Public health guidelines are increasingly highlighting resistance band exercises for seniors. These guidelines emphasize the benefits low-impact resistance workouts provide for restoring and encouraging the physical well-being of older adults.
One of the primary reasons why resistance band workouts for seniors are advised is because they can significantly reduce the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. Workouts usually become increasingly risky as the aging muscles lose flexibility and strength. The guidelines around what type of workout suits seniors could be more specific. That's why we created this guide on stretch band exercises for seniors.
For the workout, we have picked resistance band exercises that are appropriately challenging to effectively and safely improve muscle strength.
Let's get started.
Resistance band exercise for senior citizens
Before we list the resistance band workouts for seniors, it is essential to mention that you need to be careful. Always start with some light warmup exercises like brisk walking. Also, start slow and don't push hard or strain yourself. Always start with a light resistance band.
If you are over 50, these resistance band exercises are recommended.
1. Leg press
- Sit on a sturdy chair or bench, keep your back straight, and loop the resistance band around your feet.
- Hold the handles in each hand, extend your legs forward, and slowly press against the band's resistance.
- Hold the position for a moment and bend your knees to return to the starting position.
- Always keep your back against the chair to maintain control throughout the movement.
- Do 10-12 repetitions.
2. Calf press
- Sit in a chair or on a bench with your back straight, and hold both ends of the resistance band firmly.
- Loop the center of the band around your left foot and extend the foot out.
- Once fully extended, point your toes towards the ceiling, keeping your foot straight.
- Slowly move the toes towards the floor like pressing against a paddle.
- Repeat the motion 10-15 times before switching feet.
- Do 10-12 repetitions.
3. Bent over row
- Usually done standing, seniors should do bent-over row sitting.
- Sit on the chair with both your feet on the band, hip-width apart.
- Hold the handles in each hand with your arms fully extended in front of you.
- Bend forward at hips, keep your back straight and chest forward.
- Gradually pull the handles towards your hips, and generate strength by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Slowly release the tension to return to the starting position
- Repeat 10-12 times.
4. Glute bridges
- Sit on the floor with your feet hip-width apart.
- Loop the resistance band around your thighs just above your knees.
- Lie down flat against the mat and arms on the sides.
- Raise your hips, push through your heels, and use your arms to push your back up. Keep pushing until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees.
- Stretch the resistance band moving your knees apart.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
- Aim to do 10 repetitions.
5. Reverse fly
- Secure the resistance band under your feet, holding each end in your hands.
- Slightly bend your elbows and lift your arms outwards, bringing them to shoulder height.
- Hold at the top for a second, then slowly release the tension to bring the arms down.
- Repeat 10-12 times.
For seniors over 60, these resistance band exercises for over 60 are effective.
6. Chest pull
- Stand straight, hold the resistance band's ends firmly, and bring it to the chest with elbows bent.
- Engage your core by pushing the belly button towards the spine, and inhale.
- As you exhale, pull the resistance band apart. Keep hands closer to the chest as you straighten your arm as much as possible. (Do not stress your arm muscles, stretch without straining the muscles.)
- Take a deep breath as you release the tension in a controlled movement to return to the starting position.
- Do 10-15 reps.
7. Lateral raise
- Keeping your feet hip-width apart, stand on the center of the resistance band.
- Hold the handles in each hand, arms fully extended by your sides keep palms facing your body.
- With a slight bend in the elbows, gradually raise your arms laterally. Here you have to keep controlled motion; the aim is to reach shoulder height but lift your arms as much as you can comfortably.
- Hold at the highest point for a moment and then lower your arms back down.
- Perform 8-10 repetitions.
8. Chest press
- Attach the resistance band to a secure anchor at chest height.
- Face away from the anchor as you stand straight, holding the handles in each hand. Keep your palms facing forward.
- Slowly step forward to create tension in the band. Keep your arms extended forward at chest height.
- Now extend your arms straight, pushing the band handles forward.
- Slowly release the tension and bring your hands back towards your chest.
- Stand at the center of the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Palms facing inward; hold the handles at shoulder height.
- Keep your back straight, and engage the core as you lower into a squat position. Slowly bend your knees and push your hips backward like sitting in a chair.
