5 Best Resistance Bands for Calisthenics 2021 (Get Huge Fast)

Buying the best resistance bands for calisthenics isn’t a simple process as just clicking and buying the first set you see. 

There are some important things it’s best for you to understand before you order your first set if you do not want to have unexpected problems down the road. 

But that’s not all.

If you stick and read this article till the very end you are going to learn:

  • Which resistance bands are the best for you…
  • What are the 3 types of bands and which ones do you need…
  • How many bands do you need and what are the differences…
  • What is the best way to use them and how they can help you…
  • Which resistance bands I use and why…
  • And much more…

Hi there, my name is Bozhidar and luckily for you, I own all the 3 different types of resistance bands so you don’t have to.

I highly recommend you read the entire thing to the end because I’m going to use my experience and science to answer all those questions above and help you decide which resistance bands are the best ones for you.

my 3 different types of resistance bands
The 3 types of bands I currently own

So without any further ado let’s get into the interesting part…

Do you have limited time?

If you don’t have the time to read this entire article I highly recommend you take a quick look at my personal favorite resistance bands for calisthenics I use almost every dayBodylastics Resistance Bands Set.

Click Here to check my resistance bands for calisthenics

In my opinion from all the different types of bands I own, these are the best resistance bands for calisthenics I have used.

They are an excellent and fast way to build a ton of muscle, strength, and size [1] or learn many basic or advanced moves you currently don’t have the strength to do.

Those reasons make them great for both beginners who need support to master basic exercises and more advanced users that are looking for an efficient way to increase the resistance.

Their price, quality, and durability are really great and handle well both at home or outdoors.

If you are going to buy resistance bands these are an excellent option.

Click here to check their latest price

Before we jump right into my favorite products and questions I want to give you all the information you need so you can pick the right set for your needs and wants. 

Here’s a quick preview of all the 5 different products and their main differences.

My Top 5 Best Resistance Bands for Calisthenics:

PreviewProductType
1 HTML tutorial Bodylastics Resistance Bands SetBest Resistance Bands For Calisthenics
2WODFitters Flat Loop Bands SetBest Resistance Bands For Home or Outdoor Training
3Sports Research Mini Loop BandsBest Bands for Warming Up/Recovery
4Tribe Resistance Bands SetBest Bands for Beginners (Best Value)
5Chareada Resistance Bands SetBest Value

(click on the image or name of the bands to learn more)

With that being said let’s answer a very important question you probably have…

Are there different types of resistance bands and which ones should I get?

As strange as it may sound for some of you there are 3 different types of resistance bands for calisthenics on the market. 

my 3 different types of resistance bands
All 3 different types of resistance bands

Even if they are different from one another all 3 of them can be very useful in calisthenics in a certain way.

That’s why it’s really important to learn more about them so you can understand what makes them unique and which ones you need.

Here are the 3 different types of resistance bands:

  1. Flat Loop Resistance Bands
  2. Tube Resistance Bands
  3. Flat Thin Resistance

Flat Loop Resistance Bands: In short flat loop resistance bands are great for giving you extra support when you learn certain moves but are not easy to held with bare hands and may need gloves.

Tube Resistance Bands: Tube resistance bands are the oposite and come with handles, ankle attachment and are very easy to use and replicate cable machines. That makes them perfect for home usage but are not very effective if you want to do huge movents and need to attach them somewhere else on your body.

Flat Thin Resistance: The flat thin resistance bands are great for stretching, warming up and recovery because of the way they are build. Sadly they don’t offer much resistance and beside isolation exercises for smaller muscle groups are not very effective in the majority of the muscle building exercises.

If you want to learn more information about the 3 types please scroll below.

On the other hand if this info is enough and you want to get right into the product reviews keep reading.

The fun part just begins.

Top 5 Best Resistance Bands For Calisthenics

In order to make things easy for you I’m going to review the following 5 resistance bands in these 4 categories:

  • Number of Exercises
  • Type of training
  • What makes it unique and better?
  • Who are these resistance bands best for?

Let’s begin.

1. Bodylastics Resistance Bands Set – Best Resistance Bands For Calisthenics

My Bodylastics resistance bands

Click Here to check Bodylastics’ latest price on Amazon

Number of Exercises: With the Bodylastics bands you can do a huge number of exercises because you get 7 different bands and a ton of attachments. You can easily target every single muscle of your body from different angles. The tube type of resistance bands are very easy to attach to almost anything so you won’t have any problem doing plenty of exercises and movements.

Type of training: From my experience and testing I have to say that these resistance bands are best for home training even if they work well with outdoor training. I find them really good for muscle building, explosive training and isolation exercises. Sadly because of the handles they are not quite effective if you want to use them for support in different exercises but work really well with calisthenics as well.

