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Slow Muscle Aging After 40 With This Ultimate Free Weights Workout

Grab your dumbbells, and let's get to it!
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Let's talk about aging. One of the most difficult parts of growing into your 40s and beyond is experiencing changes in your body. As you age, research shows that your physical fitness starts to decline, and you lose agility, strength, flexibility, and endurance. Your body also parts with lean muscle if you don't do anything to preserve it. So if you're trying to slow muscle aging after 40, we have just the strength training routine for you. Grab your dumbbells, and let's get to it!

Lifting weights will help you build muscle and keep your metabolism up. When it comes to exercise selection, you should utilize mostly free weights, and a majority of your lifts should come from compound movements. If you're unsure of what exercises to do, we've put together the below free weights workout to add to your routine pronto. Keep reading to learn more, and next, check out The Best Fitness Habits That Increase Your Muscular Endurance After 50.


Dumbbell Squats

man doing dumbbell squats to slow muscle aging after 40

This routine starts with dumbbell squats. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and stand up straight with your feet a bit outside your shoulder span. With your chest tall and your core tight, hinge your hips back, and squat down until the weights are just below your shins. (You can also hold the dumbbells out in front of you.) Push through your heels to rise back up to standing. Flex your glutes and quads to finish the motion. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps.


Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

incline dumbbell bench press exercise at gym

Begin your incline dumbbell bench press by lying back on an incline bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Push the weights straight above your body as you completely extend your arms. Pull your shoulders back and down into the workout bench as you lower the dumbbells toward your torso. Feel a solid stretch at the bottom of the motion before pushing the weights back up to where you started. Squeeze your upper pecs and triceps at the top. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps.

RELATED: 4 Exercises That Can Drastically Change Your Body Shape After 40


Chest-Supported Dumbbell Rows

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

For this next exercise, adjust the workout bench at an incline—at least 30 to 45 degrees. Grab two dumbbells, position your chest on the pad, and keep your legs straight or your knees on the seat of the bench. Straighten both arms, and start to pull the weights in with your elbows. Squeeze your lats at the end of the movement. Then, lower the weights down to get a full stretch before moving on to the next rep. Perform three to four sets of 10 to 12 reps.

RELATED: The Best Indoor Cardio Workouts To Increase Stamina as You Age


Dumbbell Reverse Lunges

woman demonstrating lunges with dumbbells to boost your muscular endurance

Dumbbell reverse lunges start with you standing tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Take a big stride back with one of your legs, firmly planting that heel on the floor. Then, lower yourself into a lunge until your back knee touches the floor. Push yourself up through your front leg, then repeat with the opposite side. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps for each leg.


Hammer Curls

man demonstrating how to do a dumbbell hammer curl to slow muscle aging after 40

Grab your dumbbells once more for hammer curls. Both hands should face each other with a neutral grip. Pull your shoulders back as you curl the weights up, flexing your biceps and forearms. Squeeze hard at the top of the hammer curl, then resist as you lower the weights. Perform three to four sets of 10 to 12 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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