Gorilla Bow Review: The Best Resistance Band Training (2023)
The Gorilla Bow works as well as free weights or expensive machines but is lightweight, portable, and affordably priced. The Gorilla Bow is also versatile and will work for any fitness level.
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See our high-level takeaways below, or skip to our full review!Our Take:
- Countless exercises
- Adjustment from free weights
- Highly portable
- Very light weight
- Travel version available
- Affordable price point
- All fitness levels
Jump to: Full Review
A global pandemic left us all searching for effective at-home workout equipment. Of course, the trouble is that some of us have limited space, and many can't afford to fill a workout room withBowflex or Nordictrack equipment. So, we are left searching for Gorilla Bow reviews and hoping this might be the affordable and portable solution we've been wanting.
Well, we've got good news for you. TheOriginal Gorilla Bow offers an effective resistance workout users can engage in at home or on the road. And you don't even need to worry about where to put that rack of weights, because the Gorilla Bow easily slides under a couch or bed.
Gorilla Bow Reviews
The good news for you is that your home gym doesn't need massive equipment that costs thousands of dollars. You can work every major muscle group using this tension system that quickly hides in a closet. The other advantage of avoiding big and bulky equipment is that in its place, the Original Gorilla Bow is lightweight, highly portable, and easy to maneuver. The bow is made of featherlight aircraft-grade aluminum. Still, the Original Gorilla Bow manages tension of up to 300 lbs., so this is no performance lightweight, just physically lightweight. Perfect.
There are four versions of the bow, perfect for anyone's needs. Theoriginal resistance training exercise bow weighs only 6 lbs., and as just noted, supports tension of 300 lbs. It's perfect for increasing your strength and maybe even putting on a little muscle mass. The travel version of the original has similar dimensions and weight but breaks down into three 21-inch sections, making it exceedingly easy to take on the go.
If you are looking for slightly more affordable options, and you don't need to accommodate 300 lbs. of tension, you might consider the Gorilla Bow Lite instead of the original. The lite version of the bow weighs an incredible 3 lbs. yet still has a capacity of 150 lbs. worth of tension. And like the original travel version, the lite travel bow comes in the same dimensions and has the same capacity as the solid piece version of the lite bow.
What Does Gorilla Bow Do?
If you are trying to decide whether the original bow or lite bow is right for you, consider your personal fitness goals. Both bows offer a full-body workout and an intense workout at that, but not everyone is looking to build significant muscle mass. The lite version of the bow works well for those that are looking to tone, burn fat, and incorporate into a high repetition full-body workout. If you do intend to focus on muscle mass, go with the original.
But let's back up. What exactly does the Gorilla Bow do? We're glad you asked. This workout tool is uniquely designed to combine the benefits of the age-old bow design with the benefits of modern resistance bands. Resistance bands have gained in popularity in recent years because they are versatile and portable, but these tension bands can also be awkward to use in any functional sort of way.
I like the idea behind resistance bands, but when I try to use them, I just feel awkward. They can be weird to grip, and I feel like I am wasting time figuring out how to hold them. TheOriginal Gorilla Bow solves this problem and more by using the bow as a mechanism to control the resistance bands.
The result is movements like bicep curls feel more natural than they would without the bow, relying only on the resistance bands.
Gorilla Bow App
And did you know that Gorilla Bow has an app? The best tools in the world won't be effective if you don't use them properly or don't use them at all. The app and Gorilla Bow digital subscription address these problems. And in writing a Gorilla Bow review, this is an essential piece of the puzzle for those that might be looking to take their fitness to the next level without buying expensive workout machines.
As you might expect, the digital subscription includes on-demand classes, so you can access instructions on how to perform the perfect overhead tricep extension exercise any time you want. And this instruction is essential, but what's probably more important is the variety and interaction that will keep you moving forward.
The digital team releases new workouts every week, so you will never need to worry about falling into a repetitious workout rut. Following trainers will also open the door to the entire range of options, so you don't get stuck on basic exercises that grow boring over time. Many types of exercises can be completed with the guide of trainers, so it's fun and exciting to access some of this content. Plus, it's way cheaper than a gym membership. That's for certain.
In addition to on-demand classes, and new options every week, with the digital subscription, you will have access to fitness challenges and the Original Gorilla Bow community.
Gorilla Bow Exercises
Collecting an entire set of free weights might be appealing theoretically, but that wouldn't be practical for most people. It would be cost-prohibitive and take up a ton of space. Of course, there are full-body workout devices and machines like you would find in a commercial gym, but these have the same downsides as free weights. They are costly and space-consuming.
