The 9 Best Resistance Bands for Calisthenics

Calisthenics Resistance Bands

Calisthenics Resistance Bands are essentials tools to assist your Calisthenics exercises. Calisthenics exercise by its nature is a bodyweight exercise, ideal for burning muscle, improving the overall function of the body and to build muscle strength. You don’t need much to get started with Calisthenics, but for many their own bodyweight is still a hurdle they’re physically unable to take. For others, their bodyweight is simply no longer enough to see increased results from doing simple Calisthenics. For both these categories of people, there are Calisthenics Resistance Bands. These elastic bands are used in Calisthenics to either decrease the felt weight of your body or, conversely, to increase the resistance you experience. We’ve selected our favorite, best Calisthenics Resistance Bands which help us get the results we want.

What are Calisthenics Resistance Bands?

Calisthenics Resistance Bands are elastic latex bands of varying lengths and resistances, used in Calisthenics to aid in exercising. By using Calisthenics Resistance Bands, you can perform difficult exercises like Pull-Ups and Muscle-Ups more easily. The resistance band assists you by taking part of your bodyweight away from your arms and offsets it to your legs. That way, you can focus on learning correct posture and technique. This lowers the chance of injury or undue strain. Moreover, Calisthenics Resistance Bands allow you to start building muscle even if you ordinarily could not complete a single repetition of an exercise. This lowers the minimum entry bar for Calisthenics practitioners.

Elastic bands offer resistance both ways, so the converse of making exercises easier can just as easily be true. Many exercises can be done while using the calisthenics elastic band to increase the resistance you experience. Squats, Dips and Lunges are some of the exercises to which you can add a Calisthenics Resistance Band, increasing the difficult by which you can make muscle extensions, thus increasing your muscle gains from the exercise.

Calisthenics Resistance Bands are unsurprisingly a very popular implement and part of the staple Home Calisthenics Equipment people acquire. Chief among them for Calisthenics is the Flat Loop Band. These come in varying colors and most importantly, tensile strength. 

Different Types of Calisthenics Resistance Bands

Whether you’re trying to get into Calisthenics, or are looking for ways to improve your Calisthenics, there is a Calisthenics Resistance Band that can help you address your needs. We discern 3 types of resistance bands, each meant for a specific subset of exercises. It is important that you make the right choice, and depending on what you want to do, some types may be wholly unsuited.

Calisthenics Flat Loop Bands 

Flat Loop Bands are the most popular and ubiquitous Calisthenics exercise implement. Whenever you see us using resistance bands or mentioning resistance bands, we generally mean the Flat Loop Bands. Sometimes called Power Bands, you can easily recognize them by their shape. They are flat and looped, giving the appearance of an oversized rubber band, yet brightly colored instead of just beige-brown. What they lack in complexity, they make up for in versatility.

Flat Loop Bands can be used to assist you during bodyweight exercises. They support your weight by tying them to a Doorway Pull-Up Bar and putting your foot in the other end. This decreases the felt bodyweight on your arms as now your leg or legs are doing part of the work. The elasticity of the band preventing you from simply standing up, your arms will still have to do part of the work. This makes exercises you couldn’t do under normal circumstances a possibility, like Pull-Ups.

Many slightly more advanced beginners but also advanced Calisthenics practitioners, use the Calisthenics Flat Loop Band to train their glutes, abs and hips. By standing on the band and positioning the loop around your neck and shoulders, you can increase the resistance while standing up, for example during a squat. 

A selection of Calisthenics exercises where the Flat Loop Band is used:

Mini Resistance Bands (Booty Bands)

The full-sized Calisthenics Resistance Bands, like the standard-size Flat Loop Belt, may be a size too big for some exercises. In these instances, a shorter variation of the Flat Loop Belt is often used instead. These Mini Resistance Bands, sometimes known as Booty Bands, are frequently used for Calisthenics which focus on the lower body. The shorter bands add more resistance to your workout, for instance by stepping inside them and having them rest against your ankles or knees. This targets the core and glutes, hence Booty Bands. They are a very popular training implement among women looking to enhance the shapeliness of their lower body, while burning more calories and becoming stronger overall. Not only are Booty Bands ideal for their own subset of Calisthenics, you can also add them to exercises like Push-Ups, Pull-Ups and Dips, stabilizing and strengthening your core and correcting your posture.

