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Exercises You Should Think Twice About Doing After 60, Trainer Says

Want to stay pain- and injury-free? I'd advise against these 4 common workout moves.

Once you reach your 60s and beyond, maintaining joint health and mobility is key. Keeping up with daily exercise and healthy eating will help, but It's likely that, at this point in life, you've put your body through a lot. Meaning: There may be some wear and tear, and you'll have to be more intentional with your exercise selection. That's why it's so important to modify your workout routine a bit in order to ensure you can continue staying active while remaining pain- and injury-free.

Also, due to the average American's sedentary lifestyle of sitting and staring at screens all day, many of us have horrible posture and strength imbalances. A lot of people walk around slouched, with their necks forward and shoulders slumped. Poor posture leads to tightness in your hip flexors, hamstrings, and lower back, as well as weakness in your core. Unfortunately, many common training programs tend to have exercises that only exacerbate these issues.

If you're 60 or older, you'll really benefit from performing exercises that balance out the body. Given this, here are four moves I would think twice about performing at your age. And for more, check out 3 Major Secrets of Living to 99, According to Betty White.


Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Burpees are a popular exercise in group fitness classes and HIIT workouts. They're also an exercise where you can easily do it with improper form.

In order to do a good burpee, you have to maintain good alignment during the pushup portion and a straight spine when popping up and jumping. Many people lack the mobility and strength to perform the exercise correctly and it can place a lot of stress on your lower back and knees.

Instead, focus on performing proper pushups and learning how to jump and land safely without putting stress on your joints.

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Upright Rows

upright rows
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

The upright row is an exercise that is designed to target your delts. However, it's also really hard on your shoulder joints. Although you can modify the hand position and type of weight used, the cons still outweigh the pros and there are way better alternatives.

It's not worth straining your acromioclavicular joints (or your "AC joints," at the top of your shoulders). Spare them and perform lateral raises instead.

Related: Lean-Body Workouts Everyone Over 50 Should Do


sit ups
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Most people have a forward head and hunched back posture… so performing sit-ups can simply make this worse. Far too many people perform sit-ups by cranking on their neck and using their hip flexors instead of their abs, making this an exercise that is simply best avoided after age 60.

Not only are sit-ups bad for your neck, they're also one of the least effective abdominal exercises you can do, according to a study from San Diego State University. Instead, try one of these more effective ab moves.

Good Mornings

good mornings
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Unless you're a competitive powerlifter, there's no need for you to be performing barbell good mornings. It can place too much stress on your lower back, and there are way better exercises that train the same muscles and movement patterns instead, such as the Romanian Deadlift.

For more, check out The #1 Best Exercise for Slimming Down After 60, Trainer Says.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim
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