Equipment

Types of Resistance Bands

Types of Resistance Bands

Resistance bands, available in various types and resistance levels, can help improve your strength, mobility, and flexibility, making them a staple for any fitness enthusiast.

To help you decide which type of band you should use, I’ll discuss the benefits and potential drawbacks of each type of resistance band and explain how to incorporate them into your exercise routines.

Key Takeaways


  • Resistance bands are made of elastic material that increases in resistance when stretched. They can be used for strength training, warming up, or even rehabilitation.

  • There are 3 main types of resistance bands: looped bands, floss bands, and hip bands. 

  • Gymreapers loop resistance bands, floss bands, and hip bands are my favorites because they come in a variety of resistance levels and they have a 1-year replacement guarantee.

  • Resistance Bands: 3 Types

    As you dive into resistance band training, you’ll come across three main types of bands: looped bands, floss bands, and hip bands.

    1. Looped Resistance Bands

    resistance bands

    Looped Resistance Bands are a versatile and essential piece of equipment for any fitness enthusiast. 

    They're made of a strong, durable material that's designed to provide different levels of resistance for your workouts. They are widely used in strength training, and rehabilitation exercises, and can even serve as a portable gym when you're on the go.

    Benefits Of Looped Resistance Bands

    Looped resistance bands offer many benefits: 


  • Enhance strength and flexibility. Resistance bands allow for a wide range of motion, enabling you to improve both your strength and flexibility.

  • Portable and convenient. Lightweight and compact, you can carry them wherever you go, encouraging consistency with your exercise routine.

  • Suitable for all fitness levels. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced athlete, resistance bands cater to all fitness levels with varying levels of resistance.

  • Drawbacks Of Looped Resistance Bands

    While I recommend a set of looped resistance bands to any athlete focused on strength training, they won’t do everything for you, and as with any product, come with a few drawbacks to consider.


  • Lack of stability. Unlike weight machines, resistance bands require you to stabilize your body during workouts, which might be challenging for some.

  • Wear and Tear. Over time, resistance bands can lose their elasticity or even snap due to heavy use.

  • 2. Floss Bands

    Floss Bands are primarily used for mobility and recovery purposes. These bands help improve joint mobility and circulation, reducing pain, and enhancing overall athletic performance. 

    You’re most likely to see these types of bands used by physical therapists helping clients with a variety of needs to work on rebuilding strength and mobility after an injury.

    Benefits Of Floss Bands

    The benefits of floss bands include:


  • Improves Mobility. Floss bands help increase the range of motion in your joints, which is essential for athletes in various sports.

  • Enhances Recovery. Floss bands facilitate blood flow, encouraging faster recovery and reducing muscle soreness post-workout.

  • Injury Prevention. Regular use of floss bands can help prevent injuries by keeping your muscles and joints healthy.

  • Drawbacks Of Floss Bands

    Floss bands also have a few downsides to consider:


  • Requires Proper Knowledge. Using floss bands incorrectly can lead to discomfort or injury, so understanding how to use them properly is crucial.

  • Temporary Discomfort. Initial use of floss bands may cause some discomfort due to the increased pressure on the muscles, depending on how you apply them.

  • 3. Hip Bands

    Hip Bands

    Hip Bands are a fantastic tool for activating and strengthening your glutes and hips. They can also improve your form and stability during squats and deadlifts, as well as provide meaningful activation of the smaller hip and glute muscles.

    Related Article: The Best Glute Activation Warm-up With Resistance Bands

    Benefits Of Hip Bands

    Hip bands come with many benefits:


  • Targets Glute Muscles. Hip bands are excellent for activating your glute muscles, making them perfect for any leg day routine.

  • Improves Technique. They can help keep your knees pushed out during a squat or deadlift, which can improve your form and reduce the risk of injury.

  • Easy to Use. They are simple to use and suitable for both gym workouts and home-based exercises.

  • Drawbacks Of Floss Bands

    Hip bands come with their own drawbacks as well: 


  • Limited Exercises. While great for lower-body workouts, hip bands aren't as versatile as regular resistance bands.

  • Size Constraints. Depending on their size and strength, hip bands may not fit or provide the desired resistance for all users.

