7 Best Resistance Bands For Seniors & Elderly: Benefits, Drawbacks & Exercises

By: Scott Grant, Certified Senior Advisor®, ATP, CRTS®

Luckily, older adults don’t have to do intense exercises to keep an active lifestyle. On the contrary, there are plenty of enjoyable and simple ways of being active – for instance, using resistance bands instead of heavy weights. Here’s what you need to know about resistance bands.

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According to the CDC, older adults can significantly benefit from physical activity1, and it does not have to be strenuous for them to achieve the health benefits. The American Heart Association also recommends resistance training as a muscle-strengthening activity.2

Being active can help the elderly manage some pain symptoms, protect their hearts and boost energy. However, seniors do not have the stamina to endure running, lifting weights, and aerobics with age. 

Resistance bands, though, offer seniors an excellent solution for getting an overall strength workout. They are gentle on the joints and help seniors maintain proper health and fitness.  

How Do Resistance Bands Work?

Resistance bands are low-impact training tools, making them an excellent choice for the elderly. They are straps that function by creating resistance which you must fight against using your legs or arms. Fundamentally, resistance bands are designed to help you improve your strength and flexibility without using weights. 

Different resistance bands have varying resistance levels based on how much they are stretched and their thickness. You can purchase a heavy, medium, or light band. Thicker or heavy bands offer more resistance, while thinner or lighter bands are less resistant.

The more you stretch a resistance band, the more resistance you get. Keep the band relatively lax if you want less resistance.

What Are The Benefits Of Resistance Bands For Seniors?

Resistance bands are pretty versatile in their use and have a lesser risk of injury. They are safer for seniors to use, and they offer plenty of benefits. A recent study shows that incorporating a resistance band exercise program can significantly help improve functional fitness in seniors. 3

Here is a highlight of the benefits of using resistance bands for seniors and the elderly:

  • Resistance bands are pretty simple to use
  • They are portable and lightweight
  • Can be used for a range of exercises
  • They help improve upper body strength
  • They improve balance
  • Help improve coordination
  • Resistance bands come in a range of resistance
  • Excellent for strengthening your joints and muscles
  • They can help enhance lung function
  • Resistance bands increase flexibility and elasticity
  • They are an excellent option for physical therapy

Are There Any Drawbacks Of Older Adults Using Resistance Bands?

Resistance bands are a great exercise option for the elderly. However, as with any product, they have their downsides. Some of the drawbacks of older adults using resistance bands are:

  • Resistance bands can break
  • Their band resistance is not the best for offsetting gravity
  • It isn’t easy to quantify progress
  • It is hard to control the band once it stretches fully

The 7 Best Resistance Bands for Seniors & The Elderly

Purchasing a resistance band can be intimidating as there are several options available. It helps to shop around to determine the type of resistance band that suits your needs best. Here is a list of the top seven best resistance bands for seniors and the elderly who are looking for an easier way to get in some resistance exercises.

1. SPRI Braided Xertube Resistance Band Exercise Cords

  • Easily portable
  • Resistant to tear and abrasion
  • Extremely reliable
  • Can be used for different types of exercises
  • Handles though have a poor grip

The SPRI braided xertube resistance band exercise cords can perform a range of fitness exercises. They can enforce total fitness by isolating muscles from the different parts of your body. This is an excellent choice for seniors dealing with joint problems.

This resistance band is fitted with grommet reinforcement and tough sleeve protective handles that improve reliability and durability. They are also lightweight and portable. The SPRI resistance band is designed for speedy and light mobility exercises.


2. Recredo Resistance Bands Set

  • Fairly affordable
  • Come in different color-coded resistance levels
  • User friendly and labeled
  • Can be used for different exercises

The Recredo resistance bands set are another excellent option for seniors. This set of resistance bands is made from high-quality natural latex, is 48 inches long, and contains 13 pieces in the set. They include resistance bands, door anchor, cushioned handles, exercise cord, guide book, waterproof carrying bag, ankle straps, and a bands protective sleeve. You get all these at a pretty affordable price.

The bands are pretty elastic and easy to use. They come in various colors, and each color offers a different resistance. This makes it easy for you to differentiate what band to use for what exercise. Recredo resistance band can be used in your home workouts and is an excellent choice for physical therapy. 

You can use these bands for various exercises like muscle building and toning. They are portable, lightweight, and can be used anywhere, making them a good choice for seniors.


3. WODFitters Stretch Resistance Pull Up Assistant Band

  • Best fit for anyone with joint problems
  • Promotes strong muscles
  • Made from premium latex
  • Very versatile
  • More expensive than some others

This is one of the best resistance bands created for seniors. It is made from premium latex, and they come in various colors. The WODFitters resistance band is designed to be used for a range of movements and exercises without injuring your muscles or bones.

This band is excellent for seniors as it can help them build lean muscle without affecting their old joints. They are available in different sizes based on your weight. The different sizes are designed based on a specific level, making them an excellent choice for seniors.

They are lightweight so you can travel with them anywhere. This aspect also makes working out more manageable as you can exercise without getting fatigued.


