The best Pilates bands

Find yourself the perfect fitness companion.

Woman doing donkey kicks exercise with Pilates bands

by Gemma Lavers |
Updated on

One essential tool that has become integral to Pilates workouts is Pilates bands, also known as resistance bands. These versatile and portable bands add a whole new dimension to your workout, targeting various muscle groups and enhancing your overall strength and flexibility. Pilates focuses on core strength, flexibility and posture and has gained an incredible amount of popularity in recent years - and the band is a must-have accessory for anyone practicing.

If you're unsure as to what a Pilates band is, or are new to the world of Pilates, a band is commonly used for strength training and physical therapy. In short, it's a stretchy band typically made from rubber or latex materials. Similar to resistance bands, Pilates bands are available in various sizes, lengths, and levels of resistance, making them suitable for people of different fitness levels and exercise goals.

Another great way Pilates bands can be used is for injury rehabilitation to help individuals recover from injuries, as they provide a controlled way to rebuild strength and flexibility without putting excessive strain on injured areas.

If that wasn't enough to convince you to invest in one of these Pilates companions, it can also make for the perfect little accessory to your home workouts. Unlike investing in bulky exercise equipment for your home, both Pilates bands and resistance bands are lightweight and portable and take up very little space. On top of that they also make for an extremely versatile piece of kit - they can be used for a wide range of exercises, including squats, lunges, rows, presses, curls and leg lifts, the list goes on.

The best Pilates bands at a glance:

Best overall Pilates band: Coresteady Pilates Resistance Bands - View now on Amazon
Best Pilates band for injury rehabilitation: Gaiam Restore Strength and Flexibility Kit - View now on John Lewis
Best Pilates band to build strength: WOD Nation Resistance Bands - View now on Amazon

After hearing all the benefits of investing in a Pilates band, it's not surprising you're probably tempted to take the plunge and invest in a new piece of equipment to diversify your current routine. Unsure on where to start? We've got you covered.

The best Pilates bands to buy right now:

Best overall Pilates band

Coresteady Resistance Pilates Band
Price: £8.99+

This band has been given the top spot because of its quality and clever design features, like the ultra-elastic and anti-slip materials. Unlike average bands on the market that recoil abruptly, Coresteady's bands have a gentle and controlled return to shape due to their anti-snap technology. For those who suffer from skin irritation when using certain equipment, its Pilates band is also skin-friendly meaning you won't need to worry about not feeling comfortable while completing your Pilates practice.

Although Coresteady's bands are frequently sold as individuals, they do offer five different resistance levels: lightest, light, medium, strong and strongest. So, irrespective of your fitness level, gender or experience, its Pilates band will empower everyone during exercise with strength and performance.


  • Firmer than a regular Pilates band
  • Very affordable
  • Complimentary exercise guide included with purchase


  • Some users found the material can slip during leg work

Best Pilates band for injury rehabilitation

Gaiam Restore Strength and Flexibility Kit
Price: $23.99

Gaiam is a brand paving the way when it comes to creating exercise and wellness equipment that's accessible to all - this is why they've expertly designed a restore kit. It's a must-consider choice for those seeking a high-quality option to help with post-physical therapy. Gaiam's bands come in a set of three with light, medium and heavy resistance levels. Made from durable rubber, its bands are suitable for Pilates exercises aimed at toning, sculpting and improving flexibility.


  • Aimed at individuals who require post-physical therapy
  • Three levels of resistance
  • 60-inch length to ensure you have enough slack to perform exercises comfortably


  • Some users felt there wasn't enough exercise instructions included

Best Pilates band for comfort

The CFX resistance bands come in three different levels, light, medium and strong, in distinct colours. So whether you're a novice or a seasoned fitness enthusiast, its bands enable personalised training, aligning with your strength, capabilities and comfort zone. Accompanied by a compact storage bag, these fabric exercise bands offer both portability and convenience. Their compact form makes them the perfect companion during travels, home workouts or gym sessions.

Made from premium cotton polyester stretch fabric, these Pilates bands offer a blend of sturdiness and comfort. The bands are both resilient and gentle, so you can enjoy your workout without worrying about the band snapping. The embedded natural latex core further impacts elasticity and longevity, surpassing the performance of conventional latex or rubber resistance bands. With improved slip resistance, durability and elasticity, these bands will help redefine your workout.


