9 Easy Resistance Band Exercises for Seniors

Resistance training or strength training is an exercise that enhances your muscular strength and endurance. During resistance training, you force your muscles to move against tension provided by your body weight, dumbbells, gravity, machines, and resistance bands.

Incorporating resistance training into your daily workout routine can greatly improve your muscle strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and range of motion. Resistance training also helps fight bone loss and the symptoms of arthritis pain.

Unfortunately, a lot of seniors are not enjoying these benefits because many adults over the age of 70 do not exercise at all. Even if you work out daily, you probably omit strength training and go straight to walking or another form of cardio. But the best form of exercise is a combination of both cardio exercises as well as balance, flexibility and strength training.

Being a senior does not excuse you from the fact that you need resistance exercises. In fact, according to The American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association, seniors (65 and above) should aim to exercise at least 150 minutes or 2 and a half hours per week and should also incorporate resistance training at least twice a week.

There are many tools to help you get started on resistance training. Resistance bands are perfect for seniors since they are lightweight, easy to carry, and do not cost much.

Resistance bands are strong, elastic bands that you can utilize to exercise all parts of the body. Some resistance bands have handles at the end and some do not. They also come in different ranges of resistances depending on your level of fitness. You opt to choose one that works best for you and switch it up as you increase your fitness level.

You can do a lot of strength exercises with the use of your resistance bands such as chest presses, rows, shoulder press, bicep curls, and tricep extensions.

You can see one of our residents working with our trainer and their resistance bands here:

The benefits you get from using resistance bands are immense if used correctly. These are some of the benefits when you incorporate resistance bands to your workout routine.

  • It will not cost you much. Resistance bands are generally inexpensive. You can purchase one with just under $10. Some resistance bands also include DVDs, other exercise equipment and a manual for less than $50.
  • It caters to different fitness levels. Young or old, beginners or experts, resistance bands will work for you. With a variety of resistances: light, medium and heavy, you can easily adjust the intensity of your exercise.
  • It exercises the whole body. Resistance bands work every major muscle group. Therefore it can be used for full-body workouts.
  • It is easy to store. The bands take up very little space so you can use them at home even if you have limited space.
  • You can add variety. The use of resistance bands can be alternated with lightweight dumbbells or exercise machines to give your muscles a break.
  • You can use it anytime, or anywhere. You can easily bring them anywhere and use it anytime since it is easy to store and is lightweight.
  • It is an effective workout. The concept of resistance bands is pretty simple but it is extremely effective at improving your strength and endurance. Plus, it can also boost your stamina, flexibility, balance, and more.

Resistance Band Workouts

  1. Chest Pull
    1. Sit on a sturdy chair with your back straight and core tightened.
    2. Grasp both ends of your resistance band. This position should be in front of your chest with your elbows bent. If your resistance band is too long, you can fold it in half before starting.
    3. Exhale and pull the band as you bring it closer to your chest and try to straighten your arms.
    4. Inhale and release. Return to starting position and repeat 10 to 15 times.

This exercise can be done while seated or standing.

  1. Bent Over Row
    1. While seated, step on the resistance band and grip the handles. If you use a band without handles, then just hold onto both ends.
    2. Tighten your core to protect your lower back and bend your torso forward until your upper body is parallel to the floor.
    3. Position your arms toward the ground.
    4. Exhale and slowly pull the handles upward. You should feel your shoulder blades drawing closer and your elbows are facing the ceiling.
    5. Exhale and slowly release back to starting position.
    6. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

You can move your feet wider to increase the intensity or move your feet closer to make it easier for you.

  1. Bicep Curl
    1. Step on the middle of your resistance band. Your feet should be flat on the floor.
    2. Grip both ends with your hands.
    3. Raise your arms to the height of your chest in front of you and then return to staring position.
    4. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

You can either do this while seated or standing.

  1. Lateral Raise
    1. While standing, step on the middle of your resistance band with both feet flat on the floor.
    2. Grip both handles of your band.
    3. Raise both arms to the side, at the height of your shoulder and then return to starting position.
    4. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  2. Squats
    1. While standing, step on the middle of your resistance band with both feet flat on the floor.
    2. Grip both ends of your band.
    3. Slowly bend your knees into a squat position. Straighten your back, knees should be behind the toes, and butt out.
    4. Return to starting position.
    5. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  3. Chest Press
    1. Place the resistance band behind your shoulders and hold both ends.
    2. Extend both arms in front of your chest and return to starting position.
    3. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

You can do this exercise while seated or standing.

  1. Leg Press
    1. Sit on a sturdy chair with your back straight.
    2. Hold both ends of the resistance band.
    3. Place your right foot in the middle of your band. Your band should not be on the floor but your left foot is flat on the ground.
    4. Bend your right knee towards you and then straighten it again in front of you.
    5. Return to starting position and switch to the other leg.
    6. Repeat for 10-15 times with each leg.
  2. Triceps Press
    1. While standing, place the resistance band under your right heel.
    2. Hold the other end of the band with both hands and stretch it so you hold both ends behind your right ear.
    3. Pull it above your head and then release it back behind your ears.
    4. Repeat 10to 15 times on each side.
  3. Calf Press
    1. While sitting on a sturdy chair with your back straight, place your right foot in the middle of the band.
    2. Hold both ends with your hands.
    3. Extend your legs and point your toes upwards, towards the ceiling.
    4. Then flex and point your toes towards the ground.
    5. Return to position C.
    6. Repeat 10 to 15 times on each side.

Strength training can do wonders for your body. It can help prevent the loss of bone quality and density, and it can also help prevent dementia with its brain-boosting side effects!

Although it is generally safe to use resistance bands, it is better to have supervision when you work out to avoid any exercise-related injury. The personal trainers in our assisted living homes can ensure your safety when you train using resistance bands or any exercise for that matter.

Before starting an exercise, it is best to consult your doctor especially when you have health issues or concerns.

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