What makes it unique and better?: From my many workouts I can say that these bands are perfect for bodyweight training because they are very lightweight, very comfortable to use (because of the handles) and come with a cool little carry bag. In addition the rubber is very thick and well made compared to the competition. And the price is also nice, plus they have thousands of positive reviews as well.

Who are these resistance bands best for? After using them for a while I can say that they are perfect for anyone who wants to be able to do calisthenics or muscle building at home without any issues. Because of the huge amount of extra attachments they are very easy to attach to your door, table or wardrobe so you can do a quick and effective workout.

Quick Summary:

If you are looking for a set of bands that contains every important essential you really need then you are going to love Bodylastics.

At a very good price, they offer everything you really need no matter if you are just starting out or an experienced athlete.

Our bands are awesome for a home workout and you can still improve your strength and become better in calisthenics.

Everything is simple, works great and it’s not expensive.

Give them a closer look if you want.

What I Like:

  • Great value in return.
  • The whole set includes many handy additions – handles, ankle straps, a door anchor and a carry bag.
  • Easy to stack and increase the resistance.
  • They can be used both at home or outside.
  • The set comes with additional workout routines and exercises.
  • Great replacement for traditional weights.

What I Don’t Like:

  • Not a great option if you are looking to attach it to wide or complicated anchor points.
  • Harder to attach to other parts of your body except for arms or ankles.

Click Here to see their latest price

2. WODFitters Flat Loop Bands Set – Best Resistance Bands For Home or Outdoor Training

A couple of my flat loop bands I recommend

Click Here to check WODFitters bands’ latest price on Amazon

Number of Exercises: Because these types of bands like WODFitters don’t come with attachments they are harder to attach and use at home. Especially when it comes to doors which limits the number of exercises you can do there. But when we talk about outside workouts they are perfect because you can easily attach them to any part of your body and use them for support when learning pull-ups, dips, muscle-ups, front lever, etc. And if you combine them with a nice pair of gloves (check these gloves) you won’t have any issues with isolation exercises as well.

Type of training: These bands are thick and wide making them ideal for big compound movements like squats, push-ups, pull-ups, dips, deadlift, etc. I really like to combine them with my bodyweight training because they really make my training 10X harder and are easy to attach to any tree, poll, bench, etc. From my experience I can say they are perfect for muscle-building, explosive training and even cardio. I’ve done plenty of HIIT outdoor workouts without any problems.

What makes it unique and better?: The main difference between WODFitters and the rest flat loop brands is the fact that you can buy each band separately. That can be really effective if you are just starting out and don’t need the thickest and heaviest band. Instead you can buy the one you believe is going to be best suited for your current strength and buy another one in the future. That way you save money and only get what you really need.

Who are these resistance bands best for?: In my opinion the WODFitter resistance bands are perfect for outdoor/backyard bodyweight and muscle building training. They work great for people who are just starting out and don’t have the necessary strength for doing the basic movements like pull-ups, chin-ups, dips, muscle-ups and need little help. They also are perfect for calisthenics, strength training and even cardio. So in my opinion they are great for most people who are into fitness.

Quick Summary:

If you are looking for resistance bands that you can use for anything fitness related then the WODFitters set may be exactly what you are looking for.

This set is made very well and could provide you with anything from assistance up to additional difficulty and even balance.

With a few of those, you can do literally anything you want anywhere you like.

These are my personal favorite bands I use almost every day and highly recommend you to check.

You won’t regret it!

What I like:

  • Affordable and well made.
  • They have a lot of different uses.
  • Great customer service and replacement policy.
  • They offer good resistance and can be used for assistance.
  • A good option for both beginners and more advanced people.
  • Thousands of happy customers.

What I don’t like:

  • Don’t have any handles or additional attachments.
  • They could be uncomfortable if used bare-handed.

Click Here to check WODFitters bands’ latest price on Amazon

3. Sports Research Mini Loop Resistance Bands – Best Bands for Warming Up/Recovery

Click Here to check these bands’ latest price on Amazon

Number of Exercises: With the Sports Research bands you are somewhat limited to the number of multi-joint movements because they don’t provide a ton of resistance like the previous 2 models. But instead, they are perfect for warming up your body before and great for stretching and doing isolation exercises. Even if you won’t be able to do huge strength-focused movements you can still do a ton of smaller exercises that target your whole body.

Type of training: Because of the way they are built from my experience I can say that these bands are perfect for stretching, warming up before a workout and recovery work. They are very small, light and compact making it very easy to take 1-2 with you and target or isolate small muscle groups like biceps, triceps, front, side or back shoulder, etc. They work great in combination with the other 2 types of resistance bands.

What makes it unique and better?:  The Sports Research bands are unique and better than the rest 2 bands because they are also short making them great for a nice leg workout as well. And let’s not forget that they are also extremely lightweight, affordable, and thin so you won’t have any issues using them without gloves or taking them around with you wherever you go. I always carry 1 or 2 of these with a combination of my other bands.