  • Sewn with high-quality cotton polyester for added comfort
  • Array of colours indicating different levels of resistance
  • 36cm band length making the bands suitable for everyone


  • Some reported the CFX bands don't stretch as much as rubber Pilates bands do

Best Pilates band for aesthetic

Nyamba’s Pilates band offers users a no-nonsense option for strength training, Pilates or rehabilitation. With its 3kg resistance, it's definitely a valuable addition to your exercise regimen. It's offered in 2kg, 3kg and 4kg options as well if you're looking for a band with more or less resistance. Enhance your workout routine or engage in muscle-stretching sessions across all your muscle groups using this versatile band. Its portability allows you to conveniently carry it wherever you go, ensuring you never skip your daily workout sessions.


  • Variety of available sizes; 2kg, 3kg, 4kg resistance
  • Super affordable


  • Some users found the band wasn't long enough

Best quality Pilates band

Gymbee Resistance Band Set
Price: $16.99
Alternative retailers
Walmart$15.99View offer

Gymbee's resistance bands are designed for intermediate to professional users, targeting individuals who already have some experience with Pilates or resistance training. Sold in a pack of three with three different resistance options, 14-25lbs, 25-35lbs and 35-50lbs, giving you more choice for your exercises at different intensity levels.

Gymbee has been given the title of 'the best quality Pilates band' because the cloth nylon and non-slip inner strips to guarantee your bands stay in the right place for your exercise. After all, there's nothing more annoying than having a Pilates band slip down your leggings or pinch your skin during a workout.

Another useful touch from Gymbee is that its bands come with lifetime access to an exclusive video workout programme led by their very own personal trainer. So, if you're stuck for workout ideas or want to know how to incorporate your band, Gymbee have got you covered.


  • Made from quality materials: a cloth band featuring non-slip inner strips
  • Sold in a pack of three with three different levels of resistance for users of all levels
  • Comes with a black mesh bag for easy carrying


  • The high resistance on these bands may make it an unsuitable option for beginners

Best Pilates band to build strength

WOD Nation Resistance Bands
Price: $7.99+

Sold separately, WOD Nation's resistance bands are the best to invest in if you're looking to challenge yourself by starting with beginner bands and working your way up to advanced bands. WOD Nation recommends that users use one light band and one heavy band together in one workout session.

Start with a thin beginner band with a resistance of 10-35lbs, then when you start to get a little more sluggish as you work your way through, switch to a thicker and more advanced band. To give yourself a final push at the end of a workout, combine the two bands.

An interesting element to its bands is they've been innovated to recoil and contract with your muscles, rather than snapping back and pinching skin like some other bands can be guilty of. The natural rubber material also makes the band a comfortable option which won't irritate your skin during exercises.


  • Mix and match colours and resistance
  • Bands have been created to expand and contract with your muscles - instead of snapping back they gently recoil
  • Made with 100% natural rubber


  • Each band is sold separately if you're wanting to buy more than one

Best branded Pilates band

Crafted using sturdy latex material, the Adidas Pilates resistance bands are available in two levels of resistance, light (level one) and medium (level two). This versatility accommodates your workout intensity, exercise choices and skill level. With the ability to isolate and apply resistance to specific muscles, these bands are highly effective for enhancing flexibility and building muscular strength and tone. Once you've finished your workout, they can be conveniently rolled up for transport and effortlessly stored.


  • Comes in two levels of resistance to suit your intensity
  • Roll up tightly for easy transportation


  • May find the latex material 'snaps' against the skin


Lady in red using a Pilates band to add resistance to her workout.

How to incorporate Pilates bands into your Pilates practice

Incorporating a Pilates resistance band into your Pilates practice can add variety and challenge to your routine. Here are some moves and exercises you can try:

Leg Press with Band:

• Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet resting flat on the floor. 
• Secure the resistance band around your feet, gripping the ends with your hands. 
• Push your feet against the band's resistance as you lengthen your legs, activating your core muscles. 
• Afterwards, gently bend your knees to return to the initial position.

Arm Circles with Band:

• Take a seated position with an upright posture, extending your legs and wrapping the band around your hands. 
• Elevate your arms just above shoulder level, ensuring the band remains taut. 
• Start making a series of small arm circles, gradually increasing their size.
• After completing your set, switch the direction of the circular motion.

Standing Rows:

• Step onto the band, making sure your feet are comfortably apart. 
• Grab onto the band's ends and begin with your arms stretched out in front you. 
• Now, gently draw your elbows backwards, feeling your shoulder blades come together. 
• Finally, bring your arms back to where you began.

