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Resistance Bands VS Cables (8 Ways Bands are Better)

8 Reasons Why Resistance Bands Are Better Than Cables

Working out at home can be fun, but I know that it is hard to decide on what kind of exercise equipment you should get.

We all know that some of the most popular kinds of at-home workout equipment pieces you can buy are resistance bands and cable machines.

However, if you are new to exercise equipment, you might be wondering:

Which one is better? Cable machines or resistance bands?

In order to answer this question once and for all I have prepared for you a list of 8 logical and scientifically proven reasons why resistance bands are better than cables!

Then we will see what are the top 4 most common cases in which you should prefer to use a cable machine.

Now, keep reading to find out why resistance bands are overall better than cable machines and why you should start using them regularly…


Before we continue any further I want to you tell you something really important.

If you just starting your resistance bands journey and don’t own a set of solid bands I highly recommend you to take a closer look at the ones I’m using right now:

My current resistance bands

After using them for a while I can lightly say that they are the best resistance bands I’ve ever used. They are affordable, well made and come with everything you really need.

Click here if you want to see their latest price and check them out (Right now there is a 50% Off Sale)

With that out of the way let’s answer this really important question you probably have:

Are Resistance Bands Better Than Cables?

When it comes to strength training and home workouts, resistance bands are better than cables because anyone can get them without breaking the bank and help you to conveniently build more strength, muscle mass anywhere at any time.

While having both cables and resistance bands in your workout rotation can create great results (which you will learn more about later), resistance bands do offer more advantages.

There is a good chance that resistance bands will become your new best friend.

Here are 10 amazing reasons why you want to get some resistance bands to amp up your workout and see some amazing results in your body and strength.

Here we go…

1. Resistance Bands Are 10 Times Cheaper Than Cable Machines

One of the best things about getting resistance bands is that they are so cheap.

No money – get bands!

This makes it easy for nearly anybody to use resistance bands as part of their workout routine.

You can easily get a set of great resistance bands without breaking the bank. You can easily snag several good quality ones for under $100.

However, I cannot say the same for cables. Cable machines can quickly cost thousands of dollars or more, which might be scary if you are new to working out. 

If you want to know what kind of resistance bands you should buy, you can check out my favorite resistance bands I use daily <<.

2. Resistance Bands Are Lightweight and Portable

Another amazing thing about resistance bands is that you can bring them pretty much anywhere you want.

Cable machines take up a lot of space and are very heavy, so moving your cable machine around will not be an easy task.

A cable machine can easily weigh up to 500 pounds. However, most resistance bands only weight a few pounds or even less than 1 pound!

Resistance bands are super lightweight and you can carefully fold them up and put them in your gym bag.

So if you want to workout in a park or a gym, you can easily bring your resistance band with you.

3. You Can Anchor Them to Many Places

So I mentioned that resistance bands are portable right?

recovery resistance bands being used
Yes, you can even use your feet…

Well, another fantastic aspect of resistance bands is that you can anchor them to tons of places.

With a cable machine, you are pretty much restricted to using it wherever you placed it in your house.

Resistance bands give you the chance to work out whenever and wherever without worrying about where you can secure it. 

Where Can I Secure My Resistance Band?

Resistance bands are awesome because it gives you a chance to workout wherever you want without worrying about where you can secure it. 

Here are some examples of where you can secure your resistance band:

  • A Tree
  • A Door Frame
  • A Wall Mount

But that’s not all! Keep reading to look at more reasons why resistance bands are amazing.

4. Resistance Bands Are Very Easy to Clean

Cable machines are huge and you need to clean them to keep them in tip-top shape.

Resistance bands are small and thin, so cleaning them is a breeze! It only takes a few minutes to clean most resistance bands after your workout.

But What if My Bands Are Made Out of Different Materials?

Whether your resistance band is made out of latex or fabric, it is very easy to clean. You just need to know how to clean your resistance band based on what material it is. 

If you want to learn how to properly clean your resistance bands, you can check out my article called 8 Ways To Clean & Care for Resistance Bands (Fabric or Latex).

5. You Get Variable Resistance

While cables and resistance bands have similarities, there is a big benefit and difference between the two. You can variable resistance from resistance bands.

What Exactly Is Variable Resistance and Why Is It Important?

The more a band stretches, the more force is created while cables rely on the force of gravity. That is why astronauts use resistance bands as part of their workouts!

Therefore, you can improve your overall strength by using resistance bands in your workouts because you are not relying on gravity as much.

Now, here are even MORE reasons why resistance bands are an amazing piece of simple workout equipment…

6. Bands Follow Your Strength Curve Better

According to this study [1], resistance bands follow your muscles strength curve a lot better than cables would.

This is especially true for workouts where your muscles follow a movement that is called an ascending strength curve.

While this seems confusing, it is actually pretty simple once you break it down.

A strength curve is how much torque is made by the muscles at various joint angles during your range of motion.

So depending on what kind of exercises you do, your strength curve could be parabolic, descending, or ascending.

