Over 60? Here Are 5 of the Best Exercises You Can Possibly Do
Just as strength training is the single best exercise you can do after turning 50, I can tell you that the same goes for your 60s. Don't just take it from me, though. Take from some trainers who are over 60 themselves.
"Many individuals over the age of 60 forget about lifting weights—or think that they can't build muscle as they age—but that's just not true," Valerie Hurst, 61, an FAI-Certified Trainer & Certified Brain Health Trainer, explained to us at ETNT Mind+Body. "By strength training at least two days per week to your exercise routine, you can avoid loss of muscle, and thus stay independent longer by maintaining your strength and balance."
She's correct. And as you enter your 60s, you'll find that a new vocabulary starts to emerge when you talk about exercise. Words like "speed" and "huge gains" start to disappear, while words like "mobility" and "stability"—basic functions you need for a better quality of life well into old age—start to emerge.
In order to age well, I believe that, in addition to walking and stretching—and doing any sort of activities that will keep you on your feet, from gardening to playing golf—you need to partake in at least two to three days per week of basic strength training that targets your entire body. I'm talking about exercise moves that will make your muscles stronger, while also promoting better balance, posture, core strength, stability, and mobility.
In fact, I'd urge you to consider the following workout every day you do strength training. These are five movements that accomplish literally everything I just described. Just remember: Perform 3-4 sets of the following exercises, using the reps noted. And for some exercises to avoid, don't miss this list of The Worst Exercises You Can Do After 60.
Dumbbell Goblet Squat (10-15 reps)
Start by holding a dumbbell close to your chest. Keeping your chest up and core tight, push your hips back and squat down until your hips are parallel to the ground. Drive through the heels and hips to stand back up, flexing your quads and glutes to finish. Consider it an added bonus that, in addition to being one of the single best exercises you can possibly do, scientists say that squatting is also one of the single best exercises you can possibly do for your brain—as it's the best for beating back Alzheimer's. And for more great exercise advice, don't miss The Secret Mental Trick for Getting a Lean Body, Say Experts.
Side Plank with Rotation (10 reps each side)
Stack your legs and get into a side plank position. Begin by keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, reach across your body with the top hand, stretching your shoulder blade. Pull your elbow back to starting position, squeezing your upper back when you finish.
Band Pullaparts (20 reps)
Grab a light or medium resistance band and hold it with both hands just about shoulder width apart. Keeping the hands completely straight, begin pulling the band apart until your hands are in line with your torso.
As you're pulling the band back, begin squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold the end of the movement for 1-2 seconds before returning to starting position. If you're interested in some great ways to walk to get lean, don't miss The 4 Walking Workouts That Will Help You Get Lean, Says Top Trainer.
Split Squat (10 reps each leg)
Start by having one foot forward and foot back in a staggered stance. Keeping your core tight with a slight forward lean, lower yourself all the way down until your back knee touches the ground. Push through the heel of your front foot to come back up, flexing your glute to finish.
Pushup (10-20 reps)
Have your body in a complete straight line going down and up. Start the movement with your feet together and shoulders in line with your wrists. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, lower yourself (under control) until your chest touches the floor before pushing yourself back up. And if walking is your favorite form of exercise, don't miss The Secret Cult Walking Shoe That Walkers Everywhere Are Totally Obsessed With.