We grouped these together as they all support functional and movements of mobility and rehabilitation. The Best Resistance bands provide a form of resistance as an alternative to free weights and bodyweight exercises. They are also great additions to Power Racks & Functional Trainers! Battle Ropes get the heart moving, work the core, and strengthen everything from head-to-toe. Suspension Trainers, such as TRX, stand for Total Body Resistance exercise, which helps build strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, core, and joint stability.
So, whether you are seeking to build strength, improve endurance or flexibility, travel-friendly workouts, or just add variety in your workouts, Resistance bands, Battle Ropes, and/or Suspension Trainers will definitely give you the versatility and new excitement in your workouts!
We have found the following to be the all-around equipment for each category:
- Resistance Bands
- Suspension Trainers
- Battle Ropes
Also, if you like the idea of a resistance band system attached to a base, be sure to check out the Vitruvian Trainer+.
We found the best Resistance Bands to have built-in carabiners for attachments, such as handles and ankle straps, as well as an internal core that acts as a fail-safe mechanism in case the band tears and snaps.
Accessories to consider when selecting your Resistance Bands:
- Single hand handles
- Dual hand bar
- Door anchor point
- 2 x limb straps
- Attachment base
- And of course, a bag to hold the accessories and bands
There are companies that took the simple band, a REALLY large rubber band, turned them into tubes and then added carabiners for additional attachments. Then newer companies attached these tubes to platforms to expand the availability of exercises. These platforms make leg workouts more stable.
The unique thing about Resistance Bands is that they provide more resistance the further you stretch them. So, as you begin to raise your arm for a lateral shoulder raise, your should will begin to warm up, but it’ll be shaking by the time your hand is level with your shoulder. Because of this, Resistance Bands can also be used with a barbell inside a Power Rack or Functional Trainer while doing chest presses and squats. The added resistance at the top of the movement makes the muscles work that much hard.
With a Platform
BodyBoss 2.0 System ($179)
The addition of a platform opens up the variety of exercises. Combining the fact that the platform folds up, yet can withstand 500 lb. of force makes it a great mobile gym. With a total weight of 15 lb., the BodyBoss 2.0 Resistance Band system provide a great portable workout solution.
The one shortcoming we found was that this system only comes with one 30 lb. resistance band. As mentioned above, the resistance increases to further you stretch it. So, the BodyBoss 2.0 is designed to reduce the length of the resistance band to increase the resistance. This increases the weight to 70 – 80 lb.
Along with the platform, you get a door anchor, 2 x limb straps, 2 x handles, 42″ workout bar, and the 1 x 30 lb. resistance band. Additional 30 lb. bands cost $24.99
Safety: since the outside of the band is covered in a nylon mesh, there is no tube to fail and potential snap. The anchor points on the platform were rigorously tested to withstand 500 lb. of force.
Dimensions = Unfolded: 34″ x 20″ x 1″. Folded: 17″ x 20″ x 2″.
The BodyBoss 2.0 Resistance Bands System is a capable, portable, and versatile system.
Warranty: 1 year
XBAR Fitness XBAR ($189 – $329)
Instead of the focus around the platform, like the BodyBoss, the XBAR is based upon its specific exercise bar. The bar is well designed for upper and lower body exercises and is wide enough and strong enough to handle the resistance you need to get that pump.
Weight: The XBAR comes with 150 lb. of maximum resistance (full stretch), and can be upgraded to 480 lb.
The higher priced item is the XBAR Kit with Resistance System 2.0 Bands. This system comes with a plethora of additional bands to deliver more weight than you can handle.
A downside, being that the focus is on the “XBAR”, this bar does not fold. At 35″, they claim that the bar can go anywhere, but 35″ is a decent length and can be a challenge to fit, as an overhead compartment in a plane restricts you to 22″.
The Push up docs are a hybrid to the platform concept, but we don’t recommend standing on it. 😉 Though it offers a great anchoring point for pushups, as it’s intended!
What you get: 35″ XBAR, 2 x Pushup Docs, 2 x resistance bands [light (5-30 lb.), medium (20-50 lb.), heavy (25-70 lb.)], door anchor, accessories bag, workout guide, and a video library of workouts.
Warranty: 5 years
Just the Bands
Bodylastics ($49.95 – $197.99)
The price varies, based on the number of bands you would like in your set. The base set, with 5 bands offers 3 lb. to 96 lb. This is a total weight, so divide the weight in half for each arm, or 48 lb. per arm. When it comes to leg work, this set will most likely not be enough.
We’ve used the Bodylastics Resistance Bands for years and they are great for travel. Just lay them out at the bottom of the suitcase and you have a mobile gym. You can then use the door anchor on the hotel bathroom door and get in a great workout anytime.
What puts Bodylastics at the top of our list is the woven inner cord that prevents the tube from overstretching, as well as, in case of the tube breaking, the tube will not snap and hit you.
Also, the weight listed on the Resistance Bands are true. When you fully extend the band, an 8 lb. band will measure very close to 8 lb. The hardware is top-notch with commercial grade hardware (clips & O-rings and solid nylon webbing straps).
And a great plus is you can keep adding Resistance Bands to the handles to increase resistance. Doing squats with 200 lb. plus in Resistance Bands feels different than a standard barbell or Smith Machine.
They have also added an optional Resistance Bands Bar (43.5″ long, 300 lb. rating), which opens up further availability of exercises. Of course, it folds in half to make it portable!
We have the 8 bands Warrior Set (282 lb.) and it is a great place to start. We highly recommend it as the Best Resistance Bands!
GoFit ProGym Extreme ($69.99)
With four (4) resistance bands, offering 20, 30, 40, and 50 lb. of tension each, you can combine them for a total of 140 lb. Additional power tubes are available for as little as $9.99 for a 20 lb. resistance band.
