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5 Best No-Equipment Exercises for Men in Their 50s

Give your fitness routine a boost with a trainer's top-recommended exercises.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

There are a lot of changes that happen to a man's body as he ages—some of which are not for the best. That's why it's a necessity to establish healthy habits when you are young, so you can lead your best, fittest life as you grow older. Not doing so can lead to the loss of lean muscle, unwanted weight gain—especially in your midsection—and potential health issues.

One healthy habit you can do in your 50s to support your overall health is having some sort of physical fitness routine. Being as physically active as you can when you age is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exercise can push off or help you avoid many age-related declines, and it keeps your muscles strong. This is integral in order to live an independent lifestyle, keeping you in check for daily chores, to-do's, and activities. It's recommended to get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, along with two days of strength training.

The good news is that you don't need a gym to exercise. In fact, you don't even need weights! To help kickstart your over-50 fitness routine, we spoke with Tyler Read, the founder of and a personal trainer who has been involved in the health and fitness world for the past 15 years who shares some of the best exercises for men to do in their 50s that don't require equipment.

In addition to his go-to exercises for men after 50, Read stresses the importance of a few tips that are beneficial to add to your routine. First off, be sure to warm up and cool down. Read advises, "Spend a few minutes warming up before exercising to prepare your muscles and joints. Similarly, cool down with stretches to promote flexibility and aid in recovery." Next, stay hydrated. Drink up before, during, and after each workout, most especially if you typically consume a lot of caffeinated drinks.

So without further delay, gear up to put your body weight to work, and let's review Read's best exercises for men to do in their 50s. Put on your workout clothes, and start staying in shape! Read on, and for more, don't miss The #1 Fit-After-50 Workout Every Man Should Be Doing.


man doing pushups

Pushups engage your shoulders, chest, and triceps. This exercise also activates the muscles in your core for a nice little stability boost.

Start in a high plank with your hands under your shoulders and your feet planted on the floor, rising up to the balls of your feet. Bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the floor. Then, press yourself back up. If classic pushups are too challenging, Read suggests starting off with modified pushups with your knees on the floor rather than your feet. From there, you can gradually progress to traditional pushups.

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man doing squats

The squat engages the muscles in your lower body, such as your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Begin with your feet planted shoulder-width apart. Hinge your hips back and bend your knees to descend into a squat, then press up to the start position. To make things more challenging, Read suggests one-legged squats.


mature man doing planks during group fitness class, concept of exercise habits that destroy your back after 50

Planks are a stellar exercise to boost the strength of your core muscles, such as your abs, hips, and back. Begin with your forearms on the floor and your legs extended behind you. Make sure your back doesn't dip, and your body remains straight. Activate your abs as you hold this position for as long as you're able to with correct form.

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reverse lunges exercise

Lunges engage your lower-body muscles, like your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. You'll begin by taking a stride forward with one of your legs, descending into a squat until your knees form 90-degree angles. Then, press yourself back up to the start position. Switch legs, and repeat.

Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers

Last but not least on Read's list of the best exercises for men to do in their 50s is the mountain climber. Gear up for an awesome Cardiovascular workout while also activating your upper body and core muscles. You'll begin in a high plank with your hands under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line. Quickly bring one knee up toward your chest "in a running motion" before returning it behind you. Repeat on the other side, and continue to alternate while keeping your core strong.

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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