Skip to content

5 Workouts That Drastically Change Your Body Shape After 40

Transform your body shape as you age with a trainer's go-to workouts.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Entering your 40s is a significant milestone, and it's natural to want to maintain or improve your body shape as you age. Fortunately, with the right combination of workouts, you can achieve a remarkable transformation in your physique, promoting strength, agility, and confidence. Here are five workouts to change your body shape after 40, enhancing your physical appearance and overall well-being.

By incorporating these five transformative workouts into your fitness regimen, you can sculpt your dream body after 40. Whether you prefer high-intensity intervals, strength training, Pilates, yoga, or cardio dance, there's a workout option to suit your preferences and goals. Remember to listen to your body, stay consistent, and celebrate your progress along the way to a healthier, stronger, and more confident you.

Continue reading for the five best workouts to change your body shape after 40. And when you're finished, don't miss these 10 Daily Bodyweight Exercises To Keep You Youthful & Fit.

Workout #1: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

This roundup of the best workouts to change your body shape after 40 kicks off with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT workouts are efficient and effective for burning calories, building lean muscle, and boosting metabolism, making them ideal for reshaping your body.

1. Jump Squats

jump squat

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms by your sides. Lower into a squat position, keeping your chest up and your knees behind your toes. Explosively jump up as high as you can, extending your arms overhead. Land softly, and immediately lower back into a squat. Aim for three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.

2. Burpees

Start in a standing position, then squat down and place your hands on the floor. Jump your feet back into a plank position, keeping your body in a straight line. Perform a pushup, lowering your chest toward the ground. Jump your feet back toward your hands and explosively jump up, reaching your arms overhead. Repeat for three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

3. Mountain Climbers

mountain climber

Begin in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your core, and bring one knee toward your chest, then quickly switch legs. Continue alternating legs at a rapid pace as if you're running in place. Aim for three sets of 20 to 30 seconds.

Does Lifting Weights Burn More Fat Than Cardio?

Workout #2: Strength Training

If you want to change your body shape, strength training is essential. Strength training helps build muscle mass, increase metabolism, and improve overall body composition, leading to a more toned and defined physique.

1. Deadlifts

barbell deadlift

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell or dumbbells in front of your thighs with an overhand grip. Hinge at the hips, keeping your back flat and your chest lifted as you lower the weight toward the ground. Push through your heels to return to the starting position, squeezing your glutes at the top. Aim for three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

2. Dumbbell Lunges

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms by your sides. Step forward with one leg, and lower your body until both knees are bent at 90-degree angles. Push through the heel of your front foot to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other leg, alternating legs for three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions per leg.

3. Chest Press

Lie on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent at 90 degrees and your palms facing away from you. Press the dumbbells up toward the ceiling until your arms are fully extended. Lower the dumbbells back down to chest level with control. Aim for three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

10 Ways To Maximize Your Walking Workout for Faster Weight Loss

Workout #3: Pilates

Pilates focuses on core strength, flexibility, and alignment, helping to sculpt long, lean muscles and improve posture.

1. Hundred

Lie on your back with your legs in a tabletop position (knees bent at 90 degrees) or raised toward the ceiling. Inhale to prepare, then exhale as you lift your head and shoulders off the mat, reaching your arms forward. Pump your arms up and down in small, controlled movements as you inhale for five counts and exhale for five counts. Continue for a total of 10 breath cycles.

2. Single Leg Circles

Lie on your back with one leg extended toward the ceiling and the other leg on the mat. Circle your extended leg in a controlled motion, keeping your hips stable and your core engaged. Reverse the direction of the circle after several repetitions. Perform eight to 10 circles in each direction, then switch legs.

3. Planks

forearm planks

Begin in a forearm plank position with your elbows directly under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your core and hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing deeply. For an added challenge, lift one leg or arm off the ground and hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then switch sides.

5 Strength Workouts To Maintain a Lean Body as You Age

Workout #4: Yoga

Yoga improves flexibility, balance, and strength while promoting relaxation and stress relief, resulting in a more toned and balanced physique.

1. Downward Facing Dog

Start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lift your hips up toward the ceiling, straightening your arms and legs to form an inverted V shape. Press your heels toward the ground and lengthen your spine, engaging your core. Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing deeply.

2. Warrior II

warrior II

Start in a standing position with your feet wide apart, arms extended parallel to the floor. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and bend your right knee, aligning it with your ankle. Extend your arms out to the sides, keeping your shoulders relaxed. Gaze over your right hand, and hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch sides.

3. Boat Pose

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground, hands resting beside your hips. Lean back slightly, and lift your feet off the ground, balancing on your sit bones. Extend your arms forward alongside your legs, parallel to the ground. Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds, breathing deeply, then release and repeat for two to three sets.

The 10 Best Functional Strength Exercises for Beginners

Workout #5: Cardio Dance

This list of the best workouts to change your body shape after 40 wraps up with cardio dance. Cardio dance workouts are fun and energetic, combining dance moves with aerobic exercises to burn calories, improve cardiovascular health, and sculpt your body.

1. Zumba

Join a Zumba class or follow along with online videos. Move your body to the beat, engaging your arms, legs, and core in dynamic movements. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of continuous dancing to maximize calorie burn and body shaping.

2. Hip-Hop Dance

Learn hip-hop dance moves from instructional videos or classes. Practice choreographed routines that target different muscle groups and increase heart rate. Focus on precise movements and powerful bursts of energy to sculpt muscles and improve coordination. Have fun and express yourself through the rhythm and flow of the music.

3. Ballet Fitness

Incorporate ballet-inspired exercises into your workout routine to tone and elongate your muscles. Perform movements such as pliés, tendus, and arabesques to sculpt legs, glutes, and core. Use a ballet barre or sturdy chair for support and balance as you perform graceful, controlled movements. Practice proper form and alignment to maximize the effectiveness of each exercise.

Tyler Read
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler
Filed Under