Strength takes a whole new meaning when you are 60 and beyond.It’s essential in everyday activities and preventing injuries and falls.Later in your golden years, having physical strength is also what keeps you active and independent.
If you are over 60 and aren’t engaged in regular strength training, you are missing out.But that’s not to say, you need to start lifting weights like dumbbells and barbells at the gym (though you can!).
Strength training can take many forms, and one home-friendly way to build strength is with resistance bands.They are light, portable, and extremely effective.
Unlike free weights like dumbbells, resistance bands don’t use gravity to build strength. Instead, they use the tension of the bands.Because they allow you to work from any angle and position, they also excel at building balance, mobility, and stability.
From knees, ankles, other joints, hips to the core, resistance bands can help add strength, stability, and flexibility.If you are ready, try these 9 resistance band workouts for seniors at any fitness level.
*Disclaimer: consult with your physician and licensed experts in your area before starting any new exercise.
Don’t have resistance bands? Grab yours here on Amazon.
The first two exercises in the list use loop bands.
1. Mini-Band Glute Bridge
- Place a mini-band around your thighs, just above your knees. Lie on your back flat, bend your knees to 90° close to your glutes, and pull your toes toward your shins os only your heels touch the floor.
- Brace your core, press your lower back into the floor, and widen your feet until you feel the tension on the band.
- Maintaining tension on the band, squeeze your glutes, push your heels into the floor, and lift your hips off the floor until they are in line with your knees and shoulders. If you feel a strain in your lower back (as opposed to your glutes and hamstrings), don’t raise your hips up as high.
- Pause, then lower back down. Do 10-15 repetitions. Keep your glutes engaged and maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement.
2. Lateral Band Walks
- Put a mini band around your ankles, and stand in a quarter squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Step your right foot to the right, then follow it with your left, feeling resistance from the band.
- Keep your chest up and maintain a back flat throughout. Knees pushed apart and over toes at all times, toes pointed straight forward even as you move laterally.
- Complete a few steps to the right, and then complete a few to the left. Do 10-15 repetitions per side.
Tips: Keep tension on the mini band at all times Do not let feet and legs come together. You should feel it working your glutes, and outside of your thighs.
3. Band Pull-Aparts
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep slight bent in your knees.
- Grab a resistance band with right hand. Grab the other end of your band with your left hand at shoulder-length. Bring your hands in front of you and at your shoulder helght.
- Keeping your arms straight but don’t lock your elbows fully. Pull the resistance band out, contracting the shoulder blades.
- Slowly return to your start position. Do 8-12 reps.
Band pull-apart is another effective resistance band shoulder exercise that gets your shoulders and upper back. It’s also easy to perform for any beginner and you can do this standing or sitting, even in a small space.
4. Squat to press
- Grab handles with an overhand grip and stand in the middle of the band with feet parallel and hip-width apart.
- Position hands at shoulder height, with your palms facing away from you and elbows bent.
- Sit your hips back, bend at the knees to squat until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor.
- Keep your chest up, engage your abs, and press knees out over your toes.
- Pause for 1-2 seconds then push up to standing while extending your arms straight overhead. Repeat and complete your reps. Do 10-15 repetitions.
5. Bent-Over Row
- Grab a resistance band and step in the middle of the band with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Hold the band in each hand at the arm’s length, and bend at your hips. Lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Keep your lower back naturally arched.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the band up to your upper abs. Pause, then return. Repeat 10-15 times.
6. Chest Press
- Secure the band to a sturdy object at chest height. With your back to the object, grab a handle in each hand and step forward until there’s no slack in the band.
- Your hands should be at your chest, elbows up and palms facing down.
- Press the handles forward and together at the same time.
- Pause, then return slowly, being careful not to go past your shoulders. That’s one rep. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
7. Lateral Raise
- Place both feet on the band and grab a handle in each hand with palms facing ing. The further apart your feet are, the harder this will be.
- Keeping your arms straight, raise the handles out to the sides coming up to your shoulder height.
- Lower them to the starting position and repeat 10-15 times.
8. Biceps Curl
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your feet over the middle of the band.
- Grab a handle in each hand with palms facing forward.
- Pull your arms toward your shoulders by bending at the elbow.
- Pause, then slowly relax your biceps and lower your forearms down until your arms are straight, then repeat 10-15 times.
9. Diagonal Chop
- Anchor the band near the floor on a door with one handle. Hold the handle with both hands next to your hip.
- Take a few steps away from the anchor to create tension on the band.
- Keeping the arms straight and using your abs, rotate the body and bring the arms up diagonally while squeezing the abs.
- Rotate the hips and knees as you turn. Return and repeat 10-15 times. Switch sides and repeat.
10. Reverse Crunch
- Use the anchor to set the band at a low position and attach the ankle cuff to your ankles. Scoop back to create tension on the band.
- Lie flat back on the floor and bend your knees at the 90°.
- Brace your abs, lift your hips off the floor, and crunch toward your chest, contracting your abs. Pause, then slowly return to the first position. Repeat 10-15 times.
The reverse crunch is a great exercise to target the lower abs. It’s one area that’s often neglected in many other ab workouts.