Strength training is very important for those of us over the age of 50 as it helps to build strong bones and muscles and is great for obtaining and maintaining functional health. This can easily be done with resistance exercise bands where you can enjoy numerous benefits, some of which include:
- Can be used anywhere–you can exercise with the bands anywhere you want at anytime, as they are light and ideal for traveling with.
- Enhance coordination–there is normally tension throughout entire exercises, requiring you to stabilize your body. The bands help with balance and coordination, and they do so in such a way as to involve multiple muscle groups.
- Add variety–the resistance exercise bands allow users to change positions in numerous ways. This changes how an exercise feels as well as how your body works.
- The bands are cost effective–you can buy them for as little as $6 to $20 depending on where you buy them and the number you get.
- Ideal for all fitness levels–the bands can be used by beginners and more advanced exercisers. They can be used for basic moves and they can also add intensity to some traditional and more advanced moves. Bands can be purchased for many different levels of resistance.
Now that you are aware of some of the benefits that come with the use of the bands, below are some of the exercises that they can be used for:
Boosting and maintaining the upper body strength normally helps those over 50 to be able to perform everyday tasks with ease, including lifting and carrying. Bicep curls are a great exercise that can be used to increase arm strength. To perform this curl, hold the handle of the resistance band in each hand while standing on the middle of the band. Bend your knees slightly and relax your arms by the sides with palms facing forward. From here you also tighten your abdominal muscles and make sure your back is straight. Lift the handles slowly towards your shoulders and stop before you make contact with them. Lower your hands slowly and always maintain control of the band. Repeat this as many times as you wish.
The resistance exercise bands also come in handy for a person who wants to perform a seated row. As a person becomes older, the risk factor of back pain normally increases. Strengthening the back muscles can help to treat and also lower the risk of actual back pain. To beef up the back muscles through the seated row, get into the starting position by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and your heels dug into the ground. Hold one handle of the band in each hand and loop the middle of the band around the soles of the feet. Next you should sit up straight and pull the shoulder blades down and together. Your arms need to be straightened in front of you and raised for several inches above the legs. Finish off by pulling the handles towards the chest and stop before they contact the body. Extend your elbows slowly and maintain control of the band at all times. Repeat this as many times as you desire.
Studies show that shoulder osteoarthritis normally affects people who are over the age of 50. Resistance exercise bands can be used in this case to strengthen the tendons, muscles, and ligaments that surround the shoulder joints in a bid to improve the shoulder range of motion. This also helps to reduce the pain that is associated with osteoarthritis. The upright row is one of the best exercises that can be performed by people over the age of 50 to boost shoulder strength. To perform this exercise, you should hold the handle in each hand and rest the hands on top of the legs. From here, stand on the middle of the band and straighten your back. Lift the handles slowly towards your chest while you are pulling upwards on the handles. Your elbows should be bent and flaring out of your sides. Only stop when the handles are next to your chest and then lower your hands to the starting position. Repeat these moves until you have completed the desired number of the repetitions.
To get the most out of your exercises with resistance exercise bands, it is important to choose the best product that will work for you. There are a number of factors you should put into consideration when shopping for the ideal band, including:
- Determining what kind of exercise they will be used for–this is where you need to decide whether you will be using the bands as the primary method of strength training or whether they will be used to supplement an established workout program. If the bands will be used exclusively, it is highly recommended that you purchase more than one. You can also narrow down your search by specifying the need for physical therapy exercise bands, which have a more specialized purpose and are less intense than the regular exercise bands.
- Selecting between a strip or tube design–go for the strip design if you are looking for a basic device that does not have any handles. Purchase the tube design if you are looking for something more durable with handles. For the handles you can pick soft foam or hard plastic depending on what you are really comfortable with.
- Understand different levels of resistance–this is very important when shopping for the resistance exercise bands as it helps you make an informed decision on the most suitable band for your needs. Know that there are 4 main levels with light bands being the best for beginners. These are typically thin and long and offer around 3-5 lbs of resistance. Medium bands allow around 8 lbs of resistance. Heavy bands on the other hand can provide up to 15 lbs of resistance and should only be used by people who are fit. There are some extra heavy bands that can offer as much as 20lbs of resistance.
By keeping all of these factors in mind, you will be able to find a band or set of bands to suit your needs. Resistance exercise bands provide an excellent tool for maintaining health and improving strength and fitness.
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