Which Is Better, Resistance Bands or Resistance Tubes?
Resistance bands and resistance tubes are very similar to each other. The main difference between them is that resistance tubes have handles with them. Flat resistance bands often do not have any handles.
But commonly both variants are known as known as resistance bands.
Loop Resistance Bands vs Tubes with Handles
1. Uses & Exercises
Resistance tubes and loop resistance bands can be used for similar usage. However, resistance bands without handles are often used for mobility training or flexibility work.
And those with loop design can be used with barbells as well. You can use those pull up assist bands with pull-up bar to help yourself go up.
I often use resistance bands to enhance my bodyweight exercises in crease coordination. I also try to use the ankle cuff to train my hamstring with hamstring curls.
2. Ease of use
Loop resistance bands and tubes with handles both can be used for bodyweight exercises, strength training and conditioning.
Ease of use is an important consideration when choosing between these two products. Here are some key aspects of ease of use for each product:
Loop resistance bands:
- They are easy to set up and adjust.
- They are lightweight and portable, making them easy to store and take with you on the go.
- Small loop bands aka mini bands are useful for doing hip workouts, long loop bands are good for leg or back workouts.
- They are easier on the joints, making them a good choice for seniors and kids.
Tubular bands with handles:
- They are easy to use for pressing and pulling exercises, especially if you have experience with weightlifting. You can use them like cable pulley machines too.
- The handles make them easier to grip and control during certain exercises like curls.
- They can be more challenging on the hands, which can be beneficial for strengthening grip strength.
Overall, when it comes to ease of use, it’s a tie between loop resistance bands and tubes with handles. While tubes with handles are easier to use for pressing and pulling exercises, loop resistance bands are more versatile and easier to use for stretching, mobility, and full-body workouts.
3. Resistance Levels
Both loop resistance bands and tubes come in various resistance levels, which are color-coded to cater to different fitness levels.
Typically large loop bands are wider and longer thus they have really high resistance levels. I have seen some large loop bands with 80-100 kg resistance.
Here are the typical color codes followed by resistance tube bands.
Yellow: The lightest resistance tube/band is yellow, which is suitable for beginners or those who have suffered an injury. It offers a resistance of up to 4.5 kg.
Green: The green tube/band is for light resistance and mainly helps in <a href="https://homegymindia.in/strength-training-workout-for-runners-at-home/" title="The [Ultimate] Strength Training Workout for Runners At Home” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>strength training workouts. It offers resistance of up to 7 kg.
Red: The red tube/band is of medium resistance and has a higher level of tension when compared to yellow and green tubes. It is great for those who aim at building muscle strength and offers resistance of up to 9 kg.
Blue: The blue tube/band is meant for those who work out regularly and require heavy resistance. The resistance level is high, up to 11 kg.
Black: The extra-heavy resistance tube/band is for experienced users who are strong and looking for a very heavy workout. These tubes can offer up to 13 kg resistance.
However, long-loop resistance bands do not follow these color codes.
4. Material and durability
Both types of resistance bands are made with either natural latex rubber or Thermoplastic Elastomer (A rubber-like material). If you have allergies to natural latex rubber then you should look for alternatives.
Fabric resistance bands might work for people with latex allergies as well.
When it comes to choosing between loop resistance bands and tubes with handles, portability is an important factor that can affect the decision-making process. Both options have their advantages, but which one is more portable? Let’s take a look at some key differences in portability between the two:
- Size: Loop resistance bands are generally flatter and more compact than tubes with handles, making them easier to store in tight spaces like a suitcase or gym bag. but long loop bands will consume at least 20 sq inch of space anyway.
- Weight: Tuber bands are often lighter and lightweight than long loop bands. Small loop bands are lighter weighing just around 100 grams or less.
- Ease of transportation: Loop resistance bands are easier to carry around due to their smaller size and lighter weight. Tubes with handles, on the other hand, can be more cumbersome to transport.
Based on these factors, it is clear that loop resistance bands are the more portable option. They are easier to store, lighter to carry around, and more convenient for travel. If portability is a top priority for you, then loop resistance bands are the way to go.
Both tube and loop/flat resistance bands have similar price ranges. I would recommend buying a set of either one. If you are into assisting with your pull-ups, making bodyweight squats effective then long loops would do better.
