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Regain Muscle Mass After 60 With These Free Weight Exercises

Staying in the best shape as you age means strength training.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Trying to get into shape or stay fit at 60 and up? If so, this piece of advice is golden: The absolute best thing you can do for your body to look and feel younger is strength train. As you grow older, you lose lean muscle mass—anywhere from 3% to 5% every 10 years after you hit 30, in fact (via Harvard Health Publishing). That's why it's critical to do everything you can to build and preserve your muscle mass as much as possible. We're here to help you out with the best free weight exercises to regain muscle mass after 60.

When it comes to exercise selection, I recommend opting for moves that strengthen the backside of your body—your back, lats, glutes, and rear delts. Those muscles are grossly neglected, and as you grow older, your backside becomes weaker.

Needless to say, staying in the best possible shape as you age means strength training. So without further delay, grab your dumbbells. Let's get into the five free weight exercises to start performing ASAP if you want to regain muscle mass.

Dumbbell Deadlifts

dumbbell deadlift men's pot belly workout
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start your Dumbbell Deadlifts by placing a dumbbell in front of you and positioning your feet outside of shoulder width. Keep your chest tall and core tight, squat down, and grab the weight. Drive through your heels and hips to rise up, flexing your glutes and quads to finish. Place the dumbbell back down to starting position before performing another rep. Complete 3 sets of  10 reps.

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

Dumbbell Rows

dumbbell row
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Next up is the Dumbbell Row, where you'll position yourself parallel to a bench so that one hand and knee are firmly planted on the surface for good balance. Grip a dumbbell with your opposite hand and your arm extended down toward the floor. Then, pull the dumbbell up toward your hip, squeezing your lats and upper back at the very end of the motion. Straighten your arm back down, and get a solid stretch at the bottom performing the next rep. Complete 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps for each arm.

Related: The Best Exercises To Live to 100 and Beyond, Trainer Reveals

Dumbbell Shoulder Presses

dumbbell shoulder press
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

For Dumbbell Shoulder Presses, position the dumbbells up to your shoulders, and make sure your palms are facing each other. Keep your core tight and glutes squeezed, and press the dumbbells up, flexing your shoulders and triceps at the top of the motion. Lower the dumbbells back down with control before performing another rep. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.

Dumbbell Split Squats

split squat
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Your Dumbbell Split Squats start with you holding a pair of dumbbells. Assume a staggered stance, placing one foot forward and one foot behind you. Keeping your chest tall, come down slowly until your back knee touches the floor. Get a good stretch in the hips of your back leg, then drive through the front heel, flexing your quad and glutes to finish. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg.

Dumbbell Pullovers

dumbbell pullovers
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Begin Dumbbell Pullovers by lying down on a flat bench with a dumbbell. Hold the weight up with both of your palms so that they're forming a diamond shape. Then, straighten your arms out with a slight elbow bend. Keeping your core tight, pull the weight behind your head until you get a lat stretch. Once you've reached a good range of motion, pull the weight back toward your eyes to finish. Complete 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Chest Supported Rear Fly

chest supported rear fly exercise to regain muscle mass after 60
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Last but not least in the exercises that'll help you regain muscle mass after 60 comes the Chest Supported Rear Fly. Grab a pair of dumbbells, and position your chest on an incline bench. Start the movement by pulling the dumbbells back toward your body, and flex the back of your shoulders at the end of the movement. Squeeze hard, then resist all the way down before performing another rep. Complete 3 sets of 15 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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