In the left panel, Centr’s Beginner Cardio & Strength trainer Maricris Lapaix uses a yellow tube ban
Centr Team

3 resistance bands and when to use them

Centr Team

When you have a resistance band, you have everything you need to start your fitness journey or take it to the next level.

This lightweight, versatile piece of equipment provides tension that your muscles have to work to resist. That means a band can be used to add intensity to bodyweight exercises or mimic strength training equipment such as dumbbells or cables.

You could be building your fitness from the ground up, or building muscle with Centr Power at Home.

But which band is right for your workouts? And how do you use a band effectively? Let’s get you into the loop.

Tube band

Also called a tube resistance band with handles

Centr’s Beginner Cardio & Strength trainer Maricris Lapaix, wearing a pink activewear set, uses a yellow tube band looped around her feet to perform an upright row exercise.

Use a tube band to get your heart and muscles pumping with Maricris.

Tube bands with handles are perfect for pull and push exercises, such as rows and chest presses. But because they provide a big range of motion, they’re super versatile. You’ll usually find this type of band used in strength training or HIRT workouts, often as a cable machine replacement or dumbbell substitute.

Tube band safety tips: Always grip the handles tightly, as a snapping band could hit you or your prized possessions. When looping the band under your feet, make sure it’s secure and your feet aren’t going to slip – it may help to wear sneakers

Fabric band

Sometimes called a fabric loop band, booty band, fabric resistance band, fit loop band or mini band

Centr trainer Alexz Parvi, wearing a navy blue activewear set with orange stripes,  performs a squat with a yellow fabric band around her thighs to increase the intensity.

Get down like Alexz and use a fabric band to add extra booty burn to your squats.

Fabric bands may have a small range of motion, but they pack a high level of resistance! When looped around your thighs or arms, they offer enormous targeted toning potential. You’ll often find fabric bands used in lower-body workouts, where they help to activate and target the glutes. The burn is real! They come in handy for yoga and Pilates classes, too.

Fabric band safety tips: Make sure you go for good quality bands and opt for fabric over rubber bands as they’re less likely to roll up or snap.

Long loop band

Sometimes called a power band, resistance training band or pull-up band

Centr trainer Bobby Holland Hanton uses a yellow long loop resistance band, attached to a cage, to perform a lat pulldown variation. He is wearing a grey singlet.

A long loop band like Bobby’s is essential for your Centr Power at Home workouts.

This long, looped band (it’s a circle with no ends) is a muscle-building go-to, allowing you to perform push and pull exercises that are traditionally performed using weights or on machines. That’s exactly why this band style plays a significant role in Centr Power at Home. Before you jump into a workout with a loop band, safety is key. More on that below.

Long looped band safety tips: Loop bands will usually require an anchor point – this could be something solid already in your home (e.g. supporting pole or beam, squat rack) or an anchor system you install. Ensure your anchor point is fixed and sturdy, as flying furniture can cause injury. And a reminder not to suddenly release the band, as rubber moving at high velocity can also cause harm.

3 essential tips for using your bands

Follow these tips to get the most out of your bands.

  1. When using a band, it should be tight enough that there is no slack (it’s not flopping around), while still allowing you to perform the exercise through a full range of motion.

  2. As your body adapts and grows stronger, you will need to increase the resistance you’re training with. That means you’ll likely need to invest in heavier/stronger bands to keep challenging your muscles. Bands are often color-coded, e.g. orange for light and blue for heavy, although colors differ from brand to brand. If you’re using a long loop band, shortening the band will increase its resistance.

  3. If the bands rub on your skin, a pair of training gloves can help you grip without irritation.

Start your Centr journey with a 7-day free trial

Get Chris Hemsworth's team of the world's best trainers, chefs and well-being experts in your corner.