Exercises where your muscles follow an ascending strength curve include shoulder presses, bench presses, and squats.

So, how do resistance bands enhance these kinds of exercises?

Resistance bands can help you recover from a position where your muscles are at their weakest.

They also offer you the right amount of loading while your muscles are at their strongest.

7. Resistance Bands Offer More Instability And Target More Muscles

When I use resistance bands, I often feel some of my body parts slightly vibrate and it can be harder to maintain my posture. But why does that happen?

It happens because my body is using more muscles to keep my body stable while maintaining good posture.

So I get to enhance my overall strength more with the same exercises by using resistance bands for strength and resistance training [2].

Cables only offer fixed resistance training, which means the results are not as effective as they would be if you used resistance bands. 

8. You Can Focus More On Specific Ranges of Motion

Do you want to know one huge example of why resistance bands set the bar for your workouts compared to cables? 

Resistance bands offer variable resistance that lets you focus on specific parts of your range of motion to help train them.

Another Great Example

Here is an example to help you understand more:

When you use resistance bands to do a chest press, you can feel much more resistance when you move your hands away from your chest. 

Therefore, you can focus on improving your inner pectoral muscle strength, especially if you add resistance bands to your cable machine workout.

This is a great way to help you build more chest muscle!

However, does this mean that resistance bands can fully replace cables in your workouts? The answer is not as simple as you may think…

When Are Cables Better Than Resistance Bands?

While resistance bands have many advantages, that does not mean they are always great. 

For instance, I know I get frustrated whenever I am in the middle of my workout and my resistance band decides to roll up. 

How I feel when my bands roll up

Luckily, I have an article called (7 Easy Hacks) To Prevent Resistance Bands From Rolling Up to help you avoid that problem.

But what other advantages do cables have over resistance bands?

Here are a few examples of why you can also benefit from using cables.

1. Cables Offer More Tension

Cables can give you continuous tension. You may also set up your cables to copy any sport movement if you have an adjustable cable station.

2. You Get Resistance Like Dumbbells

You can get the same resistance from dumbbells by using cables.

However, the bonus is that you can adjust the direction of force, which makes resistance training with cables better than dumbbell training as this study states [3].

So you are not limited to up and down movements as you would be with dumbbells. Cables let you pull your body from different angles to help you get a full workout.

3. Cables Are Comfortable

Cables have handles that you can hold onto and they are very comfortable.

Me using my cable machine

Most cables have a cushion surrounding the handles to let you have a comfortable workout. 

Resistance bands have no handles and sometimes they might fold and put a lot of pressure on your hands.

While I believe you can get used to the pressure, it can feel uncomfortable at first.

4. Cables Have Tons of Attachments

Cables have loads of fun attachments that you can use to diversify your workout.

These attachments help you train almost every muscle, which is great for both athletes and fitness enthusiasts. 

Some popular attachments you can get are oblique straps, row handles, ropes, ab straps, and much more.

Example of how many attachments there are

If you are looking to get solid attachments for a cable machine I highly recommend you check my favorite set I use daily by clicking on this link <<.

(You can train you whole body with them)

So now that you know that cables are great for your workouts as well, you might be confused about which one you should get. Which brings me to my next point…

Should I Get and Use Resistance Bands or a Cable Machine?

Resistance bands are a fantastic way to amp up your workout. However, that does not mean they are the only piece of equipment you will ever need.

Cable machines have a lot of advantages to them as well.

That’s why I’m a hard believer that you can benefit greatly from adding cable machines and resistance bands to your workout plan.

Even if resistance bands can greatly improve your strength, muscle mass and are extremely convenient, they are not a complete replacement for cables and you should use them as well from time to time.

Therefore, by combining both resistance bands and cables strategically in your workout, you will be able to see faster and better results in no time.

Side Note:

If you are on a quest to find the best cable machine or resistance bands on planet Earth I highly recommend you to take a look at my in-depth buying guides from here:

The Next Steps

To sum it all up, resistance bands have many benefits for anyone who wants to workout.

They are a great replacement to do cable exercises without needing to buy or own an expensive cable machine.

However, you can achieve the best results when you include both resistance bands and cables to your workout if you can.

While resistance bands may have more advantages, cables can still help you get a diverse and more functional workout, too.

In order to help you do exactly that I’ve prepared for you 2 easy to follow steps you can do right now!

Step 1: If you already haven’t, please take 3 seconds and sign up for our free very useful guide that is going to teach you everything about resistance bands and how to use them:

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Step 2: In order to learn even more awesome stuff about resistance bands, you can also check out some of my other articles below.

They are really great:

And remember that even the best equipment you own can’t do anything without any effort.

Work hard and stay determined.

– Bozhidar


Hey there, my name is Bozhidar and I'm a certified online personal trainer with University Degree in Sports and Nutrition.

With the help of my knowledge and over 8 years of workout experience, I can help you get on the next level. I own a home gym, do calisthenics, little gymnastics, and love to ride a bike.

About me