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​5 Free Weight Exercises To Build a Stronger Lower Body After 50

Preserving and building up total-body strength is the name of the game.

As you grow into your 40s, 50s, and beyond, preserving and building total-body strength becomes more prevalent than ever before. It's also crucial to follow the correct technique when you're working out, warm up before training with weights, and use the foam roller to stretch after you finish up each session. According to Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, a fitness expert and the founder of GroomBuilder, "All of these will help you build more strength and avoid any potential aches and injuries that can derail your progress." Yeung shares with us today his top-recommended free weight exercises to build a stronger lower body after turning 50.

Research shows that the human muscular system makes up 40% of your body mass. As you age, both muscle strength and mass decrease. The loss of strength is directly linked to a decline in muscle mass. Sarcopenia (which is the natural loss of muscle mass due to aging) is associated with poor quality of life, physical disability, and even death.

We're sure you don't need any more convincing to kickstart your muscle growth with Yeung's five free weight exercises to build a stronger lower body after 50. After all, a strong and fit lower body gets you where you need to go and helps you perform daily tasks and physical activities you love. Grab a set of dumbbells, and keep leading your best, most healthiest and active life.

1. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

illustration of single-leg romanian deadlift

The single-leg Romanian deadlift starts with you holding a dumbbell in each hand. Slowly hinge your hips back, bend forward, and lift one leg behind you. Once the dumbbells reach below your knees, squeeze your glutes, and return to standing. Make sure your hips don't twist to the side; they should remain square and facing ahead of you.

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2. Reverse Lunges

For reverse lunges, take a big step back with one leg. This should be big enough so that your knees form two 90-degree angles at the bottom of the lunge when you descend. Then, press through your front leg in order to come back up. You can do this exercise by holding a dumbbell in each hand, then up the challenge by incorporating a barbell in a front squat or back squat position.

3. Step-ups

dumbbell step-ups exercise

Step-ups will have you holding dumbbells in both hands. Plant one of your feet on a box or sturdy bench. Bring all of your weight onto that foot as you press through your heel in order to step onto the surface. Make sure you don't push off using your bottom leg.

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4. Kettlebell Deadlift

The kettlebell deadlift starts by standing with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. A kettlebell should be between your legs, and the handle should be aligned with the bony portion of your ankles, Yeung explains. He continues to instruct, "Bend from the hips, and grab the kettlebell with both hands. Before you lift, your shins should be vertical, your back should be almost parallel with the ground, and your lower back should be flat. Squeeze the handle hard, pull your shoulders backward, and crush your armpits. Lift the kettlebell by pushing through the ground, not by pulling up. Stand tall and squeeze your glutes at the top. On the way down, place the kettlebell at the same exact starting spot."

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5. Pull-Through

illustration of cable pull-through

Last but not least in our free weight exercises to build a stronger lower body is the pull-through. You'll start facing away from the cable machine. The height should be at the lowest setting. Take hold of the ends of the cable-rope attachment between your legs. Yeung adds, "While maintaining a neutral back and straight elbows, start with your torso almost parallel to the ground with slightly bent knees. Extend your hips, and stand tall."

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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