Resistance Band vs Tube vs Mini Loop – 6 Differences

Resistance bands, tubes, and loops came into limelight in recent years, earlier they were majorly used by sports therapists only but now most of us own them because of the cost-effectiveness and effectiveness. 

With the rise in popularity, manufacturers have already launched different variants of resistance bands and tubes which has made the purchase quite difficult. 

Many clients have been asking me – coach, what kind of resistance bands do I need to buy for muscle maintenance on vacation or to rehabilitate from any particular injury. 

And my simple response is, you can buy any kind of resistance band if you know how to use it effectively. Different variety of resistance bands have their own specific purposes and investing in the right equipment can help you achieve better results.

Resistance bands are classified into 3 broad categories. 

  1. Resistance bands
  2. Resistance tubes
  3. Mini Loop bands

All three categories of resistance tools provide similar training principles with little difference and an expert can use them all to fulfill a different purpose but all three bands work a little differently. 

Resistance Band vs Tube vs Mini Loop

All three categories have their own area of expertise and you can choose them according to your expectations. 

CharacterResistance BandResistance TubeMini Loop
ShapeLoopOpen edgesLoop
Length40 inches48 inches12 inches
Resistance40-180 pounds10-50 poundsUp to 30 pounds
HandleNot AvailableAvailable Not Available
Cost of set$80$20$10
ExercisesCompound movementsIsolated movementLower bodywork

Note** Resistance bands and tubes are available in different shapes and sizes, we gathered the differences from the most common types. Size, resistance, dimensions, the cost may vary from vendor to vendor. 

1. Shape & Size

All the bands are made up of high quality latex that can withstand a high amount of pressure but the most obvious difference between all three tools is their shape and size. 

Resistance band

These are a flat piece of a band that is commonly available in the loop format. These bands can have a width of up to a few inches and can have a height of 5mm. 

The shape of the resistance band is designed to withstand higher force and exhibit higher resistance. 

The common length of resistance band is about 40-inches long. 

Resistance tubes

As the name suggests, resistance tubes are molded in tabular format. You won’t see a wide variety of tube sizes. These bands are mostly available with open edges, mostly attached with handles.   

Mini Loop band

Many people get confused between loop bands and resistance bands, because of their circular design. 

But the loop band is slightly different. These are the paper-thin resistance bands which are designed in smaller loops. 

Most of the loop bands are just 12 inches long. 

2. Resistance 

All the resistance bands are not created equal, they all possess different levels of resistance. That’s the reason these bands are tubes that are available in a set of multiple units. 

Resistance band

Resistance bands are designed to handle larger payload and they are perfect for the compound works. 

These bands are available with resistance from 40 to 180 pounds. 

Resistance tube

Tubes, on the other hand, are not designed to deliver heavy resistance, instead, these are developed to work in packs. So you can just multiply the amount of resistance by adding multiple resistance at a time. 

The resistance of the tube may vary from 10 to 50 pounds. 

Mini Loop band

Although, advertisers claim that these bands can we use for the full-body workout but that is certainly not very true. 

Loop bands were designed to train muscle groups that were left untrained.  Heaviest resistance can reach up to 30lbs

3. Handles

The handle is an important factor for many people, let’s see what these bands have to offer.

Resistance tube

Although handles can be fitted on both bands and tubes, some manufacturers are giving handles in resistance bands as well but they are more commonly found with resistance tubes.

Some resistance tubes have permanently attached the handle to it, and others offer modular handles that can facilitate multiple tubes in the handle. 

Resistance band

If there was a handle in resistance band then there would be no difference. Resistance bands do not offer handles because they are developed to fulfill other purposes. Ahead in this article, we are going to discuss the purpose as well. 

Mini Loop band

No, the Loop band also does not contain any hande. 

4. Purpose 

Utility is the biggest factor that makes us fall in love with some particular product. Let’s get to know the purpose of all three resistance bands and tubes. 

Resistance tube

Resistance tubes have always been a top choice of bodybuilders when they required a quick pump. 

These tubes were highly portable and are capable of providing the required resistance for improved pump and hypertrophy. 

I personally prefer resistance bands for the warm-up workout, muscle activation, and Isolation. 

Starting your workout with a resistance tube is the best way to get the blood flowing in the targeted area and it gets your muscles ready for the upcoming heavy lifts. 

Most effective exercises that can be done with resistance tubes are: 

  • Bicep curl
  • Side lateral raises for shoulders.
  • Tricep extension
  • Low-intensity standing row (by anchoring tube to stable object)
  • Shoulders front raise 

Resistance band

These resistance bands are for a totally different utility. 

Completing the first five pull-ups is a big achievement and it’s something that not everyone is capable of doing. The first time when I used these heavy resistance bands, it’s to provide some support to clients for their first assisted pull-ups. These bands can be easily attached to any pullup bar and can help in getting those first pull-ups done. 

These bands are heavy duty and are built to develop some intense strength as well.

What I like best about these bands, they are developed to increase the intensity of your workout and enhance your speed work. You can use bands while bench pressing, squatting and deadlifting as well, these bands can dramatically improve your overall strength and muscle mass. 

A legendary powerlifter, world record holder, strength coach Matt Wenning demonstrates the use of resistance bands for some serious strength. Check out his video while he adds resistance bands to his deadlifts and bench presses.

Check out the video below that demonstrates to target every muscle group without the need for any weight. 

Mini Loop band

To be very specific, loop bands are been used for booty workouts, hip strengthing and lower-body injury prevention. It targets your glutes in many different ways and one of the best solutions to develop incredible lower body strength. 

Here is a video that demonstrates the best use of loop bands for lower body strengthening. 


Every band is best in their own area of utility, trick is to choose the best item that is suitable for your needs.

lets recap:

  • Want a quick pump? Invest in tube bands
  • Want pullup assist? Buy a resistance band.
  • Want strength improvement? choose a resistance band.
  • Want lower body activation or glute workout? Mini loop bands are best.

Do let us know if our article on “Resistance Band vs Tube vs Mini Loop” has proven beneficial to make a final purchase.

Questions welcomed in the comments as always. This site contains affiliate links as well as general health and fitness information. Please read my Medical Disclaimer and Writing Disclaimer for more information.

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