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There are many different colors of resistance bands out there and it can be confusing if you’re looking to get into this type of resistance training. Blue bands, red bands, yellow bands, black bands, what does the resistance band color code even mean and which color (or colors) is right for you?
Let’s jump in and get some clarity.
Why are there different colors of resistance bands?
There are different colors of resistance bands for several reasons; to differentiate between resistance levels and to make the user experience more fluid. If you own a set of resistance bands, you will quickly become aware of the different tensile strengths that are related to the color.
Your resistance band set might have a yellow band being the thinnest and lowest level of resistance and the thickest band with the highest tensile strength being the black band in the set.
This is very useful when working towards progression on different exercises as you can make a note of the amount of sets, reps or time of your workload you did in each exercise session along with the color of resistance band.
Once you know this information, you can work towards training with different color bands and tensile strengths.
Is the resistance band color code the same across all brands?
The resistance band color code is not the same across all brands, but the colors used are similar. Sounds a bit confusing?
Well, let’s break that down; the most common colors of resistance bands or physical therapy band colors are Yellow, green, red, blue black. But different types of resistance bands from each brand use different strengths of band to match their color code.
An example of this is that the brand “WSAKOUE” use the yellow band as the lightest, thinnest resistance band in their set and the red exercise band as the thickest and toughest, while the brand “KITFIT” have their toughest, thickest band as the black one in the set.
There are some outliers that aren’t as common such as a gold, silver and an orange resistance band, but if you have these in your set, you should have an indication of their strengths provided with the kit.
What color resistance band is what weight?
As mentioned, the color of resistance band that correlates to the weight or tensile strength varies across different brands. So it is important to make sure you familiarize yourself with the resistance bands weight by color in the specific set that you have.
Most good kits will include a resistance band weight chart as a leaflet or have some kind of information relating to the resistance bands weight by color when you buy your set. You might even be directed to a website that will give you more useful information that will help you with your training.
The most common weights for resistance band tube sets are:
- 10lbs – 4.5kgs
- 15lbs – 6.8kgs
- 20lbs – 9.1kgs
- 25lbs – 11.4kgs
- 30lbs – 13.6kgs
Technically, these could be any color variation as there is no universal standard for resistance band color coding.
One thing that’s important to remember when working with exercise bands is that the weight or resistance is not as accurate as it seems. There are a few variables that you have to consider.
The further you stretch an exercise band, the more resistance it will take to move, so the resistance level isn’t consistent through the exercise, it gets harder towards the top of the movement.
When you compare this to training with dumbbells and barbells, if you start by lifting a 10kg bar, you will be lifting a 10kg bar through the entire movement.
It’s also worth taking into account your height. If you are taller and you are performing a shoulder press with a resistance band, you will probably be using a higher resistance level at the top of a movement with the same color band than a shorter trainer.
Without going into this much further, the point is that the weight associated with the exercise band that you are training with should be seen as a guide rather than an exact measurement.
Resistance bands color chart by brand
Now that we’ve established that there is little rhyme and reason for resistance band colors and weight level variations over different brands, we’ve put together a resistance band color chart for the most popular sets out there.
Theraband color code chart
Theraband do a number of different variations and they can be bought in a set or individually. This brand has a bigger range than most others, but they are not the resistance tube band style. They are the wide, flat style, commonly used for rehabilitation.
The therapy band colors for these rehab bands are listed below.
Prosource Fit resistance band colors coding chart
A well reviewed set of resistance bands that follows a common pattern when it comes to a stretch band color code and a solid choice of resistance band tube set.
Lifeline max flex trainer kit and their resistance bands strength by color:
Lifeline resistance bands offer an option of single purchase so you can add these to your training kit as you need to. The resistance bands strength by color for this brand are as follows.
Bodylastics exercise bands color chart
This is a big kit with plenty of attachments and a decent storage bag. One for the serious trainer or even a good option for personal trainers. This kit includes multiples of the same color band.
Here’s the resistance tube color chart for Bodylastics:
Bodyfit fabric resistance bands. Small loop bands for booty workouts
A small, 3 piece set of fabric “booty bands”. As we’ve mentioned in other articles, this type is designed for a more specific type of band workout routine when compared to the tube band sets and therapy band styles.
Bodyfit don’t actually give resistance levels in lbs, but rather “light, medium and heavy” this is the color code chart for these fabric bands:
Vergali fabric booty bands with with a clear stretch bands color code
Another set of fabric booty bands, but this time with a more precise resistance bands strength by color chart and comes as a 4 piece set.