The Original Gorilla Bow solves these problems and offers a great workout, regardless of your level of strength. The latex resistance bands facilitate a range of exercises that will allow you to benefit from the stress-free ergonomics of the bow's design while working nearly any muscle group you desire.
Upper Body Exercises
So what exactly can you do with the Gorilla Bow? Well, if you are looking to improve your arms, you might start with bicep curls and overhead presses. When you are ready to mix it up, add in some one-arm rows. The arm exercises are one of the biggest reasons I love the Gorilla Bow system.
Attempting bicep curls while grasping a resistance band in your hands is just awkward. I've tried it, and you probably have too, at some point. Holding the bow is much more natural, and you can still easily adjust the levels of resistance, just like you might rotate through different dumbbells.
If you are more interested in chest workouts, you can do a traditional chest press, incline chest press, decline chest press, or multiple versions of band flys with the Gorilla Bow equipment. You can absolutely develop definition in your chest muscles, and there are plenty of workout videos on YouTube to show you how.
And on that note, you might also consider the digital subscription through Original Gorilla Bow Fitness, but if you are just looking for a flavor of what's possible, YouTube is a great resource.
Want to add in workouts for your shoulders and back? Try some clean and press, shrugs, shoulder press, deadlift, seated row, or lat pull-down exercises, all of which can easily be done with the Gorilla Bow. If you have started to piece this together yet, this is one of the best portable strength training devices you can buy.
Lower Body Exercises
The big question most people have about resistance band training is whether the bands offer enough resistance to really build muscle. This is especially true of lower body exercises, where many people require heavy weights for training in a traditional gym setting. Just keep in mind that the Original Gorilla Bow offers up to 300 lbs of resistance. And for those of you that are really pumping the muscle mass, you can buy additional resistance bands.
Regarding lower body and leg workout routines, start with traditional squat and lunge movements. Then if you want to work on your calf muscles, you can add in calf raises. Once you start to get bored with traditional movements, you can start to hone in your range of movement by working on more advanced exercises such as split squats, lateral squats, front squats, and good mornings.
Nearly any leg or lower body exercise you have done with traditional equipment can also be done with the Original Gorilla Bow. It is honestly hard to think of any portable strength training equipment that might be this versatile. I haven't been able to pinpoint a single piece of equipment that might be more versatile.
You probably could have guessed at many of the exercises you can do for your upper body and lower body, but core exercises might be a little more tricky. Honestly, this is where it might make sense to pair a Gorilla Bow with another at-home piece of equipment like the Terra-Core, but if you just want to stick with the Bow, it will still provide an excellent workout for your core.
The pike crunch, for instance, will give you a core workout unlike any you have ever had before. Sit with the bands below your back and the bow extended above you in your hands, then raise your feet to a 45-degree angle, and crunch your hands toward your feet. Whew buddy!
You can also try standing side bends, seated rows, and the Original Gorilla Bow twist. Pair these motions with various plank movements and some leg flutters and your core will have all it needs.
HIIT & Tabata Exercises
The Gorilla Bow works well for strength training, challenging larger muscles and stabilizing muscles alike, but the bow is versatile enough to use beyond strength training too. The bow can be used on its own as part of a HIIT level workout, or in combination with other equipment for a heart-pumping exercise.
If you are having trouble envisioning this, just search for Gorilla Bow Tabata or Gorilla Bow HIIT on YouTube. If you're not sure if you want to do a full 20-minute HIIT-type workout with just the bow, combine with some other versatile in-home exercise device like the Terra-Core, which we describe further below to explain why the Terra-Core is the perfect complement to the Gorilla Bow.
Regardless of whether you combine other equipment or not, there are a variety of exercises you can do with the Original Gorilla Bow to keep the heart pumping, all the while avoiding the joint pain that is so often associated with traditional strength training and gym-style workouts. And let's just admit that the possibility of getting in strength training while also hammering out a Tabata-like cardio workout is fantastic.
What Are Customers Saying?
On its own website, the original version of the bow is rated at 4.8 stars out of 5, with nearly 900 reviews, but sometimes those reviews don't fully translate to external sites like Amazon. In this case, the Gorilla Bow holds its own well, with a 4.4-star rating out of 5, after more than 1,500 reviews. It's honestly an impressive rating given the volume of reviews. Still, we wanted to dig deeper to find out what specific feedback customers had to share.
