In this post, which is all about exercise equipment for the elderly, I’m going to countdown five of the best exercise bands for seniors.
These bands are all great for:
- Low impact, gentle exercise
- Strengthening your joints safely
- Increasing range of motion
- Recovery from existing injury
- Prevention of future injuries
For these reasons, they make the perfect equipment for elderly people who want to become stronger and more mobile in the safest possible way.
On top of all this, they’re super economical and will never put a dent in your wallet. So, without further delay, let’s jump right into a countdown of the top 5 exercise equipment for the elderly:
What are the best exercise bands for seniors?
#5 Pull Up Assist Bands
Pull up bands are the resistance band of choice for gym-goers who use them for all kinds of strength exercises* to build muscles in the entire body.
They’re a super versatile piece of exercise equipment, and are great for elderly users who wish to build strength.
They can be used for an unlimited number of strength and fitness exercises. Check out these resistance band workouts for back, shoulders, legs and arms.
As their name suggests, pull up assist bands can also be used to help you do pull ups. You just loop them onto the bar and put your feet into the other end of the loop while you perform the exercise. The heavier the band, the easier the exercise will be.
Here’s a video showing you how to do assisted pull ups:
Since pull up bands tend to be used more for heavy muscle-building exercises and fitness training, they aren’t necessarily the very best exercise bands for seniors. But because of their versatility and ease of use, they definitely belong in the top 5 kinds of exercise equipment for the elderly.
*All our resistance bands include workout guides with up to 50 exercises, so you’ll never be confused about how to use them. And you can always check our blog page for new workouts.
#4 Resistance Tubes with Handles
These resistance tubes come with a door anchor – you just wedge it into any door frame and this allows you to fix the band at any height and use it to perform upper and lower body exercises.
You can use these bands to do all the classic strength training exercises, like chest press, row, squat, shoulder press, etc. The number of exercise variations you can do is virtually unlimited.
The effects of aging include loss of bone density, muscle mass and joint mobility. Research shows that doing regular resistance training increases not just muscle mass but also bone density. Moving your limbs under tension is one of the best ways to increase joint health.
Regular training with these resistance tubes will gradually and safely build up the strength in your muscles, and improve the range of motion of your joints. Using exercise bands is important for seniors who wish to improve their level of mobility and train for healthy bones and joints.
#3 Mini Resistance Loops
They may just be simple elastic bands, but mini resistance loops are one of the best kinds of exercise equipment for the lower body, and they’re particularly suitable for the elderly.
These exercise band are great for seniors who want to gently build up strength in the lower body without much risk of injury. They can be used to strengthen the muscles in and around the hips and core – areas which often cause problems later in life.
The key feature of these bands is the ability to loop them around your ankles, or just above the knees, so they can provide resistance while you perform exercises like hip abductions, hip flexions, lateral shuffle etc.
Here’s a video showing you some of the lower body exercises you can do with mini resistance loops:
Doing these kind of mobility exercises with a resistance band strengthens the muscles in and around your joints and increases your range of motion. This is important for lifelong mobility and resistance to injury.
#2 Physiotherapy Shoulder Pulley
The shoulder pulley isn’t an exercise band like the others, as it’s not made of elastic material. Instead, it’s a simple pulley with a door anchor at one end which you can attach to any door frame.
This is a simple but super effective piece of physiotherapy equipment which can by used by the elderly and by people recovering from a shoulder injury or surgery. See our full shoulder pulley guide here.
The pulley includes a cord with handles that are pulled to stretch the shoulders, alleviating the pain of conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, and frozen shoulder syndrome.
Regular use of the shoulder pulley, gently exercises the shoulder joint and will increase your range of motion. For seniors with stiff shoulders this is an excellent way to improve shoulder health and prepare for more challenging movements using exercise bands.
#1 Flat Resistance Bands
Number one on my list of exercise bands for seniors are these flat resistance bands, also known as physical therapy bands.
Why do I think they’re the best piece of exercise equipment for the elderly?
Firstly, they can be used to add gentle resistance to literally any movement you can do. This makes them ideal for people with specific weakness in their joints or those suffering from muscular dystrophy.
Secondly, they can easily be attached to fixed objects, looped around your body, pinned to the floor with your hands or feet, and held in different ways. The possibilities are endless.
Thirdly, they’re extremely portable – when folded up, they fit right in your pocket and can be taken anywhere for exercise on the go.
Lastly, these bands cost next to nothing so you get the most benefit for the lowest cost.
Time to join the resistance!
Final word on resistance bands for seniors
Using exercise bands for physical therapy is much better than using weights. This is because of the unique effect that training with elastics has on your muscles and joints.
You can read about the full benefits of training with resistance bands in this article. But, briefly, the main benefits include:
- Variable linear resistance – the tension level increases as the band is stretched, meaning you get the most resistance exactly where your muscles need it.
- Weights rely on gravity, whereas bands can also work on a horizontal plane, allowing you to apply resistance to any movement, from any angle.
- You are far less likely to injure yourself using resistance bands than you are with weights, so they are one of the safest ways to increase muscle mass and bone density.
I hope you enjoyed my list of the best exercise bands for seniors. Check out our full range of resistance bands here and find the one which is best for you.
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