You can use Mini Resistance Bands in Calisthenics exercises such as:

  • Squats 
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • Lunges
  • Dynamic stretching 
  • Standing Kickbacks

Tube Resistance Bands 

Many a beginner opts for the Tube Resistance Band for their simplicity and their obvious mode of use. The Tube Resistance Band consists of a single or multiple parallel bands, fastened to a handle on either end. Their most obvious use is to hold each handle in one hand and moving the hands apart, fighting the resistance of the bands. Since the Tube Resistance Band isn’t looped, you’re not using them to increase or decrease your bodyweight, so technically they aren’t a part of Calisthenics altogether. Their only function is their tensile strength for you to move. You can see them as substitute free weights, like dumbbells. Alternatively, you can fasten one end to a static object and then use them in swinging/rotary exercises. 

Tube Resistance Bands are used for various exercises such as:

  • Chest presses
  • Band rows
  • Overhead presses
  • Shoulder presses
  • Bicep curls

We differentiate between 3 types of Tube Resistance Bands:

  • Figure 8 resistance band: the most common kind in popular imagination, you use these to build upper-body and arm strength.
  • Lateral resistance band: these come with cuffs which you tie around your ankles and to some static object. They are used in lower-body toning exercises, focusing on the thighs and hips.
  • Ring assistance band: similar to the lateral resistance band, the ring resistance band consists of two soft rings instead of cuffs. They are meant for a slightly different set of exercises to train the lower body.

Resistance Band Color Guide

Calisthenics Resistance Bands come in various resistance levels. Generally, the darker the color; the heavier the resistance of the band will be. The following resistance band color guide will give you some rough directions, although individual brands may have differing resistance levels and there may be slight discrepancies due to different measurement systems too. 

YellowRedGreenBlueBlack
Very LightLightMediumHeavyVery Heavy
<30lbs.35lbs.40lbs.45lbs.>50lbs.

The 3 Best Flat Loop Resistance Bands for Calisthenics

These are the best Flat Loop Resistance Bands for Calisthenics. As Calisthenics enthusiasts, we love using these Flat Loop Resistance Bands because of their excellent characteristics and durability.

#1 Gornation Premium Resistance Bands

Gornation Premium Resistance Bands

10% off with our code: CWW10

Get it here:

gornation.com

Using Gornation products is always a solid choice, and their Calisthenics Resistance Bands are no exception. The Gornation Premium Resistance Bands come in 4 varieties: color-coded by weight. They are made of a natural latex, which is easier on the skin. They retain a smooth resistance throughout the pull and maintain a gradual increase in resistance from limp to maximum stretch. We got these Calisthenics Resistance Bands as a set of all 4 and got a handy door anchor included in the package. After many hours of heavy-duty use, they still stretch and relax like they were brand new.

You can use the code CWW10 at checkout with Gornation for a 10% discount. This code will work for their entire inventory, not just the resistance bands.

#2 Pullup & Dip Resistance Bands

pullup and dip resistance bands

10% off with our code: CWW10

Get it here:

pullup-dip.com

The Pullup & Dip Resistance Bands come in 4 varieties, together covering a range from 9 pounds to 120 pounds. With a nice and gradual increase and decrease in resistance and made of soft, natural latex, these Calisthenics Resistance Bands should suffice for practically any elastic band workout. The 4-part set comes with a door anchor as well and has served us for a long time already. We consider these a viable alternative to the slightly pricier Gornation Premium Resistance Bands, sacrificing only slightly in quality of material.

You can use the code CWW10 at checkout with Pullup & Dip for a 10% discount. This code will work for their entire inventory, not just the resistance bands.

#3 Rubberbanditz Resistance bands

As a close competitor to Gornation, Rubberbanditz specializes in Calisthenics Resistance Bands (hence the company name) and creating specialized calisthenics resistance band workouts. Their excellent craftsmanship created some of the best Calisthenics Resistance Bands. They are durable and feel good in the stretch and relaxation, keeping an even and gradual increase and decrease of resistance. Their quality is nigh-perfect and after many years of use, and rigorous testing for our review, they still hold up great. It’s a pity they have to cost so much more than Gornation, but if you’re willing to pay the premium then these might be for you.