Derek aptly points out one of the biggest benefits of the Gorilla Bow system that he loves. It's portable. Yeah, this sounds simple and obvious but it is worth considering how much versatility this truly adds. You can work out in your living room or garage, or you can take it to your back yard, or even to the beach. Interestingly, Derek also has the TRX system but notes that the TRX system is mostly stationary. Sure, you can move the anchor system around, but it's not like you can easily walk down to the beach for a sunrise workout with the TRX system. This is definitely worth considering.
Boyd says that he was skeptical that he could build muscle mass with resistance bands, so he waited months before leaving a review. No, the results are in, and Boyd says he is definitely put on noticeable muscle mass using the Original Gorilla Bow. The only downside he noted was that the length of the original bow makes it difficult to travel with on airplanes, etc., but Gorilla Bow has addressed this concern with the rollout of the lite bow and the travel bows. Boyd also mentions the long width is also one of the reasons that he loves the bow against competitor devices because it works well for preacher curls and squats.
Rafael shares that the bow is great on its own, but the hidden gem is the six-week training course. If you are hesitant to spend the money, Raf suggests that it is well worth the investment, because the course showed him how much potential the Gorilla Bow really had to offer. He suggests without the training course, you might like the bow, but you might not use it to its fullest potential. Great advice.
Wade is a former college athlete that grew up on free weights. Working out has been part of his life story, so he has a unique story in comparing how the Original Gorilla Bow compares to more traditional alternatives. And not only is Wade an expert in free weights, but he also invested a few grand into Bowflex equipment. The bottom line is that he has extensively reviewed and compared the Gorilla Bow to his Bowflex and free weights because he was interested in giving the Bowflex away to a family member. This former collegiate athlete and his wife (also a former collegiate athlete) are convinced the Gorilla Bow is effective and durable. They gave away the Bowflex, and trust the much cheaper Gorilla Bow to be what they need going forward.
Gorilla Bow Competition
Does the Gorilla Bow have any strong competition? It's always good to look for alternatives, but in this instance, the Gorilla Bow is so unique, that the only direct competition is Amazon-type knock-offs. There are a few pieces of workout equipment that have developed mainstream followings and offer a slightly different experience than the Original Gorilla Bow, so we will compare those differences.
Gorilla Bow vs. X3 Bar
We prefer the Gorilla Bow due to the bow shape, and the larger size compared to the X3 Bar. The X3 Bar shares the basic premise of the Gorilla Bow, in that a bar is used to make resistance bands easier to manage. Both attributes seem to make the Gorilla Bow more versatile, in our opinion.
And really, the X3 Bar is more comparable to the Lite Gorilla than the Original Gorilla. They all function similarly, but the Lite Bow is intended for toning and HIIT workouts more than for strength training. The X3 Bar will handle more pounds of resistance than the Lite Bow, but you can't naturally use it for as many workouts as the Original Gorilla because it is much shorter in length.
The Original Original Gorilla Bow has a wider expanse, and the bow shape enables it to be utilized for a wider range of exercises. In our opinion, the advantage goes to Gorilla Fitness for its versatility. Remember, they have an app and digital subscription too.
Gorilla Bow vs TRX
Things get a little more interesting when comparing Gorilla Fitness to the TRX System. In our opinion, this is a situation where the Gorilla Bow and the TRX system might be complementary more than direct competitors. The TRX system is challenging because it requires you to completely control your body using stabilizing muscles and core strength.
That said, our experience is the TRX is great for developing functional strength, but the added resistance that the Gorilla Bow provides will help you develop overall strength, and even some muscle mass is used as part of a larger health routine. But let's be clear: if you haven't used the TRX System before, it is very challenging, and a great workout.
Still, we like to see Gorilla Fitness and the TRX system as ying and yang, if you will. They pair well together, and both have a place in your home gym. If you only have room for one, the Original Gorilla Bow will work better for most people, because it doesn't have to be anchored. You can use the Gorilla Bow in your garage, in your living room, or in your backyard by simply walking the bow from one space to the other. The TRX system needs to be anchored, so you could technically move it wherever you want, but you would have to deal with re-anchoring it each time.
Is Gorilla Bow Worth It?
The Gorilla Bow is an effective portable home gym disguised as an ancient weapon, and most users find it as fun to use as it looks it might be. That's a big deal in the fitness game. Developing routines that are both fun and challenging is an essential part of the journey.
