As we age, it becomes increasingly important to continue exercising in order to maintain a healthy weight and body composition. Getting regular activity helps us build and preserve lean muscle mass, which supports metabolism and overall mobility. The good news is that you don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership to work out efficiently after 50. In fact, your own bodyweight provides all the resistance you need to sculpt a strong, lean physique.
Bodyweight workouts are extremely effective and versatile, allowing you to get fit on your own schedule. They are also safe on aging joints compared to high-impact activities. Here are some of the best bodyweight exercises to include in your routine if you want to stay lean beyond the half-century mark:
The humble plank tones numerous muscle groups at once while improving balance and core stabilization. Keeping your back flat and core braced, hold the top pushup position on your forearms for as long as you are able. Make sure you keep your hips square and head neutral. Start with shorter intervals if needed, working your way up to 60-second holds.
Squats are key for building lower body strength and protecting bone mineral density. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, push your hips back and bend knees to lower down until thighs are nearly parallel with the floor. Make sure knees track over toes without caving inward. Descend slowly then drive through heels back to standing. Do 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.
Lunges take squats to the next level, enhancing leg and glute strength with a balance challenge. Step one leg back bending both knees 90 degrees, keeping weight in heels. Push back to start then repeat on the other side for your desired number of reps. Use a chair or wall for balance assistance if necessary.
The pushup engages numerous upper body muscle groups at once to sculpt a strong, lean frame. Start on your hands and toes, keeping your body in a straight line. Bend elbows and lower chest towards floor then push back up. Do standard pushups or drop to knees for a modified version. Aim for 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
By performing bodyweight workouts just two or three times per week, you can build and maintain lean muscle mass to support metabolism and mobility for years to come. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.