Producing resistance bands since 1998
How too many broken exercise bands led me to Bodylastics
Over the years I've tried several different kinds and brands of exercise bands, and I've discovered, unsurprisingly, that not all are created equal... not by a long-shot! Some broke after just a handful of uses, while others were overpriced with limited use.
It was 7 years ago when I bought my first set of Bodylastics workout bands, and I gotta say I was loving them from day one. At the time I couldn't afford dumbbells nor did I have the space for them. I needed something for P90x (a good exercise program by the way!), and I needed it quick because the garbage exercise bands I was using broke during bicep curls, shoulder presses, and standing triceps extensions after only a couple of weeks or so of use.
I remember when my last band I had broke while doing a P90x workout. I ended up having to finish the workout with the only option I had left... 5 lb dumbbells. Needless to say, the rest of the workout was sub-par.
Afterwards I decided I desperately needed an upgrade, which is what led me to Bodylastics. I was tired of having garbage workout bands that would make me worry about having it snap in my face. At the same time though, I was didn't want to risk wasting anymore money on junk resistance bands.
I didn't want to risk wasting money on poor-quality exercise bands again, so I read some reviews and found out about their lifetime warranty. The lifetime warranty comforted me a bit so I decided to buy and try out the cheapest resistance band package they had.
Wow, These Are Great!
Better workouts with Bodylastics!
After opening the package I could immediately see the difference in quality. My P90x workouts improved significantly because I was able to add or remove the elastic bands to increase or decrease the resistance level.
Being able to clip multiple bands to the handles is really what sold me on these, because I needed a way to progressively increase resistance in my P90x workouts. They allowed me to do just that! I found myself getting stronger and losing weight, 11 lbs to be exact.
Fast forward a few years and I still love Bodylastics. I have since replaced my old, worn-out set of bands (they never snapped!) with a fresh, upgraded set of Bodylastics. My newer ones are what I will be reviewing in this article.
I thought my first set of bands from them were great, but these newer ones are even better! It is nice to see a company not settling and instead working to make their product better. I'm very excited about the anti-snap guard technology they added!
Let's look at Bodylastics' range of workout bands
Aluminum carabiner clips make it so you can clip the bands to handles or ankle straps. The bands are 4 feet long and are made of dipped Malaysian latex. The carabiners are attached to the band with woven nylon and a grommet. The most impressive feature is the anti-snap design.
3 lbs Yellow Band
The yellow band provides a nice and light 3 lbs of resistance on each side, or 6 lbs total of resistance when both ends are clipped to one handle. This is the lightest band they make.
5 lbs Green Band
The green band provides a light 5 lbs of resistance on each side, or 10 lbs total of resistance when both ends are clipped to one handle.
8 lbs Red Band
The red band provides a good 8 lbs of resistance on each side, or 16 lbs total of resistance when both ends are clipped to one handle.
13 lbs Blue Band
The blue band provides a medium 13 lbs of resistance on each side, or 26 lbs total of resistance when both ends are clipped to one handle.
19 lbs Black Band
The black band provides 19 lbs of resistance on each side, or 38 lbs of resistance when both ends are clipped to one handle.
23 lbs Purple Band
The purple band provides 23 lbs of resistance on each side, or a hefty 46 lbs of resistance when both ends are clipped to one handle.
30 lbs Orange Band
The orange band provides 30 lbs of resistance on each side, or a monstrous 60 lbs of resistance when both ends are clipped to one handle. This is the heaviest band they make. It is a beast of a resistance band.
Everything you'll need, plus extras
The handles are well-made and durable. The blue grip part is made out of strong nylon and is covered in a textured black rubber so you can get a firm grip that won't slip, even if you have sweaty hands. The straps are made of woven nylon and connect the heavy gauge welded ring. You can clip a band or even multiple bands to the ring. Use these handles for a number of upper body exercises like shoulder presses, bicep curls, and overhead tricep extensions, and also lower body exercises like squats and lunges.
These ankle straps are big enough that I can strap them to my lower thighs for exercises like assisted pull-ups. They can also be used on the wrists. There is a comfortable inner neoprene layer and they stay securely fastened with velcro. These are very useful for hamstring curls and a number of other leg, butt and hip flexor exercises. Single or multiple exercise bands can be attached to the ring.
