Resistance bands are bands of rubber or latex used to produce resistance during exercise.
The resistance band is capable of producing just as much resistance as free weights or exercise machines but at a fraction of the cost.
Below we will look at those and other benefits of resistance bands as determined by our health experts.
12 Benefits Of Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are a common sense alternative to free weights. The following are the 12 most impactful benefits of resistance bands.
1: Resistance bands provide an effective workout.
Resistance bands provide a very effective workout that involves most of the major muscle groups. Whether you are just starting out or a resistance training veteran, you can enjoy the physical fruits of exercising with resistance bands. When paired with light to moderate cardio (say on a stationary bike), this could very well be all the exercise a person needs. You’ll become stronger, more flexible, less injury-prone, and be less likely to succumb to the many conditions that befall out of shape seniors (1).
2: Resistance bands can be used in concert with other equipment.
As we just mentioned, resistance bands can be combined by seniors with an exercise bike to provide a good all-around workout. But they can also be used in concert with free weights or weight machines to optimize strength gains. Or rowing machines to build leg, back, and shoulder strength. Experiment a bit. Try different machines and see which combined workout produces the results you’re after.
3: Resistance bands are affordable.
This has a lot to do with their appeal. Weight machines and other types of exercise equipment is expensive. It you are a senior with a fixed income they may well be out of your price range. Not resistance bands though. Resistance bands are well within just about everyone’s budget. You won’t have to dip into the retirement savings to buy them. And, should they wear out, you won’t have to take a second mortgage to replace them.
4: Resistance bands are low-impact exercise.
Perhaps the biggest reason older folks should consider resistance bands is because they are low-impact (2). That is, they don’t put unnatural amounts of stress on the joints or muscles. Resistance bands come in different strengths that equate to various amounts of weight. This allows you to ramp up your workout gradually. The nature of resistance bands also means that, should you find you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, you can let go and likely not hurt yourself. Try letting go of a loaded-down barbell and see what happens. Chances are it won’t be pretty.
5: Resistance bands provide cost-effective health benefits.
Health club memberships are pretty expensive these days (3). But when considering the cost of joining a health club, you also have to consider things like transportation and parking costs. As well as fuel costs and how much time you spend sitting in traffic (time being money and all that). Even if you’re retired, you certainly have better things to do with your life than sit in traffic burning gas. With resistance bands, you can get the full-body workout you need right in the privacy of your own home. That notion appeals to a lot of seniors who have done the health club thing in the past and found it wanting.
6: Resistance bands don’t require you to ask for help.
When working with free weights – especially when older folks work with free weights – it’s always advisable to have another person on hand to ‘spot you’ (4). The spotter helps ensure that, should you drop that barbell as we mentioned earlier, it won’t turn into a catastrophe. With resistance bands though, the threat of dropping dangerous amounts of weight on yourself is removed. Accordingly, as long as you adhere to proper form when using the bands, your risk of injury is greatly reduced.
7: Resistance bands can be adapted to anyone’s fitness level.
Another great thing about resistance bands is that you don’t have to be Jack Lalanne to use them. Because they come in a variety of weights, they can be used by anyone from experienced weight lifters to complete exercise novices. You can choose to apply as much or as little force as you feel comfortable with. When you become stronger and more experienced, you can pull them really hard and pump some serious iron. (Just be careful always to use proper form.)
8: Resistance bands don’t require a lot of storage space.
Stationary bikes are great. And having an indoor gym with free weights and various other machines is the ideal. But the fact is, not everyone has space for exercise equipment. With resistance bands, that isn’t a problem. All you need is enough room to move up and down and back and forth freely. And to be able to lay down if necessary. When you’re done, you just put the bands under the bed or in your dresser drawer.
9: Resistance bands allow you to work out in the privacy of your own home.
Trying to get in shape is hard enough as it is. The last thing most people want is a bunch of strangers gawking at them while they exercise. Health clubs have their upside. But if you go to a health club you leave your privacy at the door. Resistance bands allow you to get the exercise you need without having to subject yourself to the indignities of a public workout.
10: Resistance bands can help you recover from surgery.
Every year more than 2 millions Americans undergo hip and knee surgery (5). Restoring strength to the joints afterward is critical if the person is to enjoy the benefits of the surgery. Resistance bands are the ideal way to rebuild strength in the joint itself, and in the leg as a whole. Physical therapists have used resistance bands for decades. Now you can too.
11: Resistance bands can be taken wherever you go.
Here’s another advantage of the space-saving qualities of resistance bands. A lot of older individuals love to travel. And who can blame them? With resistance bands, they can take their workout capability with them wherever they go. If they’re into epic road trips in the RV, they can stay strong and vital the whole time. If they are making it their business to fly to the four corners of the earth, they can pop the resistance bands into their luggage and workout in their hotel room. Nothing beats feeling good when you’re traveling.
12: Resistance bands don’t require that you learn all new exercises.
Many machines you’ll find in the gym seem like they were dropped from another planet. To say they can take some getting used to is an understatement. Resistance bands, however, often allow you to perform tried and true exercises you’re already familiar with like bicep curls, squats, and leg pulls.
Resistance bands are a simple way to get a potent workout wherever you are. Unlike free weights and machines they can easily be transported anywhere, they cost only a fraction as much and they don’t require tons of storage space.