Who are these resistance bands best for?: In my opinion, these bands are best for everybody. Even if you are looking to build a ton of muscle and strength you still may benefit from them because they are perfect for warming up and stretching which would improve your overall results. They are also a good choice for people who are just starting out and don’t need a ton of resistance or are recovering from a recent injury. Don’t forget that you can easily combine them with the other 2 types as well.

Quick Summary:

If you are looking for very compact, lightweight, and comfortable to use bands that are at the same time very handy and useful then you should definitely check out the Sports Research Mini Loop Resistance Bands.

Even if they are shorter and thinner than the previous models they still have their usage in recovery, stretching, warming up, and rehabilitation.

Their price is very low so it won’t be a loss if you end up not liking them.

What I like:

  • Compact, lightweight and easy to carry around.
  • They are very comfortable on the hands and easy to stack.
  • You get 5 different levels of resistance for a very reasonable price.
  • They are smaller and thinner than the rest.
  • Great addition for some exercises and movements.
  • Do come with a carry bag.

What I don’t like:

  • These bands won’t provide you with big amounts of resistance needed for certain big movements.
  • Some people are having problems with the bands rolling up and some quality issues.

Click Here to check these bands’ latest price on Amazon

4. Tribe Resistance Bands Set – Best Resistance Bands for Beginners

The best resistance bands for beginners

Click Here to check Tribe bands’ latest price on Amazon

Number of Exercises: Because of the big variety of additional things that come with your order the Tribe bands are perfect for calisthenics because you can target every single muscle group easily. You can attach them to your ankles and you can hold them with your hands meaning more exercises for you. That makes them perfect for home training because of the door anchor attachment.

Type of training: Because of the way they are used they are perfect for bodybuilding, muscle development, strength training, and even cardio. I really like to use mine for isolation exercises. Because of the handles, you won’t have a problem replicating all the bar/dumbbell exercises and get the same results. Of course, you can also use them with bodyweight training as well. It’s all up to you.

What makes it unique and better?: If I have to give only 2 things I like most about the Tribe bands that make them stand out from the competition I would say the price and the included exercise guide. For a really good price, you get everything you need + you get a helpful illustrated book that shows you 50 different exercises you can do straight away. I find it very helpful because I don’t always have to go to Youtube and Google and search for exercises and workouts.

Who are these resistance bands best for?: Because of the way they are used they are a perfect alternative to buying expensive dumbbells, barbells, and cable machines. So if you are someone that really wants to build a solid home gym in order to build muscle and strength but you don’t have the space or budget these bands would be a great choice. They also work great with calisthenics so if you are really into bodyweight exercises and need more resistance you won’t regret their help.

Quick Summary:

These resistance bands for calisthenics are a great option for people who are on a limited budget and want to have only the basics or are just starting out.

Buying the Tribe bands set could provide you with everything you need.

All parts are well made and easy to use and you also get a completely free ebook packed with great exercises and workouts.

In my opinion, this is a deal you shouldn’t pass.

What I like:

  • A great option for people with a small budget who want to have all the basics.
  • They can provide you with enough resistance and are easy to use.
  • With this set, you get handles, ankle straps, a door anchor and a carry bag.
  • Nice quality and many happy customers.
  • Great way to target your whole body.
  • They can be used for many bodyweight exercises.

What I don’t like:

  • The size of the clips could be too small.

Click Here to check Tribe bands’ latest price on Amazon

5. Chareada Resistance Bands Set – Best Value

Click Here to check Chareada Bands’ latest price on Amazon

Number of Exercises: Like you can see from the image inside the Chareada Bands set you get 2 different types of resistance bands – a set of flat thin bands and a set of tube bands. Because of this you would have the ability to do the biggest number of exercises when you compare them to all the 4 previous sets I’ve reviewed. 

In the Chaerada set you get:

  • 5 thin loop bands
  • 5 tube bands
  • 2 comfortable handles
  • 2 ankle straps
  • 2 core sliders
  • a pair of wrist wraps
  • carry bag 
  • and even a towel

Type of training: Because of all the included things this set of bands is perfect for bodyweight training, muscle building, stretching, warming up, recovery, and home gym training. You can combine and use it for every type of training you can think of.

What makes it unique and better?: The huge amount of things you get for a fairly good price. Even if the quality of the items inside is relatively the same as all the other brands with the Chareada set you get a big variety of useful items that bring the total amount of value making them really stand out from the rest. And you also get a 90-day return back guarantee instead of only 30 days.

Who are these resistance bands best for?: Because of the big number of included items this set is perfect for both complete beginners and more advanced athletes who seek something well made that is going to help them achieve results. I really like this set and think it’s worth every penny so take a closer look at what’s inside and if you find anything really important for you go with it.

