6 Regular Strength Exercises All Men Should Do in Their 60s
If you are a man approaching your golden years or have already crossed the six-decade mark, you may feel like you're further away from your prime. You move slower, things ache more, and the temptation to avoid physical activity might be the strongest it's ever been. That being said, I implore you to exercise if you are a man in your 60s. (With any exercises that involve added weight, make absolutely sure you're working with a weight you're comfortable with. It's always a smart idea to consult with a certified fitness professional who can help you out.) As someone with over 10 years of experience training clients from all age groups, I can say with certainty that exercising throughout your 60s plays a massive role in your current quality of life and your longevity as you pass through your 70s and into your 80s. So today, I'm here to share six regular strength exercises for men in their 60s.
The truth is, exercise is one of the most effective ways to combat the inevitable creep of time and age on our bodies. Of course, you will still be slowing down, and you won't have the recovery capacity of someone in their 20s, 30s, and even 40s. However, you can still make gains in your 60s and maintain your mobility and quality of life through regular strength training.
The following are my six top strength exercises I believe are an absolute must for all men in their 60s. It's not just about hitting a one-rep max or building as much muscle as possible. It's about maintaining your ability to go through day-to-day life unassisted, the ability to play with your grandkids and enjoy nature, and ultimately, the ability to continue to get the most out of life and age gracefully as opposed to deteriorating physically and mentally.
Perform two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions with a light to moderate weight twice per week in conjunction with an overall healthy lifestyle. Keep reading for the six best strength exercises for men in their 60s. And next up, be sure to read 7 Floor Exercises Men Should Do Every Day To Stay Fit.
Lunges are valuable for improving lower-body strength, enhancing flexibility, and promoting functional movement, which can be beneficial for daily tasks and maintaining your independence. The lunge works primarily the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles.
To perform a lunge, begin in a standing position, feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with one foot, keeping the toes of both feet facing straight ahead. With a slight inward rotation of your back foot, lower your back knee toward the ground. Try to maintain a 90-degree angle in both knees at the bottom of the movement. Push through your full foot of the forward leg to return to standing, taking care not to lean your body forward or backward during the movement. Repeat for the target repetitions, and then switch legs.
Barbell Back Squats
Barbell back squats serve to enhance lower-body strength and core stability, and promote functional movement. As simple as it may sound, they maintain the key ability to get up and down off of a chair, which is absolutely essential to maintaining daily living independence.
To perform a barbell back squat, position a barbell at shoulder level on a squat rack, with the safety pins set just above waist level if available. Step under the bar so that it rests comfortably on your shoulders, and grasp the barbell with a wide grip. Lift the bar off the rack, and take a few steps back. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward. Slowly lower your body as if sitting back into a chair, pushing through the full foot and keeping your chest up and your spine neutral. Push back up to a standing position, ensuring your knees do not cave inward during the movement. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Seated rows are great for strengthening the back muscles and help promote good posture. This exercise targets the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and biceps.
To perform a seated row, begin seated at a rowing machine, feet planted, with a straight back and a neutral grip on the handle. Lean forward slightly, maintaining a straight back, and pull the handle toward your waist. As you pull, visualize crushing a piece of fruit in your armpit as you retract your shoulder blades and squeeze at the end range of motion. Avoid shrugging your shoulders during this movement. Slowly extend your arms back out to the starting position, allowing the shoulder blades to protract. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Standing Dumbbell Press
Standing dumbbell presses improve upper-body strength in the shoulders. It also helps you maintain your ability to reach for upper shelves, a vital aspect of day-to-day life that can go a long way toward keeping your quality of life high as you age.
To perform a standing dumbbell press, start standing with your feet hip-width apart, each hand holding a dumbbell at shoulder level. Engage your core, and press the dumbbells directly overhead until your arms are fully extended, making sure to avoid shrugging your shoulders during the lift. Pause briefly at the top, then slowly lower the weights back down to shoulder level. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Glute bridges are excellent for strengthening the posterior chain, which includes the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. This can help to alleviate back pain and improve overall mobility.
To perform a glute bridge, start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Push through your full foot to lift your hips off the floor, drawing your lower rib toward your pelvis, and engaging your abs as you go. Hold the top position for a moment, ensuring you squeeze your glutes and maintain a straight line from shoulders to knees. Lower your hips back down to the floor in a controlled movement. Repeat for the target repetitions.
The last of the best regular strength exercises for men in their 60s is the deadlift. Deadlifts are renowned for their capacity to increase your total-body strength, particularly your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.
To perform a deadlift, stand with your midfoot under the barbell, feet hip-width apart. Bend at your hips and knees, and grasp the bar with a shoulder-width grip, ensuring your hands are outside your knees. Straighten your back, and look straight ahead. Push through your full foot, and stand up with the weight, keeping the bar close to your body at all times. Once you're standing fully upright, lower the bar back to the ground in a controlled movement, maintaining a straight back throughout. Repeat for the target repetitions.