Learn from a professional why a strong core is vital to staying healthy and independent, and how resistance bands are tools that can be used at any time in your life and at any workout level.
Resistance bands exercises for all ages
It is nice to know that resistance bands have the large benefit of being able to help increase muscle mass in all parts of the body, but today we want to explore how resistance bands can also be used by seniors for exercise. My name is Emily, I am the proud wife of the co-founder of Shelter Fitness, Michael. He has asked me to provide a few insights to the therapy world and how we utilize resistance bands.
I am an Occupational therapist of 10+ years who works specifically with the elderly in their home setting. For those of you who do not know what an Occupational therapist is, let me give you a brief description.The formal definition from AOTA.org reads: “Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.” Now I work in the home setting, which means I go to my patient’s homes usually after they have just been discharged from the hospital or an inpatient rehabilitation setting. My main objective is to continue the rehabilitation process they were performing in the hospital. Many times that includes the use of resistance bands, because they are so easy to manage in a home setting.
Seniors joints are more fragile, so heavy lifting for large muscle mass improvements are not our main objective, instead endurance building and core strength improvements are typically a focus of many treatment sessions. This is because endurance and a strong core can lead to the greater ability to do more functional things. For example: walking to the bathroom without getting too tired, getting in and out of bed is easier, reaching overhead into kitchen cabinets without losing your balance, or having the ability to take a shower and dress yourself without falling over or getting too tired. All these examples sound simple, but to deconditioned seniors, seniors with disabilities or even healthy seniors, these functional tasks can be roadblocks that prevent them from living independently.
I want to provide a short description of a few exercises seniors can safely perform using Resistance bands for core strengthening and endurance building.
- Sit in a chair with your back straight up and down. Hold onto a resistance band with both hands extended out in front of the body. Now pull arms apart and at the same time lean back in your chair until your back touches the back of the chair. Once you feel the back of the chair, bend forward (arms still pulling the band apart) to your starting position. Do this 10 times.
- Sit in a chair with your back straight up and down. Loop resistance band around right foot. Now loop the other end of the resistance band around your right hand. Extend your arm out to the right side of your body at chest level. Once your arm is extended start to pulse your arm up even higher. Continue these movements for 10 repetitions. Once completed, switch and repeat on the left side.
- Sit in a chair with your back straight up and down. Hold onto a resistance band with both hands extended out in front of the body. Now pull the band apart and at the same time twist the body to one side, return to the center, and then twist to the opposite side. Repeat this whole process 10 times
I am not a medical doctor. The information presented is solely based on my experiences as a professional therapist and for informational purposes only. Please consult with your physician prior to any new or changing fitness endeavors. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities promoted by this site.