The 3 Best Mini Bands (Booty Bands)

To get the booty you always desired — attracting that male gaze — you’ll have to do banded exercises at some point. There is no way around it and having the best Mini Bands, or Booty Bands, gives you that extra leg up on things.

#1 Rubberbanditz Booty Bands Deluxe

Rubberbanditz shines again with the Booty Bands Deluxe set of 5 different resistance levels. Their excellent workmanship result in snap-resistant, comfortable to use resistance bands to exercise those glutes. These durable bands will last you through years of banded exercise and have excellent retention. The whole set of 5 means you can start as a beginner and the Rubberbanditz Booty Bands will carry you all the way up to advanced level, by which time you will sporting the butt of your dreams. 

#2 Pullup & Dip Mini Bands Set

Fitness, Yoga, Crossfit, you name it (all branches off or related to Calisthenics), the Pullup & Dip Mini Bands are there to step up to the challenge. Like their bigger sisters, the Resistance Bands, the Mini Bands are of a high quality and sure to serve you for many years to come. While stretching or slackening them, the Pullup & Dip Mini Bands retain a gradual increase and decrease of stress; ideal for banded exercise to bring out those glutes and tightening that booty.

You can use the code CWW10 at checkout with Pullup & Dip for a 10% discount. This code will work for their entire inventory, not just the booty bands.

#3 Te-Rich Fabric Booty Bands

Allergic to (natural) latex? These fabric Booty Bands perform the same as their synthetic counterparts. The Te-Rich Booty Bands are laced with latex bands, covered with cotton to avoid an allergic reaction from your skin. Natural rubber is used to make for a non-slip surface. These fabric booty bands have good stretch and relax characteristics and can be readily used as a substitute for any latex booty band, mini band or Calisthenics Resistance Band. You get 3 variations, from light gray to black and differing in resistance level.

The 3 Best Tube Resistance Bands

Tube Resistance Bands take out a lot of guesswork from the equation. They offer a simple and affordable way to do exercises like chest presses and other weight machine related exercises, without owning a bench, weights, bars or machine.  These are the 3 best Tube Resistance Bands.

#1 Pullup & Dip Resistance Bands with Handles — Set of 5

Pullup & Dip markets this set as the smallest gym in the world. With the Pullup & Dip Resistance Bands with Handles, you can perform a myriad of strength and muscle building exercises normally reserved for the Home Gym or studio. The 5 different bands, of increasing resistance, come with foot straps and a door anchor. This allows you to turn your bedroom, your bathroom or a hotel room into your personal gym in seconds. Of course, you get that tried and tested Pullup & Dip quality for a very reasonable price.

You can use the code CWW10 at checkout with Pullup & Dip for a 10% discount. This code will work for their entire inventory, not just the resistance bands. 

#2 Fit Simplify Resistance Tube Bands

If you’re looking to save a few dollars, this Fit Simplify set of Tube Resistance Bands fulfills the same role as the Pullup & Dip set. They are portable and can turn any room with enough for you to lie flat on the floor into a veritable gym. Their quality approaches that of Pullup & Dip too, but you can’t expect the same longevity from them. This set is best to accompany you on holidays or business trips, while you exercise on more durable machinery at home.

#3 Retrospec Resistance Bands Set

A complete set for both bench press and chest press exercises as well as banded exercises for the glutes and thighs, this is what the Retrospec Resistance Bands set offers. With 5 different levels, going up neatly from 10 to 50 pounds, handles and ankle straps, you’re set for a whole workout. Topping off at 50 pounds, it remains a bit light. If you’re not looking for high resistance bands, the Retrospec set of Tube Resistance Bands may be a neat solution for you.

Benefits of using Resistance Bands in Calisthenics

As versatile additions to your workout routine, Calisthenics Resistance Bands have a number of enduring benefits. The main benefits from using Resistance Bands in your Calisthenics are:

Builds your Muscle 

What if the experts told you that you can naturally enhance your strength and endurance with easy to perform exercises and fewer repetitions? Calisthenics Resistance Bands work this way and by incorporating them into your routine, they help increase the quality of your Calisthenics exercises. You gain muscle faster and go beyond that plateau where just your bodyweight is no longer sufficient.

