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8 Strength Exercises You Need To Do Regularly in Your 40s To Stay Fit

Stay toned, strong, and lean during this stage of life and beyond.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Real talk: No one said aging was going to be easy. When you grow older, you may expect some natural changes to occur in your appearance, like wrinkles. But there's also a lot that's going on inside your body. For instance, the flexibility, endurance, and strength of your muscles typically decline, the Mayo Clinic explains. This can have a major impact on your balance, stability, and coordination. To ensure you maintain and build up your lean muscle, and continue to be as strong as possible, we've put together eight of the best strength exercises to stay fit in your 40s. Add them to your routine pronto.

Performing strength exercises regularly throughout your week is crucial in order to stay in shape. Be sure to place an emphasis on compound movements that activate a greater amount of muscle groups. These types of exercises will help you achieve results faster than if you simply stick with isolation movements.

So without delay, let's get into the eight best strength exercises to stay fit in your 40s and beyond. And next up, don't miss 4 Exercises That Can Drastically Change Your Body Shape After 40.

Dumbbell Goblet Squats

dumbbell goblet squat illustration, exercises to stay fit

Set up for the dumbbell goblet squat by holding a dumbbell vertically in front of your heart's center. With a tight core, hinge your hips back, and descend into a squat until your thighs reach a parallel position to the floor. Press through both heels to rise back up to standing. Squeeze your glutes. Complete eight to 10 reps.

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts

illustration of dumbbell deadlift

For this exercise, you'll hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of you. With a tall chest and soft knees, hinge your hips back while bringing the dumbbells down your thighs. When you feel a solid stretch in your hamstrings, push your hips forward, bring the dumbbells up, and squeeze your glutes. Complete 10 reps.

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Incline Dumbbell Bench Presses

The incline dumbbell bench press starts by lying down on an incline bench. You should have a dumbbell in both hands resting on your thighs. Keep your feet on the floor. Then, press the weights above your body as you extend both arms. As you lower the weights, bring your shoulders back and down into the bench. You'll feel a nice stretch at the bottom of the motion before pressing the dumbbells back up. Squeeze your upper pecs and triceps at the top of the press. Complete 10 reps.

Dumbbell Rows

For single-arm dumbbell rows, position your body parallel to a workout bench or a stable surface. One knee and hand should be planted on it to keep you stable. Hold a dumbbell in your opposite hand, extending that arm toward the ground. Row the weight up to your hip as you squeeze your lats and upper back. Then, lower your arm and the weight before performing the next rep. Complete 10 to 12 reps for each arm.

Neutral Grip Chin-ups

Begin this exercise by hanging into a chin-up bar with both palms facing each other. Slightly lean back as you pull yourself up to the bar, driving with your elbows. You should reach with your chest and not your chin as you bring pull your body up. Squeeze your back, forearms, and biceps at the top. Resist on the way back down before performing another rep. Complete eight to 10 reps.

If you find chin-ups to be too difficult, feel free to perform lat pulldowns instead.

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Dumbbell Walking Lunges

Begin your dumbbell walking lunges by holding a dumbbell in both hands. Bring one leg forward, and firmly place it on the ground. Using control, descend into a lunge as you bring your back knee to the floor. Then, walk forward with your other leg, and repeat. Complete 12 reps on each leg.

Ab Wheel Rollouts

The ab wheel rollout begins with you kneeling on the floor and holding onto an ab wheel. With a tight core and squeezed glutes, bring your body as far forward as possible as you roll the wheel out. Lead with your arms. Once you're out as far as possible, exhale, and roll the wheel back in. Complete 10 reps.

Farmer's Walk

illustration of farmer's walk exercise

Last but not least, to wrap up our strength exercises to stay fit in your 40s, get ready for the farmer's walk. Hold a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand by your sides. With a tall chest and tight core, start walking, using control, for a total of 50 to 100 feet. Once you complete the distance, turn around, and walk back to the start.

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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