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 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 create 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 best suits your needs. 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.
The SPRI braided xertube resistance band exercise cords can perform various 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.
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 anchors, cushioned handles, exercise cords, a guide book, a 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 to differentiate what band to use for 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.
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 various 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 fatigue.
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, each with a different tension level. 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 progressively build strong and lean muscles. Their band resistance is equally versatile. Power Guidance resistance bands are a good choice whether you want a band that helps you stretch or improve your strength.
5. SUPALAK Resistance Bands
The SUPALAK resistance bands set is an excellent choice for seniors who want a 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.
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.
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 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 various 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.
- Sit on a solid chair with your core tightened and your back straight.
- In front of your chest, with elbows bent, hold the ends of your resistance band.
- 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.
- Inhale, then release.
- Repeat this exercise
2. Bicep Curl
You can do this exercise while standing or sitting.
- Step on your resistance band’s middle part and ensure your feet are flat on the floor.
- Use your hand to get a good grip on both ends.
- Raise your arms to your chest, then lower them to the starting position.
3. Chest Press
You can sit or stand when doing a chest press.
- Have the resistance band behind your shoulders, then hold each end
- Extend both your arms to the front of your chest, then put them back to the starting position
Recommended Resistance Bands DVDs For Seniors
There is a wide selection of resistance band DVDs for seniors & the elderly. Here are a few recommendations.
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 strengthen joints and muscles and improve overall health.