muscle growth is 30-70 seconds. Breaking that down to the level of the rep, you should achieve 4 seconds under tension on every repetition (1 second concentric – 1-second tight isometric squeeze – 2 seconds eccentric).

To get the right balance of resistance and time under tension, you should be doing 10 reps per set.

Metabolic Stress

Metabolic Stress is the point when our muscles begin to fatigue and we go into anaerobic metabolism. In this state, the muscles begin to accumulate lactate and other metabolites, and the muscle is infused with blood. Bodybuilders call this the ‘pump’. This triggers protein synthesis and the subsequent building of new muscle tissue.

To achieve the desired level of metabolic stress, you need to include higher rep sets. Going up to 20 reps will achieve the pump effect needed. You can also achieve the peak contractions needed for maximum blood flow with isometrics.

Muscle Damage

An effective muscle-building workout will cause microtears in the muscle tissue. This will lead to soreness the next day and be the catalyst for protein synthesis. But we don’t want to cause too much muscle damage or all of the protein synthesis will go towards rebuilding old muscle rather than creating new muscle. 

A great way to enhance muscle damage is with the use of eccentric reps. This allows you to handle a resistance that is as much as 20 percent heavier than you could on a concentric rep. You can also decrease the speed of the eccentric part of the rep from 2 to 4 seconds. 

Getting Ripped with Resistance Bands

Resistance band training is very good when it comes to increasing strength and building muscle. But it is as a tool for losing body fat that the bands come into their own. Because of their accessibility and portability, they are especially beneficial for targeting traditional problem areas of fat storage. Teaming bands with high-intensity interval training and plyometrics create the perfect triangle for fast fat loss. 

Before we get into the fat loss workout, here are five important hacks that will allow you to maximize your results.

Hack #1: Safety First

Training with resistance bands is an extremely safe exercise option. However, there are a few precautions you should follow when using resistance bands. 

Before you use a band, give it a quick visual inspection to make sure that it is defect-free. If you notice any nicks in the band, do not use it. Quality bands are very strong but they will be susceptible to sharp edges, so make sure not to anchor them off anything that may cut into the band. You should also avoid wrapping the band around the knurled part of a barbell. 

For comfort, you should exercise with training shoes on your feet (sometimes you will be required to anchor the bands under your feet).

Always make sure that your band is securely anchored before use. If you are anchoring it in a doorway, be sure to lock the door. 

You should invest in latex-free bands. This will keep the vast majority of latex allergens at bay. However, a small minority of people may have an allergic reaction to latex. Be sure to wash your hands before and after using the bands.

Hack #2: HIIT It

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a very effective way to burn off those excess calories. Combining it with resistance bands provides you with the perfect one-two punch. You can do this by performing band exercises in rapid repetitive movements for 30 seconds, followed by a ten-second recovery. For example, you could do resistance band squat presses (we’ll explain that one in the next article) for thirty seconds, then rest for ten seconds. Repeat this until you have done 8-10 rounds. If you are sticking to your 10 second rest periods, this will only take you 5-7 minutes to complete – but it will turn your body into a fat-burning furnace. 

Hack #3: Develop a Circuit

Circuit training is one of the most effective forms of fat-burning exercise. When you throw in resistance bands, it becomes even more effective. A circuit involves doing a series of up to a dozen exercises one after the other with no rest between them. You just do one set of each movement. At the end of completing the series of exercises, you rest for up to two minutes. You complete a set number of rounds of the circuit. As you get fitter, you increase the number of rounds that you perform.

Circuit training is a great way to get a full-body workout in a short period while also burning a ton of calories. A circuit that has a resistance band move followed by a plyometric bodyweight move as you work through it is a super-effective way to go. 

Hack #4: Exercise Early

If you want to burn more calories, you need to get up earlier in the morning. Performing your resistance band weight loss workout before breakfast is a great way to fire up your metabolism for the rest of the day. Here are 5 reasons why getting it done early just makes sense:

  • Early morning workouts are more consistent. You haven’t got the pressures of the day to sidetrack your workout ambitions. Getting it done while the kids are sleeping is smart work.
  • Research has shown that people who exercise early in the morning tend to eat fewer overall calories over the course of the day. In other words, early workouts act as a natural hunger buster.
  • An early morning workout will allow you to burn MORE calories throughout the rest of the day. You will rev up your metabolism more than if you were exercising later in the day.
  • After an early morning workout, you will feel energized, positive, and ready to take on your day. 
  • Exercise has been clearly shown to improve brainpower. It will allow you to be on top of your game for the next 8-10 hours. So, when you exercise early in the morning, your whole day will be more cognitively acute.

Hack #5: Pair Bands 

A great way to up the intensity of your band workout is to pair the band you are using with a slightly less strong band. This allows you to take your training intensity up a notch with a technique known as drop sets. Here’s how it works.

Rather than using one band when you are doing an exercise, such as band squats, use two bands. Together the bands should allow you to perform about 12 repetitions. This is the point where you can no longer do a rep with good form with the two bands. Now simply let go of one of the bands and continue with another six-eight rep. The weight will now be a little over half of what it was. Once you’ve done eight reps, drop that second band and do the final six-eight reps without any resistance at all. This will give you a great workout.

Conclusion

Our favorite band was the Rogue Monster, which is made from heavy-duty latex rubber and provides 7 levels of equivalent weight. This makes them suitable for beginners and hardcore powerlifters. We were also very impressed with the Vulcan range of bands, with up to 200 pounds of resistance and very sturdy, stretchable bands.

Our silver medal winner is the Vulcan Sports band set, providing a rugged and durable system of resistance bands for all your body-building training needs. The max weight on these bands is 200 pounds. 

Rounding out the top 3 resistance bands for bodybuilders are the Black Mountain bands which provide a complete set of 5 bands, which can be stacked together or used individually. They come with a lifetime guarantee.

This article was last updated on November 19, 2021 .

By Steve Theunissen

Steve is a former gym owner, personal trainer, and 20-year veteran of the fitness writing industry. Steve has written for websites such as Hardcore Muscle, Fitness, Carblite, and Men's Health and has been a fitness expert columnist for 2 international magazines.