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7 Best Daily Exercises for Men To Gain Strength Before 40

Use these moves, and see your physique transform.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Here's the hard truth, guys: As you get older, your strength and testosterone gradually decline—especially after 40. While this decrease isn't necessarily a bad thing, if you don't actively take care of your body, this trend can eventually mean more injuries, lower fitness levels, and worse overall health. That's why it's so vital to do strength training to avoid these issues. We're here to help with seven of the best daily exercises for men to gain strength before 40.

Using smart and proven exercises, you can build vital strength not only in your muscles (which is already a good-enough reason), but also in your bones, joints, and tendons. This is extremely critical as you get older so you can stay healthy and avoid common aches and injuries. Also, research shows that strength training can lead to a 10% to 17% decreased likelihood of mortality due to any cause, diabetes, heart disease, lung cancer, and total cancer.

But I can't stress this enough: The earlier you start, the better. After all, you can't expect to do a few exercises and get strong instantly—it can take years to build a great foundation. Fortunately, if you stay consistent, you will make amazing progress and gain the strength that can last a lifetime.

In this article, gear up for the best exercises for men to gain strength before hitting the big "4-0." Keep in mind, don't fatigue yourself every day. Use these exercises as the minimum, and do a few reps daily. Then, on workout days, do these as a warmup or use weights to add more resistance. Read on to learn more, and next up, be sure to check out the 5 Strength Exercises Men Should Do Every Day To Stay Fit.

Hip/Thigh Extensions

hip-thigh extension

For a better body, don't forget your legs. More specifically, don't forget your glutes. A strong posterior chain—back, glutes, and hamstrings—means more total-body strength.

To set up for the hip/thigh extension, lie on your back, and bend one knee so that it makes a 90-degree angle. Stick the other leg straight out. With your bent leg, squeeze your glute, push through your heel, push your hips up, and keep your hips level as you rise. Keep your straight leg extended throughout the exercise, and keep it in line with your torso.

Reverse Lunges

reverse lunges exercise

Lunges are awesome for your entire lower body. You can do them anytime, anywhere so it makes it even easier to knock them out.

Take a long step back—long enough so that your knees make two 90-degree angles at the bottom—and pull yourself back up to standing with your forward leg.

5 Regular Strength Exercises All Men Should Do in Their 50s

Lateral Squats

illustration of lateral lunge

You already know squats are great for a strong body. By doing "lateral" squats, you enhance your balance, build symmetrical strength, and improve your hip mobility for better athleticism and health.

Start with a very wide stance (ex. twice your shoulder width) with your toes pointed slightly out. Sit back into one hip while pushing that knee out. Repeat on the other side.


Pushups should be a staple in any guy's workout routine. With T-pushups, you add more complexity and you even get a little mobility work as you stretch your mid-back (called your "thoracic spine").

Start in a pushup position. Descend to the bottom, and as you're pushing up, extend one hand to the sky. Watch that hand with your eyes. Repeat, and reach up with the other arm. To make it more challenging, hold dumbbells.


man doing dumbbell rows

Rows are unbeatable at building a strong, muscular back. But they're also great at improving your posture and shoulder health.

Facing parallel to a bench, place your right hand and right knee on the bench, getting your torso parallel to the ground. Grab a dumbbell with your left hand, squeeze your shoulder blades, and row. Then, switch sides. If you don't have dumbbells or kettlebells, you can also try exercise bands so you can do some reps at home.

5 Best No-Equipment Exercises for Men in Their 50s

Bear Crawls

bear crawl illustration

Crawls can improve strength and endurance throughout your entire body while boosting your conditioning and coordination. It's also very easy on your joints.

Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips; keep your knees an inch above the ground. Crawl forward by taking a small step with your right arm and left leg simultaneously and alternate. Keep your hips low and your head up.


close-up sneakers man walking

Does walking build strength? Not unless you're severely out of shape. But it does improve your overall health, recovery, and aerobic fitness, which can indirectly boost your strength.

Walk every single day for at least 20 minutes. If you can't do it in one session, spread it throughout the day. The benefits are incredible.

Anthony J. Yeung
Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, is a fitness expert featured in Esquire, GQ, and Men’s Health and the founder of GroomBuilder, the destination for men who want to transform their bodies for their weddings. Join the free 5-day course to burn fat and build muscle for the big day! Read more about Anthony
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