Fact: If you’re in your 60s or older, building muscle, gaining strength, and improving stability is crucial for maintaining a great quality of life and continuing to do your favorite activities. The best way to build and maintain your muscles? Yes, it’s strength training. (For more on this, see here, here, and here.) But, as I often preach to my older clients at my gym, don’t think that you need fancy gym equipment in order to build muscle and improve your strength and stability. In fact, you can get a great workout in using only the forces of gravity and proper form.
If you’d like to know how, read on for one of the best no-equipment workouts that you can do anywhere. This is a total-body routine that works every single muscle group—your chest, arms, core, and legs. It’s also gentle on your joints, making it perfect for people over 60. You can perform each of the following exercises one at a time, or back-to-back in a circuit form. Aim for 3-4 sets of these movements total at the prescribed reps. And for more great workouts to try as you age, check out these Incredible Treadmill Workouts for People Over 60, Say Experts.
Start by getting into position with your shoulders in line with your wrists and back straight. Keeping your core tight, lower your body under control in a straight line. Come all the way down until your chest touches the ground, then press yourself back up, flexing your triceps at the top before performing another rep. And for more great exercises you can do, see these 5-Minute Exercises for a Flatter Stomach Fast.
Get into position by having one foot forward and one foot back. With your chest tall and core tight, lower yourself under control until your back knee touches the ground, getting a nice stretch at the bottom. Push through the heel of the front leg to come back up, flexing your quad and glute to finish. Perform all reps on one side before switching legs.
Position your upper back on a bench or other sturdy surface with your feet in front of you. Keeping your core tight, lower your hips down towards the ground, then drive through the heel, squeezing your glutes hard at the top for a second. Come down until control to starting position before performing another rep.
Get into a side plank position with your shoulder in line with your elbow and legs stacked. With your core tight and glutes squeezed, begin taking your top arm and rotating it into your body in a scooping motion. Rotation your elbow back, squeezing your shoulder blade to finish. Perform all reps on one side before spinning around and finishing the other. And if you love to walk, make sure you’re aware of The Secret Cult Walking Shoe That Doctors Are Obsessed With.