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Regain Muscle Mass After 50 With These Bodyweight Exercises, Trainer Says

Perform strength training and maintain your independence.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Growing older comes with many changes that can be difficult to accept. For one, your muscle mass decreases, along with power and strength. This natural change your body endures—also known as sarcopenia—can happen as early as 35 years of age, according to Harvard Health Publishing. The rate of muscle mass loss can be 1% to 2% every year, and it bumps up to 3% after you hit 60. Adults who don't incorporate any strength training into their fitness regimens could lose anywhere from four to six pounds of muscle every 10 years. Needless to say, strength training is not a question; it's a must-do. So we're here to help you out with the best bodyweight exercises to regain muscle mass after 50.

If you want to stay fit, age gracefully, and maintain a good quality of life, then strength training is the name of the game. This means utilizing various pieces of equipment, such as resistance bands, dumbbells, barbells, and machines during your gym time. However, bodyweight movements can also be a great way to help you regain muscle mass. They can be performed basically anywhere and are a solid place to kick off your fitness journey if you don't have access to equipment.

Below, you'll find a list of productive bodyweight exercises you can perform to regain muscle mass in your 50s and beyond. Keep reading to learn all about them.

Hand-Release Pushups

hand release pushup
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

These productive bodyweight exercises start off with Hand-Release Pushups. Think of a traditional pushup, but with a little twist. Begin by getting into a pushup; your shoulders should be lined up with your wrists, your back should remain straight, your core should stay tight, and your glutes should be squeezed.

Next, lower your body using control until you touch the floor. Once you've reached the bottom of the motion, take your hands off the floor, then place them back to push yourself up to the starting position. Flex your triceps and chest once you rise up before performing another rep. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.

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

Lateral Lunges

lateral lunge part of workout to slow muscle aging
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Next up, we have Lateral Lunges. Keep your core tight and your chest tall as you bring one leg out to the side while straightening the trailing leg. Firmly plant your heel on the floor, then push your hips back, and sit as low as you can, getting a solid inner stretch on the other leg. Drive through the heel of your working leg to rise back up to the starting position before performing another rep. Complete 3 sets of 8 reps for each leg.

Related: The Best Strength Exercises To Build Stronger Muscles in Your 60s

Single-Leg Glute Bridges

single-leg glute bridge to regain muscle mass after 50
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Now, gear up for Single-Leg Glute Bridges. If you've done Glute Bridges before, you know the drill, but this exercise has a little tweak. Start the motion by lying on your back with both of your knees bent. Pick one leg up, keeping it straight as you raise it into the air. Make sure your core stays tight as you drive through the heel of the leg that's on the ground. Flex your glute hard at the top of the movement for just two seconds, then come back down. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps for each leg.


step-ups exercise
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Step-Ups start with you placing your foot on a low step, box, or bench. Keep your chest tall and your core tight as you lean into the heel of your front leg and push off it to step up. Flex your quad and glute at the top of the motion, then lower yourself using control before performing another rep. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps on one leg before switching over to the other.

Side Plank Hip Lifts

trainer demonstrating side plank hip raise to regain muscle mass after 50
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Last but not least, let's get into Side Plank Hip Lifts. Begin the exercise by setting yourself up against a wall with your heels, butt, and shoulders touching it. Get your shoulders in line with your wrists and your feet stacked on top of each other. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, tilt and flex your hips straight up and down, maintaining tension in your obliques the entire time. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.

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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