What Is the Difference in Colored Resistance Bands?

Resistance band colors correspond to different strengths.
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What if you could work out anywhere and at any time, with equipment you can fit in a gym bag, pocket or purse — would you give it a go? Resistance bands — also known as exercise bands — are an excellent tool for strengthening your entire body. Plus, they are cost-effective and fold up into a small pouch that you can throw in a gym bag, suitcase or purse when on-the-go.



The color of a resistance band is directly related to the resistance or elongation of the band.

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Why Do Resistance Bands Come in Different Colors?

If you're familiar with resistance bands, then you know that they come in different colors or degrees of difficulty. Some bands even come in different sizes, but the most common exercise bands come in different colors based on strength.

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Because you can choose the color, or level of difficulty, with exercise bands, most exercises are adaptable to different fitness levels. Plus, the fact that you can do simple or complex movements and increase or decrease the level of resistance makes it a tool for anyone, like daily gym-goers or those brand new to exercise, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Typically, the color of resistance band you choose correlates with the complexity of the move. For example, performing a rowing exercise will require a stronger exercise band than you would use for a biceps curl.

Depending on the brand of resistance band, the most common colors include yellow, green, red, blue, black, silver and gold, with yellow being the lightest and gold the strongest. That said, you can also find tan, silver and gold. The colors listed correlate with the TheraBand brand of exercise bands. What do the different color Therabands — and exercise resistance bands in general — mean? Let's get into it.


The Colors of Resistance Bands

When you test out a resistance band, the first thing you notice is the stretchiness and thickness of the band. If the band is very stretchy and thin, it often correlates with an easier resistance level; this is the category the yellow and red bands fall into.

Light to Medium Resistance Bands

If you're a beginner or using the exercise bands for smaller muscle groups such as your hip and shoulder stabilizer muscles, the yellow and red bands are a great place to start. These beginner bands are also commonly seen in rehab and physical therapy settings.


Medium to Heavy Resistance Bands

The green, blue, black, silver and gold resistance bands provide you with medium to heavy resistance. You will see these exercise bands most often in the gym, and they're for performing exercises for the back, legs and chest. The intermediate or medium level includes green and blue, while the heavy or advanced level consists of the black, silver and gold.



To get a better idea of the difference between the green band and the silver band, you can compare the weight when the exercise band is elongated. At 100 percent elongation, the green resistance band represents 4.6 pounds, whereas the gold resistance band at 100 percent elongation represents 14.2 pounds.

Theraband Color Progression

Theraband Color

Strength (in Pounds)


3 lbs.


3.7 lbs.


4.6 lbs.


5.8 lbs.


7.3 lbs.


10.2 lbs.


14.2 lbs.

Source(s): Theraband

Resistance Band Exercises

It's possible to perform a full-body workout using resistance bands, thanks to their effectiveness, especially if you have access to a variety of colors. In fact, most exercises that you can do with weights you can adapt for use with a resistance band. Some of the more common exercises to challenge, strengthen and tone your entire body with an exercise band include:


  • Squats
  • Lateral band walk
  • Shoulder press
  • Squat to shoulder press
  • Biceps curls
  • Seated triceps extension
  • Seated row
  • Resistance pushup
  • Lying down leg abduction
  • Seated or standing rows
  • Lat pull-down in chair pose
  • For cardio, hops over the band


Common Questions

Are all resistance band colors the same?

No, not every resistance band has the same level of resistance. Each resistance band color means something different in terms of level of resistance (light, medium, heavy).

What are the color codes for resistance bands?

Each color of resistance band signifies a different level of resistance, ranging from light to heavy. Colors vary depending on the individual brand, so you'll have to check the guide of the brand you're interested in.

Which resistance bands have the least resistance?

The thinner the resistance band, the less resistance it has. There's no universal color code because it depends on the specific brand of resistance band.

Which resistance bands have the most resistance?

The thicker the resistance band, the more resistance it has. Again, check the brand's guide for which specific color these bands are.




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