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Strength exercises: elastic bands can be better than weights, especially after 50

Strength exercises don’t live by lifting weights alone. There are many other alternatives and elastic bands or rubber bands (better with a grip) are a great option. And even more after the age of 50, when we know that it is essential to work on strength with adequate adaptation, not only to achieve good results in terms of toning but also to counteract the effects caused by age, such as osteopenia.

Perfect for working out at home

Focusing on the convenience of elastic bands, the trainer Sandra Lordén Álvarez confirms that it is a very interesting piece of equipment and that they can even be a better alternative to weights, especially if you do not have a high level of training or if you want to do exercise at home. “If you’re over 50, rubber band training can be a great option for building strength if you don’t want to or don’t know how to work with weights, as it’s easier to make the wrong move and injure yourself using weights without having a person to help you. control the technique and correct the exercises. For this reason, rubber bands offer a less harmful alternative, which relieves stress on the joints and which, in addition, once mastered, can be progressively combined with weight training”, points out the expert. 

How elastic bands work to work strength

It is interesting to know the difference between elastic bands and weights when it comes to strength training to better understand the results that can be obtained with them. “Resistance bands provide a force against which the muscles must work, they offer progressive resistance. This is different than weights, as with weights the muscle works with the same tension throughout the stroke. With rubber bands, however, the tension increases the further you stretch, providing a different stimulus than strength training with weights. This can be especially useful when trying to improve our strength”, explains Lordén Álvarez.

Your other benefits after age 50

Although the objective is to develop the strength to achieve general toning, the use of elastic bands from this age has other added benefits, since it is a progressive training that increases the number of muscle fibers that are activated during the exercise. exercise. “This results in improved neural strength development and muscle mass. The more muscle fibers used, the greater the adaptations in muscle strength. This action causes the muscles to contract, which stimulates bone and muscle growth, something very important from this age on since we avoid and delay sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass with age) and prevent osteoporosis”, explains the coach. 

They tone the arms (and the rest of the body)

Although at first, we may think that it is an accessory with which to work the arms, the expert confirms that by placing the bands strategically the whole body can be worked on. Many exercises can be carried out with them: the most common are usually pectoral training with the band placed on a rigid support, rowing for the back, squats, biceps curls, triceps extension…

The key: exercise almost without rest

Since the muscle recovers faster with rubber bands than with weights, the trainer recommends taking short breaks between sets of exercises (around 30 seconds). Regarding the number of repetitions, she recommends training of 3-4 series with 15-20 repetitions of each exercise. “The idea would be that we reach the last repetition of each series to ‘muscular failure, that is, that we could not perform one more repetition,” she adds.

They are suitable for all levels

It is another of the great advantages of this fitness accessory: the bands allow an extensive list of exercises adaptable to all levels. Its use can be combined with other accessories such as weights or gym machines to increase the intensity of training.

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