Best Resistance Bands for Seniors

Best Resistance Bands for Seniors (Plus Exercises You Can Do)

Resistance bands are excellent for core exercises for seniors and anyone starting out a workout program.

This exercise equipment isn’t as intimidating as heavy gym weights, and you can use it for a complete body workout.

To figure out the right exercises, let’s first analyze the recommended workouts based on your age.

Recommended Exercises by Age

As you grow older, you’ll need to adapt your workouts to suit your physical abilities.

Here’s a range of exercise recommendations from the American Academy of Family Physicians, based on various age groups:

  • 50s (51…55…59 years old):

In this age group, you may start experiencing daily aches and pains.

Therefore, you need to target low-impact activities like swimming, walking, or biking. Such activities won’t stress your joints.

Focus on low intensity but more frequent workouts.

Fight the natural tendency of your body curving forward by strengthening your core (abdomen and back muscles).

  • 60s (61…65…69 years old):

At this time, start focusing on activities to prevent falls.

Continue with aerobic exercises and get a 30-minute workout 5 times a week. Also, keep your muscles and bones strong by lifting weights (resistance training) 2 to 3 times per week.

Working on your balance is particularly important.

Daily balance exercises are essential, according to the National Institute of Health.

  • 70s+ (71…75…80…85…90… years old):

When you get to your 70s and older, it’s crucial to maintain physical strength and flexibility to retain normal body functions and independence.

Continue with aerobic exercises weekly and use resistance bands to retain muscle strength. Balance exercises will keep you from falling while warm-up and cool down exercises protect your muscles from injury.

Most importantly, stretch every day for flexibility.

Resistance bands are a great asset for many of those resistance and stretching workouts for older adults. You just need to know how to choose the right type and how to use it.

Choosing the Best Resistance Bands for Seniors

To pick the best resistance bands for seniors, you need to identify the right type and select the best brand.

Types Based on Design and Color

Different types of designs serve different purposes.

Here are the top 5 kinds that you’ll find:

  1. Pull up assist band: A long loop with a flat cross-section, which you can use for many types of fitness exercises.
  2. Resistance tubes with handles: An excellent choice for strength training exercises, such as standing rows, chest presses, squats, and shoulder presses.
  3. Mini resistance loops: Small loops with a flat cross-section, which are ideal for workouts involving your lower body.
  4. Flat resistance bands: Strips of flat rubber that you can use on many types of fitness exercises.

As you may notice, you can use the flat resistance bands for most workouts.

But they also come in different colors with varying strengths.

So, what color of the resistance band is the easiest for the elderly?

Using this color guide for TheraBand’s estimated resistance at 100% elongation, you can figure out the easiest options:

  • tan – 2.4 lb
  • yellow – 3 lb
  • red – 3.7 lb
  • green – 4.6 lb
  • blue – 5.8 lb
  • black – 7.3 lb
  • silver – 10.2 lb
  • gold – 14.2 lb

But maybe you’re wondering, “What strength resistance band should I get?”

The best approach to take is to first buy a complete set of the different colors and try one at a time, starting with the easiest one.

Best Brands

DYNAPRO Exercise Resistance Bands – Adjustable, Comfort Handles, Professional Quality - Workout Guide Included,...
Bodylastics Resistance Bands Set with Patented Anti-Snap Elastics, Patented Clips, Upgraded Handles, Door Anchor,...
DYNAPRO Exercise Resistance Bands – Adjustable, Comfort Handles, Professional Quality - Workout Guide Included,...
Bodylastics Resistance Bands Set with Patented Anti-Snap Elastics, Patented Clips, Upgraded Handles, Door Anchor,...
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DYNAPRO Exercise Resistance Bands – Adjustable, Comfort Handles, Professional Quality - Workout Guide Included,...
DYNAPRO Exercise Resistance Bands – Adjustable, Comfort Handles, Professional Quality - Workout Guide Included,...
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Bodylastics Resistance Bands Set with Patented Anti-Snap Elastics, Patented Clips, Upgraded Handles, Door Anchor,...
Bodylastics Resistance Bands Set with Patented Anti-Snap Elastics, Patented Clips, Upgraded Handles, Door Anchor,...
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Now, let’s review two of the best brands available:

1. DYNAPRO Exercise Resistance Bands (Best Value)

DYNAPRO is designed for rigorous workouts; hence, it will last long without wearing out. It’s a gym-quality, professional-grade product.

