Resistance bands are a very good piece of equipment to get a full body workout done. You can use them for rehab, muscle and strength building and more. Having some handles on the end of your resistance bands make them a lot easier and more comfortable to use. So what should you look for and what’s best? Let’s find out.
The only type of resistance bands it’s possible to attach handles to is tube bands. Tube bands are a hollow tube or elastic material with a loop or ring bonded to the end. That look or band can be used to attach any attachment to. D handles and ankle straps are the most common.
If you want more details on what to look for exactly, keep reading below.
Which type of resistance bands have handles?
There are different types of resistance bands. And not all of them have the option to attach handles. To attach handles you’ll need a place to safely do so. Just tying a knot around the attachment isn’t the best way to do it.
The only type of resistance band that has the option to attach handles and other things safely and securely are tube bands. Tube bands are a hollow tube made out of flexible material which creates the resistance. To be able to attach something, you’ll still need a loop or eyelet or something similar.
Tube bands often (see exception below) have a nylon loop, metal ring or eyelet bonded to the end of the band. This loop can be used to attach any attachment to. Usually this connection is done with a karabiner or clip.
There are exceptions to this. Some tube bands have handles permanently attached to them. If you only want to use normal handles, that’s not actually a bad thing. However, if you might want to use the same bands with other attachments, it’s a good idea to choose a set where the handles come off and can be replaced with something else. Loop bands, mini bands or therapy bands can never be attached to any handles.
Also, tube bands with permanently attached handles can often not be stacked. That means the weight band you use is what you got. If you’ve got detachable handles, this means you can attach several bands to one attachment and so stack the resistance. For example, if you attach both the 10 and 15 lbs. bands to a handle, you get 25 lbs. of resistance. So detachable handles give you more choices of resistance as well.
Can you attach other things to a resistance bands?
Handles (also known as D handles) are the first thing that come to mind to attach to a resistance band. And that makes sense, for the vast majority of exercises with resistance bands you want to grab them with your hands and D handles are the easiest way to do that.
However, D handles aren’t the only thing that is a useful attachment. There are a few other things you can attach to resistance bands and are very useful. Most tube bands have a little loop you can attach a karabiner to just like a cable machine. Some have bigger clips than others but they all fit the most common cable attachments.
Basically every attachment for a cable machine will fit on a tube band. As long as the karabiner is large enough it can fit. Often the karabiners are replaceable so even if they’re too small, you can easily make it work.
The best attachments for resistance bands
So if you can pretty much attach any cable attachment to a tube band, which ones are the best?
Here are some other useful things you can attach to a resistance band;
- Ankle straps
- Triceps rope
- Double D handle
Ankle straps are the most important other band attachment to get besides D handles. That’s because it allows you to do leg exercises. Ankle straps can be seen as the D handles for legs. This means they allow you to do things like leg extensions, leg curls and leg raises among other exercises. That means ankle straps allow you to train your lower body with resistance bands in much more ‘detail’. Of course D handles can be used for exercises like squats and lunges but ankle straps allow for way more muscle isolation.
A lat bar can be a good attachment if you want to do lat pulldowns. It can also be a good attachment for bar curls. Instead of using each end of the band for each arm, a bar allows you to use one side for both arms. (or attach the bar to both ends for more resistance). This has the benefit that you can use more resistance and therefore build more muscle and strength.
The triceps rope can be used for face pulls, hammer curls, straight arm pushdowns and more. It’s a thick nylon rope that’s held/attached to the band in the middle and has two plastic balls at the end. This makes it easier to hold your hands in a slightly different way than with D handles.
A double D handle is an attachment which combines two d handles into one attachment. The two grips can’t move independently of each other which means you can use them for close grip rows and pulldowns.
The best set of tube bands with handles
So you want a set of tube bands you can attach handles and other things to. What is the best set you can get? There are a ton of different sets of tube bands out there. And it is a good idea to buy a set and not separate parts.
A combo set of tube bands usually consists of the following;
- Five tube bands of different weights
- Pair of D handles
- Door anchor
- Ankle straps
- Carrying bag
There is a little bit of variability between sets but the setup above is the most common. And it is a good starting point. That set will allow you to do a full body workout without buying anything else. Of course it’s possible to add on some of the extra attachments listed above.
When shopping for a set, keep an eye out for a few things;
- Buy as complete a starting set as you can
- Make sure the handles are detachable if you want to use other attachments
- Bands from a company with an office in your country is a plus