Compatible with All Skill Levels

Irrespective of being a newbie or a seasoned Calisthenics athlete, resistance bands work for you either way. Depending on the colors of your Calisthenics Resistance Bands, you can drastically decrease the difficulty of many Calisthenics exercises or conversely increase the difficulty should you feel you’re up for a new challenge.

Friendly to Your Joints

By using Calisthenics Resistance Bands, you can lighten the load on your joints until your muscles are ready for the stress you put on them. This strengthens the joints themselves and drastically decreases the risk of injury. Since all mechanical action comes from you, the risk of acute joint injury from the use of Calisthenics Resistance Bands is very minimal compared to the use of fitness machines.

Add Resistance to existing Calisthenics with Resistance Bands

You can add a Calisthenics Resistance Band to a wide variety of Calisthenics exercise, to make them easier but also to make them much more difficult. The use of a Weighted Vest or a Dip Belt might not make sense in your situation and they come with their own particular downsides. The Calisthenics Resistance Band is lightweight by itself, doesn’t require wearing anything around your torso or waist, are easier to take with you and are affordable.

Flat Loop Calisthenics Resistance Band Sizing Guide

It doesn’t help when different brands start using the same colors but different resistance levels for their Calisthenics Resistance Bands. Below, we’ve included our own Flat Loop Calisthenics Resistance Band Sizing Guide, so you can decide which resistance bands are the right fit for you, depending on the exercises you want to do.

TypeWeight (kg)Weight (Lbs)Use
Feather2-75-15 Used as a recovery aid and for general stretching, warming-up and mobility exercises. These ultra-light resistance bands are also good for recuperation after an injury.
Very Light9-1620-35Increase difficulty of Squats, Pull-Ups, Push-Ups and Dips.
Light14-2330-50Increase difficulty of Squats, Pull-Ups, Push-Ups and Dips.
Medium18-3640-80Intermediate weight while you work your way up or down resistance levels to “graduate” from resistance bands or to gradually increase difficulty instead.
Heavy23-5550-120Decrease difficulty of Body Weight Dips, Pull-Ups and Push-Ups. Used for Chest Presses and increasing the difficulty of Squats.
Very Heavy27-6860-150Decrease difficulty of Body Weight Dips, Pull-Ups and Push-Ups. Used for Chest Presses and increasing the difficulty of Squats.

Calisthenics Resistance Band Workouts

Calisthenics Resistance Bands can be added to a number of popular workouts to either increase or decrease their difficulty. They can add a whole new dimension to your Calisthenics despite being simple to implement and affordable to procure. We’ll be going through 6 very common Calisthenics exercises and how Calisthenics Resistance Bands can aid you to make them feasible from the very beginning or more rewarding further down the line.

Squats

Start with a Very Light resistance band to add resistance to your Squats. Put the loop of the band around your neck and drape them firmly over your shoulders, squat down until the loop reaches the floor in front of you. Take a Squat position with your feet firmly on the resistance band on the floor. Now perform your Squats normally and you’ll be working against the tension of the resistance band with every upward stroke.

Push-Ups

You can increase the difficulty of your Push-Ups by taking the whole resistance band and putting it over your back. Hold each end of the loop in either hand and do your Push-Ups. With every upward stroke, you’ll be fighting the tension of the resistance band. Start with a Very Light or Light resistance band and work up from there.

Push-up resistance band calisthenics

Alternatively, you can lighten the load by tying one end of the resistance band to a Pull-Up Bar above you and lying inside the loop at the end of this “noose”. Keep the loop firmly under your armpits while taking a Push-Up position. Your bodyweight should cause the resistance band to tense up so that with every upward stroke, it will take part of your bodyweight. You can start with a Heavy resistance band or any band which is strong enough to allow you to do Push-Ups. Work your way down to lower resistances until you can do Push-Ups unassisted.

Chest Press

You can do Chest Presses in absence of dumbbells or barbells using a Calisthenics Resistance Band instead. Using a door anchor or by looping a resistance band around a sturdy pole, you can hold each end of the loop and use them like you would use any weight press machine’s handles. Simply turn your back towards the anchor or pole and push the band or handles forward. You can start with any resistance you like and for which you can achieve 3 sets of 12 repetitions. 

Lunges

Adding a Calisthenics Resistance Band to your lunge helps stabilize your body movement while preventing muscle and joint strain. Place one end of the loop on the floor at your flat foot (forward foot) and step onto it firmly. The other end you hold in both hands, held slightly apart to remove any slack.