It's surprising how many possible exercises this simple accessory can add! This is used in a closed door at different locations for different exercises. It can be placed at the top, bottom, or hinge side of the door. The strap where you loop the elastic bands through is lined with neoprene so that the bands are protected some from friction wear. The foam part that surrounds a hard nylon core goes on the other side of the closed door, and keeps the door anchor from slipping out. The foam also prevents any damage from occurring to the door.
Small Anywhere Anchor
Nice for small poles
This is small enough for small poles. Just make sure whatever you anchor to is strong and won't move. I honestly haven't used this yet, but I plan on using it outdoors one of these days. There is neoprene padding in the loop to protect the bands from friction wear.
Large Anywhere Anchor
Great for outdoor workouts
I don't have one of these, but I can imagine how nice it'd be to have one when you are outdoors and can't find anything small enough for the small anywhere anchor to be used on. The large size of this makes it big enough to be looped around a tree. There is neoprene in the loop to protect the bands from friction wear.
Protect your bands
This is used to protect the bands from damage caused by rough surfaces. Lets say you have rough carpet or you're on pavement and you are concerned your bands will get damaged from standing on your bands on those harsh surfaces. That is where the band barrier comes in. It is padded on the inside with neoprene, and the outside is made of nylon fabric. It has velcro on it so you can wrap it around your band(s) before use so they don't come in contact with rough surfaces.
For committed resistance band users
This beast wraps around a door and provides 24 anchor points for you to loop or attach your bands to. I don't have this yet, but wouldn't mind having one someday because of it's convenience and versatility once it is set up. It provides a lot of options. There are 13 neoprene padded loops and 11 heavy gauge welded D-rings.
Workout band sets for every purpose
Includes a 3 lb yellow, 5 lb green, 8 lb red, 13 lb blue. 19 lb black band, 2 ankle straps, 2 handles, 1 door anchor, 1 instruction book, 1 storage bag. Creates up to 96 lbs of resistance when all bands are combined. This is a great, affordable, option for those just starting out.
Includes a 3 lb yellow, 5 lb green, 8 lb red, 13 lb blue. 19 lb black, 23 lb purple band, 2 ankle straps, 2 handles, 1 door anchor, 1 anywhere anchor, 1 instruction book, 1 storage bag. Creates up to 142 lbs of resistance when all bands are combined. This is an ideal kit for someone who needs more resistance than the Max Resistance Bands Set, but doesn't want to spend much more.
Max XT Warrior Tube Resistance Bands Set 15 pcs - 156 lbs
Includes a 3 lb, 5 lb, 8 lb, 13 lb, 19 lb, 30 lb band, 2 ankle straps, 2 handles, 1 door anchor, 1 band barrier, 1 instruction book, 1 storage bag. Creates up to 156 lbs of resistance when all bands are combined. This package is military-themed so it is camouflage colored. This is a good beginning kit for those who workout outside or on rough ground where the band barrier would come in handy.
Strong Man Resistance Bands 19 pcs - 202 lbs
Includes a 3 lb yellow, 5 lb green, 8 lb red, 13 lb blue. 19 lb black, 30 lb orange band, 4 ankle straps, 5 handles, 2 door anchors, 1 instruction book, 1 storage bag. Creates up to 202 lbs of resistance when all bands are combined. Having two sets of handles, two sets of ankle straps, and two door anchors make this a good option for those who want to do supersets, which is where you do two different exercises back-to-back without stopping.
Includes a a 3 lb, 5 lb, 8 lb, 13 lb, 19 lb, 23 lb, two 30 lb bands, 4 ankle straps, 4 handles, 2 door anchors, 1 small anywhere anchor, 1 band barrier, 1 exercise resource 1 large wall chart, and 1 storage bag. Creates up to 262 lbs of resistance when all bands are combined. This package is military-themed so it is camouflage colored. The multiple pairs of handles and ankle straps make this a good option for those who want the convenience of being able to set up multiple exercises as stations without having to clip bands on and off the handles between each exercise. The anywhere anchor will give you the option of anchoring to a water pipe or pole if you don't have access to a door, and the band barrier will protect your bands if you plan on exercising on rough surfaces. The wall chart is also handy for quick exercise reference.