Quick Summary:

Buying the Chareada set is going to provide you with everything you can possibly think of and even more.

I don’t know how they do it but for the number of well-made things you get, the price you pay is still very low.

Everything from this set is made to last and easy to use. What makes this product unique is that you get 2 completely different resistance bands sets at the price of one.

If you have the budget, go for it.

You won’t find anything better than that.

What I like:

  • Great value per price.
  • This set contains everything you could ever want.
  • Everything is well made and comfortable to use.
  • Portable and compact.
  • They come with a great workout manual.
  • Very affordable.

What I don’t like:

  • You get only 2 handles and 1 door anchor.

Click Here to check Chareada Bands’ latest price on Amazon

More Information about the 3 different types of resistance bands

Let’s find out more details about every type so you can see which ones are the best option for you and your training style.

Type 1 – Tube Resistance Bands

My current tube bands set

Click Here to check my current tube resistance bands

Why do you need tube resistance bands?

The main purpose of these bands is to help you increase the amount of resistance you need for your exercises.

Because of all the features, they come with I can simply say that they are a great replacement for traditional weights and can bring you pretty similar results if you are using them correctly.

They are also very convenient for a home workout and work well with many bodyweight exercises. 

That is making them another good option for calisthenics.

These bands can be used in a lot of different ways – to build muscle, increase strength, lose weight or build better stamina. [2]

With all the handles, ankle straps and anchors you can easily target your whole body without any problems.

What I like about tube resistance bands:

  • These bands use extensions on each end. That extension is can be easily replaced with the help of a carabiner. On every end, you can attach many different things such as comfortable handles, ankle straps or door anchors.
  • Because of those attachments using these bands is a lot more comfortable than the flat loop resistance bands. These bands don’t dig into your skin and you don’t need to use them with workout gloves. 
  • With the help of the carabiners, you can easily and quickly combine multiple bands together in order to increase the total resistance you get.
  • When buying a set of these you get plenty of things inside the package. A good set of these usually come with additional carry bag, ankle straps, and door anchors. Sometimes you could even get a separate set of light bands.
  • The tube bands have a thinner and lighter design than the flat loop bands. They don’t get thicker or heavier as the resistance level grows.
  • That is making them perfect for traveling and taking around with you for outdoor workouts.
  • They are great to use at home because of the handles and the included door anchors. As I have already said a set of these is a great alternative to owning dumbbells, kettlebells and a barbell. If you are building a home calisthenics gym these bands may be a great addition to have.
  • Because of the way these bands stack you can easily get a huge amount of resistance without feeling uncomfortable to hold it with your hands. A nice set of those can get you as much as 404 lbs (183 kg) of total resistance which is going to be enough for most types of exercises you are going to do.

What I don’t like about tube resistance bands:

  • In some rare models, the handles are fixed to the band and you can’t add more bands or change the extension.
  • Even with the carabiners, it does still take some time in order to change the resistance. In more specific I’m talking about the time it takes you to transfer the handles or add/remove more bands. That could be a potential problem if you are doing a superset and want to change the exercises as quickly as possible. 
  • You are limited to the usage of only your hands and feet because of the handles/ankle straps. You can’t attach the bands anywhere else on your body. That is very limiting for a lot of movements you could potentially do.
  • They are not very good for assisting basic exercises compared to the flat loop bands. 
  • Because they don’t have a loop it’s harder to attach them to some surfaces and might require additional steel wall anchors if the model doesn’t come with a door anchor.

Recommended Tube Resistance Bands

If you are looking for a solid tube set that contains everything I mentioned above and has a pretty reasonable price I highly recommend you to check the set I’m currently using mainly when I train at homeBodylastics Resistance Bands Set

Click Here to check their latest price on Amazon

Type 2 – Flat Loop Resistance Bands

One of my flat loop bands

Click Here to check my flat loop bands latest price on Amazon

Why do you need flat loop resistance bands?

Because they have a simple but very effective loop design.

Another one of my bands

These bands are multifunctional.

They can be used for additional assistance in order to gain strength and muscle or to learn to do basic exercises such as dips, pull-ups, chin-ups, and muscle-ups. 

With their help, you can transfer some of your bodyweight to them making it a lot easier for you to complete the needed amount of reps or master the new movement.

Example of transferring weight

In addition to that this type of band is an excellent choice if you are looking for a good way to add extra resistance to your exercises.

It works very well with both bodyweight exercises and weights and other home gym equipment you may have.

In my opinion, this is the most versatile band you can get. 

