What It Is: Resistance tube you afix on either side of a Body Bar® then loop around one or both feet (depending on the exercise).
Covered in thick bunched-up nylon called a “safety sleeve,” the Body Bar® Strength Band is available as a single 5-foot band or two 3-foot bands (what I reviewed).
What You Might Not Know: Those in the fitness industry call resistance bands “naked” when they don’t come swaddled in protective fabric. Until recently, all resistance bands were naked, making them vulnerable to nicks, snapping or unsightly dirt-smudges.
Feelin’ the Love: I already love the Body Bar® and use it weekly in my fitness classes. It ranked among the “Top 10 Health Buys” in a 2002 Chatelaine magazine article I wrote. Fast-forward to 2010 and I still consider it tops for gym and home fitness equipment.
But what about the Body Bar® plus strength band? I liked that some exercises from the provided exercise chart (downloadable off Body Bar’s website) were noticably tougher than doing the same move with the bar alone. My faves: Forward Lunges with Overhead Press (exercise 4 on the chart) and Kneeling Leg Lift (exercise 7 on the chart–note you’ve got to really wind the band around the bar to feel enough resistance on this kneeling one).
If I Could Change One Thing: Overall, I’d prefer to work out with just the bar. It’s simpler. Following the exercise chart, I felt like I was fussing to adjust the foot loops and/or my positioning from move to move. Plus, some exercises bordered on awkward.
Should You Buy It: The bands fit any budget, but if you don’t have the Body Bar® yet, consider buying just that to get started, especially if you’re a beginner. For me, the bar is more user-friendly than the souped-up bar+band combo. Unless you hire a trainer, figuring out what to do beyond the basics may be challenging because there are no DVDs for the Body Bar® Strength Band (at this posting). There is, however, a free online exercise chart (PDF download).
Body Bar® Strength Band; $23.99.