resistance bands for elderly

In this article I will tell you the best resistance bands for elderly people, older adults and seniors and I'll provide direct links for you to buy them online.

*Last updated January 2023*

Hi, I'm Ollie - A nutritionist and personal trainer who helps older adults either stay strong or get strong! I pride myself on offering evidence based practice and showing you the most effective way to remain stronger and healthier with age.


Best resistance bands for elderly people 

There are 3 main TYPES of resistance band you can purchase. I have listed 1 recommendation of each type which can be purchased from Amazon. Simply click the picture to view the product.


  • The Loop band 


Overview: These resistant band loops are really good value for money and very versatile. They can be used for mainly leg based exercises as well as a few upper body exercises.

They come as a packet of 5 bands each offering a different amount of resistance. The green band is the easiest to stretch and the black band is the hardest to stretch. Of course the harder it is to stretch the more work you muscles have to do.

The differing levels of resistance in each band is crucial for adding progression to your workout routine.

I would definitely recommend getting these bands for your home workouts.

Price: Currently listed at £6.00 (May 4th 2021). Normal price: £16.00



  • The flat band

resistance bands for elderly

Overview: This longer flat band is slightly different to the loop banded listed above. This band isn't joined at each end which makes it versatile for many upper body exercises.

This product comes as a pack of 3 bands each offering a different amount of resistance. However, it's very easy to make smaller adjustments to the resistance with these bands so 3 bands is plenty enough. Taking the above picture as an example, the lady could simply grip the band further down to increase the resistance.

This type of band is really important for upper body exercises and can also be used for some lower body exercises.

This product along with the loop band would allow for effective full body strength workouts.

Price: Currently listed at £12.99 (May 4th 2021). Normal price £13.99


  • The tubed handled band 


Overview: THIS product is a little pricier than the previous 2 listed above but is still very affordable. These bands come with handles for both hand gripping and ankles.

This can be really helpful for those with limited grip strength.

In order to actually use the ankle attachment you'll need to have a solid anchor point for one end of the band. This product comes with a door anchor which is really handy.

With this product you can also pair bands together to create even more resistance which is very helpful for progression in your workouts.

If you're willing to invest then I would buy this product over the longer flat bands but I would still ALSO want to buy the smaller loop bands.

Price: Currently listed at £18.69 (May 4th 2021). Normal price £39.99

The 3 products listed above are the main types of resistance band you can buy.

-The loop band

-The longer flat band

-The tubed band with handles

In general I would recommend you purchase the loop bands and then EITHER the long flat band or the tubed band with handles.

The products I've recommended all come from Amazon. Feel free to have a browse and choose a similar product to ones I have listed. There might be some good sales on when you come to purchase them.

You can also buy bands from most sports shops or places like Argos (in the UK).

You'll be fully equipped to do great full body resistance based workouts with these bands.


What kind of exercises can you do with resistance bands?

Resistance bands are incredibly versatile, especially when you know how to use them.

There are no muscle groups that can't be worked using resistance bands.

I'll give you a few examples of resistance band exercises for seniors with pictures included below.

You can also check out THIS article which has video demonstrations of the best  seated resistance band exercises for elderly people and seniors.

The loop band 


Banded lateral steps

Muscles worked: Glutes (bum), abductors (outer thigh)

Step 1: Stand with feet hip width apart and the band around the ankles/shins. You can also put the band above the knee to make the exercises a little easier.

resistance bands for elderly - banded lateral steps

Step 2: Step one leg to the side and then back to the starting position. As you step sideways the band will stretch placing resistance on the glutes.

resistance bands for elderly - banded lateral steps 2


Banded kick backs

Muscles worked: Glutes (bum), Hamstrings (back of upper leg)

Step 1: Put the loop band around the top of the knees. (you can also put the band around your ankles if you'd rather). Stand with your feet about hip width apart.

resistance bands for elderly - banded kick back

Step 2: Kick one leg backwards moving from the hip. The band will stretch. Don't let your lower back arch.

resistance bands for elderly - banded kickback 2

TIP: Try using a chair/stool/table for balance.

resistance bands for elderly - banded kick back with chair


Banded Knee raises

Muscles worked: Quads (front of upper leg), Hip flexor (front of hip)

Step 1: Have the band around the top of the knees with your feet about hip width apart.

resistance bands for elderly - banded knee raise

Step 2: Raise 1 knee upwards. The knee should move in an arch formation as it travels outwards and upwards simultaneously.

