Which is better, loop resistance bands or resistance tubes with handles?

Both loop resistance bands and resistance tubes with handles are extremely versatile tools that can be integrated into your strength training routines.

Let’s look at how each one compares on different parameters.

1. Types of exercises

Both loop bands and tube bands can be used for 

  • Full-body workouts
  • Rotational Exercises (woodchoppers, Russian twist, etc.)
  • For supersetting between weightlifting exercises
  • Building hypertrophy and strength

The best feature of loop bands is that you hit any plane of motion and easily incorporate them into your weight training, calisthenics, and even your Yoga and Pilates practice.

For instance, you can 

  • combine them with squats, push-ups, and bench presses,
  • use them to assist in your pull-ups,
  • pair them with free weights (banded barbell squats, kettlebell swings, deadlifts, etc.)

These bands can be used in a wide range of exercises for

  • Mobility (front pull-aparts, lateral walks, etc.)
  • Flexibility (straddle stretch, kneeling shoulder stretch, etc.)
  • Plyometrics (resistance box jumps, resistance bear crawls, etc.)

Resistance tubes with handles are like a dumbbell and cable pulley machine rolled into one. 

These tubes come with handles, a door anchor, and wrist and ankle straps that allow you to do multiple pressing and pulling exercises such as

  • Triceps pulldowns
  • Overhead presses
  • Bicep curls
  • Knee drives
  • Glute kickbacks
  • Lying hamstring curls & more.

2. Comfort and ease of use

Loop bands are wider than resistance tubes with handles. So, for instance, when you are stepping on the band, your weight is distributed over a larger area, meaning the pressure isn’t concentrated on one spot. 

With tube bands, the pressure would be more concentrated due to their narrow shape. But when it comes to performing full-body workouts, pressing, and pulling exercises, tube bands are way more comfortable than loop bands because of the handles and the door anchor. 

3. Resistance

Loop bands offer a much wider range of resistance.

The below table shows the resistance values of Burnlab’s latex resistance bands. As you can see, our XXX-Heavy band’s resistance ranges from 64 to 116 kg.

Size

Resistance (kg)

XX – Light 

8-12

X - Light

12-18

Light

15-20

Medium

20 -25

Heavy

25 - 35

X-Heavy

40 - 45

XX- Heavy

28-80

XXX- Heavy

64-116


Due to the taut nature of tube bands, the ranges of resistance for each size are quite limited. Each tube generally has a 5-pound resistance range.

But the advantage of tube bands is that they can be stacked easily. (Burnlab bands can be stacked up to 64 levels of resistance). So you can use them in any combination for the desired resistance level. 

4. Durability 

The durability would completely depend on the brand of bands that you purchase. 

Burnlab’s fabric resistance bands are made of sturdy cotton-blended fabric, strong and stretchable latex, with two interlacing inner layers of grippy material, to ensure they don't roll up during your workouts. 

Both our latex loop bands and resistance tubes with handles are made of high-quality, natural latex that can handle years of repeated usage. 

Our tube bands come with anti-slip, soft foam ergonomic handles, and strong metal carabiners making them extremely durable. 

5. Portability and Storage

Loop bands are lightweight and super portable, whereas resistance tubes with handles take up a little more space because of the various attachments.

Exposure to UV light can degrade your resistance bands. Hence you should store both types of bands away from direct sunlight.

6. Safety

High-quality loop bands like those from Burnlab are ‘layered’ (made from more than one sheet of latex), meaning very low chances of the bands snapping. 

Our tube bands are carefully constructed to resist snapping and breaking so that you can exercise without worry.


To conclude…

If you want more versatility, loop bands might be a better choice as you can perform a wider variety of exercises. 

But if you want a stand-alone, full-body workout tool that is easier on your hands, then resistance tubes with handles would be the better choice.