The set includes bands with D-shaped handles.

You can even adjust the Dyna band length using adjustable connections.

A complete set has 5 bands, but you can purchase a single band.

Although the handles are convenient for comfortable handling, it may be difficult to hold two a time since they are cushioned.

2. Bodylastics Resistance Bands (Professional Product)

Bodylastics features 6 heavy-duty ankle straps, 14 anti-snap bands, 4 different anchors, 6 handles, one gym bag, and a guide.

The anti-snap safety design has an inner cord within the loop to protect you in rare cases that a snap occurs. Besides, its patented design makes it highly durable.

You also get access to 44 online workout studio programs.

That will definitely save you money that you would otherwise spend on hiring trainers. The programs will guide you in proper workouts to achieve your fitness goals.

Combining the straps will increase resistance from 3 lbs all the way up to 404 lbs. Basically, this product can replace free weights even for professional bodybuilding.

However, note that the rings are big in size.

But what brand of resistance bands is best for seniors?

TheraBand is a preferable option to consider since physical therapists use it frequently.

TheraBand is made of latex rubber, although non-latex options are available for anyone who is allergic to latex. They are quite cheap, typically costing about $50 for about 50 yards length.

Note that, just like every other equipment, bands have some limitations.

The limitations include:

  • Difficulty in accurately measuring the amount of resistance.
  • Poor quality or old products may break or provide less resistance.
  • Improper use can cause injury (this typically applies to every type of equipment).

Even so, do resistance band workouts really work?

Such workouts aren’t different from regular weight training. They provide the same effect as lifting weights, which applies a force that puts your muscles to work. The only difference is that the resistance changes as you stretch the strap, unlike dumbbells which stay constant.

So, let’s have a look at the exercises you can do.

Seated Resistance Band Exercises (Elderly or Beginners)

If you’re wondering, “How do seniors use resistance bands safely?” seated exercises are the ideal solution. Such exercises work well for beginners and seniors.

You can literally do chest, legs, glutes (butt), and arm exercises while sitting at a desk as you work.

Try out these simple exercises for anyone over 50:

1.      Chest Stretch

Here, you’ll stretch out your Pectoralis major (chest muscle) while exerting your deltoids (shoulder muscle) and trapezius (upper back muscle).

Follow this process:

  1. Start with your elbows bent, and hold each end of the belt with each of your hands at about chest level.
  2. Stretch the belt towards either side of your body (for safety purposes, don’t exceed 100% elongation).
  3. Now, bring both of your hands back to the start.
  4. Do 10 repetitions following the same steps.

2.      Chest Press

A good workout for the Pectoralis major (chest muscle).

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Begin by wrapping the rubber belt around the back of your chair at about chest level.
  2. Hold each end of your belt using each of your hands.
  3. Your elbows should be bent and your hands close to your chest.
  4. Push forward, extending your arms away from your body.
  5. Then bend your elbows to bring your hands back to your chest.
  6. Do 10 repetitions following the same process.

3.      Lateral Raise

This workout might be the answer to the question, “What is the best exercise for a 70-year-old woman?”

Through the workout, you can strengthen your arms while increasing waist and back flexibility. For a seated workout, it exerts an impressively wide range of muscles.

Use this process:

  1. Hold the ends of the belt with your hands.
  2. Fully extend your arms towards the ground and to either side of your body.
  3. Position the belt with the center in front of your feet.
  4. Place your feet on top of your belt.
  5. Raise both of your arms up to shoulder level while keeping them extended.
  6. Then lower your arms back down to the starting position.
  7. Do 10 repetitions following the same process.

4.      Leg Press

Leg presses increase muscle strength in your quadriceps (front upper leg muscles) and ankles.

