Skip to main content

News & Tips

The benefits of resistance bands vs weights for older adults

The benefits of resistance bands vs weights for older adults

As we get older, it’s vital to stay strong to maintain wellbeing. All physical activity is good for us. But not everyone realises how vital it is to include strengthening exercises to help maintain muscle mass and function. This is because after the age of 60, we lose up to 3% of our muscle mass every year.

We have the power to turn back the clock in terms of muscle strength. We can boost our health – including our immune system – by staying strong. The Chief Medical Officer guidelines recommend that older adults do strengthening exercises twice a week.

Resistance training for older adults reduces the risk of muscle loss which occurs as we age. Many people automatically assume you have to use weights for strength training. In this blog we’ll look at resistance bands versus weights and why bands are a great option for strength training to stay strong and fit for life.

resistance bands for seniorsWhat are resistance bands?

People commonly refer to them as elastic bands or stretchy bands. Resistance bands are versatile fitness tools that come in various colours, sizes, and resistance levels. Typically made from rubber or elastic materials and designed to provide resistance when stretched. They can resemble large rubber bands.

Many people first encounter them through physical therapy. You may have visited a physiotherapist for injury recovery or surgery rehabilitation. They may have provided you with a resistance band for your exercises.

Physiotherapists often incorporate resistance bands into rehabilitation programmes because of their effectiveness in targeting specific muscle groups. The bands allow physiotherapists to provide tailored exercises that address individual needs and rehabilitation goals.

Resistance bands may have handles or loops at each end to facilitate gripping or anchoring during exercises. Depending on the resistance level, they can feel flexible and stretchy. Depending on their strength, bands provide different levels of tension to suit various fitness levels and exercise routines.

Joint-friendly fitness

Resistance bands for older adults are ideal as they are gentle on your joints. As we age, you may experience stiffness or discomfort in your joints. Using heavy hand weights can make this worse.

But strengthening bands give you a smoother, more controlled workout that are kinder to your joints. Therefore, they are ideal for enhancing strength without causing strain on your joints. In multi-joint exercises, people commonly use resistance bands to simultaneously target multiple muscle groups.

Resistance bands help strengthen muscles across their entire range of motion. Unlike traditional weightlifting, where tension remains constant, resistance bands provide variable resistance. As the band stretches, it increases tension, strengthening muscles throughout movements and improving overall range of motion.

Resistance bands improve joint stability, crucial for optimal range of motion. By exercising the muscles around a joint, resistance bands enhance stability, lowering injury risk and improving movement control.

Move it or Lose it exercise classes for older adults Super versatile

Resistance bands are incredibly versatile. You can use them to work out all the major muscle groups. No matter what muscles you want to strengthen, there’s an exercise you can do with resistance bands. You can perform bicep curls, chest presses, and shoulder presses using a resistance band.

They’re suitable for everyone because you can adjust the resistance levels to modify the difficulty of the exercises. Where you grip the band can change how challenging the exercise is.

Portability and convenience

Dumbbells can be problematic as they’re bulky and cumbersome. Resistance bands are light and easy to carry around. You can use them at home or take them with you to exercise classes. Whether you’re at home or going on holiday, resistance bands make it easy to keep up with your fitness routine.

Improve your balance

Maintaining your balance is vitally important as you get older. Resistance bands can aid in improving balance for older adults by targeting key muscle groups involved in stability, such as the core and lower body. These are the muscles that help you stay steady on your feet. Incorporating resistance band exercises into a workout routine can enhance strength, coordination, and proprioception, contributing to better balance and reduced risk of falls.

Gradual Progression

With strength training, it’s important to progress gradually. Resistance bands are great for this because you can progress with your strengthening exercises over time. This helps you build strength safely without risking injury. If you’re a senior looking to stay fit and strong, resistance bands are a smart choice.

In summary, resistance bands are a fantastic option for seniors who want to stay strong and healthy. They’re gentle on your joints, versatile, easy to use, and help improve balance and stability. Using resistance bands in your workouts can help you stay active and enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle as you age.

Download our free guide of resistance band exercises. It has a variety of exercises to improve your strength and muscle tone. Resist the temptation to do too much too soon as you may not notice you’ve overdone it until the following day.

If you’re considering purchasing a resistance band, look no further than our online shop. We take pride in offering high-quality resistance bands. Our range of resistance bands includes latex and latex-free bands. You can purchase a resistance band here – all our bands are high quality, 1.5m long and come in the following levels of resistance:

  • Red band (light) for beginners
  • Green band (medium) for intermediate
  • Blue band (heavy) for advanced
  • Black band (extra strong) for a really challenging workout

If you struggle with grip strength then consider using soft foam band handles to help.

For our guide on adjusting your grip on the band, watch this easy-to-follow video.

Move it or Lose it specialises in exercises for seniors. Each Move it or Lose it class includes strengthening for the over60s. Your specially trained instructor can take you through lots of exercises and help you improve your technique. To find your local class, click here.

Please consult a healthcare professional first if you have any health conditions.

Upgraded Booking Terms

You are about to remove the upgraded booking terms from your purchase.

This will refund the cost of changing your training day if you are unable to attend for one of the listed reasons. Are you sure you want to remove it?.