What I like about flat loop resistance bands:

  • Because of their shape, they are much easier to loop around objects.
  • They are usually longer than the tube resistance bands.
  • These bands are very useful when trying to learn basic exercises such as pull-ups, dips and especially muscle ups.
  • They are usually wider and thicker than a tube band meaning they are more difficult to snap.
  • This type is really multifunctional and can have multiple purposes.
  • They can be used to help you build explosive power, muscle mass, endurance or even lose weight.
  • You can attach them to any part of your body. You are not limited to only your hands or ankles.
  • You have the freedom to use additional objects as different attachments – sticks, pipes, tubes, etc. Just use your creativity.
  • Because they don’t have handles they can easily be held in combination with a bar or any other similar object. That’s not so easy if you have to hold an additional handle.
  • You don’t need to add or remove handles or attach different bands. Instead, you just wrap the band around an object and it’s ready for use. That saves you time.
  • With this type, the biggest resistance you can get is usually about 150 lbs (68kg). You can probably get way more than that but stacking them isn’t very convenient if you have to hold them bare-handed because the tougher ones are usually thicker and wider. 

What I don’t like about flat loop resistance bands:

  • With each higher resistance level band you use, the overall thickness and the width gets bigger. That makes using them a little more uncomfortable.
  • They are not comfortable holding barehanded (especially the thicker ones). It is highly recommended to use them with a nice pair of workout gloves. If you don’t own such buying some may increase the total cost with a few bucks. (Click here to check the gloves I personally use with my bands)
  • They don’t have any handles, anchors or ankle straps. Because of that, they can be really difficult to anchor at your home if you don’t have stable places to use or use one of these steel wall-mounted anchors you can install in a couple of minutes.
  • Because of the lack of handles the more you stretch them the more they are going to dig into your skin. That is a problem only if you have to stretch them a lot and don’t wear any gloves.

Recommended Flat Loop Resistance Bands

If you are impressed with this type of resistance and are looking for a solid and affordable set I highly recommend you to check mine I have been using for over a year now:

Some of my bands

Click Here to check my flat loop bands latest price on Amazon

Type 3 – Flat Thin Resistance Bands

my light resistance bands
My flat thin bands

Click Here to check my flat thin bands’ latest price on Amazon

Why do you need flat thin resistance bands?

The third type I’m going to talk about is not very famous because it’s used mainly for rehabilitation, yoga and warming up.

The design of these bands is thin, wide and it sometimes ends in a loop.

These bands could also be used for stretching and believe or not can still be used as extra resistance with many of the bodyweight exercises.

recovery resistance bands being used
Example of bicep curl

Of course, the amount of resistance is nothing compared to the previous 2 types but it’s still enough to stress your muscles or allow you to target smaller muscle groups.

Their price is usually very low and people prefer to buy the first 2 types instead

What I like about flat resistance bands:

  • Compared to the previous 2 types, this one is the cheapest.
  • Because of the thin and wide design carrying these bands around is going to be a no-brainer. They are very compact and lightweight.
  • Their smaller resistance is great for isolation exercises and making targeting smaller muscle groups easier.
  • They are ideal for warming up and preparing your body for the workout.
  • Great for many different stretches and exercises focused on increasing mobility.
  • They are comfortable to hold and don’t dig into the skin of your hands or legs.
  • They could also be handy in a combination with weight training.

What I don’t like about flat resistance bands:

  • Because they are thin, they have a higher chance of potentially snap or lose form if overextend too much. 
  • Don’t offer much support for more demanding exercises.
  • They can’t be used as extra support to learn specific movements.
  • If the design isn’t a loop it’s very difficult to tie around things.
  • They don’t offer a big variety of usage.
  • This type is not very easy to hold for long periods of time because there may not be any handle or loop to hold on to.

Recommended flat thin bands

If you currently don’t own a couple of these thin bands I highly recommend you to get mine. They are very useful for warming up and stretching.

I use these every time before I start with my workout:

my light resistance bands
My warming up thin bands

Click Here to check my flat thin bands’ latest price on Amazon

With all of that being said it’s time to check my top 5 favorite resistance bands for calisthenics and what makes them such…

3 Things You Should Look for in The Best Resistance Bands for Calisthenics

From experience, I can easily tell that these are the 3 most important things you should know about before you order your first set of calisthenics resistance bands.

Please don’t skip this section and take a few minutes to read and educate yourself. 

Here’s exactly what I will be talking about:

  1. How many resistance bands to buy? – One or many?
  2. What are the levels of resistance bands and which ones you need?
  3. Additional Features to Look For

Let’s start…

1. How many resistance bands to buy? – One or many?

From personal experience, I can tell you that it is a lot better to buy multiple bands with different resistance levels. It’s even better if you get them in equal pairs so you have 2 bands that use the same level of resistance. 

How much is enough?

Simply buy as many bands as you can afford

Doing that is going to provide you with all the benefits you could get from adding resistance bands into your training.

Here are my top 6 reasons why it’s better for you to buy a set of bands instead of getting only 1 or 2 individual bands.

