This article will help you determine the best set of resistance bands to meet your fitness goals.
If you’re looking for the one piece of fitness equipment that will improve your wrestling, MMA, boxing, Muay Thai, or BJJ, simply put, you should invest in a set of high quality, long resistance bands. Used the right way, they will be the single best piece of training equipment you will ever buy.
So why are long resistance bands so good for training in wrestling, MMA, boxing, Muay Thai, and BJJ?
Albeit we could (and have) written much longer articles about this topic, long resistance bands (a.k.a. rip cords, bungees or exercise bands) have been a key piece of fitness equipment for fight sport athletes in Eastern Europe since World War II. A training system has developed around them that lets you train the same full body movements you use in your sport but importantly, with resistance. This lets you build highly sport specific speed, stamina, coordination and strength. There really isn’t another product on the market that lets you do this. If you would like to see a little more about why this is the case check out our video on the benefits of Willpower Bands HERE.
What long resistance band should I buy?
Before you invest in long resistance bands, you will probably want to make sure you are buying a set that fits both your needs and perhaps understand a little about the differences between the options available on the market. Whilst the available options may look similar they are different.
Based on our 5 years of research to develop the single piece of fitness equipment that would let athletes in wrestling, MMA, grappling and BJJ get a world class sport specific workout anytime anywhere, we can only find 4 long resistance band options that are effective at full body workouts for fight sport athletes.
The purpose of this article is to illustrate the differences between the bands available. So let's dig right into the core differences between DIY, Dopamineo Dopa Bands, Suples H.I.R.T.S. and Willpower Bands
Do It Yourself
If you are on a really tight budget, you could buy a long length of rubber from your local rubber store and make your own long resistance bands.
This is where we started. For the same price as buying crappy bands on Amazon, you can find higher quality rubber at a rubber store. We have in fact made this recommendation on a number of occasions to athletes living in areas with limited access to international products. But this option will require a lot of experimentation to find the right rubber, the right thickness, etc. So we will assume you are going to avoid DIY bands and look at the three major offerings on the market today.
Dopa Bands (Dopamineo Bands)
Dopamineo’s main product is the Dopa Band. The Dopa Band is a reproduction of the old school Soviet style resistance band. It’s a very common type of generic band that you can find in wrestling clubs across the former Soviet Union. They are a long cord of synthetic rubber with two knots tied at the end. You can effectively recreate one with rubber you buy from a rubber store.
How to Use
You can hold onto the knots for upper body workouts, tie them around your waist for practicing shots or purchase additional attachments to tie them to your feet. Like all basic Soviet style bands, getting from exercise to exercise requires some fumbling around with the tying of the knots. Oftentimes the tie around the waist falls off. So you have to stop working out and reset their position.
Quality of rubber determines the quality of resistance. In fact, quality of rubber is the number 1 factor in determining the effectiveness of a long resistance band. There are lots of different kinds of rubber and not all rubber is made equal.
Dopa Bands (Dopamineo Bands) are made from silicone. While silicone is called a “synthetic rubber,” it is actually made from plastic. Our tests with hundreds of elite fight sport athletes showed silicone to be the least effective for fight sport training among the 3 major offerings in the market today. Quality of workout was most often associated with the “snap of a band” i.e. how natural it felt both pulling on the band for a movement and fighting against the resistance when you return to the starting position of a movement.
User tests found silicone to have a “poor” snap quality.
Suples H.I.R.T.S. is a “High Intensity Rope Training System” that includes many attachment options for high volume functional exercises. They come with webbing loops and are covered with a webbing sleeve over a bungee type cord.
How to Use
Often used with a large wall installation for academies, clubs and gyms, the H.I.R.T.S. design prioritizes durability and relies on a large ecosystem of attachments for effectiveness. The webbing loops can act as handles, they also double as the connection point for waist attachments and more traditional weight lifting components like curl and press bars.
Inside the webbing sleeve of a Suples H.I.R.T.S. band is a heavy duty bungee. Bungee is made from hundreds of strands of woven rubber strips that can break over time changing the resistance of the band. Among user tests, bungee provided the second favorite kind of resistance. The snap was often described as “tight” or “stiff.”
Willpower Bands are a patented evolution of the Soviet style resistance band. Made by craftsmen in the United States, Willpower Bands are the result of years of user testing with world class wrestlers and jiu jitsu competitors, boxers and Muay Thai fighters. If you are looking to build elite sport specific speed, stamina and strength anytime anywhere, then Willpower Bands are, as George Hardwick, pro-UFC fighter says, your “next level piece of kit.”
How to Use
Willpower Bands patented lasso system lets you securely attach the bands to any part of your body without additional attachments or fumbling around tying and untying knots that slip off you as you workout. Secure your hands into the lassos to improve explosiveness in everything from your throws to punches, lasso your waist for stamina in your takedowns, or lasso your feet for building quickness in your sprawls and kicks. Willpower Bands are so versatile that Some setups even allow you to do compound movements like squats, military press, and deadlifts. You can literally do hundreds of sport specific exercises with this one piece of fitness equipment on your own at home, with a partner after practice, or on the road for competitions.
Willpower Bands are made from NAFTA sourced 100% natural latex tubing. We committed to NAFTA sourced 100% Latex tubing because it performed best among rubber from around the world in hundreds of user tests. NAFTA sourced 100% Latex tubing rated best for reliable quality of workout under the strenuous conditions of year round heavy duty use.
Testing amongst veteran fight sport athletes with decades of experience with long resistance bands showed our rubber to have the “best snap they’ve ever felt.”
We hope you found this article helpful in determining the right set of long resistance bands for you. If you have any further questions about Willpower Bands, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.