Wondering what the best resistance bands for women are so you can pick one from the huge selection? Well, you're in luck - we've done the hard work for you.
While some people now have a living room filled with kettlebells, medicine balls and five types of dumbbells courtesy of the Coronavirus lockdown, those who value space have been getting their ‘glow-up’ using resistance bands instead. They can be easily tucked away when you’re not using them, they don’t cost a lot, and they’re great for burning fat and gaining muscle mass.
Having tried and tested a range of resistance bands, we think the fabric Proworks Glute Band is the best you can get for a decent price – especially if it’s your booty you’re looking to build.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more though, Shreddy’s short resistance bands have all the benefits of the Proworks ones but they’re vegan, come in cuter designs and you’ll receive digital exercise guides when you place your order.
How to choose the best resistance band for you
Resistance bands have certainly gained popularity in recent years, thanks to an increase in band-based workout classes, used by a number of popular fitness influencers like Lilly Sabri, Alice Liveing and Grace Beverley (founder of Shreddy), and a general awakening to their benefits. As a result, there are plenty on the market, which can make choosing one a bit overwhelming. Fear not – there are a few things you can keep in mind to help you pick the right one.
Most resistance bands come in light, medium, heavy or very heavy tension levels (for the super brave out there). If you’re at the beginning of your fitness journey, we’d recommend starting light and working your way up as you go. Those with more experience should try medium or heavy. Many resistance bands on the market come in a set, however, so you can always buy one of those and give every level a go.
The type of band you buy depends heavily on what you’re going to be using it for: rehabilitation, improving pull-ups, increasing mobility or building muscle. It can also depend on the area of the body you’re aiming to exercise. Longer bands and bands with handles are better for working out your upper body, for example, while looped fabric resistance bands are good for glute work as they don’t roll up on your thighs.
An advantage that weights have over resistance bands is longevity. No matter how attached you get to your stretchy work-out buddy, after heavy use resistance bands start to lose their tension and you’ll have to experience a break-up more devastating than that of Anna Faris and Chris Pratt (no, we’re still not over it). You want to spend enough money that you get a quality product but not so much that you resent having to purchase a new one once yours is spent.
The best resistance bands for women to buy right now
Robust, non-slip fabric resistance band
The Proworks Glute Band is our pick for the best resistance band you can buy for an affordable price. Although it doesn’t come as a set, it’s inexpensive and does the job well. If you’re trying to decide which strength level to purchase, we tried the product in medium and it was tougher than expected. If you really are looking for a medium level, we’d suggest ordering it in light instead.
Our favourite thing about the Proworks Glute Band is that it stays in place. No one wants to put a resistance band around their thighs and do a squat, only to look down and realise it has rolled up and is cutting into their skin so much it looks like they’re a trussed-up turkey ready for the oven. What’s great about this band is that its material and width make it comfortable to wear, while the loops of non-slip latex on the inside ensure it doesn’t roll up.
As the name suggests, it’s great for building glute muscles and working the lower body in general. Each band comes with a small pamphlet detailing a handful of exercises you can use it for, such as clams, wide stance squats and lying kickbacks.
Read more: Proworks Glute Band review
Comfortable and high-quality fabric resistance band
We’re not sure whether the higher price tag given to the Shreddy bands is because they’re associated with social media-spawned mogul and company founder Grace Beverley (you may know her as Grace Fit UK), or because they’re just top quality. Having tried some of them out, we’d wager it’s the latter. The material alone is high calibre, vegan, feels good against the skin and doesn’t pinch or dig in. On top of that, the bands are aesthetically pleasing, coming in colours such as pink and a jazzy neon green, and patterns that include tropical leaves and – very aptly – peach emojis.
The one downside is that extended moves such as hamstring curls and tricep kickbacks aren’t possible since fabric bands aren’t stretchy enough (the same issue arises with the ProWorks band). But there are plenty of other exercises you can carry out with a Shreddy band, particularly when it comes to lower body. What’s more, when you place an order, you automatically receive a free 45-page PDF containing suggested exercises, circuits and diagrams you can do with (and even without) your new purchase.
An affordable set of four resistance bands
The phrase “cheap and cheerful” comes to mind with this bargain of a resistance band set. It’s so inexpensive you could barely complain if it wasn’t good – though thankfully it is. You get four tension levels (light, medium, heavy and extra heavy) in a handy drawstring carry bag, and the pink and purple colours are pretty pleasing on the eye.
The material feels thick enough that you’re not worried it will snap with every kickback or arm row as with some rubber resistance bands, so you end up performing every move with confidence rather than flinching each time you feel it moving slightly on your skin (just us?).
The bands do tend to roll down and occasionally dig in when doing exercises such as squats, but for the majority of moves they’re ideal.
Super adaptable resistance band set for full-body workouts
You’ll feel like a real work-out pro with this extensive set from FitBeast – even if, like us, you start out a bit confused by all the different bits and pieces it comes with. The set consists of five resistance tubes – colour-coded according to the equivalent weight (10lbs, 20lbs, 30lbs, 40lbs and 50lbs) – as well as foam handles, ankle straps, a door anchor, and a bag to keep everything in.
It’s a bit different from your average resistance band set, but once you get used to it you realise it’s simple to use and is super adaptable. You can pretty much work out any part of your body from your own home using these bands and their accessories. If you’re unsure where to start, the set comes with a large set of exercise diagrams for you to copy or we've got some great resistance bands exercises to put you through your paces.
A versatile set of five no-pinch resistance bands
For some people, the main deterrent for incorporating resistance bands into their workout is the pain they can cause if they dig into you or pinch your skin. OMERIL has taken this on board and produced these resistance bands geared towards those with sensitive skin. We tested them out and, while we don’t think they’re 100% effective, they are much less circulation-stopping than other rubber resistance bands. They can still roll up, but they don’t tend to dig in or nip at skin.
The set comes with five different bands (light, medium, heavy, extra heavy and extra extra heavy) in pleasing shades of purple. Having such a range means you can use them for an abundance of exercises or ramp up the resistance for specific exercises over time as you get stronger.
One thing to be wary of: the scent of latex is strong with these ones and they will likely leave you smelling like you’ve been hanging out at some sort of 50 Shades-esque party, if you know what we mean.