4. Power Guidance Pull Up Assist Bands

  • Made from premium latex which enhances their durability
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Can be used for a range of exercises
  • Bit more expensive than some others

You can perform multiple exercises with the Power Guidance resistance bands. They are made from premium latex, giving them a longer-lasting workout experience. These resistance bands are available in different sizes, and each has a different level of tension. This makes it an excellent option for seniors since they can choose one depending on their exercise.

They come with a tension chart, allowing you to decide what tension level you want. This is great as it can help you build strong and lean muscles progressively. Their band resistance is equally versatile. Whether you want a band that helps you stretch or improve your strength, Power Guidance resistance bands are a good choice. 


5. SUPALAK Resistance Bands

  • Affordable
  • Offers excellent safety mechanisms
  • Great for a high-intensity workout
  • Has excellent elasticity
  • Not long enough for taller seniors

The SUPALAK resistance bands set is an excellent choice for seniors who would like some core workout. They are 1.18″ high, 1.18″ wide, and 47.24″ long. These resistance bands are made from nylon, which has more elasticity and offers more comfort than rubber.

Their design is safe, so they are an excellent choice for seniors. Aside from being affordable, one of the best things about the SUPALAK resistance bands is their anti-snap mechanism. This prevents accidents and injuries from occurring should the band snap.

It is worth mentioning that these bands would best suit seniors who would like a high-intensity workout.


6. Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands

  • They come with manual instruction that is easy to read
  • They are multi-functional
  • Durable
  • Joint-friendly
  • Tend to roll up during exercise though

Letsfit resistance loop bands suit seniors and come with different resistance levels. Seniors can use them for workouts like hip activation. 

The Letsfit resistance loop band’s design is pretty friendly to the joints of the elderly and can go a long way in improving mobility in the elderly. This makes it an excellent choice for use in physical therapy. The best part is there is no risk of negative impact on the joints or muscles of the user.

This resistance band is portable and can be carried anywhere effortlessly. The different gears come with an instruction manual explaining how to use them based on the different resistance levels. While they are costly, they offer value for money as they are durable, unlike most resistance bands.


7. Iron Infidel Work Out Assistance Bands  

  • Pretty versatile
  • Offers varied resistance
  • Excellent for strength training
  • Easy to use
  • Rubber can be slippery especially if wet

The Iron Infidel pull-up assistance bands are an excellent option for seniors to use. They are made from 100% natural latex, so they are odorless. Iron Infidel assistance bands have a 0.18″ height, 0.51″ Width, and 41″ length. Their design is pretty innovative, and they are available in five different resistance levels. 

Infidel Iron resistance bands are versatile, making them an excellent tool for beginners and experts. These resistance bands also come in five different colors and can be purchased individually or as a set of five. When buying these resistance bands, you are contributing to a good cause. A percentage of the profits is donated to wounded veterans and the children of fallen police officers.

You can use Iron Infidel resistance bands for a range of exercises, including stretching and strength training. This is great for seniors as a couple of stretches and a little bit of strength training suffices as a form of physical activity.


Some Easy Resistance Bands Exercises For Seniors 

There are multiple exercises that seniors can do using resistance bands. Fortunately, a majority of these exercises are pretty straightforward. Here are some easy exercises that you can do using a resistance band.

1. Chest pull

You can do this exercise while standing or sitting.

  1. Sit on a solid chair with your core tightened and back straight.
  2. In front of your chest with elbows bent, hold the ends of your resistance band.
  3. Exhale, then pull the band while bringing it close to your chest. Try and straighten your arms while doing this. You can always fold the band in half if it is too long.
  4. Inhale, then release.  
  5. Repeat this exercise

2. Bicep Curl

You can do this exercise while standing or sitting.

  1. Step on your resistance band’s middle part and ensure your feet are flat on the floor.
  2. Use your hand to get a good grip on both ends.
  3. Raise your arms to your chest, then lower them to the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

3. Chest Press

You can sit or stand when doing a chest press.

  1. Have the resistance band behind your shoulders, then hold each end
  2. Extend both your arms to the front of your chest, then put them back to the starting position
  3. Repeat

Recommended Resistance Bands DVDs For Seniors 

There is a wide selection of resistance band DVDs for seniors & the elderly. Here are a few recommendations.

Senior Resistance Bands Exercise DVD for Strength & Fitness

This DVD has easy resistance band exercises that can be done while sitting or standing. It also includes slow-paced Pilates exercises using resistance bands and even comes with 2 bands to get you started.


Exercise for Seniors DVD Program

This DVD demonstrates various resistance band exercises seniors can do while standing or sitting. It is easy to follow and fun. It comes with one extra light resistance band to get you started.

Summary And Final Thoughts

Resistance bands are low-impact training tools – which means they have a lower chance of causing accidents or injuries, making them suitable for seniors and the elderly. They offer the elderly multiple benefits, from improving balance to strengthening joints and muscles.

While there is a range of resistance bands to choose from, some people struggle with finding the best resistance band or exercises for resistance bands. If you wonder which of the above options is the best, it is important to remember that reviews and other online resources can help. 

It is possible to shop for the best resistance band for seniors and the elderly on your own, but talking to an experienced caregiver, asking friends for recommendations, and consulting your doctor are excellent places to start. Choosing the right resistance band can help you strengthen joints and muscles and improve your overall health.  

Sources

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/sgr/olderad.htm
  2. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5599848/

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