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The One Exercise That's Best for Your Body After 50, Trainer Says

This one move builds strength, mobility, and balance, which are essential as you age.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

After 50 years old, our bodies stop performing as well as they did in our 30s and 40s. This is because, as we age, our bodies experience a natural decrease in muscle mass, power, stability, and speed. This is why it's so important to begin and continue strength training throughout your entire lifespan.

However, as you continue to age, your training should evolve to manage these changes in your body. It's more important to focus on mobility, stability, range of motion, and maintaining good joint health than it is to reach for your one-rep max on the bench press.

Now, there's always a big debate in fitness circles about what the single best exercise is. I think it all depends on the individual based on your goals, needs, and limb lengths. But, if I had to choose the one movement that's best for people after age 50 to perform regularly, it would be the Turkish Get-Up.

Here's how you perform this move and the reasons why it's best for your body to practice now. And for more, check out 5 sneaky tricks for enjoying exercise after 50.

The Turkish Get-Up

Turkish Get-Up
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Begin the exercise by lying flat on the ground holding either a dumbbell or kettlebell above you with your right hand and bending your knee to plant your right foot on the ground. Plant your left hand on the ground 45 degrees out to the side and extend your left leg. Then, push through your planted foot to raise the weight to the ceiling. As you extend upward, shift your body weight to the left side, keeping your arm straight overhead, and lifting your hips off the ground until they are fully extended.

Next, slowly begin bringing the right leg behind you so that your knee is on the ground and you're in a lunge position. Your right  hand (holding the weight), knee, and foot should be in a straight line.

From the kneeling lunge position, stand up straight with the weight overhead. Once you're standing, simply reverse the process step-by-step back to the floor while keeping your eyes on the weight.

What follows are four reasons why this full-body move is so effective to do if you're over the age of 50.

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1

It Builds Shoulder Stability

Athletic woman exercising turkish get up with kettlebell in the city
Shutterstock

Performing the Turkish Get-Up trains your shoulder to be stable through multiple planes of motion as you continue transitioning through each step of the exercise. For many people age 50 and up, building strong and stable shoulders keeps them healthy and strong for even the simplest of daily activities.

Related: The Best Workouts for Stronger Muscles After 50

2

It Improves Hip Mobility

older man fit workout
Shutterstock

The Turkish Get-Up requires good hip mobility in order to move through the different planes of motion. Many people don't perform such a large range of motion in their everyday lives, so this exercise will help you get more mobile and stable in the hips.

Related: The Best Way to Get a Lean Body After 50, Science Says

3

It Strengthens Your Core

Shutterstock

This exercise requires tremendous core strength in order to move through each step from start to finish. A lot of people lack stability in their core, and this movement teaches you to engage your core muscles in order to maintain a strong base as you transition through the movement.

4

It Builds Balance and Coordination

woman doing yoga
Shutterstock

If you didn't grow up being an active person or live a healthy lifestyle, chances are, you may not have good balance or coordination. Because this exercise requires balance and being able to move through different phases, it builds coordination and stability.

With a blessing from your doctor, you can start incorporating Turkish Get-Ups into your regular workout routine and experience great gains in your strength, mobility, and stability.

For more, check out Worst Exercises You Should Never Do After Age 50.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu is a fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles. Read more
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