What Are the Different Types of Resistance Bands?

Find out what the different types of resistance bands are, what they are used for and how they can help improve your fitness, strength, mobility, range of motion and more.

By Megan O'Connell
Edited by Tom Amitay

Published December 26, 2020.

Resistance rubber bands come in many different shapes, sizes, lengths, strengths and colors. Here are a few of the different types of resistance bands available and what they are typically used for:

Resistance Bands with Handles

Resistance bands with handles are often used for building muscle strength and mass. The handles provide a sturdy grip, that imitates the handles found on free weights and a variety of training machines. These bands are often used for movements such as bicep curls, deadlifts and shoulder raise.

Therapy Flat Resistance Bands

Therapy Flat Resistance bands are wide, flat and often very thin and stretchy. They are typically used by physical therapists, physiotherapists and biokineticists. Great for therapy, recovery and rehabilitation, these bands are easy to wrap around objects, allowing their length to be changed easily. The bands tend to provide less resistance than other resistance bands, to prevent injury or aggravation.

Loop Bands

Loop bands are similar to therapy bands, however, they tend to be much smaller and form a closed loop. Loop bands are typically used to train and strengthen the legs and glutes. The bands are looped around the ankles or thighs to perform a number of different exercises and stretches.

Power and Mobility Bands

Power and Mobility bands tend to be heavy-duty loop bands, made of thick rubber and form a very large loop. They are popular for cross-training, functional fitness and powerlifting.

Power and Mobility bands are often used to assist people with pull-up progressions, for increasing the resistance on compound powerlifting movements, for performing movements such as banded “good mornings”, for mobility exercises and for stretching.

Figure-8 Bands

Figure-8 Bands are shaped in a figure-8 formation and are typically shorter in length. These bands are great for improving leg strength, as well as for warming up the hips, knees and ankles prior to working out. The holes of the figure-8 can be stepped into, allowing you to move your legs in any direction with resistance.

Resistance bands are great for recovery, rehabilitation and physical therapy. They are incredibly versatile and can be used by people of all ages, abilities and experience levels.