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5 Best Exercises To Build Total-Body Muscle As You Age

In order to stay independent and keep enjoying the activities you love, building muscle is crucial.

Once you hit 30, the loss of lean muscle is an inevitable, natural part of aging. Unfortunately, it can make daily life quite challenging. In order to maintain your independence and continue to enjoy the hobbies and activities you love most, building muscle is crucial. Strength training can help decrease your chances of suffering from muscle loss, which is why incorporating it into your regular workout routine is a necessity. We spoke with Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, a fitness expert and the founder of GroomBuilder, who shares five of his best-recommended exercises to build total-body muscle as you age.

Adding lean muscle to your frame comes with plenty of benefits. According to Piedmont Healthcare, preserving and increasing muscle can better your posture, enhance your immune system, help you efficiently manage your blood sugar, reduce muscle imbalances, decrease aches and pain, lower your chances of falling, and help you avoid chronic disease and injuries. Some of the top movements that help boost muscle growth include bodyweight exercises, strength training via weight machines, lifting dumbbells, and working with a resistance band.

There's no time better than the present to get started. In order to build total-body muscle, begin doing the below trainer-approved exercises, and make them a staple in your routine. (As with any new exercise regimen, it's always a smart idea to, first and foremost, check in with your healthcare provider or a certified fitness professional to make sure it's the best course of action for you.)

Keep reading to learn more, and next, don't miss 6 Best Exercises To Build Muscle Mass, According to a Top Trainer.

Goblet Squats

dumbbell goblet squat illustration

"Grab the end of one dumbbell in both hands and hold it by your chest with your elbows underneath," Yeung instructs. "Stand shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly out. Start the movement by sitting backward and spreading your knees apart. Descend below parallel while keeping your lower back flat. At the bottom, drive through your heels and keep your knees apart." Complete three to five sets of five to eight reps. Yeung recommends doing goblet squats two to three times a week.


illustration of pushups

You'll begin pushups by getting into the proper position, planting your hands about shoulder-width distance apart, and rising up to your toes. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your toes. Make sure your lower back remains flat and your hips don't sag. Descend toward the floor while keeping your elbows close to the sides of your body. Then, press yourself back up to the starting position. Perform three to five sets of five to eight reps. Do this exercise once or twice a week.

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Inverted Rows

illustration of inverted rows exercise

You've likely performed traditional rows before, but have you tried inverted rows? To get started, Yeung instructs you to set a barbell on the Smith machine. Once you're situated below it, pull your body up until your chest touches the bar. Bring your shoulder blades together, and make sure your body stays straight like a plank. Complete three to five sets of five to eight reps. Do this exercise once or twice a week.

Hip Thrusts


Next up, it's time for some hip thrusts. "With your shoulders on a bench and a barbell on your hips, lower and drive your hips to full extension," Yeung instructs. "Push through your heels, and squeeze your glutes at the top. For more comfort on your hips, place the barbell on a thick pad." Complete three to five sets of five to eight reps. Do this exercise two to three times a week.

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illustration of pull-ups exercise

Pull-ups round out our best exercises to build total-body muscle as you age. To begin, place your hands on a pull-up bar with your palms facing away from your body. Initiate the motion by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pull your body up toward the bar while leading with your chest before lowering yourself back down with control. Complete three to five sets of five to eight reps. Do this exercise one to two times a week.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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