  • How To Determine What Type Of Band You Need

    how to determine what type of band you need

    As you think about which type of band you’ll need, consider the intended use and level of resistance.

    Intended Use

    The primary step in choosing the right resistance band is determining your goals and how you plan to use the band. The intended use significantly influences which type of band would be most suitable for you.

    Dedicated Strength Training and Powerlifting

    For dedicated strength training and powerlifting, looped resistance bands would be the best fit because they offer various resistance levels and can be used for a variety of exercises.

    Resistance bands offer the same benefits as free weights but also provide constant tension throughout the exercise movement, challenging your muscles in ways that weights typically cannot.

    Loop bands can be used on their own to provide resistance or added to a loaded barbell to dynamically change the resistance as the bar moves (less tension as the bar is close to the band’s anchor point, and more tension as it moves away from it).

    Warm Ups and Hip/Glute Activation

    When it comes to warm-ups or activating your hip/glute muscles, hip bands are your best bet because they are designed to prepare your lower body for a more intense workout. 

    They are also ideal for improving your form and preventing injury during squats, deadlifts, and other lower-body exercises by cueing your glutes to keep your knees in proper alignment.

    Mobility and Rehabilitation 

    If your goal is to enhance mobility or for rehabilitation purposes, floss bands are the best choice because they improve joint mobility, reduce pain, and aid in recovery. Floss bands are often used in physical therapy or during warm-up routines to improve flexibility and range of motion.

    Level Of Resistance Required

    The level of resistance required is another key factor to consider while choosing a band. This depends on your current fitness level and your goals.


    • Little To No Resistance: If you’re looking for a band to work on mobility and joint health, then resistance isn’t necessarily a priority. In which case, floss bands would be your best option.

    • Lighter Resistance: For beginners, it's best to start with bands that offer less resistance, and as you grow stronger, you can gradually shift to bands with higher resistance levels. 

    Hip bands and lower-resistance loop bands (i.e. Desert Tan) are typically a good starting point for beginners or those using bands strictly for warm-up or activation.


    • Heavier Resistance: Experienced athletes or those focused on strength training or powerlifting, would likely require bands with higher resistance. 

    In this case, looped resistance bands that offer heavier levels of resistance (i.e. Coyote Brown) would be more suitable.

    It's important to note that regardless of your fitness level or goals, the bands should provide a challenging, but manageable level of tension throughout your exercises. This will ensure that you get the most benefit from your workouts while minimizing the risk of injury.

    Best Type Of Band For Warming Up

    Hip Bands

    black hip bands

    SHOP HIP BANDS

    Gymreapers Hip Bands are a top pick when it comes to warming up, especially for the lower body.

    The hip bands come in 3 different levels of resistance:

    • Light (15 lbs)
    • Medium (20 lbs)
    • Heavy (25 lbs)

    I use the light band to warm up my upper body with movements like mini band external rotations and use the medium and heavy bands for movements like monster walks and side-lying hip abductions.

    By activating these crucial muscles, hip bands help ensure proper form and alignment during more strenuous exercises, thereby reducing the likelihood of injury.

    Floss Bands

    Floss Bands

    SHOP FLOSS BANDS

    Another great choice for warm-ups are the Gymreapers Floss Bands for those who struggle with aches and pains in their joints or movement restrictions before warming up. 

    The Gymreapers floss bands come in a pack of two with one thinner band with less resistance and one thicker band with more resistance for increased pressure on challenging areas.

    Best Type Of Band For Working Out

    looped resistance band set

    SHOP LOOPED RESISTANCE BANDS

    The Gymreapers Looped Resistance Bands are my favorite resistance bands for working out and for doing pre-hab exercises. 

    Their bands provide varying levels of resistance and can facilitate a wide range of exercises that target different muscle groups. 

      These bands are ideal for compound movements like the banded deadlift or squat; however, they’re likely too heavy for upper body or isolation movements.

      If you plan to use bands for a wider variety of movements, I highly recommend the Gymreapers Military Band Set, which comes with 5 different resistance bands ranging from 20-150 lbs to accommodate tons of exercises and all strength levels.

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