Taking the necessary steps to stay strong and in solid shape as you grow older is a necessity. According to Harvard Health Publishing, a decline in your physical abilities—such as swiftness, stamina, and strength—is a natural part of aging. Completing daily tasks and activities like bringing groceries to your car and into your home, tending to the garden, maintaining balance on slippery ground, and even playing with your grandkids can become more challenging. Staying physically active is the name of the game in order to preserve your coordination and strength. So we’ve put together five of the best resistance band exercises to get stronger as you get older.
Muscle helps keep you healthy and fit, and ward off illnesses. No matter what your fitness goals may be, you need to perform regular strength training. You can always use fitness staples like dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells to get stronger, however, resistance bands are an underrated tool that can also be incredibly effective. Working with a resistance band is low-impact, and the tension you get from it challenges your muscles.
Now that we’ve raved about how awesome resistance bands are, let’s get into the exercises to get stronger as you age. Grab a resistance band, and let’s get to it. And next up, don’t miss 5 Daily Exercises To Improve Muscular Endurance as You Age.
Kick this routine off with some band rows. Set up by wrapping your resistance band around a sturdy surface, like a pole or a beam. Grip the band with both hands, and take a couple of steps back to gain some tension. Keep your core tight, drive your elbows back, and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Next, completely straighten your arms to get a full stretch before performing the next rep. Complete three sets of 15 reps.
Band squats—demonstrated above—will have you putting both feet on a resistance band, placing them shoulder-width distance apart. Hold the band at shoulder height. Then, squat down by sitting back on your heels. Rise back up, flexing your glutes to finish the motion. Complete three sets of 15 reps.
Begin this exercise by placing one foot on the resistance band. Grip the band with both hands at the height of your chest. Place your other foot behind you, keeping your toes firmly planted. Your chest should remain tall and your core tight as you lower yourself until your back knee touches the floor. Drive through the heel of your front leg to rise back up. Perform all reps on one leg before switching over to the other. Complete three sets of 10 reps for each leg.
Overhead band triceps extensions will have you wrapping a resistance band at the bottom of a sturdy beam or pole and gripping the handles. Spin around, and lift your arms up so that the band is right behind you. Bend at the elbows to where your biceps touch your forearms to get a deep tricep stretch. Once they’ve touched, extend your arms, and flex your triceps hard at the top. Complete three sets of 15 reps.
For this final exercise, tie a resistance band around a sturdy beam, and take a step out to the side to get some tension on it. Hold the end of the band with both hands utilizing a pronated (overhand) grip, and make sure your feet are situated in a wide stance. Keep your core tight as you rotate the band across your body from your upper back. Flex your obliques during the entire range of motion, then return back to the starting position. Complete three sets of 15 reps for each side.
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.