Staying fit and healthy becomes increasingly important as we age. For my female clients over 40, maintaining lean muscle mass is a common fitness goal—and for good reason. Regular exercise not only helps you preserve a healthy weight, but it also contributes to bone density, muscle mass, and overall well-being. And the more muscle you have, the greater number of calories you will burn. If you're looking to spruce up your workout regimen, I have nine of the best exercises for women to stay fit and firm after 40.
Keep in mind that apart from incorporating daily exercise into your routine, a diet rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients is crucial to maintaining physical health over 40. To stay fit and vibrant, I recommend including a mix of exercises that address various muscle groups and functional fitness. Here are nine essential exercises for women to stay fit after 40. Add them to your fitness routine today. And when you're finished, be sure to check out the 10 Best Exercises for Women Over 50 To Live Longer.
First up on this roundup of the best exercises for women to stay fit after 40 is the pushup. Pushups are essential for maintaining upper-body strength and promoting good posture.
Begin in a pushup plank position with your hands under your shoulders. Engage your core, and keep your spine in a braced neutral position. Lower your body by bending at the elbows and shoulders. When your chest is roughly one inch above the ground, push evenly through both hands to return to the starting position. Complete three sets of 15 repetitions.
Squats are excellent for maintaining lower-body strength, balance, and flexibility.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body by bending at the hips and knees while keeping your back straight. Push through the full foot to stand back up. Avoid letting your knees go past your toes. Complete three sets of 15 repetitions.
Deadlifts are crucial for strengthening the posterior chain and preventing lower back pain.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a barbell or dumbbells in front of you. Bend at your hips and knees to lower yourself while keeping your back straight. Grip the barbell or dumbbells with your hands just outside your knees. Push through your heels, and stand up while keeping the weights close to your body. Squeeze your glutes at the top. Complete three sets of 15 repetitions.
Planks strengthen the core muscles, which are essential for maintaining good posture and preventing lower back pain.
Begin with your forearms on the ground and your legs extended behind you. Engage your core, and keep your body in a straight line from head to heels. Hold the position for the target time while maintaining proper form. Complete three sets of 20 seconds.
Rows are crucial for improving posture and strengthening the upper back.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Hinge at your hips, keeping your back straight, and let the dumbbells hang in front of you. Pull the dumbbells toward your hips, retracting your shoulder blades. Avoid shrugging throughout the range of motion. Complete three sets of 15 repetitions.
Lunges help maintain leg strength, balance, and flexibility.
Stand with your feet together. Step forward with one leg, and lower your body, bending both knees. Push through the full foot to return to the starting position. Rotate your rear foot slightly inward as you lower your rear knee for optimal biomechanics. Complete three sets of 15 repetitions on each side.
Bicep curls help maintain arm strength and functionality, which can be particularly important for daily tasks.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward. Keep your upper arms stationary, and curl the dumbbells toward your shoulders. Squeeze the biceps at the top for about one second. Lower the dumbbells back down with control. Complete three sets of 15 repetitions.
Step-ups enhance lower-body strength and balance, making daily activities easier and safer.
Stand in front of a sturdy step or bench. Step onto the platform with one foot, and push through the full foot to lift your body. Stand upright with both feet on the step. Step down with the same foot. Complete three sets of 15 repetitions on each leg.
Overhead Shoulder Presses
These exercises for women to stay fit after 40 ends with the shoulder press. Overhead shoulder presses help maintain upper-body strength and shoulder mobility.
Sit or stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level, palms facing forward. Press the weights overhead until your arms are fully extended. Avoid shrugging your shoulders during the movement. Lower the weights back to shoulder level. Complete three sets of 15 repetitions.