Skip to content

The Best Body-Shaping Workout Every 40-Something Needs, Trainer Says

Put on lean muscle and get toned with these exercises.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

If you feel like it's much more difficult to meet your fitness goals than it was in your younger years, you're not alone. As you age, you lose muscle mass (Men can actually drop around 30% throughout their lives.) and your metabolic rate slows down. This makes it harder to lose fat—and keep it off. The struggle can be real, but there are certain exercise habits you can integrate into your routine ASAP to help you get back on track and sculpt a toned figure. We've put together the best body-shaping workout every 40-something needs, so put on your sneakers, and get ready to sweat.

It's crucial to strength train as early as you can and make it a key part of your active lifestyle, as it helps you build lean muscle and maintain it. And if you're already strength training, there's a good chance you're going about it the wrong way. One of the biggest fitness myths out there is that you need to lift light weights and perform high reps in order to tone and shape your body. That's actually not the case. You want to choose exercises and a weight that's challenging and forces your body to put on lean muscle.

If you're in your 40s and older, here's a body-shaping workout you can do. Perform 3 to 4 sets of the following movements, and next, be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Kettlebell Deadlift

closeup kettlebell deadlift, part of body-shaping workout
Shutterstock

For this exercise, you're going to stand in front of the kettlebell with your feet outside of the weight. Push your hips back, and squat down low enough to grab the weight. Make sure your shoulders are in line with the handle, and your torso is straight.

Keep your core tight and shoulders down, and pick up the kettlebell by pushing through your heels and hips. Stand tall, and flex your glutes at the top. Reverse the motion to put the weight down before performing another rep. Complete 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps.

Related: The Best Exercises To Get Rid Of A Pot Belly In Your 40s, Trainer Says

Front Foot Elevated Split Squat

trainer demonstrating foot elevated split squat
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Place your working leg on top of a plate or elevated surface. Keep your chest tall, and come down slowly until your back knee touches the ground. Get a good stretch in the hips of your back leg, then drive through the front heel, flexing your quad and glutes to finish. Complete 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps for each leg. (Perform all reps on one side before switching over to the other.)

Dumbbell Row

man doing dumbbell row in gym
Shutterstock

Position yourself parallel to a bench so that your hand and knee are firmly pressed into it. Grip the dumbbell with the opposite arm, and begin the motion by pulling the dumbbell towards your hip, squeezing your lats and upper back at the very end of the movement. Straighten your arm afterward, and get a nice stretch at the bottom before performing the next rep. Complete 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps for each arm.

Related: The Best Aerobic Exercises To Shrink A Flabby Stomach, Trainer Says

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

mature woman doing dumbbell lateral raise, body-shaping workout
Shutterstock

Grab a pair of dumbbells, and stand with your chest tall and your head slightly tilted back. Begin the motion by raising both dumbbells out to your side just right where your arms are parallel to the floor. Flex the sides of your shoulders at the top, then lower the weight under control. As you lower the dumbbells, maintain tension in your shoulders. Perform 3 to 4 sets of 15 reps.

Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

man performing dumbbell triceps extension
Shutterstock

Laying flat on your back on a bench, press the dumbbells up so that your palms are facing each other. Keeping your shoulders completely straight, bend your elbows back so the dumbbells are coming down towards you. As soon as your forearms touch your biceps, reverse the motion, flexing your triceps to finish. Complete 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more
Filed Under