You're never too old to work out and exercise! That's one of the biggest misconceptions that we want to dispel. It doesn't matter how old you are, there's always an exercise that you can safely perform at home!
Resistance band exercises for seniors are some of the most effective exercises that older people can add to their regular weekly schedule. With a few simple exercises, seniors can start to build strength, improve their mobility, and, importantly, help to combat painful aches and pains and even diseases such as arthritis.
In this article, we demonstrate the best resistance band exercises for seniors.
Easy resistance band exercises for seniors
The older we become, the easier it is to start ignoring the need to exercise. As our bodies age, it can become more difficult to regularly exercise, while injuries and chronic pains might become a reason to hold off regular training.
Not exercising, though, can do more harm than it will do good, even for seniors who fall into the 70+ demographic. This might seem like a good age to stop working out, but there is still a wide range of easy resistance bands exercises that seniors can incorporate into their daily life, and see a wide range of health benefits from.
Many of the following can be used effectively as seated resistance band exercises for seniors, which is fantastic for older people with limited mobility.
We recommend stretching lightly before attempting the exercises below. You can use the exercises as stand-alone exercises or mix them together to create a more intense workout routine, targeting a number of different muscle groups. To be effective, try to stick to a consistent workout at least once a week, to allow you to see healthy improvement.
Here are the best easy resistance band workouts for seniors:
# 1 Chest pull
Perform chest pulls while you are seated or standing, to increase the strength in your arms and across your chest. Breathe in and out in time with every repetition, while focusing on your technique, rather than speed.
- Sit in a chair and keep your back firmly supported against it.
- Hold either end of your resistance band in either hand.
- Raise your arms up in front, so they are in line with your shoulders. Keep your arms bent at the elbows.
- Straighten your arms to pull the resistance band towards your chest.
- Release your arms back to the bent position when the tension is too much for you.
- Repeat the exercise for as many repetitions as you feel comfortable.
#2 Bent over row
Strengthen your lower back, core muscles, and your shoulders using seated or standing bent over row exercises. This great exercise will help you to alleviate joint pains, especially any pains you might have in your hips. Be particularly careful to keep your back properly supported during the exercise.
- Sit in a chair with your back firmly supported.
- Keep the resistance band held firmly under your feet, and grasp both ends with your hands.
- Keep your back straight and lean over, so your body is close to parallel with the ground.
- Lift the resistance band with your arms, raising your arms so they are parallel with your shoulders, with your elbows raised upwards.
- Lower your arms again and repeat for as many repetitions as you feel comfortable doing.
#3 Lateral raise
Lateral raises are best performed standing, but you can also do them while in the seated position. Lateral raises will help to build muscle and strength in your shoulders and upper arms, while also helping greatly to improve your posture.
- Stand over the middle of your resistance band, with your feet firmly planted into the ground.
- Hold both ends of the resistance band, and keep your back straight, with your arms at your side.
- Raise your arms, and the resistance band, upwards.
- Keep your arms level with your shoulders, then lower them to your side.
If you are having difficulty supporting your back while doing this exercise, take a seat on a chair and hold the resistance band firmly beneath your feet to practice the movements.
Even seniors can still workout with squats! Target your glutes and help your hip and back muscles using gentle squats and a resistance band.
- Stand shoulder-width apart with your resistance band firmly beneath your feet.
- Adopt the squat position by bending your knees to lower yourself towards the floor.
- Hold the resistance band in either hand.
- Stand tall to take the strain, before bending your knees back into the squat position.
#5 Hip abduction
Work on your hip rotations, strengthen your hip muscles, and alleviate joint pains by regularly exercising with hip abductions.
- Take a seat, with your back firmly supported.
- Keep your knees at right angles to the floor, with your legs side by side.
- Place your resistance band around above your knees.
- Use your hips to move your knees in opposite directions.
- Return your knees to the center and repeat the exercise.
#6 Hip extension
Work on building healthy hips by incorporating hip extensions into your workout. You can do hip extensions when you're standing, or you can vary them and perform them while seated.
- Take your resistance band and loop it around one ankle.
- Loop the other end around a firm support. You can use a chair leg and hold onto the back of the chair for support.
- Lift your leg straight behind you, or as far back as you can.
- Return your leg to the starting position.
- Repeat, before switching legs.
Stretch exercises for seniors
It's always important to thoroughly stretch and warm-up before performing any exercise routine.
For seniors, it's doubly important to begin any resistance bands workout with stretches, to limber up, loosen the joints, and avoid any injury.
What benefits can seniors see using resistance bands for exercise?
Seniors will see a fantastic range of benefits from a regular resistance band workout schedule. It's really important not to overdo the workout routines, but to still keep them consistent enough for you to see the health benefits from performing them.
Try to make time for resistance bands workouts at least a few times per week, but don't take the workouts beyond your capabilities, especially if you have had a prolonged absence from regular exercise beforehand.
Here are the most important benefits that you can gain from regularly scheduled resistance bands workouts:
- Build strength in your muscles.
- Combat aches and pains.
- Avoid sustaining injuries when performing everyday tasks.
- Increase mobility.
- Improve the health of your joints.
- Help to avoid chronic diseases such as arthritis.
- Increase the strength of your resistance bands as you see improvements.
- Perform resistance band workouts in your own home.
What strength resistance band should I use?
Resistance bands are a great way to exercise because they allow you to control the level of resistance you are incorporating into your workouts very effectively.
Resistance bands are available in different strengths, offering different levels of resistance. For easy workouts, you can choose a lighter resistance, and for more intense workouts, you can use a stronger level of resistance band.
As your fitness begins to improve, you can gradually increase the strength of the bands that you are using to make your workouts more difficult.
Resistance bands are color-coded, allowing you to easily identify which strength a particular band is. For the most effective workouts, we recommend having a light, medium, and strong level of resistance to use for your exercises.
Final thoughts on resistance band workouts for elderly
Seniors don't need to stop exercising, even when they are 70 +. No matter how old you are, you can enjoy the health benefits of resistance band workouts from the comfort of your own home.
These easy resistance band exercises for seniors will help you to avoid injuries in everyday life, combat aches, pains, and diseases like arthritis while becoming more mobile, and healthier.