The 9 Best Resistance Band Exercises for Your 50s, 60s, 70s and Beyond

As you try these exercises, start with light resistance bands until you feel comfortable with your form.
Image Credit: Yaroslav Astakhov/iStock/GettyImages

Building muscle and stability is a great way to stay pain-free as you get older. But the idea of buying weights or getting a gym membership can be a pretty big obstacle to starting a strength-training routine.

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Luckily, you don't need much to start (and maintain) a well-rounded regimen. A few resistance bands and these age-tailored resistance band exercises will work. will do to keep you strong and injury-free in your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond.

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The 3 Best Resistance Band Exercises for Your 50s

In your 50s, maintaining your strength is a big priority, especially as you begin to experience some (natural) age-related muscle loss. That's why the best band exercises for your 50s involve a little more strength than moves for later life, says Noam Tamir, CSCS, owner and founder of TS Fitness.

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"These are more challenging because they require more stability with single-leg stance exercises," he says. "Many people in their 50s can do what they were able to do in their 40s."

Although you want to maintain as much strength as possible at this age, these moves should feel comfortably challenging. If some motions feel too challenging, opt for a lighter resistance band.

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1. Split Squat Pallof Press

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Activity Resistance Band Workout
  1. Anchor a long-loop resistance band at chest height.
  2. Hold the band with both hands at chest height several feet away from the anchor, placing tension on the band.
  3. Stand with your left leg in front of your right, knee bent at 90 degrees, thigh parallel to the ground.
  4. Bend your right leg to 90 degrees, hovering the knee an inch or two above the ground. This is the starting position.
  5. On an exhale, straighten your arms and press the band straight ahead and away from your body.
  6. As you inhale, return to the starting position.

2. Band-Resisted Squat

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Activity Resistance Band Workout
  1. Place a long-loop resistance band under both feet.
  2. Take hold of the other side of the band with both hands and bring it up to shoulder level.
  3. With your feet about shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and push your butt back.
  4. Lower down until your knees are bent to about 90 degrees.
  5. On an exhale, reverse the motion and stand back up, fighting the resistance of the band.

3. Single-Leg Band Abduction

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Activity Resistance Band Workout
  1. Stand with a mini resistance band looped around your ankles, feet about hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and place your hands on your hips.
  3. Lift your left foot an inch or two off the ground.
  4. Keeping your toes facing forward, raise your left foot out to the left side as far as you can go.
  5. Do all reps on the left side before repeating on the right leg.

The 3 Best Resistance Band Exercises for Your 60s

As you get into your 60s, you may start seeing some more noticeable changes in your strength and balance, Tamir says. Exercises that once felt easy may be a little more challenging, so maintaining strength and preventing injury are priorities.

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Tamir recommends the following exercises, since they don't involve getting down to and up from the ground, which can become more challenging with age.

1. Kneeling Pallof Press

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Activity Resistance Band Workout
  1. Anchor a long-loop resistance band at chest height.
  2. Hold the band with both hands at chest height several feet away from the anchor, placing tension on the band.
  3. Kneel on the ground with your knees about hip-width apart.
  4. On an exhale, straighten your arms and press the band away from your body.
  5. As you inhale, draw your hands back closer to your body.

2. Banded Squat

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Activity Resistance Band Workout
  1. Place a mini resistance band around both legs above your knees.
  2. With your feet about shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and push your butt back.
  3. Lower down until your knees are bent to about 90 degrees.
  4. On an exhale, reverse the motion and stand back up, fighting the resistance of the band against your knees and hips.

3. Lateral Band Walk

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Activity Resistance Band Workout
  1. Place a mini resistance band around your ankles and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Slightly bend your knees and lower yourself a few inches into an "athletic stance."
  3. Step to your right side with your right foot.
  4. Step your left foot toward your right to return your feet to hip-width apart.
  5. Keeping your knees bent, take several steps to the right.
  6. Repeat this motion moving to the left.

Tip

Lateral band walks are an excellent move for injury prevention. If this exercise feels too challenging, modify by placing the band around your thighs or feet.

The 3 Best Resistance Band Exercises for Your 70s and Beyond

Generally, your 70s (and beyond) is the point when your body experiences the most muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia, Tamir says. As your body loses muscle, your risk of falls and injury increase.

Exercises to improve your balance are the key. These moves (modified versions of the exercises listed above) focus on the lower body and core to help build stability and overall motor control.

1. Seated Pallof Press

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Activity Resistance Band Workout
  1. Anchor a long-loop resistance band at chest height.
  2. Hold the band with both hands at chest height several feet away from the anchor, placing tension on the band.
  3. Sit on a chair or bench with your feet flat on the ground.
  4. On an exhale, straighten your arms and press the band straight out and away from your body.
  5. As you inhale, draw your hands back toward your body.

2. Seated Hip Abduction

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Activity Resistance Band Workout
  1. Sit in a chair with your knees bent at 90 degrees, feet flat on the ground.
  2. Place a mini resistance band around both legs above your knees.
  3. With hands on your hips or at your sides, press your knees apart against the resistance of the band.
  4. Open up your hips as far as you comfortably can.
  5. Slowly reverse the motion until your knees are back together.

3. Banded Squat to Sit

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Activity Resistance Band Workout
  1. Loop a mini resistance band around both legs above your knees.
  2. Stand about a foot in front of a chair or bench, feet about shoulder-width apart.
  3. Bend your knees and push your butt back.
  4. Lower down until you come to sit on the chair.
  5. On an exhale, reverse the motion and stand back up.

Tip

Don't rush this exercise! You can pause for several seconds (or even a minute) in the chair until you feel you can comfortably return to standing. If needed, do this move with a second chair or countertop nearby and use your hands for extra assistance.

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