The Best Resistance Training Exercises For Older Adults, According To An Expert – Eat This, Not That

The exact age at which “senior” status is achieved depends on who you talk to and where you look. That said, according to Retirement home, when you hit age 55, you begin to move into the “senior age demographic,” and age 65 is when many people retire. It’s easy to want to take things, well, easy at this stage of life. You’ve worked your whole life and maybe you want to stop and smell the roses. But research reveals that almost 67% of seniors are sedentary for a minimum of 8 1/2 hours a day, and that’s not a good thing. A little exercise is necessary every day. According to the National Institute for Fitness and Sport Fitness Center Management, it can help prevent many health problems, including heart disease, arthritis, obesity, type II diabetes, dementia, depression, hypertension, cancer, insomnia and even premature death. Getting your daily dose of fitness can help you sleep better and improve your overall quality of life. This is why we spoke with Sébastien Lagrée, founder of Lagree Fitnesswho shares the best resistance training exercises for seniors to start doing ASAP.

As you age, certain things happen to your body. Lagree explains that you lose muscle, and as a result, you lose bone density. He says: “Inactivity inherently makes us weaker and it’s important to maintain our physical strength. Resistance training stimulates the body to retain muscle and preserve bone density, while inactivity only does accelerate the aging process. The type of resistor recommended by Lagrée is called step resistor, also known as variable voltage. This workout will relieve tension on your joints, which is different from using weights, “because the spring relieves tension in the connective tissue and greatly reduces the risk of micro tears.”

Read on to learn more about the best resistance training exercises for seniors, but note that before beginning any form of aggressive exercise, it’s always wise to consult your healthcare professional. And then don’t miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong, Toned Arms in 2022, the trainer says.


Lagrée tells Eat this, not that! there are no exercises he knows of that older people should avoid, and he thinks the best exercise for older people is swimming. Plus, walking for an hour every day is a great addition to any workout routine. He also recommends practicing yoga, but to maintain general good health, walking and yoga are not enough.

“You need a resistance-based training program to maintain lean body mass,” he tells us, adding, “Overall, I recommend everyone start small and build from From there. For seniors, I suggest a resistance program that includes exercises targeting balance.”

He actually invented Lagree door brackets, especially with the elderly at the forefront of his mind. He was inspired when his mother had multiple neck and shoulder surgeries, and Lagree knew she should perform specific exercises to strengthen those areas, without adding additional stress to her joints. He says: “I wanted something that was simple to set up, effective, that she could take with her everywhere.”

It can be done easily. In fact, if you don’t have a doorway support readily available, you can use a resistance band or theraband. Simply wrap it around a chair, bench, table or doorknob and perform Lagree’s resistance training exercises below.

Related: Get Rid of a Fat Belly in Your 50s With This 10-Minute Workout, Trainer Says

trainer performing resistance training exercises for seniors on door rack
Lagree Fitness

Lagrée tells us that the journal exercise is great for strengthening your rotator cuff and shoulder. To perform the move, he instructs, “Attach a resistance band to a doorknob or door hanger and grab the other end. Align the resistance band with the elbow, secure the elbow to the rib cage, and pull on the band by turning the shoulder outward.” Slowly perform 10-15 reps with control.

trainer performing resistance training exercises for seniors on door rack
Lagree Fitness

This exercise will target your glutes. “Attach an ankle strap to a resistance band that’s attached to a door hanger on the floor — or wrap it around the leg of a table — and wrap it around the ankle,” Lagree explains, adding, ” Turn facing the wall/door, and lift the connected leg up and back, pulling from the glutes.” Perform 10 to 15 repetitions on each leg.

Related: Lose Your Gut In Your 60s With These Slimming Exercises, Trainer Says

woman performing stationary lunge with row
Lagree Fitness

Last but not least comes the Stationary Lunge with Row which works on balance and strengthens your back and glutes. Lagree walks us through the movement, saying, “Attach a resistance band to a doorway downstairs via a bracket — or wrap it around the leg of a table — then stand in front of and facing the doorway, with your right leg forward and left leg back. Hold the cables/bands with both hands, and as you lunge down, pull the cables with both arms moving the elbows to the ribs. Keep the torso upright. Perform 10-15 repetitions on both legs.

Alexa Mellardo

Alexa is the associate editor of Eat This, Not That!’s Mind + Body, overseeing the M+B channel and bringing readers compelling stories about fitness, wellness and self-care. Read more

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Richard V. Johnson