Lightweight, portable and scalable to any fitness level resistance bands have been a staple in my kit bag for many years now. But what are the best types of elastic resistance for home workouts?
Tube Resistance Bands
Tube resistance bands consist of two handles linked together by one or several elastic tubes. By far the best sets are adjustable so you can add/subtract bands of different thicknesses depending on which exercise you are performing and the level of challenge you want to set. Most good sets will also come with a door attachment which allows you to hook the bands up indoors. Brilliant for upper body exercises. A good set of tube resistance bands (and a solid anchor point) will allow you to perform many of the exercises routinely performed in an expensively equipped gym. If you are only going to purchase one type of elastic resistance for home training... go with this one!
Loop Resistance Bands
Picture a giant elastic band made from thick, durable elastic and you have a looped resistance band. They are widely available in different degrees of thickness and lengths (typically 41 inches, 20 inches and 12 inches) making them adaptable to a large number of different exercises and strength levels. Popular in the gym to manipulate the strength curve of the big lifts looped resistance bands also make a great home workout tool. In The Gymless Training System I recommend looped resistance bands for adding resistance to push ups and assistance to pull ups. Two tasks which they excel at. A worthy runner up for home workouts with elastic resistance.
Flat Resistance Bands
A long and broad sheet of latex, flat resistance bands are what you typically find in physio rooms. I’m sure they have plenty of uses in the rehabilitation setting but there are not many exercises where I have found them to be more beneficial for resistance training than loops or tubes.
You can also buy specialist pieces of elastic resistance equipment with my favourite being the Power Push Up by LifelineUSA. A brilliant way to ramp up the challenge of this classic exercise. Luxury item... but very effective nonetheless.