Reason #1

If you have many bands available at the same time you can easily use them for different supersets. With their help, you can target different exercises/muscle groups at the same time. Doing that is going to save you time and make your workouts more efficient and less time-consuming.

Reason #2

You can’t really know specifically how much resistance you might need before you order some bands. You can only guess that number and we all know that guessing is not very accurate on many of the occasions. That’s why it’s great to simply buy all the available bands that use different levels of resistance. Having many choices is going to guarantee that you get exactly what your body needs.

Reason #3

Owning more than one resistance band could provide you with extra room for growth. If your training, sleeping, and eating are on point in time you will eventually become bigger and stronger. Eventually, you will need more resistance to compensate for the new strength and gains. That’s where a set of bands could become really helpful.

Reason #4

If you buy more than one resistance band for calisthenics you will get the ability to stack them on top of each other in order to increase the total resistance you get. If you have only one band you can’t really do much to increase it because you can pull it only to a certain degree. And the cool thing is that you can stack different bands for all 3 different types I have mentioned earlier. The perfect example I can give you that works extremely well with stacking is doing squats. Your legs are one of the strongest muscle groups of your body and if you want to train them properly you may need to add up some bands together.

Reason #5

If you have 2 bands with the same resistance you have the ability to target 2 different opposite muscles at the same time. A good exercise I like to train this way is to do chest crossover with both hands simultaneously. The same thing applies if you want to do a couple of sets of bicep curls using one band per arm. Separating different muscles could be really beneficial for better mind-muscle connection and isolation. It’s also a great way to fix muscle imbalances and see if there is a significant difference of strength on opposite ends.

Reason #6

You are going to be a lot stronger in some calisthenics movements than others. The same thing applies to different muscle groups. Having different levels of resistance bands will reassure than you always workout with exactly what your body needs. That way you could train your whole body without any constraints or limitations.

2. What are the levels of resistance bands and which ones you need?

No matter what type of bands you choose all of them come in usually 5 different levels of resistance. In many cases, they are separated with different colors.

Every level has a different amount of lbs responsible for the resistance it could provide. As I have already told you it’s best for you to buy a set containing all 5 levels because you are most likely going to need all of them.

Here is a table illustrating you all 5 levels, their colors, how much resistance they offer and what muscle groups are they are best for.

Please Note: The colors and lbs may vary from brand to brand but most of them are fairly accurate to the table. The targeted muscles are again dependent on individual strength and condition but this is how the majority of people are going to use them. 

Band Color Resistance Best Usage
Red  Very Light (10-35 lbs) Shoulders/Abs
Black Light (25-65 lbs) Biceps/Triceps
Purple Medium (35-85 lbs) Chest/Triceps
Green Heavy (50-125 lbs) Legs/Back
Blue Extra Heavy (65-175 lbs) Legs/Back

Now after you have seen the table let’s get more in-depth about each level’s actual usage. That way you can have a clue what you can with it. 

What’s the best use for Very Light resistance bands?

I find them to be a great option for stretching. They are also very good if you want to improve your mobility or flexibility. Because they have the least resistance they are also a good option for rehabilitation and can be helpful with recovery from injuries.

What’s the best use for Light resistance bands?

They offer little more resistance than the very light bands and that makes them great for warming up. With their help, you can easily go for a couple of reps and one or two warming sets.

Another great usage is that I find them very useful for isolating small muscle groups that are very hard to target with the basic bodyweight exercises and are often missed out. I’m talking about things like side and back shoulder, upper traps, forearms, etc. 

If your lacking muscles are different than those you can still target them with these bands. I also find these bands very useful when I try to finish a nice abdominal workout. They are another great option for somebody who is in rehabilitation or is recovering from injury.

What’s the best use for Medium resistance bands?

If you are just getting into calisthenics this is the type of resistance you want to have. Medium resistance bands are what I find to be the most optional for assistance with some of the basic bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups, chin-ups, dips or muscle-ups. 

Example: Let’s say you want to do 15 pull-ups but at this time you can only 6. In order to get to 15, you are going to need to use the medium level of a resistance band.

Once you get better and gain some strength you would want to replace it with the light one. Then after a while, you are going to start to use the very light one until you can finally use only your own bodyweight to complete your goal of 15 pull-ups.

This level of resistance bands is also great for somebody who has already got some strength and is looking for a good way to increase the difficulty of the basic bodyweight movements. With their help, you can easily target your chest, biceps, and triceps.

What’s the best use for Heavy resistance bands?

I find them very helpful in my leg and back training routines. Yes, we all know that legs are the most lagging muscle group in calisthenics and here’s a great way to work on it. 

With their help, you can also do some great basic movements and build more power and strength. If you are strong enough you can include them in your back training as well. I find them to be a great addition for doing shoulder press and dips. 