If you want to do some curls, tricep workouts or various other workouts then a set of tubular resistance bands works better.
A set of tube bands will cost you around 1000 INR or more depending on the brands.
A long loop band set will cost you around 1000 INR or more depending on the brand.
Both resistance loop bands and tubes are priced similarly.
Pros of Loop Resistance Bands
– Loop resistance bands provide a greater resistance range compared to resistance tubes.
– They offer a wide range of exercises that can be done alone or in conjunction with other exercises.
– Loop resistance bands are easy to store in a small space, making them ideal for home workouts.
– Long resistance bands will help you do squats, pushups, deadlifts, and support doing pull ups.
– Loop resistance bands are an excellent form of gentle strengthening for rehabilitation or physical therapy.[Use bands for stretching]
Cons of Loop Resistance Bands
- Limited range of motion: Small loop resistance bands are limited in terms of range of motion compared to tube bands. They can only be used for exercises that involve pulling or pushing in a straight line, making them less versatile for certain exercises.
- Limited durability: Thinner loop resistance bands are prone to wear and tear over time, especially if they are used frequently or stretched beyond their intended limit. This can lead to the band snapping and potentially causing injury.
- Limited grip: Loop resistance bands do not have handles, which can make them difficult to grip and hold onto during certain exercises. This can be uncomfortable or even painful for some users, particularly those with hand or wrist injuries.
Pros of Resistance Tubes
– Resistance tubes are durable and tend to last longer than resistance bands. One of my black resistance band survived 3 years.
– They have a snap guard feature that prevents overstretching and snapping, increasing safety and longevity
– They can be used for yoga, pilates, crossfit, and strength training
– Resistance tubes provide a wider range of resistance levels, allowing users to gradually increase workout intensity
– They come with handles for a more comfortable grip during exercises
Cons of Resistance Tubes
– Resistance tubes can be uncomfortable when pressed against the body due to their smaller surface area, resulting in more pressure on a smaller spot.
– Wearing a long sleeve t-shirt can help alleviate discomfort, but it may still be present during certain exercises.
– If tube bands break, which is rare but possible, they can cause more damage than loop bands. One of my tube band snapped and hit the mirror behind me and broke the mirror.
– If the little eyelet lets go when the band is attached to an anchor, a part of the tube may catapult into the body.
– Resistance tubes are primarily used as a standalone workout tool and can be harder to integrate into weight training routines.
Flat vs loop resistance bands
Resistance bands are a popular and affordable tool for strength training, rehabilitation, and stretching. There are two main types: flat and loop bands.
Design and Size: Flat resistance bands are rectangular in shape and come in varying lengths and widths, typically ranging from 3 to 6 feet. Loop resistance bands are circular in shape and come in different sizes, from mini-bands (10 inches) to long bands (6 feet).
Versatility: Both flat and loop resistance bands can be used for all bodyweight assistance exercises. Flat bands are better suited for exercises that require anchoring, such as chest presses and rows.
Durability: High-quality loop resistance bands made from natural latex using a continuous layering process are durable and less likely to snap than resistance tubes. Flat bands are also durable but may wear down over time.
Exercises: Flat resistance bands are ideal for exercises that require anchoring or resistance from multiple directions like wood chops or standing twists. Loop resistance bands are perfect for lower-body exercises like squats, hip thrusts, leg lifts, as well as upper-body exercises like bicep curls or shoulder presses. For example, you can do glute kickback exercises with long loop bands but it will not be easy to do it with a tube band with handles.
Are resistance bands more effective?
Resistance bands and resistance tubes have become increasingly popular for strength training and rehabilitation exercises. However, some may question their effectiveness compared to traditional weightlifting equipment. Despite this, resistance bands offer a wide range of benefits, including versatility, affordability, and the ability to target stabilizer muscles.
A 2019 Research by Jaqueline Santos Silva Lopes, shows that resistance bands can effectively build strength and improve fitness levels by creating tension around the muscle, leading to increased muscle activation and improved range of motion.
But in a recent 2023 video of RP Doctor Mike says resistance bands are least effective equipment in home gym.
And I would agree. Resistance band kits are affordable, easy to set up with an anchor point and carbinar but they will never replace free weights.