Choosing the Best Resistance Bands! What to look for in a band and what to avoid... Today I will be talking about resistance tubes, also referred to as resistance bands, fitness bands and exercise bands, and why it is VERY important that you do NOT just buy the cheapest set or the set that looks like a good deal because it has a lot of bands, because there can be a huge difference in what is advertised and what you actually get! At the end of this, you will know more than most about resistance bands, and will never be tricked or conned in to buying cheap tat from auction sites or Amazon or buy what you THINK are high resistance heavy duty resistance bands, when really they are just thin and flimsy tubes! Let's get started!
What are the bands made of? Often people do not realise that there are different types of latex, made from different methods. The cheapest and most common type used for resistance bands/tubes is extruded dry stock latex, but this is also the weakest, easiest to tear, loses elasticity over time and is also the most boring to look at, as it is quite dull, even when coloured. The best type of latex is liquid latex, it has a greater tear resistance, superior physical properties and a very attractive, ultra smooth, vibrant and glossy surface, which is much harder to scratch or scuff than the cheaper alternatives. There is no stronger or more durable latex tubing in existence at this time that we are aware of.
How are the bands made? The second factor to consider is how the tubes are made. There are a few ways to make resistance tubes, the strongest and most durable method is called Multi-Layering, but unfortunately most bands out there are just
molded or double dipped. There are a rare few (only 3 that we know of) brands however that do use this innovative Multi-Layering technique. Bands that are constructed using the Multiple Layering Technique contain many bonded layers within each band. These layers make the bands many times stronger than the single layered molded bands offered by most of the competition, and also a lot stronger than the "double dipped" bands you may have seen on 3rd party websites like Amazon. The thicker a band is the more layers it will have. These layers can be seen in the form of concentric circles, just like the rings in a target, as can be seen in the image below of an ElastiTone resistance band.
As you can see from the image, even this thin Green band has many layers! Unfortunately the process of creating these layers is very expensive and time consuming, which is why most manufacturers do not use this method and instead produce bands which are just molded one piece tubes. The process for making molded bands is known as "extruded" technology, which is now very outdated. Because extruded bands are essentially just one single piece of latex, it makes them very weak and if the band has a slight nick or tear in the surface it will soon begin to spread through the band causing it to break during use, which could cause you an injury.
Multiple layered bands are much harder to tear or snap, and slight surface abrasions, scuffs and nicks do not affect the band as they would an extruded one, as the tear will stop when it reaches the next layer.
How Is The Bands Resistance/Tension Rated? Most people wrongly presume that all bands are rated in the same way, this could not be further from the truth! What one seller states as being a 50 Lb band could be far thicker or thinner than another sellers 50 Lb band, depending on how it was rated and how honest the retailer is. The thicker a band is, the more resistance (tensile force) it will produce, however there is no easy or exact way for a person to rate a bands resistance without using equipment such as a tensile force meter. Most brands when producing ratings for their bands tend to use the peak tension rating of the band just before it breaks, which is very misleading to customers as it makes thin low tension bands sound far better than they really are, and gives the potential buyer a very false impression. For a visual example of this, below is a side by side comparison of an ElastiTone "PRO Ultra" black band which has an average rating of 49.5 Lbs, shown on the left, and a regular competitor band rated as being 50 Lbs, on the right.
As you can clearly see, the ElastiTone black band is much wider than the competitor band and has a smaller inner hole. The ElastiTone band reached a resistance of almost 50 Lbs when stretched just halfway, but the competitor band could only manage a reading of 50 Lbs when
stretched up to the point were it would likely have broken if stretched any further!
ElastiTone Vs Other Big Brands For another more interesting comparison, below is a photo of the PRO Ultra Orange band alongside a well known competitor "Black Sniper" band, which is rated as being 62 Lbs (the same as the average rating for our Orange band). The band was purchased from the official store so is not a fake.
As you can clearly see, the Orange band is at least 3mm thicker with a central hole that is 1-2mm smaller than the "Black Sniper", meaning that the Orange band has far more resistance. The "Black Sniper" did not reach 62 Lbs until during the overhead press, but the Orange band reached 62 Lbs during just a bicep curl, and during the overhead press the Orange band reached over 105 Lbs! The "Black Sniper" band is made from what appears to be a standard masticated dry or sheet stock rubber, and it has no visible layers at all, even under a 60X magnification lens none could be seen. The layers in the Orange band however are easily visible where the flash has reflected off of the latex, but the Black band looks, feels and even smells like a pretty standard rubber. So now you know the most important factors when it comes to choosing a band, lest look at the many more advantages ElastiTone have over other competitors.......
Introducing The "Black Mamba" - The Worlds Thickest Super Heavy Resistance band!
The "Black Mamba" is the Thickest and Heaviest resistance band in the world, with a very high average resistance rating of 35 Kg and an Overhead Press rating of 56 Kg (more if you are taller than 5 ft 7") this band has no rival! It is perfect for performing bicep curls, squats, forward rows, pull downs etc and is aimed at strong individuals who find that most bands don't offer them enough of a challenge. This is a very thick and strong band and makes all other competitor so called "heavy resistance bands" feel like a piece of string in comparison! This band gives ElastiTone the right to claim a higher resistance than any other brand! The "Black Mamba" is available as an upgrade to the current "PRO Ultra" set for just ÂŁ12.99 + ÂŁ2.60 postage, bargain!