What’s the best use for Extra Heavy resistance bands?

Using one of these bands may be really hard but very rewarding at the same time. If you do calisthenics for a while now and you see yourself as somebody with a lot of power, experience, and size then this amount of resistance might be a great fit for your workouts. With that amount of available resistance, you could easily get to the next level and continue to progress in your journey.

3. Additional Features To Look For

While having these additional features is not really necessary they could be really handy in different situations.

The more you get, the better…

Some of them are only important for certain types of bands while others are universal. So if you have the option to decide to get them or not, take them.

Let’s have a look at what features I’m talking about.

Carry bag – Having a carry bag makes a lot easier to keep everything together. It works well for both outdoor or home workouts. When I bought my first resistance bands I didn’t get a bag and I have to confess that even if it doesn’t sound like that important having one could actually be very handy. It’s really annoying when all the bands get tangled in a ball inside my backpack which I have to untangle every time before a workout. Carrying them inside a tight bag might save you on that.

Door anchor – From experience, I can tell you how difficult it is to find a solid anchor point in your home. If you don’t want to take the risk to break something or even worse, catapult an object towards you face having a door anchor could be a lifesaver. It’s recommended to have a solid door before you use it. Especially if you don’t want to hit yourself in the head by the anchor itself. Even if it’s a pretty lightweight object it won’t stop it from making a lump on your head. Another great thing about the door anchor is that you can move it all around your door and have the ability to pick the exact height you want for a specific exercise.

Ankle straps – Having one of those could be really handy if you want to target a specific muscle or angle from your lower body. But having a pair of straps could be even better. That way you won’t have to constantly change it from one leg to the other if you are doing one leg at a time. Using straps does also make the whole process of attaching the band to your leg way more enjoyable. It’s also going to keep the band in one place through the entire movement. I have trained legs in both scenarios – without a strap and with a strap and I can tell you that the difference is enormous and using a strap does always win. So if you have the option to get a strap inside the set go for it or even better – buy a set which offers you a pair.

A few sets of handles – If you have not skipped the previous chapter in which I talked about types of bands you should know that there is only 1 type of resistance band that does come with handles. If this is your choice of selection I would recommend you to see how many sets of handles are you getting inside the set – the more the better. Having more than one pair of handles could really save you time because you won’t have to constantly add or remove different bands all the time. It’s also great to see the width of the handle and the material it’s made from. You preferably want it to be non-slip, soft and comfortable to hold.

Workout/exercise videos or instructions – I remember the feeling when I bought my first 3 resistance bands. I was very ecstatic and happy but once I anchored them to a nearby tree I only knew how to do a couple of basic exercises. Shortly after that, my smile turned to a sad face. At that time I didn’t know how to use them in order to target different muscles or increase the difficulty of my exercises. My problem was a simple lack of knowledge. The seller from which I bought them didn’t care about that and didn’t include anything. 

The good news is that today’s most products do come with free workouts or exercise tutorials.

They are either included in the package or send to your email inbox (the one which you have used to purchase the product). I find these to be very handy if you are a total beginner and don’t have a clue how to use your first bands efficiently. 

Even if the product of your choice doesn’t come with any videos or instructions it’s not a big deal. You can still use youtube and find some great exercises and uses for your new resistance bands for calisthenics. 

Here’s a good video that can help you with that: 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do resistance bands actually work?

Coming from a person who is using them for over a year now I can surely tell you that they do really work.

With their help you can achieve a lot – they can help you build a lot more muscle, strength, stamina, and explosive power

But you don’t have to believe me. Here’s a study that proves exactly what I’m talking about in a more scientific way if you are interested. 

If you prefer you can watch this video instead:

I understand why a lot of people are very skeptical when it comes to resistance bands but they do actually work very well and can improve all areas of your training. 

And let’s not forget all the benefits you also get from a good set of bands:

  • Lower price
  • Versatility
  • Portability
  • Lower risk of injury
  • Freedom to use them anywhere you like
  • Less needed space
  • And much more.

So as you can see they do work and people are getting very good results with them.

In my opinion, buying resistance bands is one of the best things you can ever do.

Can you build muscle with resistance bands?

Even if the majority of you probably don’t believe this is actually true. 

You can build a lot of muscle with 2 things:

  1. Resistance bands
  2. Your bodyweight

Simply said your muscles can’t see the difference if you are using weights or bands to train them with. When they are stimulated with the same resistance you are going to get the same result which is growth and strength.

But let’s get even more in detail. 

What are the most important factors for building muscle?

2 things:

Time under tension and progressive overload

With the help of resistance bands and calisthenics, you can easily get achieve both of them if you use the right tempo, have a great mind-muscle connection and of course get enough resistance from your bands. In other words, you are going to get bigger and stronger

So if you don’t have the time or money to go to a commercial gym that has a monthly membership that you have to pay regularly you could simply invest anywhere from $30 up to $100 for a good set of bands and have the total freedom to train your whole body and build bigger muscles and strength anywhere you like.

