8 Best Daily Exercises for Women to Sculpt Lean Arms After 50
If you think sculpting lean arms after 50 is unattainable, think again. Achieving toned arms is possible at age 50, 60, and beyond. As a matter of fact, we spoke with an expert who breaks down eight of the best daily exercises for women to get lean arms after 50.
Aging gracefully doesn't mean giving up on your physical health; in fact, it's a perfect time to prioritize it. Your body evolves with time, and a tailored exercise routine that includes strength training can help you feel stronger, healthier, and more confident as you age. According to the National Institutes on Aging, strength training can help you build and maintain muscle mass, boost mobility, and add more years to your life.
Tracie Haines-Landram, CSCS, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and nutrition coach with Barbend, tells Eat This, Not That!, "A few key factors are essential for sculpted arms, including mobility, strength, and health exercises. Daily mobility exercises will improve the range of motion of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints. Strength exercises should focus on pushing and pulling motions to ensure a balance between the muscles in the front and back of the body. The most efficient exercises are compound movements, meaning they work multiple joints simultaneously and engage larger muscle groups. These compound movements also mimic more activities of daily living, and therefore not only help with the look of strength but the body's functionality."
Keep in mind that while strength training is a foundational component of achieving lean arms, a healthy diet is also crucial. Focus on a balanced, nutritious diet rich in lean protein, healthy fats, and plenty of vegetables. Proper nutrition complements your fitness efforts and helps you achieve your goals faster.
Read on for detailed breakdowns of Haines-Landram's top 10 exercises for women to get lean arms after 50. Then, don't miss these 9 Easy Resistance Band Exercises That Melt 'Armpit Pooch' Fat.
Arm Wall Slides
These simple yet effective arm wall slides can be done anywhere with some wall space.
"Stand with your back and arms against a wall stretched out like a cross, then bend your elbows 90 degrees with palms facing outwards like you're signaling for a field goal," explains Haines-Landram. "Keeping your elbows and hands close to the wall, slide your arms against the wall, raising them over your head as high as you can comfortably go, straightening your elbows as you reach. Slowly slide your arms back down to the starting position." Reach up for a count of four seconds, followed by four seconds of lowering. Perform eight to 10 reps.
Don't neglect your wrists—they are crucial in many daily activities. Simple wrist rotation exercises can help maintain flexibility and prevent discomfort during workouts or daily tasks.
Haines-Landram says, "Keeping your upper arm stationary, rotate your fists inward to face palms downward. Then rotate or twist your fist to face your palms upward." Rotate your palm down for two seconds, then rotate up for another two seconds. Repeat for eight to 10 reps.
Dumbbell rows target your arms and upper back, helping you maintain a strong and toned physique.
To perform this movement, Haines-Landram says, "Bend over, and place one arm and one knee (same side) on a bench for support, keeping your back straight like a tabletop. The other leg is stationary on the ground, and the other arm hangs straight down, holding a dumbbell. Keeping your back flat, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the dumbbell toward you. Your elbow should be pulled past your torso, and the dumbbell should be by your hip. Slowly lower the dumbbell while fully extending your arm and keeping your back straight."
Perform three sets of eight to 10 reps per side.
The shoulder press is a classic exercise that can deliver fantastic results for achieving toned arms. That's because strengthening your shoulder muscles contributes to a sculpted look for your arms and upper body.
"Standing or sitting, hold dumbbells at shoulder level, using a neutral grip (palms facing each other). Press the dumbbells over your head until your arms are straight, then slowly lower back to the starting position," says Haines-Landram.
Shoot for three sets of eight to 10 reps.
The upright row is another shoulder exercise effective for building firm, sculpted arms.
"Stand tall with your arms straight and in front of your hips with a dumbbell in each hand," instructs Haines-Landram. "Keeping the dumbbells close to your body, bend your elbows and slide the weight up the front of your body about two to three inches away until the dumbbells are right under your chin. During this movement, focus on keeping your elbows higher than your hands. Slowly lower back to the starting position."
Aim for three sets of eight to 10 reps.
Good old-fashioned pushups are an excellent way to work your arms and chest. They require no equipment and can be modified to suit your fitness level. Regularly doing pushups can make a noticeable difference in your arm definition.
"Get down on all fours with your palms on the ground, slightly wider than your shoulders," says Haines-Landram. "Straighten your arms and walk your feet back until your legs are straight, with your toes being the pivot point. Keeping your back straight, slowly bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest touches the floor. Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position."
Do three sets of 8 to 10 reps.
To target your shoulder and upper arm muscles, lateral raises are a go-to for sculpting beautifully toned arms.
"Stand with arms by your sides, holding dumbbells (start with light weight), palms facing inward. Keeping your arms straight, lift the dumbbells away from your body until your arms align, making a T with your body. Slowly lower to the starting position."
Perform three sets of eight to 10 reps.
Remember to include mobility exercises in your routine. These can help you maintain the flexibility needed for proper form and prevent injuries.
"Mobility exercises prepare your joints for range of motion, strength exercises build the muscle, and the component that links all of this together is the overall movement of your upper body," explains Haines-Landram. "For example, pickleball is a great way to test your arm's range of motion and strength and add an extra coordination component. Yoga is another full-body activity that will challenge mobility, strength, and coordination."