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The Best Workout for Stronger Muscles After 50, Trainer Says

Maintain (and build!) your strength by performing these 6 exercises in one impactful session.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

As we continue to age into our 50s and beyond, it's important to strength train to maintain and build your muscle mass and increase your strength. This is because your body begins losing muscle mass when you get older, and practicing strength training is one of the only ways you can work to hold onto what you have.

The good news? Muscle is anti-aging. It helps keep your metabolism up and allows you to continue having a high quality of life. Muscles give you the ability to continue doing the activities you enjoy… and when you think about it that way, strength training can take on a whole new—and very important—meaning.

In order to build strength, you have to choose the correct exercises that challenge your body and force it to grow. The best exercises to build stronger muscles, in general, are compound movements that work multiple muscle groups at a time. Ideally, you'll want the exercises you perform to cover each one of these movement patterns: Upper body push, upper body pull, legs (squat, hinge, and lunge), and core.

If you're just starting out, I recommend doing full-body workouts with exercises that cover all of the above. Not sure how to put it together? I got you covered.

Here's the best workout that you can do for stronger muscles if you're over the age of 50. Perform 3-4 sets of each move. And if you want to do more, try these 4 Exercise Tricks for Slimming Down after 50.

1

Dumbbell Goblet Squat

dumbbell goblet squat
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Grab yourself a dumbbell and hold it with both hands underneath the handle. Keeping your torso as upright as you can, push your hips back and squat down to where your hips are parallel to the floor. Drive through your heels and stand back up, flexing your glutes and quads to finish. Do 8 to 10 reps.

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2

Lat Pulldowns

how-to-do-lat-pulldowns
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Grip the lat pulldown bar with your palms facing away from you just outside your shoulders. Lean back slightly and pull the bar down towards your sternum with your elbows, squeezing your lats at the very bottom of the movement. Resist on the way up, maintaining tension in your lats. Get a good stretch at the very top by letting your shoulder blades come up before performing another rep. Do 8 to 10 reps.

Related: The Best Way to Instantly Improve Your Workout Performance, Science Says

3

Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

dumbbell shoulder press
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start by having the dumbbells up next to your shoulders. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, press the dumbbells up, flexing your shoulders and triceps at the top. Lower the weight under control before performing another rep. Do 8 to 10 reps.

Related: Explosive New Study Says Exercise Can Stop Cancer In Its Tracks

4

Dumbbell Reverse Lunge

dunbbell reverse lunges
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Hold two dumbbells at your sides while standing with your feet together, keeping your chest tall and core tight. Then, take one foot and step it back, firmly planting your back foot and bending your knee to lower yourself down until your knee touches the floor gently. Then, drive through your front heel to raise yourself back up to the starting position, standing with your feet together. Perform all 10 reps on one leg before switching to the other. Do 10 reps on each leg.

Related: This 15-Minute Workout Can Add Years to Your Life

5

Dumbbell Hammer Curls

Dumbbell Hammer Curls
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Grab a pair of dumbbells with both hands facing each other in a neutral grip. Keeping your shoulders pulled back, curl the weight up, flexing your forearms and biceps the entire time. Squeeze hard at the top, then resist on the way down. Do 10 to 12 reps.

Related: The Best Way to Get a Lean Body After 50, Science Says

6

Ab Wheel Rollout

abs-wheel-exercise-move
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Get into a kneeling position with your hands holding the ab wheel. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, extend your body forward towards the ground, leading with your arms and hips. Go down as far as you can while maintaining tension in your abs. When you get to the bottom, exhale all of your air out before returning back to the starting position. Do 8 to 10 reps.

For more, check out the Worst Exercises You Should Never Do After Age 50.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu is a fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles. Read more