Mega Resistance Bands Set 31 pcs - 404 lbs
Includes two 3 lb yellows, two 5 lb greens, two 8 lb reds, two 13 lb blues, two 19 lb blacks, two 23 lb purples, two 30 lb orange bands, 6 ankle straps, 6 handles, 2 door anchors, 1 small anywhere anchor, 1 large anywhere anchor, 1 instruction book, and 1 storage bag. Creates up to a massive 404 lbs of resistance when all bands are combined. This is the ready-for-anything kit. You'll be able to workout outside with the large anywhere anchor on a tree, or set up multiple exercise stations and do circuit training with all the available handles and ankle straps. This is also a good set for serious athletes.
How They Work
It's simple really
Clip On, Clip Off
The clips built-in to the resistance bands make it so you can clip them onto the welded O rings on the handles or ankle straps. The clips are heavy duty and strong. Choose the resistance band(s) you need for the particular exercise and clip them on.
You can use one or multiple elastic workout bands at the same time. To be honest, I never really use more than two bands at a time. Two orange bands is 60 lbs on each side, or 120 lbs in total.
Using The Door Anchor
To use the door anchor, all you do is open the door and on the hinge side, slide the looped end through the opening and close the door. It's important to make sure the door is closed, and in the video above, you'll hear Blake Kassel also recommend a deadbolt, which will make it more secure.
The door anchor can also be placed at the top of the door and at the bottom of the door. If you don't have a deadbolt, I would recommend using the door anchor so the loop comes out of the side of the door that does not open towards you. Doing so will make sure the door won't be able to open towards you while doing the exercises. Also make sure there isn't too big of a gap between the bottom of the door and the floor.
You should never clip a Bodylastics band directly to the loop, since this could damage it. If you want to use the full length of the resistance band with the door anchor, you can attach an ankle strap to the door anchor loop and then clip the band to the metal ring on the ankle strap. You'll see what I mean near the end of the video above.
Using The Ankle Straps
First, open up the ankle straps and then wrap it around your ankle with the velcro side facing out. Then the end that doesn't have a metal ring attached loop it through the metal rectangle and press it firmly onto the velcro to securely fasten the strap.
The ankle strap is also big enough to fit onto my thigh above my knee for assisted pull-ups. You can also use the ankle strap on your biceps (I'll show you an exercise using this later on), and your wrists.
Using The Anywhere Anchor
The large anywhere anchor is used as an attachment point for trees, flagpoles, beams, or anything that you know is secure, solid, and isn't going anywhere. The smaller anywhere anchor will fit around small smaller pipes and poles. Just make sure whatever you use the anywhere anchor on is solid.
All you have to do to use it, is to wrap the anywhere anchor around the object and put one end through the loop of the other end. Both the large and the small anywhere anchor work the same way. If you want to use the full length of a band with it, you can do the same thing with the ankle strap you saw in the video of the door anchor above. Don't clip the elastic band directly to the anywhere anchor, instead, attach and ankle strap to it and then clip the band to the ankle strap's metal O-ring.
Accommodating The Bands To Your Height
When using the elastic bands while standing on them, you may need to adjust how you use them according to your height. Tall people may find the bands to be too short for some exercises as they are, while short people may find they are too long to produce resistance through exercise's full range of motion. You ideally want there to be some stretch in the elastic band at the beginning. There are a couple of easy adjustments both groups can make.
Short people can loop the band around a foot in order to take out some of the length. Note that you should be wearing shoes for this, otherwise it will be uncomfortable. You'll want the bands to be the same length on each side so you exercise each side evenly. If the bands are only slightly too long, simply spreading your feet apart and making your stance wider will take out some of the slack.
For taller people, there is a risk of over-stretching the bands. To work around this, you can attach ankle straps to the handles and then clip the elastics to the metal ring on the ankle strap. This is an easy way to add extra length.
Using The Elastic Bands Without Any Handles
There are some exercises that work better without handles. For example, I find that I prefer doing shrugs, tricep pushdowns, and face pulls without handles. Also, for variety it is sometimes nice to switch between using handles and not using them, as it can make certain exercises feel different.
When not using handles, just grab the elastic band right under the clip. The video above shows you how to do it and how to perform certain handle-less exercises such as lawn mowers and heavy pants.
Using The Ultimate Anchor
The ultimate anchor is the ultimate upgrade for bodylastics bands. It makes it possible to do a ton more exercises, and provides 24 attachment points. Set up takes a few minutes. It straps and clips to the door. To install, you open the door, slide the buckles through the hinge side of the door and then bring the other side of the straps around and fasten them.