The additional resistance band sizes include: 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100 lb.
The internal core of each tube has a nylon cord and the connecting rings are wrapped in more strength-tested nylon webbing to hold up under great tension.
Included is an accessory bag, four resistance bands (resistances mentioned above), 2 x handles, 2 x door anchors, 2 x limb straps, and an exercise guide.
Additionally, GoFit offers add-ons such as a 200 lb. capacity bar
Warranty: 1 year
Suspension Trainers started with the TRX System. TRX is popular in many gyms and there have been companies out to improve and expand the concept. This study shows how Suspension Trainers can improve muscle strength, mass, and functional performances in older adults.
There are quite a few knock-offs available, at a really low price, to boot. But with safety in mind, we found the materials to be lacking on many, and overall a lack of options available on others.
Of course, TRX is on our list, but be sure to check out a few innovative pieces of equipment.
Consider your anchoring point for any of these systems:
- Between a door jam and the door, utilizing a door anchor
- Connected/wrapped around a sturdy piece of workout equipment
- Chin up bar
- Around a tree and/or thick branch
- An aftermarket anchor loop such as:
- TRX XMount Wall & Ceiling Anchor ($40)
Aktiv RECOIL Trainer ($299)
Believe it or not, we find this system to nudge ahead of the grandfather, the TRX system. Having the recoil system, like a safety seat belt, which locks in to the length that you need for the workout, the RECOIL quickly adjusts to meet the needs of your next exercise.
The straps adjust from head to toe and active with just the touch of a button. The accessories are built to last and the overall system is compact, portable, and efficient to use.
- What’s included: RECOIL, User’s guide, Exercise guide
- Dimensions: 5″ x 4.5″ x 3.5″. 3.3 lb.
- Max User Weight: 330 lb.
- Warranty: 10 years
The downside is that you need to plan out where you will attach this system. This Suspension Trainer does not come with a door anchor or a way to attach to a sturdy structure.
TRX PRO4 System ($269.99)
Where it all began, the Total Body Resistance (TRX) exercise system was designed for everyone as a durable, high-volume training strap. Tested with athletes, various adjustments to set up the next exercise, durable components, and adaptable for all fitness levels.
Whether you’re focused on strength, cardio, or mobility, the TRX System has a community that backs the reputation.
This system is more portable than the Aktiv RECOIL Trainer.
- What’s included: TRX Pro4 Suspension Trainer, Door anchor, Xtender, Mesh carry bag.
- Dimensions: 5″ x 4.5″ x 3.5″. 3.3 lb.
- Max User Weight: 350 lb.
- Warranty: 10 years
Bodytorc Suspension Trainer ($69.97)
Kind of a bare bones package, but made with strong and durable components, this Suspension System is as portable as the TRX system, as well as coming with the same type of attachments.
Surprised by the number of 4 & 5 star reviews, the Bodytorc Suspension Trainer system provides a sturdy alternative to the TRX system.
- What’s included: Bodytorc Suspension cables, carrying bag, door anchor, 2 x foot slings, 2 x handles, 2 x extension arms
- Dimensions: 8.03″ x 6.93″ x 4.88″. 4 lb.
- Max User Weight: 880 lb.
- Warranty: Lifetime
Free exercise videos available on their website.
Battle ropes are this cool thing that builds up a sweat, gets your heart pumping, and has all your muscles firing. If you’ve never tried it, it’s worth a whirl! Whether for a warm-up or an all-out cardio blaster, battle ropes are a perfect addition to your home gym to provide a full-body workout. With them, you get a blend of cardio and strength that is challenging, effective, and believe it or not… fun!
Things that will affect the price:
- Length & diameter (50′ is the most popular length. The diameter is based on your skill level & strength). 2″ diameter will challenge your grip strength!
- 30′ x 1.5″ = Women (Beginner)
- 40′ or 50′ x 1.5″ = Men (Beginner)
- 30′ x 2″ = Novice
- 50′ x 2″ = Fitness
- Durability – protective cover along rope, good grip handles
- Included accessories: wall mount, door anchor
Honestly, just about any battle rope will get the job done. Just be sure it’s long enough and will hold up. If the rope is contained within a sleeve, it will last longer, and be more durable. The weight, along with its length will provide additional challenges.
The one thing to really pay attention to is… where are you going to anchor your battle rope? You could use a wall anchor, such as found on the resistance bands above, but all that jarring may offset the door from the door jam after a while. If you have a sturdy piece of equipment, that’ll definitely work. You can also mount an attachment loop to a wall. But please make sure you lag screw it well to the stud!!
Power Guidance Battle Rope ($74.99 – $149.99)
A fair price for the variety available.
- 1.5″ x 30′ = $74.99
- 1.5″ x 40′ = $81.99
- 1.5″ x 50′ = $99.99
- 2″ x 30′ = $104.99
- 2″ x 40′ = $119.99
- 2″ x 50′ = $149.99
Regardless of length or diameter, this battle rope comes with a protective layer along the entire length of the rope, heat-shrink handles with a nice grip, and it also comes with a wall anchor and anchoring hardware.
Warranty: Information unavailable
REP Battle Rope ($79.99 – $169.99)
Four options are available:
- 1.5″ x 30′ (18 lb.) = $79.99
- 1.5″ x 50′ (28 lb.) = $119.99
- 2″ x 30′ (30 lb.) = $129.99
- 2″ x 50′ (46 lb.) = $169.99
REP gives you the option of color: red, blue, or black.
Grippy handles, the variety of colored rope protector are strong and vibrant. Not as many length options, but 30′ & 50′ are great lengths to work with.
Warranty: 1 year.