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11 Strength Exercises To Regain Muscle Mass as You Age

Get into shape and stay in shape with a trainer's go-to strength exercises.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Aging can be beautiful and challenging at the same time. With age comes much wisdom and experience, but it's also difficult to accept the natural changes that happen to your body. As you continue to age, your body doesn't perform as well as it used to in your younger years. Many of my clients complain that it feels much harder to stay in shape. They also feel like it's easier to put on extra pounds, and they lose their fitness quickly if they don't stay on top of it. That's why I'm here today to share 11 of the best strength exercises to regain muscle mass as you age.

As you grow into your 40s and beyond, your body starts to lose lean muscle mass if you don't perform strength training. Therefore, if you're trying to get into shape and stay in shape, strength exercises are non-negotiables in your fitness routine. Lifting weights and doing resistance exercises will help you build and maintain lean muscle tissue, along with allowing you to remain pain-free and injury-free.

When choosing which strength training exercises to do, it's important to prioritize mostly compound movements. They're the most bang for your buck since they recruit the most muscle fibers.

If you haven't been strength training in a while and want to regain your muscle mass, here's a list of the 11 best strength exercises to regain muscle mass as you age. Read on to learn more, and when you're finished, be sure to check out these 12 Essential Rules To Get Back Into Shape After a Long Break.

Dumbbell Goblet Squats

dumbbell goblet squat
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Grab a dumbbell and hold it up to your chest, keeping your hands under the top of the weight. Inhale, and lower into a squat by bending your knees and hinging your hips back. When your thighs are parallel to the ground, push up through your feet, keeping your core activated. Flex your quads and glutes hard at the top to finish. Perform three sets of 10 reps.

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Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts

trainer demonstrating dumbbell romanian deadlift to reverse aging
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of you while standing tall. Keeping your knees soft, initiate the movement by pushing your hips and keeping your chest tall. Go as far back as you can, making sure to keep your back straight and the tension in your hamstrings. Once you have a solid hamstring stretch, push your hips forward and flex your glutes hard to finish. Perform three sets of 10 reps.


pushup hold exercises for bingo wings
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start by getting into the proper pushup position with your wrists in line with your shoulders. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your feet. Keep your core tight, and lower yourself to the floor with a slight tuck in your elbows. Come down until your chest almost touches the bottom. Push yourself up, flexing your chest and triceps to finish. Perform three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

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Cable Rows

wide grip cable row
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Grab the neutral grip attachment on a seated row machine, and place your feet firmly on the footpad. Pull the handle out, then extend your legs. Keep your chest tall as you drive your elbows back toward your hips, squeezing your back and lats hard to finish. Straighten your arms, and get a solid stretch in your shoulder blades before performing another rep. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Dumbbell Split Squats

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

Place one foot forward in front of another in a split stance position. Keep the tension in your front leg as you lower your body until your back knee touches the floor. Push yourself back up using the heel of your front leg. Flex your quad and glute at the top to finish. Perform three sets of 10 reps per leg.

Lat Pulldowns

lat pulldowns
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Grip the lat pulldown bar just outside shoulder-width with your palms facing away from you. Lean back slightly, and pull the bar down toward your sternum with your elbows, squeezing your lats at the very bottom of the position. Resist on the way up, maintaining tension until you get a full stretch at the top. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

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Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

incline dumbbell bench press, strength exercises to regain muscle mass
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Lie down on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Press the weights over your body until your arms are completely extended. Pull your shoulder blades back and down into the bench as you lower the weights to your chest. Then, press the dumbbells back up to the start position, squeezing your upper pecs and triceps at the top. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Machine Seated Leg Curls

seated leg curls, strength exercises to regain muscle mass
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Sit at the leg curl machine, positioning your ankles on top of the roller with the top pad locked in. Keep your chest tall and your back flat against the seat. Drag the weight down with your heels, flexing your hamstrings hard at the end of the motion. Resist on the way back up before the next rep. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

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Reverse Pec Deck

reverse pec deck, concept of strength exercises to regain muscle mass
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Sit at the machine with your chest supported on the pad. Grip the handles with your palms facing each other. Next, pull your arms back toward your body, leading with your wrists and pinkies. Squeeze the back of your shoulders hard at the end, then resist on the way back to the starting position. Complete three sets of 15 to 20 reps.

Incline Hammer Curls

Lie down on an incline bench holding a pair of dumbbells. Keeping your shoulders back and your palms facing each other, curl the weight up, squeezing your biceps and forearms hard at the top. Resist on the way back down. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Rope Triceps Extensions

rope tricep extensions, concept of strength exercises to regain muscle mass
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Attach a rope to the part of a cable pulley, and grip it just above the knobs. Keeping your chest up and slightly leaning forward, pull the rope down with your elbows, tearing it apart at the very bottom while flexing your triceps. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S., CSCS
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim