Resistance bands are great training tools for increasing muscle strength and flexibility, as they reduce the risk of injury. However, various resistance bands are available with different shapes, resistance levels, and lengths, so choosing the right one may be confusing. In particular, how long do resistance bands need to be?
The ideal length for different resistance bands varies based on the type:
If you find choosing the right length confusing, read the rest of this article to learn more.
We’ll also tell you how to choose the right band based on your fitness level and give you a few product recommendations. Also, see our post on how heavy should resistance bands be for more information.
In a hurry to see the top resistance bands discussed in this article? Here is a list of them below.
- 1 Proper Length of Resistance Bands 🤓
- 2 How to Choose the Right Resistance Band for Your Fitness Level 🤔
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions 🤸♀️
- 4 Final Words 👏
Proper Length of Resistance Bands 🤓
Although there are no global standards, different brands try to stay consistent with their products to ensure customers aren’t confused.
Additionally, the proper size of resistance bands depends on the muscle group you want to target and the exercises you intend to perform.
If the resistance band you use is too short, you’ll be at risk of snapping it and getting hurt.
Let’s see how long each type of resistance band should be and how to use them to reap their benefits.
Most sheet bands are about 5 feet long, but they can be shorter or longer.
Since people usually use this type of band for therapeutic goals, it’s not very resistant.
However, the same lack of resistance gives these bands exceptional versatility.
You can stretch them (almost 2.5 times their normal length) and wrap them around your hands or feet.
However, this band is more likely to snap since it’s thinner than other types.
Sheet bands are a great starting point for beginners or rehab users because you can easily stretch them, wrap them or anchor them to something else.
The color-coding of bands representing their resistance level influences their length when stretched.
Most of these bands are latex, so they stretch more than other materials like fabric and don’t apply much pressure on joints—ideal for the elderly.
The pressure, however, may feel sticky on bare skin, and some people also have an allergy to latex.
Due to their increased length, sheet bands allow you to mimic weight training and perform a wide range of exercises for various body parts.
For example, you can use them to perform lateral raises by holding both ends of the band and standing in its middle.
Then raise your hands slowly until they parallel with the floor and lower them down again after a few seconds.
See our top three recommended sheet bands below.
One of the greatest sheet bands in the market is the AZURELIFE resistance band, which comes in a set with various tightness levels.
Traditional Looped Bands
With about 40 to 48 inches in length—a total circumference of 80″ to 96″—traditional looped bands are an excellent choice for a wide range of upper and lower body exercises.
You can keep them in your hands, under your feet, or attached to something else.
As the name suggests, this band looks like a circle and is usually tighter than sheet bands due to its increased thickness, making it an excellent option for more serious exercise sessions.
Traditional looped bands are very versatile, and you can use them for various exercises such as Romanian deadlift.
Your starting point should be an upright posture, bend over with a neutral spine, and return to the previous position.
Here are our top three recommended loop bands to help with your exercises.
These looped bands by SPRI are a great choice to buy as they’re thick, and you can use them for heavy-duty workouts.
As the name indicates, they’re short loops usually used for lower body exercises, including glutes, thighs, calves, and ankles.
Mini bands are generally around 12 inches with a circumference of 24 inches.
However, 10″ mini loops are better for people under 5’6″ or for rehabilitation purposes.
You can put short loops around your ankles while squatting to raise the tension on your glutes.
These loops are shorter than traditional ones making them great options for upper body workouts like shoulder stabilization exercises and lower body training like Banded glute bridge. See our post on should you stretch before a glute workout for more info on glute workouts.
To perform this move:
Check out our top three recommended mini bands below.
Beach Nook offers a great pack of mini loops with different tightness levels with a carry bag for your comfort that is very durable, too.
Tube bands are often long and about 3.5 feet, with another foot for the length of handles—48 or 54 inches in total.
You can use these bands for various muscle groups, ideal for full-body workouts.
Tube bands are usually made of hard rubber and are hollow on the inside.
The more hollow a band is, the easier it is to stretch.
Since tube bands are long and have handles to grip, they’re ideal for replicating pressing or pulling exercises such as the overhead press.
Here’s how you can do an overhead press using a tube band:
See our top three recommended tube bands below.
The tube band by SKLZ offers five resistance levels and comes with a handle and a door anchor to use anywhere:
Figure 8 Bands
This type of band is one foot long or about 12 inches.
It’s similar to a loop band with handles that you can use for both upper and lower body exercises.
You can also do exercises like tricep extension that tones your arms, using a figure 8 band.
Here are the instructions:
Grip the band with both hands while standing with one hand behind your lower back and the other behind your neck.
Now stretch the band upward while the lower hand remains steady, holding it for 2 seconds.
Here are our top three figure 8 resistance bands you can order right away.
Our top pick of figure 8 resistance bands is the one by SPRI, as it has soft rubber handles for more comfort and can be rolled up and carried in a bag:
How to Choose the Right Resistance Band for Your Fitness Level 🤔
Various resistance bands with different lengths are available, making it hard to choose the right one for yourself.
One of the crucial factors to consider when buying a resistance band is your fitness level.
Remember to read the manufacturer’s color-coding presented and start with the most easy-to-pull resistance band in a set.
So, you’ll gradually gain the physical strength required for pulling tighter bands.
Another important thing to consider is your purpose and the target muscles you’re aiming to train.
For rehab and therapeutic goals, sheet bands are perfect as they’re easily stretched and have enough length to wrap around a hand or an object.
Besides, some companies offer them in rolls, and you can cut them in lengths you wish.
For example, mini loops are a great choice for exercising and strengthening lower body muscles such as the glutes.
On the other hand, the traditional looped or tubed bands are longer and tighter, ideal for training larger muscle groups like the chest, back, or legs.
Frequently Asked Questions 🤸♀️
Which Is Better: Resistance Band or Tube?
Both resistance bands and tubes are effective in muscle training, but there are slight differences in how people use them.
Resistance bands come in looped or open forms.
They’re flat and used for pilates, flexibility, and toning.
On the other hand, tube bands come with handles and are better for pulling or pressing exercises.
Are Resistance Bands Better Than Weights?
Resistance bands are more effective than dumbbells as they can apply pressure on your muscles in different directions, not just vertical.
Besides, unlike dumbbells, the tension created by resistance bands doesn’t change through the way and remains constant, leading to better muscle growth.
Do Resistance Bands Break?
Resistance bands can break due to improper usage and excessive stretching (more than 2.5 times their normal form).
Besides, like any training equipment, resistance bands wear and tear too and may break after a while.
So, it’s important to always check your bands before using them and ensure they’re in good condition.
Final Words 👏
Resistance bands can be great for muscle building and toning; however, you should choose the right type with the proper length to get the most out of them.
First of all, think of your intention of training and the muscle group you want to work on, then pick the correct type of resistance bands accordingly.
Don’t forget to read the instructions provided by the manufacturers, too.
Last update on 2022-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API