There is one vertical strap and four horizontal straps. Once everything is fastened, you will want to adjust it so the vertical strap divides the door into two equal sections and the horizontal straps are straight. Then you will want to to make sure everything is tight. It may loosen up some when it is first used, so you might need to tighten it up again.
One cool thing about the ultimate anchor is that you can put a band through two horizontal loops for exercises like standing back rows or chest presses and it will make the exercise feel different than if it was done with just one attachment point.
My favorite feature of Bodylastics
What sets Bodylastics from the rest is it's anti-snap technology, which makes exercising with resistance bands much safer.
The elastic band itself is high quality. Inside of it is a cord that can hold up to 150 lbs of weight. The purpose of this cord is prevent the number one cause of snapping: over-stretching.
The inner cord is about 4 times longer than the bands and will physically stop you from stretching the band any further. It keeps you from over-stretching the elastic to the point where it would be damaged.
While using the elastic bands, you won't be able to tell it's there. The only time you can feel the cord is when it stops you from over-stretching.
A Look Inside
I haven't tried stretching my exercise bands to the point where I can feel the cord stopping me, but I can see that it is inside the elastic tubing.
To the left is a picture of the end of the yellow band. If you look closely, you can see the cord, which is fastened in place around a plug that is placed in the elastic tubing.
I always worried about over-stretching and then possibly snapping my older Bodylastics bands, which didn't have the anti-snap feature in them. My old set never snapped on me, even with lots of use, but the anti-snap feature Bodylastics has in their current resistance bands greatly eases my concern about it happening on my most recent set.
A Few Of My Favorite Resistance Band Exercises
These are some of my favorite exercises to do with my Bodylastics
Double Point Chest Press
Chest press with a little extra
This is an awkward exercise at first, but in a difficult way. With elastic bands, chest presses are difficult because you have to brace your entire body in order to do them, which brings core strength into play.
This exercise takes advantage of the versatility of Bodylastics by adding ankle straps to your biceps, which allows you to attach an additional band. You'll be holding handles with a band attached, and then have a band attached to the ankle straps placed above the elbow. This creates two points of resistance, creating an effective chest exercise with a completely unique feeling.
Standing Hamstring Curl
Hamstring exercises are my kryptonite
My hamstrings are a weak-point that I've been trying hard to correct. Resistance band exercises that target my hamstrings are killer and they feel completely different than hamstring curls on a weight machine.
I like doing this one because it really blasts my hamstrings while working on my balance.
Great for when you need help
I had a really hard time being able to do more than 7 pull-ups. When I learned about these, I was able to use a band to help me do more than 7. Over time I found doing assisted pull-ups helped me break through my plateau and I was finally able to do more than 7 unassisted. I still like to do assisted pull-ups when I am fatigued and want to do additional sets of pull-ups.
This exercise utilizes the ankle straps. You strap them just above your knee and then place the band over the pull-up bar and clip it to the ankle straps. It's a bit awkward to get set up, but it works great.
Standing High Row
Rear shoulder and back builder
in a quest to build up my back and rear shoulder musculature, I have begun doing more exercises like these. This one is a simple, yet effective exercise for the middle-upper back muscles and the rear shoulders.
Great core exercise
This is an exceptional core exercise that will get your abdominals and your sides. Most people don't do enough rotational core exercises, so this one is a great one to add to your workout.
Push-ups work the triceps, front shoulders and the chest muscles. By wrapping a band around you it will make them more difficult. This is a great way to increase the intensity of the classic push-up.
Some things I've learned
Seek Full Range Of Motion
Make sure when you are using them, that the elastic bands are being stretched some at the beginning of the exercise. The exercise becomes less effective when there isn't tension throughout the full range of motion. You may need to position yourself further away from the door anchor or anywhere anchor, or loop the exercise band around your shoe if there is too much slack. You'll get much better results getting full range of motion.
I've made a major mistake while using these, and I suffered the consequences with a nice smack. When I had my first Bodylastics set several years ago, I didn't have an anywhere anchor, so I used an ankle strap (the ankle straps back then were not as well designed as they are today) to attach the bands to a railing in my house. I then used the ankle strap like I would a door anchor and looped the bands through the inside of the ankle strap. I positioned myself to do chest presses and when I began doing the exercise I heard the velcro become undone and then I felt a huge smack on the back of my neck that hit me so hard I saw black. I was left with a huge red mark across my neck.
