5 Daily Strength Exercises To Get Fit at 50
There are two major benefits to performing strength exercises as you grow older—overall quality of life and mobility, Sarah Marie Clifford, instructor for Club Pilates, explains. Strength training helps boost the strength of the areas in your body that start to naturally weaken with age. Needless to say, if you want to lead your healthiest, fittest life in your 50s and beyond, a quality exercise regimen is one that includes strength training. To get you started, Clifford shares five daily strength exercises to get fit at 50.
To give you a little rundown of how strength training is one of the best things you can do for your body, Clifford explains, "Glute exercises do not just benefit the glutes but also help to strengthen the muscles that support the hips. Core strengthening exercises can help to prevent lower back strain. Preventing injuries and strains allows a better quality of mobility and in turn a better quality of life. We don't want to stop moving as we age, so strengthening the muscles that help to propel that movement can be crucial. Core strengthening can also lead to better balance and muscle awareness, helping to promote long-term mobility."
So keep reading to learn more about Clifford's five daily strength exercises to get fit at 50. And next, don't miss The Best Core-Strengthening Exercises for Seniors.
Kick off your daily exercises with a classic forearm plank. This is a stellar exercise that simultaneously fires up every muscle in your core and helps build strength in that area of your body, Harvard Health Publishing explains.
Clifford instructs, "Starting down on all fours, bring the forearms to the ground with the elbows staying underneath the shoulder blades. I like to think of keeping the forearms in a number eleven position to keep the shoulder blades open and the upper back long. Step your feet back, and lift your knees from the mat, pulling the belly button upwards towards the spine. Think about lifting from underneath the armpits and sending energy from the mat connection up into the body to encourage a lifted position."
For this next exercise, get on all fours by placing your knees under your hips and your hands below your shoulders. Pull your belly button and ribs inward, and lengthen your spine. Extend one arm in front of you and the opposite leg behind you. Activate your core throughout the exercise, and make sure your back stays lengthened. Alternate sides.
Once again, get on all fours, and gradually lift one knee out to the side, making sure your foot and ankle are aligned with your knee. Hover that knee above the ground, keeping your weight even between your core, hands, and opposite knee. "Think of squeezing the side of the glute muscle with every lift, keeping the hips even to the floor," Clifford explains.
For the single-leg stretch, you'll begin lying down on your back. Pull both knees in toward your chest. Your lower back and tailbone should remain on the floor.
Clifford continues to instruct, "Hug one of your knees in, grabbing the top of the shins, and extending the opposite leg out long, focusing on the contrasting stretch between both legs. Continue to alternate legs, trying to keep the hips as even as possible, and ribs pulled down towards the ground. Add a head, neck, and shoulder curl forward if flexion is a movement available to you."
Scissor Leg Stretch
Last but not least in Clifford's top five daily strength exercises to get fit at 50 is the scissor leg stretch. Extend both legs up to the ceiling, making sure your middle and lower back remain on the floor. If you can, raise your head, neck, and shoulders up toward your legs. Grab behind your hamstring or calf of one leg, and pull it toward your head while the other leg lowers to form a 45-degree angle. Switch legs in a scissor fashion.
"Keep the hips even and focus on finding the stretch in the hamstring in the leg being pulled toward the head, Clifford adds.