If you want more details on how exactly the whole process of building muscle happens with the help of bands you can watch this video:

I really like James Youtube channel. If you like to learn a lot about bands feel free to subscribe.

What exercises you can do with resistance bands?

With the help of a nice set of resistance bands that have different levels of resistance, you can literally do hundreds of different exercises targeting different muscle groups and movements. 

When I tell you that you can target your whole body I’m not exaggerating

The best way to explain to you this part is to simply show you some of your available options. 

Here are a couple of videos jammed pack with all different kinds of exercises you could do using only a few resistance bands.

Video 1: Resistance bands for assisting exercises

Video 2: Whole-body workout with resistance bands

Video 3: Resistance bands and calisthenics

What length should resistance bands be?

I know that different companies selling resistance bands tend to have different lengths on their products. That is also the case when we compare different types of bands.

So does it even matter how long are your resistance bands? 

Is this long or short?

If I have to be completely honest with you my answer will be no, it doesn’t matter to a big extent. 

The reason behind this is the way resistance bands work

The further you pull your band away from the anchor point the more resistance you will get. 

So if you want to increase the amount of resistance you have 2 options: 

  1. Use a thicker and stronger band
  2. Simply increase the distance. 

As you can see we have complete control over the amount of resistance just from doing those 2 things. If a band is shorter that would mean that you will have to pull it shorter distance to get the same amount of resistance compared to a longer one which has the same thickness, etc. 

But that doesn’t mean you have to completely ignore length. If a band is too short it may not be very comfortable to use or provide you with the ability to have a full range of motion. If on the opposite a band is too long you may need to have a lot of space so you can get enough resistance from it. 

The good news is that you don’t have to worry about the length because almost all products are made to be exactly the right length you need.

Now you see why the length of a band isn’t something that important. 

In my opinion, you should be far more concerned about how much resistance you get from a band instead of how long it is. 

Will resistance bands snap?

Yes, that’s a possibility and could potentially happen but before you panic and decide not to buy a set of bands hear me out. 

Resistance bands do tend to snap on very rare occasions

I believe that most of those incidents happen because of poor care, usage or overextension or is a direct result of people that have bought the cheapest ones they could find. 

I’ve trained hundreds of times using my bands and have never had problems with one of them snapping and hitting me.

In order to minimize the risk of that happening you can do a couple of things:

  • 1. Only buy products from trusted sources.
  • 2. Don’t go for the cheapest option.
  • 3. Do not wrap your bands against rough or sharp surfaces.
  • 4. Take care of them and clean them from time to time.
  • 5. Try not to overextend them too much.
  • 6. Take a closer look from time to time to see if there are any small cuts.

Quick Tip:

If you see that you have to extend a band way more than its original length (2x times more) in order to provide you with enough tension that’s a good sign that you might need to simply change it with the one from the next level of difficulty

Before we finish I want to tell you this:

Doing those few things can’t guarantee you 100% that you won’t get snaps but it’s going to lower the chance of that happening. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Resistance Bands: The Next Steps

If you have reached this part I want to thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. 

If you have not skipped too many parts at this point you should have a great idea of what are resistance bands good for, how to train with them, what to look for in a good set and which ones are the best resistance bands for calisthenics you can get.

If you haven’t picked a product already I highly recommend you to select the ones I personally use – Bodylastics Resistance Bands.

My Favorite Resistance Bands for calisthenics

Click here for their latest price <<

Even if you decide not to go for them please use all the tips and knowledge I have shared here to your advantage and make the right decision.

For me personally, these are the best calisthenics resistance bands you can get.

They are light, strong, and extremely versatile. You can use them on many different types of training and goals.

But buying resistance bands is only the beginning if you don’t know how to use them…

If you want to take things on the next level I highly recommend you to do these 2 steps:

STEP 1:

Sign up and get instant access to my massive free guide How to Start Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide.

It’s completely free and it gives you some solid advice that can help you a lot.

Simply enter your email below and I’m going to send it to you.

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STEP 2:

If you are highly interested in calisthenics, bands, and exercise I would also recommend you to take a look into my other articles on that topic.

In some of my recent posts you can find here I talk about what are the best dip bars, and pull-up bars for calisthenics. I also shared what are my favorite supplements for calisthenics and why I like them. You can even find articles about good calisthenics shoes and headphones

Either way, thank you again for reading this article.

I tried to do my best and provide you with as much value and useful information as possible. I really hope I achieved that but you are the one that can tell that, not me.

If you believe that this is true and this article was useful please let me know in the comment section below. You can also share this post with your friends using the sharing buttons.

Till our next meeting,

– Bozhidar

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