How long are normal resistance bands and which size do you need? Here’s what you need to know.
How long are resistance bands?
- Loop bands: 40” to 41” long which means 80” to 82” total circumference.
- Mini bands: 10” to 12” long which means 20” to 24” total circumference.
- Therapy bands: 5 feet long. Some are slightly longer or shorter but stay within 1” of 5’
- Tube bands: 48” long without attachments.
For more information about these different types of bands and how to use them, keep reading.
How long are resistance bands?
That question is a bit too general. There is more than one type or resistance band and they don’t necessarily have the same length. There are 4 common types of resistance band that we should take a look at;
- Loop bands
- Mini bands
- Therapy bands
- Tube bands
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There are no rules and regulations for resistance bands like there are for Olympic barbells. That means that manufacturers don’t have to comply to anything and the bands can have different sizes and characteristics. That said, most common resistance bands have similar measurements because of the simple fact that those sizes work for most people.
Let’s take deeper look at the 4 most common types of resistance bands.
How long Are loop bands
Loop bands are some of the most common resistance bands out there. As the name suggests, they form a loop so there are no loose ends. These bands are very versatile and can be used for a lot of different exercises. You can use them held in your hands, under your feet, attached to an anchor, etc. Be
Loop bands are 40” to 48” long. (3’3 to 4 long) That’s the length when you put the band down on the floor and measure from one end to the other. Because it’s a loop, you have to double that distance to get the total length. That means the total circumference of these bands is 80” to 96”.
Mini bands length
Mini bands are actually loop bands as well. They form a loop, just smaller. These bands are used for applications where the range of motion is smaller or for corrective exercises.
For example, you can put these around your knees during squats to give you a mental cue to keep pushing your knees out to prevent them from caving in. Of course for applications like that, the bands have to be a lot shorter than normal loop bands.
Mini bands are generally 12” long but, 10” bands are also available (24” or 20” total circumference). That means mini bands measure about 1 foot or slightly shorter in length. For smaller people, shorter bands are more suitable so you have less slack in the band and you hit resistance earlier. Where loop bands are kind of rectangular (thick but not very wide), mini bands are much wider and flatter.
Therapy bands sizes
Therapy bands are quite different from the loop bands. The first difference is that they are not formed in a loop. These bands are just a piece of elastic material. As the name suggests, these are often used for therapeutic and rehab exercises.
In general, these bands are thinner, much wider and have less resistance than loop bands. Because they are not supposed to be used for muscle building but for recovery and stretching.
Most therapy resistance bands are around 5’ long. Some are a bit shorter and some a bit longer but usually the difference isn’t more than 1”. Therapy bands are much wider than the usual resistance bands. Usually around 6″ wide.
Length of tube bands
All other resistance bands are flat. Tube bands are, as the name suggests, are little tubes. So they’re hollow in the middle. While loop bands and therapy bands can be held with your hands, tube bands are designed to be used with anchors or attachments.
Without any attachments, tubular bands are 48” long. Of course you can always find exceptions but 48” is the vast majority of tube bands.
Loop bands: 40” to 41” long which means 80” to 82” total circumference.
Mini bands: 10” to 12” long which means 20” to 24” total circumference.
Therapy bands: 5 feet long. Some are slightly longer or shorter but stay within 1” of 5’
Tube bands: 48” long without attachments.
Which type of resistance band is right for you?
So not all bands are the same length and not all bands are suitable for the same purpose. Which bands should you get?
That depends on what you want to do of course. So let’s take a look at the four different types again and what they are best used for.
Loop bands: This type of band is very versatile. With some creativity, you can do almost everything you can imagine. You can attach them to anchors for pressing exercises, step inside the band for squats and shoulder presses, etc.
If you only want to buy one type of bands, this is easily the best one to go for. Versatile, cheap, simple to use without any other equipment except maybe an anchor point.
Mini bands: Mini bands serve a pretty specific purpose. They are useful for exercises where you have a relatively small range of motion.
They’re great for correcting your form on certain exercises. But also to add a different resistance to lunges.
If you’re specifically looking to correct certain things in your form or for specific exercises, mini bands are good to have. However, for general purposes, the normal loop bands are better.
Therapy bands: Therapy bands are pretty versatile. They are comparable to loop bands except someone cut them open and they’re much thinner.
These can be a bit more comfortable to use than loop bands because they’re wider so the weight is spread out more. These bands don’t usually offer the high resistances that loop bands can. They also can’t be anchored so they’re not as versatile.
Tube bands: Tube bands are used with attachments. Other bands you can grip anywhere and get the width or length you need. Tube bands are a bit too thin to comfortably get a good grip on them unless you wrap them around your hands.
That means you’ll use the attachments pretty often and also an anchor point on the wall or somewhere else. This makes them useful for many pushing exercises and exercises that are better with a certain attachment.
What’s the heaviest resistance band? Some resistance bands offer up to 250 lbs. of resistance. Resistance bands get heavier the more you stretch them so that 250 lbs. is in the most stretched position. A band like that will give you about 150 lbs. earlier on.
How can you anchor resistance bands? The best way to anchor resistance bands is with dedicated anchors. However, anything you can wrap the band around without it moving or breaking off can be used.