While aging is inevitable, aging well is not. There are many factors involved in maintaining good physical and mental health as you age, but one of the most important things to consider as you grow older is weight training. The below strength training exercises are proven to get results for women over 50.
Chris Freytag, a personal trainer who is in her 50s, knows from personal experience that exercise not only keeps you feeling and looking younger but actually physically slows down the aging process. And while exercise comes in many forms, strength training is where the true anti-aging magic happens. Strength training is one of the best types of exercises for women over 50 – it’s time to start!
Let’s explore the specific strength training exercises that Chris Freytag recommends that women over 50 do.
1. Basic Squats for Strength Training
Here’s how to perform a basic squat:
Stand tall with your feet hip-width distance apart. Hips, knees, and toes all pointing forward.
Bend your knees and sit your butt back as if you are going to sit in a chair. Primarily keeping your weight equally in both heels, allowing you to keep your knees behind your toes.
Hit the bottom of your squat, pause, and then rise back up to stand and repeat the full exercise.
Muscles Targeted: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, and Core
2. Modified Push Up for Strength Training
Here’s how to perform a modified push-up:
Begin in a kneeling position with your hands below your shoulders and knees back behind your hips.
Keep your gaze in front of your fingertips so your neck stays long, squeeze your glutes and inner thighs together, keeping the lower body active.
Slowly lower yourself to the ground, keeping your elbows back at about a 45-degree angle.
Press yourself back up to the starting position
Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions
Advancement to this Exercise: Once you have mastered the modified push-up try a full push-up from your toes. Begin in a high plank position, hands stacked underneath the shoulders, legs long behind you. Lower your chest to the floor, with your elbows pointing slightly back, until you are just above the ground. As you exhale, tighten your belly and push yourself back up to a plank position.
Muscles Targeted: Upper Body, Chest, Back, Shoulders, Biceps and Triceps, and even your Core.
3. Reverse Grip Double Arm Row for Strength Training
Here’s how to perform a reverse grip double arm row:
Start this exercise with your legs together and sit back into a small squat; engaging the glutes and abdominal wall. Arms will be stretched out in front of the body holding the weights with the palms facing the ceiling.
Drawing your elbows back by squeezing your upper back muscles together, pull the elbows gently past the hips so you feel the lats and triceps engage and return to the starting position with control.
Options: Start with a lighter set of weights and focus on slow-controlled movements. Take a 3-second pause at the top of the range of motion and slowly return to the starting position. Once you’ve mastered lighter weights with a slow and controlled pace, grab a set of heavier weights and try completing a few more repetitions.
Muscle Groups Targeted: Upper Body, Triceps, Back, and Shoulders
4. Full Body Roll-Up for Strength Training
Here’s how to perform a full-body roll-up:
Start lying on a mat (or the ground) with your arms extended overhead, legs long, and feet flexed towards your face.
Inhale as you lift your arms up and begin curling your chin to your chest. Exhale as you roll the entire torso up and over, keeping your legs straight, abs engaged, reaching down towards the toes.
Inhale as you begin to roll back down your spine, one vertebra at a time, and exhale as the upper portion of the back lowers to the ground, reaching your arms back overhead.
Repeat moving slowly and using the abdominals to lift and lower, not using momentum.
Muscle Groups Targeted: Core, Shoulders, and Back
5. Dumbbell Deadlifts for Strength Training
Here’s how to perform a Dumbbell Deadlift:
Start standing with your feet hip-width distance apart and weights facing towards the front of your thighs.
Tighten your abdominals and keep a flat back as you bring a soft bend through the knees, lowering the dumbbells towards the floor.
Send your butt backward with a slight hip hinge, squeeze the glutes, and use your hamstrings to lift and return to your upright position.
Muscle Groups Targeted With This Exercise: Hamstrings and Glutes
6. Forward Lunge with Bicep Curl for Strength Training
Here’s how to do a Forward Lunge with A Bicep Curl:
Start standing tall with your feet hip-width distance apart. Take a large step forward with the right leg and lower your back knee down to the floor. Both legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the lunge.
Bring weights in towards your shoulders to complete the bicep curl at the bottom of the lunge, then push off the front foot and return to the starting position.
Repeat on the other side.
Muscle Groups Targeted: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings, and Biceps
7. Forearm Plank for Strength Training
Here’s how to hold a forearm plank:
Begin by lying on the floor with your forearms flat on the ground. Your elbows should be aligned directly below your shoulders. Hands should be separated by the width of your elbows.
Engage your core, press down through your elbows, and raise your body up off the floor, keeping your body in a straight line from your head down to your feet. Pull your navel into your spine and squeeze your glutes to keep your hips in line with your shoulders.
Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
8. Single Leg Hamstring Bridge for Strength Training
Here’s how to perform a single leg hamstring bridge:
Lie on your back with bent knees both hip-width distance apart. Your feet will be flat on the mat stacked underneath your knees. Once in a bridge position, extend your right leg long towards the ceiling.
Squeezing your glutes and lower body and then lifting your hips off of the mat into a bridge. Lower and lift the hips for a desired number of reps and then repeat the exercise on the left leg.
Muscle Groups Targeted: Hamstrings, Glutes, and Quads
9. Tricep Kick Back for Strength Training
Here’s how to perform a tricep kickback:
Start with your feet together (or hip-width distance apart), sit back into a slight squat with arms bent at 90-degree angles, and weights at the sides of the chest.
Press the dumbbells back past the hips, keeping the line from your shoulder to your elbow joint stable and only finding movement from the elbow joint to the dumbbell. Return back to the starting position with weights at 90 degrees.
10. Shoulder Overhead Press for Strength Training
Here’s how to perform a shoulder overhead press:
Start with your feet hip-width distance apart. Bring your elbows out to the side creating a goal post position with your arms. Elbows will be straight out from shoulder height and abdominals held in tight.
Press dumbbells straight overhead until your arms are straight. Slowly return to starting position (goal post arms) with control.
Muscle Groups Targeted: Shoulders
11. Bird Dog for Strength Training
How to perform bird dog:
Kneel on a mat (or any soft surface) on all fours
Reach one arm long, drawing in the abdominals, and extend the opposite leg long behind you.
Hold, engage your lower body for 5-10 seconds, and return to all fours.
Repeat on the other side.
Muscles Groups Targeted: Abdominals and Low Back
Balance These 4 Hormones for Weight Loss
Photo Credit: Get Healthy U
Your hormones impact so many things—from your mood and energy levels to your weight.
When you are deficient or dominant in any one hormone, it’s easier to gain weight. This is particularly true for women who are experiencing hormonal imbalances caused by the natural aging process.
If you’re someone struggling with weight loss, you might benefit from understanding your hormone levels and trying these natural ways to balance your hormones.
5 Effective Ways To Increase Your Metabolism After 50
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Do you want to increase your metabolism after 50 and stay healthy in your golden years? It’s possible. After the age of 50, our metabolism can slow down due to lifestyle habits. However, with the right knowledge and effort it is possible to boost metabolism even at this stage of life.
9 Hip-Strengthening Exercises for Seniors
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
As the largest joint in your body, your hips play a central role in healthy aging. These mighty structures enable you to perform a wide range of daily activities, from standing to walking to climbing stairs. So it’s hardly surprising that hip weakness and pain can be debilitating to your everyday life which is these hip exercises for seniors should not be missed. The consequences of weak hips only get worse as you age.