Beachbody P90X resistance band color code chart
Here’s a resistance band set from the P90X crowd along with their color code chart. These are a tube set including 3 bands with handles, but they offer a unique handle attachment option.
Black Mountain resistance bands color coding
The black mountain resistance bands sets have been around for a while so they have a big range and some colors of bands not often used including an orange resistance band weight of 35lbs and purple resistance band weight of 45 lbs.
Resistance bands color guide by exercise type
As you can see it’s not easy to give a definitive resistance by color guide for exercise bands as many different brands will have a varying color by resistance set up, and some are polar opposite when it comes to weight by color, but here’s a quick breakdown so you have an idea of which are the best workout bands depending on your needs.
Tan resistance bands
Theraband is apparently the only brand that has a tan option. This is a light band so would be a good option for rehabilitation or mobillity.
Yellow resistance bands
In most cases, yellow resistance bands would be for beginners to exercise, mobility training or rehabilitation.
It seems that most resistance brands offer a yellow option, and this is usually on the lower end of the resistance scale. The outlier here is from the Lifeline trainer kit, this brand has the yellow band as one of the thicker bands.
Red resistance bands
The red resistance bands seem to find themselves in a mid to high range of resistance from brand to brand. Generally, red bands will be used for progression for beginners to strength and mobility, or for strength trainers wishing to increase muscle mass.
Red bands seem to have a diverse resistance level across the industry.
Green resistance bands
Green exercise bands are usually on the lower end of the resistance spectrum, this seems consistent with most manufacturers. As the green bands are lower resistance, they can be a solid upgrade to progression for rehab, mobility or for beginners.
Green bands are also a good option to start stacking bands for more experienced trainers.
Blue resistance bands
Blue resistance bands are another color band that is hard to specify their use as they seem to vary a lot more in resistance level from different sets.
Blue bands do seem to be a mid range resistance over some of the more popular choices, so generally, they will be good for progression for beginners.
Black resistance bands
It seems to be fairly standard that black resistance bands are on the heavier end of the resistance spectrum. If the black band is of a durable build in your set, it can be used for strength training, so is a good option for compound movements.
Silver resistance bands
Silver exercise bands are less common than the other color bands. It appears that Theraband is one of the brands that offer this option. Silver bands in the Theraband range are at the heavier end of the resistance spectrum and will be used for strength training and progression from lighter bands.
Gold resistance bands
Gold resistance bands, again are an option from Theraband range and are their heaviest color of band. These gold resistance bands will mainly be used for strength training for compound exercises.
Our conclusion on resistance bands color codes
Most brands of resistance band will have slightly different color coding, but a lot of the brands out there will have exactly the same. This could be down to the fact that they use the same manufacturing company and simply add their log to the set, so it is essentially the same product.
Whatever brand that you decide to invest in, you should first identify your training goals; do you want to build strength, are you looking to rehabilitate an injury, etc.
Once you have decided on the set that you would like to go for, make sure that you familiarize yourself with the weight by color of your specific set. Most good sets will have information that’s readily available with the kit or in some cases, downloadable material. Some companies also offer to replace a broken resistance band as part of their guarantee, but this is something that you would have to confirm before purchase.
As you gain training experience with your resistance bands, you will soon be able to identify which is which just by the feel of the band.
Another important point to make is that a lot of resistance band trainers will have more than one set of bands to help with further training progression. When you get to this point, it’s advisable to buy a duplicate of the same set from the same brand. I can speak from experience as a personal trainer to let you know that this makes things a lot less confusing.
Are all resistance band colors the same?
Resistance bands are not all the same color, they vary greatly from brand to brand and weight to color across the board.
What do the different colors of resistance bands mean?
The color of each resistance band is based on the tensile strength, thickness of the band. There is no universal guide for this. Once you start training with a particular set, you will be able to identify which is which.
What color bands have the most resistance?
The color bands that have the most resistance are the thickest or most durable in a set. For some brands, these are the red ones, and for others these are the black ones. It will depend on the brand of your particular choice.
What color resistance band is easiest?
The easiest color of resistance band will be the thinnest in your set. Some brands will have yellow as the easiest and some will be red, but there are no industry standards set for this.
What size resistance band for pull ups?
You can use any size of resistance bands for pull ups, but the rule here is that the shorter and thicker the band, the easier it will be to perform pull ups as the level of assistance will be higher. I would suggest using large loop bands for pull ups as these are perfect for this exercise. You can even double up the bands if you are struggling with a single loop.
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