5 Tips for Choosing the Right Resistance Bands

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Resistance Bands

4' resistance bands are fine for my band workout!

4′ resistance bands are fine for my band workout!

Here are 5 tips:

1. Get the simple, flat 4′ bands

I like the long, flat resistance bands instead of the loops or tubing with handles because of their versatility, plus they’re good for making a knot for the looped leg band. (See examples in #2 and #5 below.)

Check out the video clip from my Resistance Band Training for Osteoporosis Prevention DVD and Amazon Instant Video download. You’ll see how I hold the band in different positions, which is why handles don’t work well. Tubing is too narrow and can be uncomfortable on your hands. But if you already have tubing, using bike or weight lifting gloves can help keep your hands comfortable.

You might see thick straps when you search for resistance bands. They are too hard to pull, so don’t even think about getting those!

2. Start easily, progress gradually.

Remember, this is progressive resistance training! It’s worth your time to start at an easy level and work your way up to more resistance as your strength increases. Use a lighter band or get out further toward the ends of the band if the resistance is too much. If it’s too easy, use a heavier band. You shouldn’t feel any pain in a muscle or joint. Your muscles will be warm from working moderately hard, but not in pain. It’s always best to check with your healthcare provider before beginning this or any new exercise program.

If you’re starting with fairly low strength, the “Thera-Band Light Set of 3 – 5FT Latex Resistance Exercise Bands Yellow, Red & Green” is a good place to start. These are very light resistance bands.

Many of the women in my over-50 Strength Training for Osteoporosis Prevention classes begin with the lightest band of the “Stretch Bands, by Valeo,” a 3-pack with a somewhat light, medium, and heavy resistance band. Note: The lightest band in this Valeo 3-pack can be challenging for some and is harder than any in the Thera-Band Light Set of 3 above.

3.  Get two 3-packs if you want a light, medium, and heavy band for the arms AND looped bands for the legs.

One 3-pack set of resistance bands is enough to do my band workout. But, if you want an easy, medium, and hard band for BOTH the arms and legs, you would need to get two sets so that you don’t have to  untie the leg bands.

4. Don’t choose a band by color — go by the description.

Different brands have different color schemes. The Thera-Band red is a very light resistance band as compared to the Valeo red, which is a heavy resistance band.

5. Allergic to latex?

RESISTANCE BANDS ARE MADE OF LATEX. If you have an allergy, latex free, non-scent, and powder free bands are available from Thera band. There are two options available: Lighter (yellow, red, green-these are very light!) or Heavier (blue and black).

Questions? Leave a reply below and I’ll get back with you!

Cheers!—Susie

Comments (Scroll to the bottom to leave your comment)

  1. Mary Dean says:

    Susie, I have two questions: (1) Is one set of bands enough to do your new exercise video? Would I have to tie and untie the same band during the work-out?
    (2) Are the bands you mentioned by Valeo sturdy enough that they might last for a year of twice-a-week work-outs? Or can you recommend a higher-priced set that would be similar, but of higher quality?

    I work out with your first video and SO appreciate your bone health emphasis. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis 11 years ago (at age 47) and just recently received the news that my bone density has improved in the last year and a half to the point where I am out of the “osteoporosis” category. I am so encouraged! During the last year and a half I have learned a lot through the NOF Inspire website, numerous books such as Better Bones and The Natural Approach to Osteoporosis, by Dr. Keith McCormick with whom I’ve consulted, fine-tuned my diet, discontinued bisphonate medication which I was told wasn’t helping anymore, added a pile of supplements, and started doing your strength training exercise video. And my regular medical doctor told me that neither exercise or diet could improve bone density.

    Thank you again for your service, especially to us women.

    • admin says:

      Hi Mary! How nice to hear your story! That’s very inspiring! Keep up your good work.

      (1) Is one set of bands enough to do your new exercise video? Yes, but if you want an easy, medium, and hard band for both the arms and legs, you would need to get two sets. All three thicknesses work for the legs, but you can stretch the easier one farther. The harder one barely moves, but you’ll still get a good workout!

      Would I have to tie and untie the same band during the work-out? …not if you use the heavier band for the legs. See above answer, too.

      (2) Are the bands you mentioned by Valeo sturdy enough that they might last for a year of twice-a-week work-outs? Yes, they are quite sturdy and last longer in my classes than the more expensive Thera-Band brand.

      Or can you recommend a higher-priced set that would be similar, but of higher quality? The Valeo really are just fine. It’s possible that they might be too hard for some folks. Be sure to read my recent blog post, “4 Tips for Choosing the Right Resistance Band for more info.” See Blog tab above.

      Good questions, Mary!
      Cheers! Susie

Leave a Comment