The glorious 50s is the decade where wisdom meets strength and experience becomes your secret weapon. It is also a time when taking care of your body and staying in top shape becomes more crucial than ever and can determine the quality of those fast approaching golden years. That’s why we chatted with Rose McNulty, CPTpersonal trainer and NASM certified nutritionist with Garage Gym Reviews, unveiling five essential strength exercises for men in their 50s to add to their fitness arsenal.
“Maintaining full-body strength and endurance should be a priority as you age because strength training can help preserve muscle mass, bone strength, and range of motion over the long term,” McNulty explains. . “These exercises are safe for most people and can be developed with numerous variations. Each of the moves has core elements of strength and stability, which is another crucial area of focus to keep you injury-free regardless of age. “
Strength training isn’t just about boosting or achieving a magazine-worthy physique; it’s about investing in your long-term health and well-being. As you age, you naturally lose muscle mass and bone density (a condition called sarcopenia), which can lead to frailty, decreased mobility and increased risk of injury. However, incorporating regular strength training into your routine can reverse these effects and offer several benefits for healthy aging.
If you’re ready to take control of your health and rebuild your strength, read on for McNulty’s top five strength exercises for men in their 50s. After you’re done, check out Bodyweight Workout #1. 1 thing men should do every day to stay fit.
The power squat is a classic compound exercise that can be a game changer for men in their 50s. Squats engage the lower body muscles, including the quads, hamstrings and glutes, while also working the core.
To perform a squat, McNulty says, “Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes point slightly outward. Maintain good posture, flat feet, and a strong core as you bend your knees and pivot at your hips to push down.Push through your heels to push yourself back up once your thighs are parallel to the floor or slightly below parallel.Aim to do three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
The deadlift works wonders for men in their 50s by targeting multiple muscle groups at once, including the legs, back, glutes, and core. According to the Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute, this exercise promotes good posture and stability which are key components of healthy aging.
“Stand facing a barbell or dumbbell with feet hip-width apart for a basic deadlift,” instructs McNulty. “If using a barbell, make sure it is centered over your feet and close to your shins. Bend your hips and knees to lower yourself, keeping your back straight as you lower yourself low enough to grip the weights with palms facing you. Make sure the your core is tight as you drive through your heels to lift the weight upward. Keeping the barbell close to your body, pull yourself up while maintaining your grip on the weight. Once you lift the weight and are standing upright, slowly reverse the motion to lower the weight come back.” Perform three sets of eight to 12 reps.
This upper body exercise is a fantastic addition to your strength routine. “The overhead press trains your body to use proper form as you lift things above your head,” says McNulty. “Nailing form for this exercise reduces the risk of upper body injury when lifting or grabbing objects overhead. This is another move that requires core strength and overall stability.”
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell or dumbbell at shoulder height with palms facing forward. Support your core and maintain good posture as you push the weight up and extend your arms fully overhead. Keep your wrists straight as you press and try not to lean back. Once your arms are straight above your head, slowly lower the weight back to the starting position and repeat. Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
The classic barbell bench press has been a staple exercise for years. This exercise targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps, helping you build upper body strength and definition. “The bench press is a favorite of many men and is a great exercise to keep doing to maintain chest strength, good overall posture, and even core stability when done right,” notes McNulty.
To begin, lie on a face-up bench with your feet planted on the floor. Grab the barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and palms facing your feet. He unhooks the barbell and places it straight over his chest with arms extended. He slowly bends the elbows to lower the bar to his chest, keeping his wrists straight and core tight. Once the bar lightly touches your chest, push the bar back to the starting position and repeat. Your elbows should stay close to your sides as you perform the movement. Aim for three sets of eight to 12 reps.
The last of these strength exercises for men in their 50s is the plank. It is a fundamental core exercise that activates and strengthens the core. A strong core is essential for maintaining good posture, preventing back pain, and increasing stability.
“Start on all fours in a tabletop position, then step back so your legs and torso form a straight line,” says McNulty. “Loop down on your forearms, keeping your hips low and making sure your body forms a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Actively support your core to hold this position for at least 30 seconds. If your form falters, try lowering your knees to the floor while maintaining a strong core.” Perform three sets of planks for 30 to 60 seconds.
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