- Keep the tension in the resistance band throughout the movement.
- Then return to the starting position pushing through your heels, do not use your back to get up.
- Perform 2 to 10 repetitions.
10. Bicep curls
- Stand at the center of the resistance band with your feet hip-width apart.
- Hold the band handles in each hand with your arms fully extended.
- Bend your elbows to pull the resistance band towards your shoulders.
- Keep your arms straight as you release the tension and extend them back down.
- Repeat 8-10 times.
Benefits of Resistance Band Exercises for Senior Citizens
Resistance band exercises for seniors offer great flexibility to improve their quality of life through strength training. Here are some of the key advantages:
The primary goal of using resistance bands is the low impact on the body. Seniors have limited mobility and joint issues, making low-impact resistance band exercises ideal. It puts less stress on the joints, reducing the risk of injury.
Restores muscle strength and tone
With resistance band exercises, seniors can effectively target and strengthen muscles needed to support daily activities. These exercises also prevent muscle loss associated with aging.
Most resistance band workouts mimic everyday movements. This enhances functional fitness, improving older adults' quality of life. They can perform tasks like getting up from a chair and reaching overhead comfortably.
Resistance bands are incredibly versatile, targeting various muscle groups and adapting to different fitness levels. It allows seniors to use a resistance band for multiple exercises to work the upper body, lower body, and core.
Balance and stability
Stretch band exercises for seniors improve their balance and stability by engaging in stabilizing muscles. It reduces the risk of falls, a significant concern for older adults.
What type of resistance band should you opt for?
Resistance bands for seniors must be suitable for their fitness level and mobility. For most seniors, light to medium resistance bands is challenging enough without putting too much strain on muscles and joints.
Also, always use resistance bands with handles, providing better grip and ease of use. Handles allow for a greater range of motion needed for a versatile workout. Rubber or latex resistance bands are good options for seniors as they do not wear easily and provide comfortable elasticity.
How is LIT Axis Resistance Bands great for senior citizens?
A common challenge for older adults using traditional resistance bands is the inability to track the accuracy of the time under tension or monitor their progress. This is what differentiates LIT Axis from other resistance bands.
Here is what makes LIT Axis ideal for senior citizens.
LIT Axis resistance bands come with built-in sensors that connect it with the LIT app that tracks your real-time movements to monitor muscle imbalance. It can also track and measure the impact of various exercises on your body to ensure that you aren’t straining your muscles. Furthermore, you can measure everything from reps, resistance levels to time under tension.
Easy access to certified fitness trainers through the on-demand content gets you the best workout plan customized for your fitness level.
Precautions seniors should take before starting any resistance band exercise
Seniors should always be careful before starting with any resistance band workout to ensure they avoid injuries.
Consult with your healthcare provider
Older adults must consult their healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise program. It becomes even more critical if you have any pre-existing injuries, health conditions, injuries, or concerns.
Always perform a gentle warmup to get blood in the muscles flowing before starting resistance band exercises. You can start with light cardio, brisk walking, or perform dynamic stretches to loosen the muscles and joints.
Right resistance level
To avoid injuries, choosing a resistance band that challenges your muscles without causing any strain or discomfort is mandatory.
Should you opt for resistance band exercises if you are returning from an injury or have had niggling pain?
Resistance band exercises for seniors can be beneficial even if they are returning from an injury or experiencing niggling pain. These bands are used for physical therapy to recover from injuries, but you must take extra steps.
Before starting resistance band workouts after an injury or pain, consult your doctor, who can assess your situation and recommend resistance band exercises. If your healthcare provider allows it, it must progress slowly and gradually. Use the recommended resistance band exercises to rebuild strength gently.
20-Minute Resistance Band Workout for Seniors
Resistance band exercises for seniors can effectively manage the quality of life during later years. However, it's essential to find the right workout that you can perform without causing any damage to your body.
To get you started on the right path, here is a 20 minute resistance band workout video for seniors. It's a balanced routine incorporating lower, upper, and core resistance band exercises.
Alternatively, if you want a bit more challenging 20 minute resistance band workout, here is one.
In summary, resistance band exercises are great for seniors to maintain their muscle mass and strength. Always undertake a new workout routine under the supervision and approval of your healthcare provider.