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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #342. Resist Gravity
March 01, 2023
I have written so much about resistance bands that you must think I’m on their payroll or at least one of their advertising affiliates. But I am neither. Years ago, one resistance band company was a regular advertiser, but, as I said, that was years ago.
However, since entering the very senior of my senior years, I’ve become more and more of a resistance band user. My transition to bands has nothing to do with any disparagement of free weights. Free weights, which include kettlebells, may always be the gold standard when it comes to resistance workouts. So regardless of age, if you like free weights, and suffer no aches and pains after using them, keep up the good work.
Yet as we age, for many, if not most of us, gravity must be taken into account. Why gravity? Gravity is a factor when lifting iron or weights of any kind, and aging tendons and ligaments may be stressed more than they should be because of it. But gravity is not a factor when working with resistance bands.
Think of a simple movement like the barbell curl. As the barbell descends, tendons are sometimes over-stressed when controlling the weight, particularly at the bottom of the lift. The same curl movement using resistance bands works the same biceps but with much less tendon stress.
Aging seniors, or even younger trainees with achy joints, often find relief by putting aside the free weights and using a good set of bands instead.
Some gym rats who’ve been around weights for a long time may speak disparagingly about resistance bands. “They’re just for geezers that can’t lift real weights anymore,” you might hear. These “experts” don’t know what they’re talking about.
Many professional football players workout with bands, elite athletes of the highest level playing one of the toughest of all sports. They wouldn’t waste a minute of their time with bands if they didn’t get results. And football players aren’t alone. Athletes throughout the sports world use them. Young and old.
Bands are also one of the great bargains in fitness, being inexpensive and compact. At home, you can stash an entire set in one drawer. Try that with a set of weights or a stationary bike. And they’re perfect for travel.
By now, I must sound like a salesperson pushing a product to earn a commission. One resistance band company (Bodylastics) was once an advertiser on my website. For years now, however, I haven’t had any connection with them and receive no compensation from the company. Still, I use their bands and like them a lot. There are probably other brands that are good, too. At Amazon, you can find several different companies selling bands. Or you can buy them directly from the company.
If you're searching for one of the biggest bargains in fitness equipment, you have just discovered it: resistance bands.
Stay healthy. Stay fit.
My Photographs: Subscribers have asked when the newsletter photo at the top of the page and my website pictures were taken. The photos were taken when I was a mere 70. I’m 86 years old now. Though I remain active, I am no longer nearly as muscular as I was 16 years ago. —LF
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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.
I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.
Like newspapers, magazines, and television, this newsletter and my website contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.
The newsletter and website provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.
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