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The Exercises You Should Skip for Weight Loss After 50, Trainer Reveals

With these tips on deck, none of your time will go to waste.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

As you age, it may seem more and more difficult to shed excess pounds. Living a mostly sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, and changes to your metabolism can be major culprits behind weight gain as you grow older, according to Healthline. Time is a precious thing, so knowing what you should and shouldn't focus on to meet your end goal is key. That's why we rounded up the exercises you should skip for weight loss after 50 so no time goes to waste.

Weight loss after 50 means developing just the right fitness and eating habits and sticking to them. In order to achieve the results you desire, you'll need to ditch foods with added sugars, add strength training to your fitness regimen, enjoy healthy home-cooked meals, boost how much protein you consume, and maintain a diet based on whole foods (via Healthline).

If you're looking to lose weight, then strength training should be the main focus of your workouts. Why? Well, this form of exercise helps build muscle, boost your metabolism, and burn more calories than if you were to perform regular cardio. Strength training is especially important for individuals who are 50 and up, because you start to lose muscle mass as you age, and it's imperative to do everything you can to build and maintain it. I recommend strength training at least three times a week, focusing on mostly compound movements.

There are certain exercises, however, that I recommend not wasting any time on. The below movements are either not as effective as others, or they may be harder on your joints. Keep reading to learn more.

Side Bends

side bend exercises to skip for weight loss after 50
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

The first of the exercises you should skip for weight loss after 50 is the side bend. This popular exercise is used to target your lateral core—or your "love handles" area. Remember: The primary function of the core is to shift force between your upper body to your lower body and keep your trunk stable, which this exercise doesn't accomplish.

In addition, when it comes to weighted ab movements, you want to limit the amount you're performing in workouts, because they can cause hypertrophy, making your core appear "thicker." If you want slimmer obliques, I would avoid weighted side bends and focus on side plank variations or chops.

Related: The #1 Floor Workout To Get Rid of the Middle-aged Spread


trainer performing sit-ups
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Ah, classic sit-ups. Many people automatically gravitate toward ab exercises like sit-ups and crunches, because they believe these moves will get the job done quickly and efficiently. Well, think again.

Some individuals have a forward head and hunched-back posture; this is more pronounced among people who are 50 and above. You may be surprised to hear this, but performing sit-ups can make this even worse. Far too many gym-goers perform sit-ups by cranking on their necks and using their hip flexors instead of their abs, making it a movement that's, simply put, best avoided.

Related: 5 Exercise Habits to Slow Muscle Aging, Trainer Reveals

Box Jumps

box jumps
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Although box jumps can be a great exercise for building power, this comes with a caveat: It takes strength, stability, and coordination to perform the movement properly. If you haven't been active in quite some time or performed athletic plyometric movements before, you can increase your risk of injury. Plyometrics can potentially be high intensity and high impact, which could wreak havoc on the health of your joints, according to HealthFit Coaching. This is especially true if you don't have much strength or muscle mass.

Instead of jumping right in, it's best to focus on learning how to squat properly and build up your lower body strength before thinking about performing box jumps.

Flat Barbell Bench Press

flat barbell bench press
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

The barbell bench press is one of the most popular upper-body pressing exercises—and for good reason. Unfortunately, it's not the best movement to perform if you deal with shoulder issues; grabbing a heavy barbell to work these muscles on the regular could damage your shoulder joints.

If you're 50 and up and have joint pain in your shoulders, specifically while performing this movement, I recommend using dumbbells instead or opting for pushup variations. Much better to be safe than sorry!

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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