Weights or Resistance Bands: What’s Better?

are weights or resistance bands better

There are many benefits of performing muscle building workouts, such as being able to build solid muscle. Other benefits include burning fat more, gaining strength, improving stamina and energy levels to name a few.

Let’s not forget to mention the mental benefits, which includes increased confidence, mental clarity and a generally better outlook on life to name a few.

With all that said, two great options for getting a great muscle building workout in are dumbbells and resistance bands. Both have their pros and cons, and a lot of people wonder which is better.

The rest of this comparison will discuss resistance bands vs dumbbells, to help you decide which is going to work best for you.

1. Dumbbells Weights

Key Features

dumbbell weights split squats

Dumbbells come in a range of styles, but they typically are either a metal or vinyl bar. There are fixed weights attached to the ends ot the bar or the weights can be removed and put back on.

These are known as adjustable dumbbells.

One of the key features of dumbbells is that they can either be used with one hand or as a pair.

Why Adjustable Dumbbells are the Best:

a person adjusts the weight on their adjustable dumbbells

There are many types of dumbbells out there.

However, we prefer adjustable dumbbells (see our favorites here) because we think they are the best. There are several reasons why adjustable dumbbells are the best, with one being that users can quickly change the weight.

All you have to do is quickly remove the weight plates from the dumbbell and switch them out.

Also, there is no need to purchase a bunch of additional weights with dumbbells. They can be stored virtually anywhere too, due to their size.

However, the best type of adjustable dumbbells are easy to adjust, like the Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells (read our review to learn more).

Dumbbell Pros & Cons


  • Easy to Adjust
  • Maximum Muscle Building
  • Adjustable Dumbbells Take up Minimal Space
  • Huge Range of Exercises with Bench
  • Affordable (see our favorite cheap ones here)
  • Variety of Brands and Styles to Pick From

The pros include being able to quickly adjust weight and to go from one exercise to the next with ease.

Also, dumbbells are very portable, making them easy to bring from one room to the next, and they are very versatile when it comes to the different exercises that can be done. If a user has a bench, then they can virtually do any exercise ranging from dumbbell bench press to rear-bent rows to dumbbell squats and many others.

Other advantages include being affordable and they are available in a range of designs, which means finding the perfect pair should be easy.


  • Not as Portable as Resistance Bands
  • Usually Cost More than Resistance Bands

The cons include not being portable enough to bring on the road. If a person wants to bring workout equipment while they are travelling, then dumbbells might not be ideal because they can be quite heavy to lug around in a bag.

Another disadvantage is that dumbbells only allow users to lift so much because you cannot load up the metal bar with the same amount of weight you can with a barbell.

Who Should Use Free Weights Over Resistance Bands?

a woman works out with her bowflex selecttechs

Free weights are more ideal for someone who wants to quickly adjust the amount of weight they are doing and have more exercise options. Resistance bands are great and users can perform many exercises.

Generally speaking though, free weights offer users more exercises to do.

Where Can You Buy The Best Adjustable Dumbbells

As for where you can buy the best dumbbells, as previously mentioned we are fans of SelectTech by Bowflex. These dumbbells can be purchased at Bowflex.com.

Bowflex.com is home to high quality free weight workout equipment, so make sure to check out all of the dumbbells they have in stock.

Check latest Bowflex SelectTech deals here – financing available.

2. Resistance Bands

Key Features

resistance band workouts

Just like dumbbells, resistance bands come in a range of styles and designs, but they are typically colored-coded. The color denotes the level of resistance that the band provides, generally speaking, bands are available in four different resistance levels, and that includes extra heavy, heavy, medium and light.

Bands usually have two handles or grips at the end, and that is what the user grabs and keeps hold of as they do an exercise.

Bands come in different lengths too and thickness. Some bands are short, while others are medium in length and others are long. Different length bands lets users do various types of exercises.

