Theraband Exercises for the Elderly
Resistance band exercises for the elderly are designed to strengthen your muscles without putting too much stress and pressure on your aging body. As a result, these exercises often involve numerous repetitions using low-resistance resistance bands. While band exercises can be performed in a gym or with a personal trainer, they can also be utilized in your home.
Resistance Shoulder Exercise
This resistance band exercise is designed to strengthen your shoulder and back muscles. Start by sitting down on the floor with your back upright and your legs straight. From here, wrap the center of the band around both of your feet and grab on to the handles with each of your hands. From this position, pull back on the band until you feel tension in your shoulders and back. Hold this position for five seconds before releasing. Perform the exercise 25 times before breaking.
Ankle Strengthening Exercise
This exercise is designed to strengthen your ankle muscles as well as your other leg muscles. Start this exercise by sitting down in a chair with your back straight and knees bent. From this position, loop one end of the resistance band around your foot, holding the knotted end of the band with your other hand. Lift your leg off the floor and straighten it out and away from your body. From here, flex and twist your ankle against the tension of the resistance band. Repeat this exercise with your other ankle before resting.
Resistance Band Leg Presses
Seated leg presses are designed to strengthen your quadriceps. Hold the ends of a resistance band in each hand and sit at the front edge of a sturdy chair. Bend your right foot and loop the band around the bottom of this foot. While keeping your left knee bent and foot flat on the floor, exhale and extend your right leg as you press against the resistance of the band. Inhale, bend your right knee and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 15 to 20 times and then switch legs.
Alternate Chest Presses
These resistance band chest presses will help strengthen your pectoral muscles as well as your biceps. Lie down flat on your back, dividing your band in two. Grab each end of the resistance band with your left and right hand. From here, alternate extending each arm out in front of your body, making sure you are only using your arm and chest muscles and not your neck muscles. Perform 10 repetitions with each arm before taking a break.
- Yeun YR. Effectiveness of resistance exercise using elastic bands on flexibility and balance among the elderly people living in the community: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Phys Ther Sci. 2017;29(9):1695–1699. doi:10.1589/jpts.29.1695
- Iversen VM, Mork PJ, Vasseljen O, Bergquist R, Fimland MS. Multiple-joint exercises using elastic resistance bands vs. conventional resistance-training equipment: A cross-over study. Eur J Sport Sci. 2017;17(8):973-982. doi:10.1080/17461391.2017.1337229
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.