Bodylastics are adjustable elastic resistance tubing with quick-clip carabiners on both ends of each cord, allowing you to connect multiple exercise cords to the same set of handles in order to create stackable tension that allows you to very precisely choose specific levels of resistance, and load significantly higher levels of total resistance, than is available with resistance tubing sets that have handles permanently attached to each cord.
Bodylastics are available in various sets that include different configurations of cords, handles, ankle straps, and anchoring options, but all of them offer the essentially the same functionality, so for this review I’m going to write about Bodylastics in general, and mention the differences between sets when necessary.
Every set of Bodylastics includes at least five elastic resistance cords (offering up to 96 lbs. of total tension), two handles, two ankle straps, one door anchor, and a storage/carry bag. As you go up to higher priced sets, you will get more cords (increasing the amount of total tension), as well as additional handles, ankle straps, and anchors (requiring less clipping/unclipping which allows for quicker/easier transition between exercises).
Every set comes bundled with detailed instructions on set up and use, and there’s a lot more Bodylastics workout programming available via the free Bodyastics app (available on iOS, and Android), as well as on the Live Exercise YouTube channel (affiliated with Bodylastics). Here’s an instructional video from Live Exercise on how to use the Bodylastics clip system:
Design & Build Quality
Bodylastics invented quick clip adjustable elastic resistance tubing back in the 90s, and since then they’ve continuously improved the design by introducing a number of features (many of which are patented and exclusive to Bodylastics) that make the elastics safer (internal anti-snap cord), more durable (nylon sleeves at the ends of the cords), easier to adjust (higher quality clips and d-rings), more comfortable to use (waffle pattern rubber grips), and more versatile (ultra anchor and anywhere anchor).
Of all the unique features that Bodylastics has designed over the years, perhaps the best one is the patented Snap Guard technology, which is an inner cord running the length of the tubing that protects the elastics from being over-stretched, and also prevents the band from hitting you, or anyone who might be standing around you, in the very rare event that the tubing does happen to snap. It’s a very innovative feature that adds tremendously to the durability and safety of the resistance tubing.
What really sets Bodylastics apart from similar products available from other manufacturers is the heavy-duty build quality and impressive robustness present in every aspect of the Bodylastics system. Every component of Bodylastics looks and feels like it was built to survive a bomb blast. While most home exercise equipment companies are selling cheap flimsy products that feel like they’re going to fall apart after a month (if they last that long), every part of the Bodylastics system looks and feels like it was made to last forever (every Bodylastics system actually comes with a lifetime warranty).
On the topic of design and quality, one particular component of the Bodylastics system that deserves special mention is the handles, which are among the most comfortable exercise handles you can possibly buy. Bodylastics waffle pattern rubber grips are so nice that they seem to have become the defacto standard replacement handles for anyone who purchases an expensive home exercise machine contraption and realizes the handles that come standard with those machines are low quality crap, and decides to replace them with something nicer and higher quality. Yes, the handles that come with a $30 set of Bodylastics are significantly nicer than the handles that are included with $1,000+ exercise machines. It’s incredible, but true.
Versatility & Value
If you’re looking to pick up just one piece of home exercise equipment that offers the absolute most versatility and bang for your buck, then this is it — a set of Bodylastics resistance tubing. You can buy a complete set of Bodylastics for under $30, and use it to perform hundreds of total-body exercises at home, on the road, or anywhere else you feel like working out. There is simply no other piece of equipment that even comes close to offering the same amount of versatility at such a low price.
The only other equipment that even begins to approach the versatility and bang for the buck offered by Bodylastics is continuously looped resistance bands, and suspension straps, but both of those types of gear are quite a bit more expensive than Bodylastics (a quality set of resistance bands starts at $70, and a quality suspension trainer starts at $130). So although bands and straps are both highly versatility pieces of equipment, and relatively affordable, they’re still nowhere near as inexpensive as Bodylastics.
So if you’ve never worked out at home before, and you’re interested in beginning a home exercise program while spending the least amount of money possible on equipment (a very smart choice), the absolute best place to start is by picking up an inexpensive set of Bodylastics and determining if working out at home is something you enjoy and are able to stick with. There’s absolutely no reason to spend hundreds (or worse, thousands) of dollars on equipment before you’ve figured out whether you’ll actually use it. If you’re going to purchase home exercise equipment without knowing whether it’s going to end up sitting unused and collecting dust in the closet, test the waters with a $30 set of resistance tubing before buying anything major.
There aren’t any compelling alternatives to Bodylastics, particularly since Bodylastics released a version with built-in handles. It used to be that if you wanted adjustable resistance tubing with clips, you went with Bodylastics, and if you wanted resistance tubing with built-in handles, you went with Ripcords, but that’s no longer the case. Now that Bodylastics offers both versions, and since Bodylastics are significantly higher quality than Ripcords, and actually cost less, there’s no logical reason to choose Ripcords.
Another fairly well known competitor in this category is Slastix, which you might recognize as the product that has the protective nylon sheath on the outside of the resistance tubing. In my personal experience using Slastix at my group fitness classes for nearly a year, the outer sheath is nowhere near as well implemented as the inner cord design used by Bodylastics, and Slastix also have the worst and most uncomfortable handles in the history of resistance tubing. So I don’t recommend Slastix, and I only bring them up because they are one of the more well known competitors to Bodylasics, so they’re worth mentioning.
Besides Ripcords and Slastix, there aren’t any other alternatives worth mentioning by name. There are lots of shoddy no-name products available on Amazon, but they’re all ridiculously low quality and not much less expensive than Bodylastics. Avoid them.
Resistance tubing is the only equipment that I’ve used at every group workout I’ve ever ran, and over the past decade that I’ve spent working in the fitness industry, I’ve used more different brands of exercise tubing than I can remember. Bodylastics is in a class all its own when it comes to design, quality, versatility, durability, and amazingly, price. Yes, Bodylastics are every bit as affordable as the cheap no-name crap for sale on Amazon — you don’t even have have to pay a premium for Bodylastics.
So if you’re trying to decide which brand of resistance tubing to buy, choosing Bodylastics should be one of the easiest buying decisions you’ll ever need to make. The only difficult decision you’ll need to make is which particular set of Bodylastics to buy, as they’re available in a variety of different configurations. But whether you only need 96 lbs. of resistance, upwards of 400 lbs., or somewhere in between, Bodylastics has a set of resistance tubing that will work for you.
Check out the Bodylastics website for more info or to purchase Bodylastics.