resistance bands for elderly - banded knee raises


The Flat band 


Banded chest fly

Muscles worked: Chest, triceps

(If you can't see the video click HERE to view in youtube)

Banded pulls

Muscles worked: resistance bands for elderly (2) Rear deltoid (back of shoulder), rhomboids (upper back muscle), traps (upper back muscle)

Step 1: Grip the band with both hands and have your arms out in front of your body with a soft bend in the elbow...

resistance bands for elderly

Step 2: Stretch the band by moving your hands out to the side. You should be moving at the shoulders (not the elbows). Wait until the band touches your chest and then return the starting position. This counts as 1 rep.

resistance bands for elderly banded pull


Banded rows

Muscles worked: Lats (upper/mid back), biceps (front of upper arm)

Step 1: Step both onto the middle of the band. Hinge your bum backwards and lead your torso forwards. You back should stay nice and straight.

resistance bands for elderly - banded row

Step 2: Pull your elbows backwards behind your back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.

resistance bands for elderly - banded row 2

The tube band 


Lateral raise

Muscles worked: Lateral deltoid (middle of shoulder)

Step 1: Stand 1 foot (or both feet) in the middle of the band. Slowly raise your arms out to to side. Bring your hands up to shoulder height and slowly bring them back down again.

resistance bands for elderly - lateral raise


Bicep curl

Muscles worked: Bicep (front of upper arm)

Step 1: Stand both feel in the middle of the band. Start with your hands by your side and slowly bend the elbows bringing your hands upwards and curling towards the shoulder.

resistance bands for elderly - bicep curl


Shoulder press

Muscles worked: Deltoids (shoulders), Triceps (back of upper arm), Lats (upper/mid back)

Step 1: Stand 1 (or both) feet into the band. Start with your hands above your elbows (like the image below). Then simply press your hands above your head and bring them slowly back down to the starting position.

resistance bands for elderly - shoulder press



These are just a few exercises that elderly people can do with resistance bands. There are many many more!

Will resistance bands help me grow muscles and strength as an elderly person?


In order to grow muscle mass and strength you need to provide resistance to your muscles to make them work.

With resistance bands, the clue is in the name. They provide that resistance!

However, resistance needs to be structured and measured in order for it to be effective.

It's no good randomly doing a few reps of a bunch of different exercises every now and then.

This is where the Wise Fitness Academy can help. We provide monthly workouts to all our members. Each month all the Wise Fitness Academy members do the same strength based workout programme which consists of 3 session per week.

The workouts are structured and take into account individual levels of strength and mobility.

All members also get a monthly check in call with me (Ollie) the found of the Wise Fitness Academy.


What are some gentle resistance band exercises for elderly people?

All the examples pictures above are suitable for all ages.

You just need to choose a lighter resistance band and do fewer reps and sets if you currently have very limited mobility.

Resistance band exercises need to be done in a very controlled way to manage the stretching of the band so they are gentle in nature.

In fact they couldn't be more perfect for elderly resistance training 🙂


Are resistance bands as good as dumbbells?

Resistance bands are simply a tool. As are dumbbells.

Both pieces of equipment are excellent for providing resistance to muscles which is what's required for increased muscle mass and strength.

I don't think one is necessarily better than the other but each does have their own benefits and drawbacks.

For example, resistance bands are cheap, easy to store and easy to transport whereas dumbbells are more expensive and not so easy to store.

Dumbbells require less creativity to do exercises than  resistance bands.

Ideally, get both! But using either piece of equipment is fine.


Are resistance bands a new invention? 

No, resistance bands have been around for a long time but they have become more popular in recent years.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced a lot of people to workout from home and so resistance bands surged in popularity as they are such a home workout product.

Also, there is more information on exactly how to use resistance bands effectively now. Without guidance and instructions they can be a little confusing to use at first.


Where can I find some resistance band workouts suitable for elderly people?

It's all well and good knowing some great resistance band exercises but putting them into an effective workout is equally important.

You could join the Wise Fitness Academy monthly workout cycles.

All members do the same monthly home workout programmed by me 🙂 - Don't worry, the workouts are tailored to your current levels of strength and mobility.

I also video call with all my members once a month to check on progress offer up advice and tips.

If you would like some more information on the Wise Fitness Academy pop your name and email in below and I'll be in touch very soon.


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