3 Resistance / Tension Ratings! ElastiTone are the first ever band retailer in the world to show 3 resistance ratings, which are... The average rating, taken with the band stretched around midway which gives you a rating that is easily achievable for most exercises, although you can easily increase it with a wider foot spacing etc.
The overhead press rating, taken during the overhead press by a person of average height. The total rating, taken when the band starts to lose elasticity and stretching it further makes little difference to the rating, which is the rating cheaper bands and even some more expensive ones seem to use. Using these 3 ratings gives you a better and more realistic idea of how much resistance/tensile force each band will offer you and is not misleading.
Used By Professional Sportsmen! Check out some of the comments received via Twitter from Pro Rugby League players below!
Paul Johnson, Former Great Britain, Wigan, Bradford & Warrington Pro Rugby League player
Vince Mellars, Pro Rugby League player for the Wakefield Wildcats
Jordan James, Pro Rugby League player for the Salford Reds, DJ & former Royal Marine
Must Have Essential Clip System! ALL ElastiTone bands now come complete with extra large 80mm solid Iron carabineer clips/hooks at each end of the band, the strongest and largest in the industry! This enables users to create different resistance combinations, just like you can with free weights or at a gym. The
included handles come with welded metal "O" rings, allowing you to attach up to 7 bands to each handle at the same time!
Some other brands do not offer a clip system, instead they have handles attached to the bands which you cannot remove. Bands designed in this way have no resistance combinations at all and are very limited in functionality, because once your body becomes used to the resistance each band alone offers, which it will eventually do as you grow stronger, such is the nature of the human body, you are forced to use the next band up. This may either be to much of a step up, or may not be enough, meaning you are then stuck with a useless set of bands since you can not use more than one band at a time! Bands with attached handles are also pretty useless when it comes to many lower body exercises, and you may have to buy another separate set of bands for the legs. Yet another problem with bands that come with attached handles and no clip system, is that you only ever get half of the stated resistance rating! For example the rival 62 Lb "Black Sniper" band we showed you earlier will only give you 31 Lb per side, because you are forced to use both hands like with a barbell. With a clip system however you can simply attach both ends of the band to just one handle, which allows you to use the band exactly like you would a dumbbell, giving you the full 62 Lb on one side!
Below is a comparison of the ElastiTone 80mm carabineers (far left), against the more common smaller clips used by other competitors.
The excuse for not having a clip system, according to those that do not have one, is that it takes to long to change a band??? It takes literally just a few seconds to unclip one band from the handles and snap on another, so we regard this as nonsense. SAFETY FIRST! You should avoid the cheaply made bands which have been attached directly to the hook (shown on the left) instead of using the nylon strap, grommet and bung insert method ElastiTone uses (shown on the right).
Bands which are directly attached to the hook are done so by threading the band around the hook and then making a slit in the band and threading the end of the band back in to itself. Bands made in this way already have a weak point when you buy them (the slit), and this may grow over time causing the hook to break away from the band. Also, if the hooks are attached in this way then the latex used is likely to be thin and flimsy or have a large central hole, since it is harder to do this with a thick or layered band.
Extra Large Deluxe Accessories All of the ElastiTone accessories are built for comfort as well as practicality and durability , hence why we call them "Deluxe". You will receive all of the below with every set... 2 Super Strong, Large Handles Our handles, which are made with extra strong plastic due to the amount of resistance they have to take (we tried standard handles but they just bent), are 15cm wide instead of the usual 11-12cm which prevents the nylon straps from rubbing against your skin during many exercises, which becomes very annoying and uncomfortable. They also have a wider diameter allowing for a much firmer and more natural grip. A comparison between an ElastiTone handle (left) and an average handle (right) is shown below. Handle colour may vary.
2 Padded Leg/Arm straps Our leg/arm straps (commonly referred to as ankle straps) are not just thin and flimsy like many others, they are padded with neoprene for extra comfort and to avoid friction on the skin, and are also longer and wider so that whether you are attaching them to your ankles, thighs or your arms, they should fit nicely! They can also be slipped around a barbell so that you can attach the bands to your free weights for more resistance, or to a belt.
1 Extra Large Door Anchor Even our door anchor has been revised and has a super thick layer of foam on it 6 x thicker than most door anchors, and a layer of neoprene in the loop part were the bands thread through, which stops the bands from rubbing against the nylon causing friction and heat, which could damage the bands. It also has a much longer strap! Take a look at the side by side comparisons below, there is a huge difference in quality!
1 Extra Thick Durable Travel bag You wont be provided with some flimsy nylon or cotton bag that falls apart and frey's, our bags use high grade thick nylon, have a velcro seal and bear the ElastiTone logo. Note: We recently upgraded our logo however bags at the moment still bear the older basic logo as shown below.
For more info on the various types of sets ElastiTone offer, to view the ratings of each band, the bargain price, and even more reasons to buy, checkout ElastiTone.com for the best Resistance bands available. Of course it is your choice where and what to buy, but at least now you have a better idea of what to look for, and what not to fall for, and who offers the most resistance and quality for the money!
Published on Mar 19, 2012
Published on Mar 19, 2012
What to look for when choosing resistance / exercise, fitness, workout bands. Where to find heavy duty resistance bands.