Plus, the Gorilla Bow is made from durable aircraft-grade aluminum, which allows it to endure more pounds of tension than many of its knock-off competitors. The Gorilla Fitness system is useful for building muscle mass, enhancing core strength, toning up, developing functional strength, and pretty much any other fitness goal you might have, including HIIT training.
We also love that it is easy to adjust the levels of resistance so that the Original Gorilla Bow will work for users of any fitness level, and for nearly any exercise. It's available in an affordable price range, especially in comparison to other fitness devices, and is the perfect cornerstone piece of a home gym.SUMMARY PROS
- Countless exercises
- Adjustment from free weights
- Highly portable
- Very light weight
- Travel version available
- Affordable price point
- All fitness levels
Does Gorilla Bow Belong In Your Home Gym?
If you are interested in building a home gym, you can go one of two ways. You can spend thousands of dollars buying high-tech equipment, or commercial grade machines. Or you can focus on buying versatile equipment, that is reasonably priced, and leverages body weight when it makes sense.
Sure, Bowflex equipment is cool, but it is also really expensive. And this is at the heart of why we love the Gorilla Bow system. It is lightweight, portable, easy to use, and provides a great workout. When properly used, it is safer too. It's easier on your joints, and you don't have to worry about dropping a 50 lbs. weight on your foot.
The Gorilla Bow is great for strength training, and pairs nicely with similarly versatile equipment such as the Terra-Core. In fact, if you are on a budget, but looking to buy some home gym equipment, this is the combination I would recommend. Both the Terra-Core and the Gorilla Bow leverage simple designs for effective workouts. Plus, the Terra-Core already has notches for resistance bands, so the creative mind might find some highly effective ways to combine the two pieces of equipment.
What is the Terra-Core? It is similar to a BOSU ball in that it utilizes an air-filled bladder to add a dynamic surface to your workout routine. The Terra-Core platform engages stabilization muscles like the Gorilla Bow and is complementary in many ways. For instance, the Gorilla Bow works well for movements like shoulder presses, chest presses, and bicep curls, whereas the Terra-Core is great for various squat exercises, core workouts, and HIIT routines.
If you are on a budget, consider starting with the Original Gorilla Bow, then add on the Terra-Core. Then, since that combination is so much cheaper than large gym equipment, consider investing your savings in a massage gun like the Theragun or Hypervolt to help speed your workout recovery routine.
Can you Build Muscle With Gorilla Bow?
Yes, you can build muscle with the Gorilla Bow. Resistance bands have a negative reputation in some circles. In some instances, this is because they aren't perceived as authentic or tough, while in other instances that might be because resistance bands can be awkward to use. The combination of the bow and the tension bands solves the awkwardness problem, so the only remaining question is whether the piece of equipment works.
Resistance bands can be equally as effective at muscle building as free weights or gym machines. In many ways, resistance bands are more versatile than free weights or commercial gym equipment. For instance, the use of resistance bands like those utilized with the Gorilla Bow activates stabilizing muscle groups, which results in a more effective overall workout routine.
Additionally, the Original Gorilla Bow can be used for rehabilitation exercises, or for honing in on increased flexibility. Still, the question at hand was whether or not this fitness tool will help you build muscle. Like with any other equipment, the trick is you need to develop proper routines and challenge yourself to the edge of discomfort. After all, that is where the muscle gains happen. The Gorilla Fitness system allows for adjustable resistance levels and provides pounds of resistance equivalent to regular weights, so, yes, you can build muscle with the Gorilla Bow.
For those looking to build significant muscle mass, look to purchase the "Heavy Bundle" for your chosen bow, which will come with heavier resistance bands. The extra bands will ensure you have access to every level of resistance you might need and the maximum tension levels your bow will support (300 pounds of tension on the Original).
Gorilla Bow Final Verdict
Based on our Gorilla Bow review, this is a highly effective portable exercise device that deserves a place in your home gym. Entire sets of free weights and commercial machines can be costly, but you really don't need all of that unless you just really want it. Instead, you can focus on affordable and versatile equipment that facilitates functional strength.
In our opinion, some combination of the Gorilla Bow, the TRX system, and the Terra-Core is all that you need to get in great shape. You don't even need some ridiculous 90's style workout video, though each of those systems has guided workouts if you need them.
With all of this considered, the Original Gorilla Bow is the cornerstone of this home gym setup, as it can be used to develop nearly every muscle group, and is also versatile enough to incorporate into a cardio workout. If you are considering buying a Gorilla Bow, our recommendation is that you do so today. 💪
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