Follow this process:

  1. Sit and keep your back straight.
  2. Hold the ends of the elastic strap in your hands.
  3. Raise your foot and bend one knee towards your chest.
  4. Place the middle of your strap under the raised foot.
  5. Extend your knee against the strap.
  6. Then bend your knee back to the starting position.
  7. Do 10 repetitions following the same process.
  8. Change to the other leg and do 10 repetitions following the same process.

Related: Best Sitting Exercise Equipment for Seniors

That’s not all.

Here are even more resistance band chair workouts you can try out:

Other Resistance Band Exercises for Seniors

Besides seated workouts, you can do many other exercises with stretch bands.

So, what exercises can you do with elastic bands besides seated workouts?

Basically any other type of upper-body, lower-body, core, and full-body workout that you would do with free weights and weight machines. They include:

  • rear delt fly
  • seated row
  • bicep curls
  • lat pulls
  • tricep extensions

The elastic belts are also particularly good for abdominal workouts.

At this time, your belly may be losing its battle against gravity, and you may be asking, “How do I tone my stomach with resistance bands?”

The ‘Lying Leg Raise’ is an ideal solution.

The process is quite easy:

  1. While lying on your back, place the exercise band around both of your legs.
  2. Keep your legs straight and hands on the floor.
  3. Lift one leg up while fully extended, and press the other leg down on the floor.
  4. Then bring your leg back down.
  5. Do 10 repetitions following the same process.
  6. Change to the other leg and do 10 repetitions following the same process.

If you need a useful guide to use at whatever time, download the free resistance band exercises for seniors (PDF document) from More Life Health.

And if you’re feeling even more energetic, here’s one more YouTube video of fun Curtis Adams resistance band exercises.

However, there are certain workouts that anyone over 60 should avoid.

What exercises should seniors avoid?

They include:

  • squats with weights like dumbbells
  • deadlift
  • bench press
  • upright row
  • power clean
  • rock climbing
  • long-distance running
  • high-intensity interval training

What Can I Use Instead of Resistance Bands at Home?

Although elastic bands are quite cheap, you might be in a situation where you can’t get one.

Fortunately, several alternatives are available.

A bungee cord is one option you can try. These cords are typically made of synthetic or natural rubber covered with braided material made of nylon, cotton, polypropylene, or polyester.

If the bungee cord is too tough, you can even use simple elastic clothes like socks, pantyhose, suspenders, belts, and even waistbands.

Check out this useful video on how to do it.

But remember that such items aren’t specifically designed for exercise. Therefore, only use them for light workouts.

Stability Workouts for Seniors

Stability workouts are particularly essential for older adults.

This is best achieved using exercise balls.

So, what exercises can you do with a stability ball?

Here are a few ideas to try out.

Follow these steps for three typical workouts.

Hip circles (targets hip flexor muscles and your core):

  1. Seat on the ball with legs bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Keep your feet on the floor.
  3. Make a circular hip rotation, moving the ball clockwise.
  4. Make five to eight repetitions, then change to anticlockwise repetitions.

Leg lifts (strengthens quadriceps/ front upper leg muscles):

  1. Seat on the ball with your hands on either side of your body.
  2. Keep your feet planted on the floor.
  3. Lift your left foot to extend the left leg in front of you.
  4. Only lift your leg to a height that you’re comfortable with.
  5. Hold for five seconds before returning to the ground.
  6. Switch to the right leg.

Marching (increases flexibility and hip flexor strength):

  1. Sit on the ball, keeping your back straight and feet on the floor.
  2. Lift your left knee toward your chest, and return it back down.
  3. Now, lift your right knee toward your chest, and return it back down.
  4. Do this slowly so you maintain control and balance.
  5. If possible, do as many as 20 repetitions and perform up to 3 sets.

You can also download these stability ball exercises for seniors (PDF document) from Absolute Health Inc.

BOSU balls are another option.

Such BOSU balls have a top flat surface and dome-shaped bottom. This creates a platform on which you can perform multiple stability workouts.

Here are a few exercises to try out.

Conclusion

By combining all these flexibility, strength training, and balance workouts, you can build all-round fitness even at old age. Ultimately, this will slow down the aging process and keep you active and strong for many more years.

The earlier you start the more benefits you gain, but it’s never too late to start. Therefore, the best time to start is right now.

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