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5 Exercises To Slow Muscle Aging That Trainers Swear By

Prevent the natural decline with these simple movements.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Let's get the bad news over with first, shall we? Your muscle mass decreases every 10 years after you turn 30—and this decline speeds up after you hit 60. Now for the good news: You can prevent this natural decline, and we're here to help with just that. We've put together five exercises to slow muscle aging that trainers swear by, so lace up your sneakers, and let's get to it.

According to a review published in the journal Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, the loss of muscle mass, function, and strength is a major contributor to disability among older adults, as the risk of falling and getting injured increases as you age. If left unchecked, you'll also significantly heighten your risk of suffering from obesity and other diseases.

With smart resistance training exercises on deck, you'll have a solid fitness plan that increases the size of your muscles and even improves joint health, bone strength, and overall cardiovascular fitness. Here are five great exercises to slow muscle aging. They're highly effective and easy to learn and perform—even if you have pre-existing injuries.


Split Squats

split squats

Squats are an amazing way to build muscle, strength, and power in your lower body. This variation is easier on your joints and improves your balance and stability, which is vital as you age.

To perform split squats, stand with one foot about three feet in front of the other so that your knees make two 90-degree angles at the bottom. Drop straight down, and drive with your front heel. Don't let your front knee drift past your toe.

RELATED: 5 Simple At-Home Exercises To Stay in the Best Shape



mature woman plank pushup

The pushup is the best upper-body exercise you can do, whether you're a professional athlete or a beginner. It strengthens the muscles in your chest, shoulders, arms, and even core!

Get into a pushup position with your hands about shoulder-width distance apart. Keep your lower back flat, and don't let your hips sag. Lower your body, and keep your elbows close to your torso as you descend. To make this exercise more challenging, elevate your feet, and to make it easier, elevate your hands on a bench.


Single-Arm Cable Rows

woman demonstrating single-arm row exercises to slow muscle aging

Rows are an essential exercise to target your upper back and arms. With a strong back, you'll maintain better posture, enjoy your healthier shoulders, and even see that strength carry over to the rest of your body!

Set a cable handle to chest height. Grab the handle, take a step back, and stand facing the cable. Start the movement by pulling your shoulder blade toward your midline, and row without twisting your torso. Then, switch sides.

RELATED: The #1 Calisthenics Workout To Strengthen Your Muscles, Expert Says


Single-Arm Farmers Carries

man grabs heavy dumbbell for farmer carries

Carriers are one of the easiest ways to build total-body strength, core stability, and better conditioning. This also carries over to daily life: Imagine carrying your groceries with ease!

To properly perform the movement, grab a heavy dumbbell with one hand, keep your chest up and shoulder blades squeezed, and walk while keeping your body level.


Hip/Thigh Extensions

woman hip extension

This is a super easy exercise to do to strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, and more. This is important because hip strength is the cornerstone of athletic performance: The stronger your hips, the stronger the rest of your body will be. Strong hips also mean happy knees and a happy lower back.

To set up, 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.

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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