Saw with Band:

• Sit up nice and straight with your legs stretched out in front of you. 
• Wrap the band around your feet and grip it with both hands, keeping your arms straight in line with your shoulders. 
• Now, gently twist your upper body to the side while reaching your opposite hand toward the outer edge of your foot. 
• Return to the centre, then twist over to the other side, feeling a nice stretch.

Side Leg Series:

• Lie on your side, and make sure the band is snugly around your ankles. Rest your head on your lower arm and use your upper hand to keep yourself steady. 
• Raise your upper leg to the level of your hip while feeling the band's pull. 
• Carry out movements like lifting your leg, drawing circles, and performing kicks to target the muscles on the outer part of your hip and thigh.

Bridge with Band:

• Lie down, bend your knees, and rest your feet flat on the floor. 
• Put the band around your thighs, right above your knees. 
• As you raise your hips into a bridge, push your knees outward against the band's resistance. 
• Ease your hips back down onto the mat.

Standing Leg Press:

• Take one end of the band in each hand and position yourself at the band's midpoint with one foot. 
• Raise your opposite foot off the ground and push it backwards as you lengthen your leg. 
• Engage your core muscles and stabilise. 
• Bring your foot back to the starting stance and repeat the movement on the other side.

Remember to maintain proper form and control during these exercises. Start with a lighter resistance band and gradually increase the tension as you get comfortable. Always listen to your body and consult a fitness professional if you're new to these exercises or have pre-existing conditions.

Do Pilates resistance bands work?

Pilates bands are indeed a great tool to enhance the benefits of your practice. Pilates itself is a low-impact form of exercise that aims to improve core strength, flexibility, balance and overall body wellness.

Incorporating Pilates bands into your workout will require you to engage and tense your muscles throughout the movements, leading to improved muscle endurance over time. They can also help you target specific muscle groups precisely, like arms, glutes and thighs. The same workout can get boring after a while and Pilates bands help to diversify your routine by creating new movement patterns and challenges so your exercises remain engaging.

It's also important to mention that the effectiveness and results that come from using a Pilates band depend on how they are used and integrated into your practice. Like any piece of gear, proper form, technique and repetitive use are essential to seeing results. If you're new to using resistance bands or Pilates in general, it might be helpful to look into local classes in your area to ease yourself in gently.

What is the difference between a Pilates band and a resistance band?

The short answer is they are almost exactly the same and both can be used during Pilates practice. There are thousands of resistance bands on the market, all with various sizes, shapes and resistance levels, and some are an entire band with both ends attached and others have open ends.

Commonly you'll see the open-ended resistance bands being used for Pilates as they suit the poses better. However, bands with both ends attached are also still usable in Pilates practice to work your muscles a little harder.

This is one of those cases you often find in the fitness industry, where equipment can have a wide application. Similar to using a yoga mat or yoga socks during Pilates and other home workouts. It's a good thing, as it means you'll get more use for your money than if everything has discreet, unflexible applications.

Are thicker or thinner Pilates bands better?

The choice between thicker or thinner Pilates bands all depends on your fitness level, individual goals and the exercises you tend to do during your workouts.

Thick bands

Let's talk first of thick bands. If you're someone who is seeking a more challenging workout or are more experienced, thicker bands might be the right option for you as they typically (but not always) provide higher resistance levels.

They will also engage muscles more intensely because of their higher resistance. Thicker bands can be effective for building muscle strength and endurance, specifically during squats and overhead presses.

However, one downside to thicker bands is some exercises which require a lot of flexibility and movement may be harder to perform with this type of band.

Thin bands

Alternatively, thinner bands generally offer lower resistance and are more ideal for individuals starting off their Pilates journey. Without overwhelming yourself with resistance, beginners can focus on controlled movements and the correct form.

Thinner bands are also the type of band recommended for injury rehabilitation and gentle muscle activation by working to reintroduce resistance without strain. Saying that, a lot of users who opt for a thinner band find themselves having to double up bands to reach larger resistance levels. Like we said earlier, it all depends what you're looking for from your Pilates band.

One thing we will add is that it's worth investing in a variety of bands with different resistance levels to be your companion during different exercises as you progress.

Gemma Lavers is a fitness writer for What's The Best. When she’s not travelling or writing, Gemma loves spending her weekend completing home workouts, or attending yoga, Pilates or Zumba classes.

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