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Resistance Band Training for Older Women

Twice-weekly training yielded significant health benefits.

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An older woman doing resistance band training

With more people showing interest in resistance band training—no doubt, for its convenience, low price and easy portability, along with how easy it is for beginners to get started—researchers from Serbia and Croatia decided to study the effects of this exercise modality in a chair-based program for older women.

After a 12-week program of twice-weekly supervised resistance band training, 84 women ages 66–84  showed significant improvements in functional fitness and in glucose, total cholesterol, and HDL and LDL levels, when compared with a control group of women who did not exercise.

Participants performed low-load, whole-body resistance exercises using an elastic band. The two-set training protocol consisted of 12–15 repetitions of each exercise per set (40%–60% of a 1-repetition maximum), with 1 minute of rest between sets. These were the resistance training exercises:

  • knee extension
  • knee flexion
  • bent row
  • chest press
  • unilateral hip flexion
  • upright row
  • trunk flexion
  • biceps curl
  • overhead triceps extension
  • hip abduction
  • hip extension

Study authors noted that resistance band training seems to be a viable training model that ensures high training adherence and offers an efficient strategy for preventing and reducing age-associated changes in metabolic markers and fitness levels in older women.

The study appeared in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine (2021; 20 [1], 133–41).  

See also: Sample Class: Band Blast!

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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