Resistance Bands Pros & Cons


resistance band workout

  • Versatile
  • Low Impact
  • Variety of Styles to Pick From
  • Super Portable – Can Even Take When Traveling
  • Super Affordable

The pros are extensive, with the main one being versatility. Like dumbbells, there are many exercises that can be performed and there are numerous exercises that can be done with resistance bands that cannot be done with dumbbells. Not only that, but you can do rounds/series of exercises quicker than you can with dumbbells.

For example, transitioning between 4-5 exercises with resistance bands requires less time than doing the same with dumbbells.

Another good thing about bands is they tend to be easier on the joints. This includes elbows and knees, as well as being easier on the back. Since this is the case, people of all ages should be able to use bands with ease and not have to worry about damaging their joints or putting their safety at risk.

Let’s not forget to mention resistance bands lets users train anywhere. They can be packed in a bag and brought with them while they are on the go. When it comes to portability, there’s really no better exercise equipment out there than resistance bands.

Affordability is another pro. Resistance bands do not cost a lot of money at all. In fact, they are one of the most affordable workout products out there.


  • Limited Amount of Resistance
  • Eventually the Band will Break
  • Some People Prefer Bodyweight to Resistance Training (see an alternative here)
  • Not as Good at Bulking up as Dumbbells

There are a few cons, with one of them being limitations in regards to the amount of resistance that can be used. The chances are you can always lift heavier if you were training with dumbbells. Resistance bands only go up to a certain amount of resistance and that’s it.

Another con is that no matter how durable a band is, there’s always a risk it can snap. People can buy the most durable band out there, but the risk of it snapping apart is always there.

The last con is that resistance bands are good at helping people gain a bit of strength, but if they want to pack on serious muscle, then resistance band training alone is not going to get the job done.

Who Should Consider Resistance Bands?

a woman does a resistance band leg workout

The truth is anybody should consider getting them, but ideally they are great for those who are not able to weight train or concerned about their safety.

Many elderly people cannot train with dumbbells or free weights in general, which is why they should consider using resistance bands.

Those who are recovering from an injury and looking for a way to do low-impact workouts can also use resistance bands.

People who want to shake things up with their workouts should incorporate resistance band training. The bottom line is that most people should buy resistance bands and use them regularly. It doesn’t matter who they are or how busy they are, resistance bands can provide people with a good workout.

Where Can You Buy Them?

The best place to find and buy resistance bands is Amazon (check out their best selection here).

reistance bands offer a lot of versatility

They aren’t the only place on the internet to buy them, but we believe they are the best due to their prices and selection. All you have to do is head over to Amazon and search for resistance bands and there will be dozens upon dozens of them to look at.

Best of all, Amazon is known for their deals, so finding resistance bands that fall within a person’s budget shouldn’t be too difficult.

It is worth pointing out that there are many types of resistance bands, and Amazon has a very large selection, which is why it’s important to take the time to compare as many bands as possible. The key is to look for bands that are known for being durable and reliable because the last thing anyone wants is to purchase a low quality band, only for it to break on them shortly after using them.

Besides that, it’s a good idea to buy several bands that offer different levels of resistance and to buy several bands in different sizes.

There are resistance bands that are sold as part of a set, which are worth checking out. The reason why it’s recommended that a person buys several bands is because they’ll be able to do more effective workouts and switch between exercises with much more ease.

Learn more and check out Amazon’s full resistance band selection here.

Comparison Summary

By now, people should have a better a better idea of what the features of dumbbells and resistance bands are. They also know more about their pros, cons and who should consider using them. However, when it comes down to which is better, the answer is they are equal.

The truth is both resistance bands and free weights in general offer a ton of benefits.

They both should be used. By using both, a person will get a great workout in and they’ll be able to continue to switch up their workouts to keep things fresh.

If you’re interested in checking out the best adjustable dumbbells, and a great set of resistance bands, Bowflex sells both:

CLICK HERE to Learn More and Lock in Best Bowflex Discounts