My mistake was that I never made sure the velcro was securely fastened, and that ankle straps don't work well as a replacement for an anywhere anchor. Bodylastics ankle straps have improved significantly since then. The ankle straps made now are much more secure and they work awesome on your ankles, thighs, or arms, but I would never feel comfortable trying that again. I'll gladly stick to using anywhere anchors and door anchors.
So, always make sure you are using resistance bands safely and appropriately, and be careful while you use them. If you are standing on them, make sure you don't pick up your foot or let them slide out while they are stretched, and be sure that the door anchor or anywhere anchor is secure before you begin using it.
Always use resistance bands safely.
Follow A Program
There are lots of exercise programs out there to follow. I've always had the most success sticking to one for 1-2 months and then changing to a different workout program when I'm ready for something new. You'll get the most out of resistance bands if you use them alongside a workout program that hits all your muscle groups.
Protect Your Bands
By keeping them out of the sun and stored in the bag you will protect them from being damaged by sunlight. Also, whenever possible, use a door anchor or anywhere anchor with your bands as it causes less wear than standing on them does.
Try Speeding Up
Pros & Cons
Let's look at the positives and the negatives of Bodylastics. The left-hand column will be the pros and the right-hand column the cons.
PRO: More affordable than dumbbells
If you were to match weight values of a dumbbell set with a Bodylastics set, you would find that Bodylastics are far cheaper.
CON: They wear out eventually
Weights last longer than resistance bands, no one will argue with that. Latex and nylon isn't as durable as metal.
PRO: Portable and compact
Take it with you on the road, or toss them under the bed. These don't take up much space.
CON: Not ideal for strength athletes or maximum muscle bodybuilders
Resistance bands are a great supplement to their training, but they aren't the ideal solo tool for those seeking maximum strength or maximum muscle.
CON: A couple of exercises are more awkward with resistance bands
I find lunges are awkward feeling with resistance bands.
PRO: Can't cheat
You know how when you are doing heavy dumbbell bicep curls and your body will start rocking when it gets hard to help get the weight up? Well if you were to do that with Bodylastics, you would find that it doesn't help at all. That is because you can't generate momentum with resistance bands like you can with weights. No cheating means your exercises will force the working muscles to do all the work, with zero help from momentum.
PRO: Doesn't rely on gravity
Weights only generate resistance in one direction, and that is because of gravity. Resistance bands generate resistance in any direction you stretch them.
PRO: Easier on joints
Momentum can be dangerous for the joints, and unlike weights, you can't generate momentum with resistance bands. I've noticed that I don't get sore joints after working out with elastic bands like I do when I lift weights. Resistance bands are easier on the joints than weights are.
PRO: You can safely do fast reps
This also has to do with momentum not being able to be generated while using resistance bands. You can do fast reps without worrying about banging your joints.
PRO: Save Time
It takes time to go to the gym. Commuting takes up a lot of time, and when you get to the gym you may have to workout in a crowd. It's much easier and quicker to knock out a workout at home.
PRO: Save Money
Gyms cost money. I save considerable money now by giving up my gym membership and working out at home. If I get bored of exercising at home, I can always take my Bodylastics to a park.
The Best Resistance Bands Are Bodylastics
Rated 100% awesome
The Best There Is
Bodylastics are the best resistance bands out there, no doubt. I personally love working out with them. Elastic tubing produces an entirely different feeling than weights, you know what I'm talking about if you've ever tried them. I think they are a lot of fun to use. I never get bored because there are so many ways to use them.
I love being able to increase or decrease the resistance by clipping or unclipping bands to the handles or ankle straps. I love being able to attach the bands to my door using the door anchor, and I love using the anywhere anchor to attach them to posts outside. The quality of their products are fantastic as well.
Another great thing about Bodylastics is their lifetime warranty.
If anything snaps or breaks within 90 days of purchase, you can get a free replacement (unless the bands were being used in a commercial setting).
If it has been after 90 days and something has broken, then it's just $5.95 for shipping and handling for each component you want to replace.
I've owned two sets of Bodylastics, and so far nothing has broke, which is probably why they can offer an awesome lifetime warranty like this.
Resistance Bands May Also Be Referred To As...
Just so you don't get confused