Bodyweight Dips

Bodyweight Dips can be made much easier using a Calisthenics Resistance Band. Place the resistance band over the handles of your Dip Bars and grasp them firmly with your hands. Place your knees onto the center of the resistance band and lower your weight into a dipping position. The resistance band will now carry part of your weight all the time and assist you in the upward stroke. Start with a Heavy, Very Heavy or even Power level resistance band to ensure that you can perform the Bodyweight Dip appropriately with a full motion and proper technique. Work your way down to lighter bands until you can do Dips unassisted. 

Alternatively, you can put the center of the resistance band around your neck to make the exercise more difficult instead of easier. We recommend starting with a Very Light band for a harder exercise.

Pull-Ups

Similar to Bodyweight Dips, you can drape the loop of a Calisthenics Resistance Band over the prongs or handles of a Pull-Up Bar and step your feet inside the loop near the floor. Many Pull-Up Bars include dedicated mounting points for Calisthenics Resistance Bands for ease of use. 

Concluding the Best Calisthenics Resistance Bands

So why should you use Calisthenics Resistance Bands? The short answer is that they’re versatile tools in Calisthenics which due to their nature of working both ways, benefits both beginner and expert Calisthenics practitioner. 

Calisthenics Resistance Bands have made the impossible possible for many people who in the beginning couldn’t even dream of doing a Push-Up or a Pull-Up. For the beginner, they take away part of your bodyweight and allows you to complete full repetitions of otherwise difficult or impossible exercises. This allows you to get the technique correct and avoid injury or overworking your muscles. You can gradually work your way down lighter resistance bands until you “graduate” and you can do the exercise unassisted.  

For the advanced practitioner who has reached a plateau, where their own bodyweight will no longer be sufficient to see gains, the Calisthenics Resistance Band can add that additional simulated bodyweight for them. It keeps doing the Calisthenics they are familiar with fresh and uncomplicated; all they do is add the band to their existing routine.

Gornation Premium Resistance Bands

10% off with our code: CWW10

Get it here:

gornation.com

The best Calisthenics Resistance Bands in our opinion are the Gornation Premium Resistance Bands. They offer all the quality of other top shelf resistance bands but for a very affordable cost. In addition, you can safe 10% by using the code CWW10 at checkout on their website. This makes the Gornation Premium Resistance Bands the best bang for your buck, all things considered.

Frequently Asked Questions About Calisthenics Resistance Bands

To wrap things up, we have answered a few frequently asked questions concerning Calisthenics Resistance Bands and their workouts.

What is the best resistance band for calisthenics?

Gornation makes the best Calisthenics Resistance Bands all things considered. They are of a high quality, durable, perform excellently in terms of stretch and relaxation and are affordably priced. We recommend the Gornation Premium Resistance Bands set and using the code CWW10 to get an additional 10% discount at checkout.

What are the benefits of using resistance bands?

You can make many exercises easier to do by using a Calisthenics Resistance Band. The band takes part of your bodyweight away from your arms and offsets it to your legs. This way, you can focus on technique and gradually building up muscle strength until you can do the exercise unassisted. The opposite is true as well, Calisthenics Resistance Bands can be used to increase the resistance on many common Calisthenics exercises.

Why use resistance bands instead of weights?

Resistance bands are more versatile than weights. They also take up less room, are lighter and easier to take with you. With a good set of Calisthenics Resistance Bands, you can perform almost any exercise you can do with a bench and barbells or a weight machine, but for a fraction of the cost.

What do the different resistance band colors represent?

The colors indicate resistance level, which come in weight ranges. Generally, lighter colors indicate a lighter resistance level. You can also tell the difference by looking at the width of the belt as a higher resistance will need more material.

Can I build muscle using resistance bands?

Yes, you can build muscle using Calisthenics Resistance Bands. This works two ways. First, if you cannot yet support your own bodyweight for one complete repetition of an exercise, the bands can make it easier by taking part of your weight away from your arms. This allows you to build muscle until you no longer need the assistance of the bands. Second, you can increase the resistance you feel to make exercises harder by adding a Calisthenics Resistance Band. There are also push and pull techniques reminiscent of weight bench exercises which you can do with these bands.

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