Whole-Body Wellness Challenge: 3 Ways to Use Resistance Bands

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Use these unique moves to build strength in your arms and core—and beat workout boredom at the same time. Win-win!

The Whole-Body Wellness Challenge is rooted in the understanding that health isn’t just about fitness. This month, we’re sharing fun and easy ways to bring everything you love about SilverSneakers classes and your time at the gym to other areas of your life. You’ll find workouts, tips, and activities to help you build strength, eat healthier, sleep sounder, and be more present in your life so you can feel good—body, mind, and spirit.  

You certainly don’t need exercise tools to get a great workout. (Exhibit A: walking.) But having a few key pieces of equipment nearby can keep your workouts fun and help you improve your fitness at the same time. One of our favorites? Resistance bands.  

“They’re super versatile and there are honestly an infinite number of ways to use them,” says SilverSneakers instructor Shannon Thigpen.  

And that’s a very good thing when it comes to staying mobile, stable, and strong. “Challenging your muscles in different ways can help give you the strength you need to better handle whatever life throws at you,” says Shannon.   

Whether you’re a band newbie or have used them with us in a SilverSneakers LIVE or an in-person class, use these three exercises to shake up your routine.   

How to Use These Resistance Band Moves  

You’ll just need yourself, some open floor space, and a resistance band with handles. (Double check that there are no tears or weak spots in your band.) If the band you have at home doesn’t have handles, you can make your own by tying a small loop at each end of your band. For extra comfort, slide a rolled-up washcloth through each loop to serve as your grip.   

No band? No problem! You can do these moves without any equipment at all, says Shannon. Just focus on using proper form, controlling the movement, and squeezing your muscles.   

When you’re ready, press play and try these three moves with Shannon. She’ll show you how to do a side bend, a triceps kickback, and a torso twist with the band. Remember to work within a range of motion that’s right for you.  

If you’d like to incorporate these into your routine, aim to practice these moves three times a week for the most strength benefits. Shannon recommends doing 16 to 24 repetitions of the side bend (alternating side to side), eight repetitions of the triceps kickback, and 30 seconds of torso twists. That’s one round. Work up to two rounds, taking time to rest in between each.   

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As always, safety is key. The exercises here may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.   

Bonus Challenge: Try a  SilverSneakers Circuit Class 

If you enjoyed using a band, you’ll love SilverSneakers Circuit. It’s a 45- to 60-minute class that alternates upper-body strength work with gentle-on-your-knees cardio to maximize fun and fitness benefits. A sturdy chair and handheld weights or a resistance band with handles are recommended. It’s offered both in-person at participating SilverSneakers fitness locations (review the gym’s schedule for exact times), or online with SilverSneakers LIVE. See the latest SilverSneakers LIVE schedule and RSVP for classes here.   

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